Living in the bustling sprawls of a rich, New England port-town, was a young girl. She had moved from two houses, already, and was ready to settle down into the third, with her older sister, and mother. The girl’s older sister was somewhat abusive, and if she dared try and enter her room, she would violently throw hard objects at her. Their mother was constantly in a state of depression, and the house was always dark, and somewhat dusty. She only had one friend, who she had known since pre-school, but they barely saw each other anymore, because they went to different schools.
As a result, the girl often slipped in and out of depression. She cried often, sometimes over nothing, and played with her stuffed animals and cat as if they could speak to her. Her biggest interest was the paranormal, especially U.F.Os and alien abduction. So, this, coupled with her depression and general anxiety, made her a nervous wreck. Sometimes, even in the daylight, she would become so fearful of nothing at all, just sitting on her bed and thinking, that she would curl up into a ball and cry for her mother until she came up the stairs.
This went on for a while, until, one day, the girl was eating lunch in her school cafeteria when the subject of the Bloody Mary curse was brought up. She listened in, pretending to be a spy, intending to gain new knowledge on the paranormal. That day, directly after school, a few of the students went in to the girl’s restroom and enacted the curse. They flushed the toilet, spun around a number of times, and looked into the mirror. Of course, nothing happened. They turned the lights back on, and fled before the janitor could catch them.
The girl seemed to forget all about Bloody Mary and went to sleep, after a few hours of her usual tossing-and-turning. That night, she dreamed about something strange. She awoke to find herself in a desert, wandering aimlessly. After a while, she came across a strange, dilapidated structure. It seemed to be a square ruin, about four feet tall, and made of decaying stone. But, strangely enough, after examining it for a minute, she noticed on one side, there was a set of pictures, with a newspaper clipping underneath one. At first, she didn’t want to look at the photos directly, but succumbed to the dream’s whim, and was forced into looking at them.
All of the pictures were similar. They all depicted a girl, a little younger than herself, who had slowly been cannibalizing her own body. She bit off one of her fingers in a birthday photo, chewing on the bone instead of the lit birthday cake in front of her. In the next photo, she was at a playground, sitting on a plastic swing, peeling large amounts of skin off of a scab, and licking them. In the photo with the article attached, she was sitting in the bathtub, attempting to bite off her own arm. Chunks of blood could be seen, as well as fat, and skin. The newspaper article read:
“Six year old girl eats her own flesh. M**y T****r suffered from an extreme mental disorder, leading to her tragic death from being unsupervised.”
The girl was only slightly disturbed by this, being a fan of horror movies, but the more she thought about it, the more she wanted to gag. The dream was about to end when she noticed something about the photos. In each of them, there was some aspect of reflection. In the birthday photo, a mirror could be seen in the background. In the playground photo, it seemed to have rained previously, and there was a puddle on the asphalt. And, finally, in the bath photo, there was a reflection from both the water and the rim of the bath. The reflection on each of these surfaces was odd. At first, she thought they could be the reflection of a camera, but upon further inspection, that didn’t quite seem to be the case. The more she thought about if it was a strange, stick-like figure, the more paranoid she became. She remembered she was in a desert and quickly spun around to see if anything was behind her. Before she could turn all of the way, the dream faded to black, and she awoke.
Shaken, yet intrigued, she went back to school that morning, and listened in to see if her friends had similar dreams, that night. Not surprisingly, they had forgotten all about the Bloody Mary curse. So, intent on fishing for more first-hand info, she tried bringing up the subject of the supernatural. Somehow, where she lived came up, and when it did, everyone suddenly became hushed. Someone spoke up and explained about how the girl’s house was haunted. She became intrigued, but couldn’t learn anymore, as lunch was ending.
The girl went home and shrugged it off, thinking the students were just trying to make her upset. Her mother was a strong believer in spirits and psychics and often talked with her younger daughter about what psychic premonitions she might have and to watch out for evil spirits. Remembering what she had been told about demons, her anxiety spiked. It had gotten darker faster than she had hoped, and she forgot all about dinner. The girl became hungry, and since their mother barely ever made food, she decided to be brave and get a snack from downstairs. Luckily, her mom slept in the downstairs, but she went to bed early, and was very hard to wake up. She gathered all of her courage, and with the help of her cat, they went downstairs, until they reached the living room, when the girl froze. The cat continued into the kitchen, for which the girl muttered under her breath about her comrade abandoning her, and continued her attention towards the downstair's closet.
She avoided eye contact while watching TV. While walking through the room. While playing with the cat. At all costs, don’t look at the door. She didn’t even want to see it out of the corner of her eye, so she cupped her hand around the appropriate eye just in case. But, on this night, she forgot about the door. It was glass, and held nothing but a few cardboard boxes, left over from the move. Still, she gazed at it. Her mind didn’t comprehend anything to be there, until she saw something move a tiny bit. Her muscles tensed, and her vision blurred, as she realized what she might be looking at. There, behind the glass door, was a very tall, thin figure. Akin to the one she had seen in the reflections in her dream, although she had lost that detail after she awoke. Everything seemed to be slowed down, and it was slowwllyy lit up by a car’s light, passing by the house. The fractures of light coming through the window bent over the creature’s form, and she could see it was much taller than she thought. It was bent down, but the legs were all wrong. There was the ankle, and then there was the knee joint, which, for some reason, bent sideways, to the right, and then there was yet another joint, which bent to the left, and then, the legs met the base of the body. The arms were very long as well, but were jointed normally. The body was pear-shaped, and small compared to the long, thin legs. The head held no face, but looked a bit like a mannequin’s head would. The whole thing was a disgusting, musty brown color.
It “danced,” very slowly, as well. In fact, everything was slowed down. She struggled to avert her eyes and found them being held open by a strange force. She couldn’t scream and could barely breathe. Her vision faded to white, and she awoke in her bed. The door to her room was open, and there, doing that unnervingly sluggish dance, was the creature. It didn’t move closer to her bed. It didn’t make any advances toward her. It simply swayed about, unnaturally, while the girl was locked in place by fear. It seemed as though this went on for hours, until she got increasingly dizzy. The last thing she saw was the creature, finally moving towards her, slinking around the side of her bed, before she felt a touch, and her vision faded to black, and she was consumed by confusion.
She awoke on the downstairs sofa, wondering if she ever went to sleep at all. Her family moved out of the house that summer, and into a new one. No one ever believes the story when she tells it, but to this day, she hates bathing, and most of all, she hates glass doors and reflections. Because, occasionally, she will pass by the bathroom door, left only slightly ajar, and see a brown mass, huddled on the floor. Whenever she looks back, it is gone. But what she fears most is the day where she looks back, and it is still there. And then, when she wakes up, again, only to find bite marks on her body, the indents matching that of her own teeth. She shakes her head clear of these thoughts, and gets back to work.
Sticks and stones will break my bones,
But words will never harm me.
The memory is lost, but the pain is always relevant. These are only words.
The stick man, and the stone graves of the desert.