Disembodied Men

What I'm about to tell you, you won't find it on any news outlet. It's not in the newspaper, it's not on any blog site, and for good reason. The government made sure that no trace of this event remained. But I remember. Fuck, how could I forget?

I was a policeman back then. We were called to a warehouse on the outskirts of... well, I won't say where. It was a dark, stormy night and we all knew the situation was bad. Kidnapping, hostage situation, we just didn't know who organised it. It was worse than anything we had dealt with before.

We arrived outside the warehouse. Five patrol cars were already parked, and about 20 guys had their guns pointed at the building while another guy tried to negotiate using a megaphone. We had been instructed to go inside and try to rescue the hostages. We split into 3 groups. Of course, I got told to search the basement of the warehouse with 5 other cops.

What we saw, Jesus Christ, horrifying doesn't even begin to cover it. Nearly 200 people, gagged and bound to chairs, being forced to watch a video on a screen like some sort of demented school assembly. And the video, God... I don't even want to describe it, but I'll try.

It kept flashing this image of a man strapped into some kind of torture mask. His mouth was held open by metal hooks, as were his eyes. There was this horrible droning sound coming from the speakers, coupled with the flashing images, I wanted to be sick.

By the corner of the room, there were two figures. One was playing a grand piano, the other was slowly dancing like a ballerina. They were mostly shrouded in darkness, I couldn't see their faces. But clearly these were the sick fucks who had orchestrated this.

Maybe it was fear. But I just had this feeling that something was wrong with these figures. Their fingers were too long. Their backs were too hunched. Their limbs were too spindly. I just aimed my gun and started firing. And then the rest of my group joined in. We shot at the two figures in the corner until our magazines were empty. When the smoke cleared, they were nowhere to be found.

Next we shot the projector and speakers to stop the video and sound.

The leader of our group started to untie one of the hostages. Her skin was pale, and according to our leader, stone cold. Her eyes were bloodshot and crusted vomit stained the edges of her mouth. She didn't respond to any of our questions, didn't even flinch when one of our group fired his gun in the air. That video had done something to her.

We checked another hostage. And another. They had all been traumatized, and in the same way. Our leader said, and I remember exactly what he said.

"They can't be saved. Johnson, reload your gun."

Then we did it. We fucking shot every single one of them, right there on the spot. All 200 of them. At the time it felt good, like we were setting them free. Maybe it was the right thing to do. But it haunts me. We told our sergeant that they were dead when we found them. He fucking believed us.

Then the haunting started. All 5 members of our group experienced the same thing. We'd hear a male voice speaking right behind us. It was hard to tell what they were saying. Sometimes it was laughter, sometimes it sounded like they cursed under their breath. But when we turned around to see what it was, nothing was there.

We all thought it was just some kind of trauma from what had happened, or guilt playing with our subconscious. But we didn't tell anyone, we couldn't risk the truth getting out.

Then the haunting got worse. Books would fall off shelves while we weren't around, my dog growled at me and almost tried to bite me. I considered taking him to animal therapy before I realized he was staring behind me. When I went to sleep, I'd hear gunshots and the muffled voices of my teammates.

Then one day I stayed home from work. I'd been feeling sick for the past couple days, no doubt related to the incident.

The next day I came into work, and clearly something had happened. I asked my friend Anthony. What he said chilled me to the bone...

Apparently my other 4 teammates went out on patrol, but their car veered off the side of the road. When emergency services arrived, they said each man had been killed in a grisly way. One had a power drill embedded in his jaw, one had been eviscerated, seemingly from the inside, one was found with his head facing backwards, and the last one was found in a catatonic state. I knew what that meant. He had been traumatized, just like the hostages we killed.

The most horrific part was that I was supposed to be in that car.

It was the hostages, or at least their ghosts. It had to be.

I knew I had to make amends, or apologize to the spirits, or whatever bullshit you find in the ghost stories. I went to the warehouse, late at night. I went down into the basement. Exactly how we left it. Two hundred empty chairs, blood covering the floors. I brought a can of gasoline and I burned that warehouse to the ground.

The haunting stopped after that night.

That was about 7 years ago. Now you know what happened.

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