So, where to begin…?

I suppose I’d better start with an introduction. I’m Callan, and I’m somewhat of an aficionado for the creepy and obscure. So, I spend a lot of my time browsing through this wiki, and the occasional moments of fear I get are amazing. But I really should be getting to the story at hand. It all began when I bought a copy of Mark Z. Danielewski’s book, House of Leaves, after hearing about it on a forum. I found it in a pre-owned bookstore and read through it in a couple of days. I noticed something odd about the inside of the back cover; it was full of letters, many of them Greek and Russian.

With the help of a Greek-speaking teacher and my Russian-studying friend, I managed to decode it as being words such as “hell” and “suffer”. How cliché, I thought to myself, and set the book aside for about half a year. Then the time arrived when we had to show our best horror books to the class. My mind instantly turned to Danielewski. I decided to have a flip through it, take in its weight, and give the hell page another look. Upon doing so, I found certain letters in slightly darker pen than the rest. Upon going through a long series of copy-pasting to Google these characters, I found an old GoDaddy whois query leading to an old site with the name of the characters. The snapshots were of a spiral staircase, and a dark hallway.

How fitting. Another piece of information GoDaddy gave me is that the site once hosted a file called “final.mp3”. After searching the web, torrent sites, and even using the onion browser and trawling through endless copies of “the final countdown”, I found something one might expect from such a website. The file was about 5MB, and 3 minutes long. It sounded like the extracted audio from some video, but I will never be sure about that. The file played normally, and it turned out to be heavy breathing echoing. It was very odd, because there were indescribable sounds at the very edge of hearing when I had this at max volume.

This carried on for about 60 seconds, and then heavy, quick footsteps were heard along with inquiring murmurs. Silence for a whole 1 and a half minutes. Then, a louder muttering was heard, like a madman whispering to himself. Metal dragging across concrete. A man running lightly but swiftly, as the metal dragging became louder and louder, to the point where I had to turn my speakers down. Then the steps became heavier, more echoing. I had to restart as it had crashed, but I did notice something about the murmurs. They were heavily rushed, and sounded sped up. So, I headed to my trusty editing software and played around a bit. Isolating the voices revealed several people speaking in several different languages, all slightly aggravated.

I could pick up one phrase, though, after listening through a couple times. It said, “I paid good money for this”, and it sounded as if he’d been waiting for at least 6 hours at his level of frustration. I could also pick up various curses before the murmurs fell silent. Again, the metal dragging and the running, and I was back to where I was before. There were only 10 seconds left. The footsteps were now frantic, then the concluded with a thump and a crack of a shoulderblade.

In the last 5 seconds, I heard 3 things; the chink of metal against metal, the snapping of a small object, and the slicing of flesh. It’s pretty amazing, the strange things you find lurking in the shadows – we’ve all experienced it, something we’re not meant to see, being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and realising that there’s a whole other world hidden from our eyes – maybe even more than one. I’m still not entirely sure what happened, or why a book sold to an Oxfam would lead me to a long chase with such an odd conclusion, but I have stumbled upon something that isn’t meant for my eyes, and for that, I look at everything a little differently.

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