Have you ever been walking down a hallway and right when you turn a corner to go down another hall, you think you see something or someone in the corner of your eye? Most people ignore it and keep going on to their destination. I did; or at least, I used to. That was all before I got a strange email. I was sitting at my computer desk, going through my inbox. There was one email that stood out. The subject of it was simply, “The truth.” It was from an email address I wasn’t familiar with; The Moderator at aol.com. Usually when I get mail from someone I don’t know, I just send it right to my trash bin. This one however, this one was somehow beckoning me to open it. I clicked on the email just to see what it was about. There were two things in that email. One was an attachment and the other was a warning. “Once you open this file, there is no going back.”
Now I had to open the file. I know what you're saying. Don’t open attachments from people you don’t know. But this one was different. My curiosity outweighed my common sense. I wish I hadn’t opened that file. God I wish I had just deleted it.
I eagerly clicked on the attachment. Three things happened. First, a download box appeared and the file automatically downloaded itself onto my computer. Second, my computer screen went black. I tried pressing every button on my keyboard, but nothing happened; not even ctrl, alt, and del could help my computer. I sat there for five minutes, waiting for something to happen. I banged my hand on the side of my computer, hoping to get a response. When nothing happened, I got up from my chair and started pacing around the room; contemplating my stupidity. I started to walk out the room, but something caught my eye. My computer came back on. It was on, but there was only static on the screen. This was my first time seeing something like this on a computer. I didn't even know computers can get static like that. I went back and sat down in front of my computer. I leaned in close to the screen. Suddenly, the screen flashed and there was a red message against a completely black background. “They Know.”
Those two words sent an eerie chill down my spine. I immediately pressed the power button on the computer and shut it off. I shivered as I got up from my chair. As I turned towards the door, I caught a glimpse of something. What it was, I don’t know. I ran to the door and looked down the hall, but there wasn’t anyone in either direction. I was just tired. I turned to my computer again. The screen was on. This time, the message was different. “They’re coming.”
I ran over to the wall behind the computer and unplugged it. I left the room and went to my bed room. As I walked into my bed room, I saw something in the corner of my eye. I turned, but once again, nothing was there. I went in and slammed my door shut. I hopped into my bed and got under my blanket.
I sat up in fright. My heart was pounding and I was covered in sweat. I looked straight and saw my door was open and there was…something standing in the doorway. My eyes hadn’t adjusted to the darkness, so I couldn’t really tell what it was. The thing was huge. There was a gurgling sound coming from it. My hair stood on end and I started hyperventilating. My eyes watered and I felt like I was going to throw up. I began dry heaving and gagging. I still couldn’t see what it was, but the thing was coming closer to me. It started coming around the side of my bed and I passed out.
I woke up and jumped out of my bed. The sun was beaming through my window. It must have been just a dream. I got some clothes together and jumped into the shower. I heard my phone ringing, so I got out the shower and answered. I said hello repeatedly, but there was no reply. There was only this low humming noise. I hung up and put my phone down. I dried myself off and got dressed. It was time for me to go to my morning classes. I went outside and got in my car. I started to back up, but I slammed on the brakes. I saw a silhouette of someone in my bedroom window. I put my car on park, jumped out, and stormed up to my bedroom.
In my room, there wasn’t anybody here. I went to the window and looked down at my car. I shook my head and went back outside. I got back in my car and drove to the school.
I slept in most of my classes. My last class, American literature, was particularly boring today. I put my head down and nodded off. I was startled awake by a loud roar. I looked around to see where the horrifying sound was coming from. I tapped my buddy, Jeff Shul, on the shoulder. “Hey Jeff, what the hell is that noise?”
“What noise?” he said with a confused look on his face. I looked around the room. It was like nobody heard the sound, but that wasn’t possible. The sound was too loud not to hear. I turned back to Jeff.
“Okay, nice one. Now cut the sound off.” Once again, he looked at me like he didn't know what the hell I was talking about. The roaring kept getting closer and more disturbed. I stood up, put my hands over my ears, and closed my eyes. “Stop that fucking noise!” I opened my eyes and looked around the room. Everyone was looking at me. Embarrassed, I grabbed my things and rushed out of the room.
I went to the bathroom and bent down to splash water in my face. I stood up straight and opened my eyes. In the mirror was this gruesome thing. It was completely black with the reddest eyes you’d ever seen. I turned around and saw Jeff standing behind me. “Are you okay? Dude, you freaked out during class. What happened?”
“Nothing. I’m just a little tired. I didn't get much sleep last night.”
“Are you sure you’re okay?”
I pushed past Jeff and walked out the bathroom. As I was walking, I caught a glimpse of that thing again, turning a corner. I ran up to catch it. I turned the corner and smacked into something. I looked down at myself and saw I was covered in a black slime. I looked up and it was standing over me. My heart stopped. It was a grotesque mass of black ooze. The thing was huge and its eyes were red as a fire hydrant. The thing was dripping a black liquid like substance. I couldn’t swallow. I couldn’t breathe. I started gagging again. The thing reached for me and I blacked out.
I opened my eyes and they adjusted to the bright room. I looked around and saw that I was in the nurse’s office. I slowly got out the bed and made my way to the door. I was still a little groggy, but I kept going forward. I got all the way up to the door, but someone stepped in my way. “Take it easy mate.” They had a British accent. “Where am I? How did I get here?”
“You're in the nurses office and I brought you here.”
I opened my eyes all the way. The guy in front of me had a red Mohawk and a jean jacket. They were wearing black pants and some black boots. He stuck his hand out. “My name’s Matt.”
I shook his hand. “My name is…wait, what about that thing!?”
Matt shushed me. “Keep your voice down. They’ll hear you.”
“So you see them too?”
He sighed. “Yeah. I wish I didn't.”
“What are they?”
“Hell if I know. All I do know is they’ve been around a long time.”
“This is all bullshit.”
“Think about it. Have you ever been home at night, about to flick off the light switch and as soon as you do, you catch a glimpse of something? That’s them. Most people can't see them, but they’re there.”
“Why? Why can we see them?”
“You got that email didn't you? The one from the moderator.”
“I knew I should have just deleted that email.”
“You and me both.”
“You still haven't told me why we can see them.”
“They’re always there. They’re just in a spot where we don’t want to see them in. That spot in the corner of your eye. That spot you never want to look at. The only theory I have is, the static. It’s like a signal.”
“A signal for what?”
“For their next meal.”
The roaring started again. Matt started looking around. “I’m sorry, but I have to go.”
“Wait. We can fight them together.”
“There’s no fighting them. You just run. And one more thing. Stay away from corners.”
Matt started running down the hallway until he was out of sight. I started going in the direction Matt went. When I turned the corner that he did, I saw a horrible sight. Matt was being hung upside down and was being eaten alive by those…those things. There were six of them. No, eight. No, ten. Every time I looked around, more came from around the corner. I turned around and started to high tail it out of there. More of them started coming from around the corners. Some of them were making that disgusting, bubbling, gurgling sound. Some of them were roaring. I ran back into the nurse’s office and dove through the first story window. I didn't even care about the cuts I just got from the glass. All I cared about was getting to my car. I slipped and fell down in the middle of the parking lot. I looked down at where I fell and on the ground, in the middle of the pavement were words. I stood up to get a better look. The words said, in capital letters: YOU CAN’T RUN FROM THE TRUTH.
I reached my car and fumbled with the keys. I eventually got the door unlocked and got in. I looked over out the window and saw they were closing in on me. I put the key in the ignition, but the car rolled over. I kept trying as they kept getting closer. After the fifth time, the car started and I was out of there.
As I was driving down the street, I saw more and more of them. Where were they coming from? People were just passing by them like nothing was wrong. I stomped on my brakes as I drove past the police station. I parked in front of the building and stormed inside. I went up to the front desk and stopped. I hadn’t come up with an explanation for what exactly I needed help with. “Can I help you son?” I opened my mouth to say something, but to my horror, there were some of those things coming from a room to my right and then from a room on my left. I pointed at one of them as it made its way towards me. “Don’t you see them!? You have to shoot them!”
The officer just looked at me like I was insane. “Calm down!”
“You don’t understand!” I was practically on the verge of tears. I turned around and bolted out of the doors before they closed in on me. I got back in my car and started driving again. My vision was clouded by tears. The only place I could think to go was home.
I pulled up into the driveway and got out. On my front door, there was another message in capital letters: NO GOING BACK. I put the key in the door and pushed it open. Those things were already in my house. They didn't notice me. They were too busy sniffing around my stuff. I slipped into the only place that didn't have any corners; that basement. It was just one big room with some of my boxes in it. I quietly closed the basement door behind me and went to the far end of the room and sat next to a box. I reached in the box and pulled out a pen and paper. I started writing down everything that’s happened to me in the last twenty four hours. There was a small window above me. I didn't want to. I knew I shouldn’t have, but I stood up, turned around, and looked out the window.
I came face to face with one of those wretched things. It was like I was staring into the face of despair itself. The thing let out a horrendous roar and I heard banging on the basement door. I turned around and sat back down. I looked up at the ceiling. There was one final message, once again, in all capital letters: THE TRUTH CAN KILL.
The basement door came off its hinges. I laughed hysterically as I buried my face in my knees.