The Watchmen – Part VI – The Funeral

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Part V

The service was every bit as horrible as I imagined it would be. Most of the office was there, including the office downstairs. Apparently Zedd was the sort to really reach out to others. At the luncheon people traded stories about just how much of his time and money he had devoted to those in need. It must have killed him, knowing what he did and not able to save anyone else. It just further solidifies the fact that he must have said something to his family. I need to find them, they would definitely be able to shed some light on things. I cross the room, locating Devon near the back by the kitchen. I can’t get over how huge this place is. Imagine if you could the biggest house you’ve ever seen and then double it. I wasn’t even aware they made houses in Wal-Mart size. I approach him slowly, not wanting to scare him away. He is deep in thought, staring out of the large bay windows. He turns when he hears the click of my heels against the tiles. His lips curl into a soft smile. There is definitely more to that smile─ it’s the sort that you give your friends or family when they ask what is wrong. 

I have the strongest urge to wrap Devon into a hug. I find myself more and more curious of how he would feel against me, how he would smell. I have never been in a relationship and up until now I really haven’t thought about it. School and art always took priority over anything else.  After seeing what it does to others and how much it impacts people’s lives, I have run in the opposite direction for years. Devon though, I haven’t noticed a hint of ulterior motive, he is genuine and kind. There had been a few people in college that had shown interest in me but I always shut them down. Not in a mean way, just stated that I did not want anything to do with a relationship. A few of them told me that I could tell them the truth, one even asked if I was a lesbian. Apparently, they had talked amongst themselves and came to the conclusion that since I had not been interested in male partners, I must have liked women. The truth is I have had very little sex drive over the years. It isn’t something that I think about often. I can get urges from time to time but never enough to seek out a partner. It makes my skin crawl thinking about someone touching me. The touching aspect was awful enough, sex mortifies me. I have gotten curious and watched porn a few times. The women never seem to enjoy what is happening. All I can focus on are their faces, there is something about their eyes─ sadness or a longing for love. I cringe at the way men would grope them or shove things into places─ there were no limits to where they did. I rub my arms and hug them to my chest. Given the chance would Devon want to do those things to me? I frown. Even if he is interested, I really get the sense that he would keep it to himself and not allow it to cloud his judgement. For the first time I find myself liking someone. It’s as alien a thought as everything else I’m doing so why do I feel so uncomfortable?

“Hey Kate,” Devon says softly. 

“Hey,” I respond. We sit in comfortable silence for a moment. “I was wondering,” I begin, “If I could maybe talk with Zedd’s family. You know, since I was the last to see him.” His face falls a bit, it’s the first time I can see some real emotion reflected there. He shakes his head, “I’m afraid that’s impossible.” I’m taken back but ask, “what do you mean?” He glances over at the people in the living room and then inches closer to me. He smells like soap, clean and nice. “Zedd lived his life in the system until he was eighteen. As far as either of us knew, he didn’t know where he came from.” My heart speeds up as he leans within inches of my ear. “He had a few clues here and there about his mom but nothing solid. Our family sort of took him in on holidays and events.” At this point, my heart is beating so hard against my chest that I am sure he can hear it. Then he does something unexpected and takes a step back. My shoulders relax and my heartbeat subsides. After several moments I’m back to normal. It is incredibly refreshing to stand next to someone in comfortable silence, it feels natural with Devon. I turn toward him, “I’ve been meaning to ask, did Zedd” I pause a few beats searching for what to say, “say anything odd to you?” His eyes meet mine. It’s the sort of look that strips you bare. “Like what?” he whispers. Those eyes. Those damn eyes. I’m left speechless. My throat dries and my chest grows tight with anxiety. Devon is honing in on my every reaction, trailing from my eyes to my mouth. “You’ve been hiding something from me,” he says, “I can tell. From your first day in the office until now.” My gut reaction is to run. I want to get away as far as possible from him. But, I need answers. Maybe Zedd had mentioned something to Devon that I wasn’t aware of. I shove down my fears. “I have been, but please trust me when I say that I have my reasons.” He raises his eyebrows at me, “If it has to do with Zedd I want to know every single detail,” his voice cracks and he emphasizes the last few words. “You may have your reasons, but I can promise you that you’ll get no judgment from me. Just be honest.” He sighs, takes a few breaths and continues, “please.” I look at the floor, unable to look at his eyes. I manage a small nod. 

“Hey, Devon?” We both look over at the interruption. One of the guys from our meeting is standing in the entry. He looks awkwardly at me and Devon, aware that he probably walked in at the wrong time. “Sorry to interrupt, I uh, think it’s time for your speech and words from friends and family.” “No, no Jason that’s fine,” Devon says, “Sorry, I didn’t realize it was that time already. I’ll be right there.” Jason nods then walks out leaving us both back to where we were before. 

“We should─”

“Can we talk about this later?” he asks, not bothering to let me finish my sentence, “Let me take you out for dinner, somewhere public where you’ll feel safe. Is that OK? I can even meet you there if you would rather travel alone.” I bite my lip, my brow creasing, “alright,” I say after a few moments, “I can do that.” His eyes press together, his face washed in relief, “thank you so much Kate. Just let me know where and what time.” I bob my head and scurry out of the kitchen. I can’t believe my luck, but I can get through this. I shouldn’t care about what Devon thinks of me if it means that I could possibly save him too. I would need a way to explain all of this and I can’t for the life of me figure out how to convey it. He can’t see the letters, he will dismiss a government conspiracy, but somehow I cling to some ill thought-out hope he will listen. I pray Zedd has shared this with him so that maybe if I mention some of the same things, he’ll trust what we are saying. Zedd believed it so much that he ended his life. Surely that must count for something.  

#

 We arrive back at the office around two o’clock. There is still enough time for me to get a little work done, and most importantly keep my mind distracted. I worry that Devon will call me into his office but he never returns. In a way it’s a huge relief─ not that I would mind his company, but he’s so damn persistent and I really don’t want to do that here. Jason walks up to me and explains that he will be temporarily taking over Zedd’s duties until a new manager is in place. We go over a few sketches and then what Zedd had asked of me. Jason is quiet, like me, so after we talk business, he is gone. Thank goodness for small miracles. I look at the 2-D design and then import it into the 3-D modeling program. I pour myself into into creating every single detail. It feels so amazing to be back into a routine that I work until my fingers and back scream in protest. At some point I have managed to tuck one of my legs under me and lost all feeling in it. I stand and stretch, content with my completed workload for the day. Most of the office left several hours ago. I spot a few guys in the back messing around in the motion capture room but they are all that is left. I pull out my phone and glance through it warily. I’m surprised to not find a text but ultimately I decide that it’s best if I get this meeting over with. I sniff my pits and further decide that a shower would be a good idea. Apparently stewing in my own soup had done some not-very-pleasant things to my clothes. 

I grab my wallet, phone, and keys and then turn toward the elevator. I am mid stride when the lights turn off. I immediately freeze in place. I have been so preoccupied with everything today that I’ve forgotten about Them. I hold my breath and wait. There is a yell in the back and I exhale. The guys are still here. OK, good maybe the building has timed lights. Not wanting to press my luck I pick up the pace. No way in hell am I going to give these things a chance to terrorize me. They fucking thrive off of it. 

I yelp as a noise blares from my hand. “Jesus christ,” I swear, flipping my screen around. It’s Devon. Shit. He probably thinks I’m going to bail on him. I glance at the time, it is nearly seven. I answer on the fourth ring. 

“Hey, Devon I’m so sorry I was up at the office and I lost track of time working on this character.”

His voice comes out awful, it sounds like he’s been crying, “Oh, that’s OK. I just wanted to check in with you. Did you want me to pick you up or would you rather meet somewhere?” He sniffs a few times and clears his throat. The guys emerge from the back, shoving each other as they walk toward the elevator. “Hey Kate” one of them say. I nod and wave as they shuffle through. “You coming down?” I shake my head mouthing, “no you go ahead, thanks.” He mouths “OK” and in seconds they’re gone. Leaving me to the quiet, dark office and Devon. “Uh, yeah you can pick me up from my place if you want. Just, you know, give me a chance to get the day washed off.” 

“OK, great. Just decide what you want, anything is fine, my treat.” Please don’t make me decide, I plea silently. “Oh, whatever is fine by me,” I offer quickly. He pauses on the line, “how about sushi or Thai?” I bite my lip, noodles sound pretty great right now. Something warm, comforting, and starchy. “Thai sounds great,” I say. “Alright, I’ll pick you up about eight?” “That works,” I reply. We say our goodbyes and hang up. I frown at the slow moving elevator and press the down arrow button. Why did we have to be on such a high floor? I see that they finally make it to the bottom, silently willing it to go faster. A computer restarts in the back and I hear the beep as it resets. The room groans and pops as the wind hits the side of the building. Every click, every pop is amplified by the insufferable quiet. 

Floor seven, 

Floor eight,

Floor nine. 

Come on, I urge silently, just six more floors. 

Floor eleven, 

Floor twelve,

Floor thirteen.

The computer does a start up jingle in the background. I refuse to turn around.Not today, Satan” I mutter. 

Floor fourteen.

The ding goes off as it reaches the fifteenth floor and I squeeze my eyes shut and sigh. Finally, it’s here. The door swooshes and I open my eyes. I stare for several seconds, the color draining from my face. I don’t want to believe what I’m seeing. My hand goes up to my face and I clamp them around my mouth. No, no, no, is all that can run through my mind. I stagger back a few steps, distancing myself from the horrific image. Jesus, there’s so much blood. I close my eyes, take a breath, and then open them. He’s still there and so is the pulpy mass. 

The glassy stare of Zedd’s eyes stare at me accusingly. The back of his head is missing─ there’s blood and brain matter everywhere. The gun lays on the floor next to him cradled in his limp hand. This isn’t real, it can’t be because we buried him this afternoon. I frantically search the room, trying to remember where the emergency stairs are located. I scream as his body jumps and twitches in a seizure-like motion. Zedd grunts and his head jerks toward my scream. His bones snap and pop as he rises from the floor. A few meaty chunks of brain matter slide to the floor, making a sickening splat when they hit. Oh god. I retch several times, trying but failing to reassure myself it isn’t real. He limps toward me as a gurgling sound escapes his lips. I bolt to the left and pump my legs as fast as they will carry me.  I don’t know where the staircase is but I don’t care. I am not about to sit here and let him get close to me, I know it has to be back here somewhere. I flee past several dark offices, glancing behind me every so often. There is no sign of him. I’m all the way at the end of the u-shaped hall when I realize my terrible mistake. If I had just ran to the right I would have found them. Fuck it. 
I charge around the corner and scream as I run into something solid and fleshy. I lash out, shoving hard and screaming. “Whoa, whoa, Kate,” Devon yells. My head throbs from the adrenaline as my heart comes back down from near cardiac arrest. My legs give out and I fall forward on my hands and knees.

New Podcast Coming Tuesday and Other News

Hey, hi, hello─

First off, please don’t go drown in the lake or burn off your eyebrows this weekend, K? K.

I’m releasing my next podcast this coming Tuesday and super pumped that I’m getting to cover urban legends again. If you aren’t familiar with my work, you can check it out here. These episodes (in between our horror tales written by yours truly) focus on the supernatural, horror, urban legends, creepypasta, and bizarre mythologies. There’s something magical about the world holding mysteries that can’t be explained. For me, that world is the world of the unknown─ and not just any unknown, the kind we grew up with as warnings for children. Specifically, tales of the boogey-men. It really drew me in and fascinated me, that a creature could spirit me away into worlds unknown.

What waited there, I wonder?

My mother loved the tale The Pied Piper of Hamelin, we would read it often when I was a kid. I would think on these kinds of stories many times. Where had he taken them? Had the Pied Piper really been a demon tricking the townsfolk by sending the rats into the town─ and then, acting as their savior? Even stranger is that to my surprise and delight the story was actually based off of historical records! So now, even as an adult I find myself intrigued and wondering just where did the children go and who was the Pied Piper?

If you’re interested in real-life horrors, I also cover hauntings and the terror that the supernatural have brought into other people’s life. The creepy, the spooky, the downright sinister corners of the world.

Anyway~ This coming week we’ll cover one of my personal favorites The Black-Eyed Children, along with a few other disturbing urban legends. Join me as we uncover spine-tingling tales of terror─

That is, if you’re brave enough.

“Let me inside, please.”

Pleasant dreams all.

xoxo─

Grey

News! Podcasts, they are a comin’

So, if you’ve been keeping up with the new stuff recently I’ve been releasing my podcast shows again! You can check them out here.

It’s been a long journey getting to where I have now vs. where I was at a few years ago. Getting my life balanced has been a real struggle. I know that what I’m doing with the podcast can be seen as a hobby, but rest assured I pour my all into these when I make them.

I really want to transport the listener to somewhere else for a short time─ something haunting and beautiful to escape to. Or to nerd out together over the creepy, crawly, supernatural goodness. I really want to thank you all for taking time out of your days to listen to my audio-shorts and read my stories. It certainly means the world to me.

I will be releasing these every other week on Tuesday mornings. I’m working on nailing down a time, but I’ll try to have them up before 8:00 a.m. CST. Part three of this series will be up Tuesday, April 12th so don’t forget to catch up and listen to parts 1 and 2! Feel free to peruse my older productions as well and I hope that I can provide your mind with a sense of child-like wonder delving into these mysterious worlds.

xoxo,

Grey

New Horror Podcast Is Up! Link In Post.

We kick off season 1 of The Haunting Hour with part 1 of a horror short called My Family Is Falling Apart. You can check it out here. We begin our story seeing through the eyes of a heartbroken father as he struggles through a rough divorce. But this isn’t like any other divorce─ his ex becomes increasingly strange and then without warning his daughter disappears. Follow along as the twists and turns unfold in this dark mystery.

Not suitable for children under the age of 13.

All of us like to be spooked…just a little.

What is it about the supernatural that really draws you in, that gets your blood pumping and chills running down your spine? Maybe it’s the boogey man─ the cold, cool surface of a mirror with a sinister entity waiting for you to close your eyes. Or possibly the killer hiding beneath your bed, waiting patiently outside of your home, or up in the attic watching through the ceiling vents.

Many people to this day believe in ghosts, or demons. Some swear that there are creatures living beyond our realm or in parallel universes. Whatever your personal fear may be, it’s fun to just imagine a world beyond the norm. Even if it does terrify you, there is a small part of your brain that hopes something else exists. Be truthful with yourself for a moment─ isn’t it dull to think that we are are all completely alone?

Since I was a child my family would sit and watch scary movies. My mother especially liked the thought of angels, spirits, aliens, or ghosts. She would talk about seeing what she was convinced were aliens flying in the sky or that alien abductions were real. I can confidently say that it was an interesting childhood if nothing else.

If none of us really liked the fear of the unknown or being scared until we borderline shit our pants, places like haunted houses wouldn’t exist. Know someone that doesn’t like scary movies? That is a fear within itself, knowing that if we watch something like that we wouldn’t be able to sleep at night. So, fear of being afraid─ hmm. Phobophobia, anyone?

The meaning behind fear attached as an emotion didn’t come about until around the 1300’s. In old English færan─ to terrify or frighten, or fær─ sudden danger, peril, or sudden attack. Which is why it makes sense to classify it as an emotion. Several hundred years later (around 620 years to be exact!) American physiologist Walter Cannon found that fear triggers an emotional response in the amygdala, firing a chain of chemical events that readies the body for a fight, or flight response. I never had that theory put to the test on me until the age of ten. My best friend at the time and me were playing outside, going up and down alleys with our bikes. There were an older group of boys well known by the neighborhood kids as the local assholes. (We found it out quickly when a game of hide-and-seek turned into them charging and tackling younger, weaker kids.) Thankfully, they tended to to pick on girls a little less─ albeit the occasional bloody nose or skinned elbows and knees.

One day, we’ll call him Mr. Quackers, Mr. Quackers decided that because I never cried or responded to his bullshit (for whatever reason unknown to me, I was one of the lucky few that only got called names) got a wild hair up his ass to try and attack me. I still have no clue what happened to that kid or why he was so psychotic, but needless to say he was fully committed (bless his heart) to putting the fear of god in me and my friend. Whether it was to scare us, or actually harm us, we’ll never know because my next series of actions even surprised me. His face contorted from a combination of manic glee and anger to confusion as I crouched, squared my shoulders, and charged back toward him. Either I got stupid lucky or he got caught off-balance, but he flipped over my left shoulder and landed hard on his back.

Something snapped, and some might say that my fury grew three times that day.

The Grinch

I’ve always had a protective side─ you mess with me, it’s whatever. Sure, it hurt and at times dug pretty deep, but seeing my friends or someone else getting picked on stirred the beast. I straddled him and went right for the face, throwing as many punches as the other kids allowed. I’m sure they didn’t really hurt that bad (considering I was all of ten years old and he was nearly fourteen) and I’m sure I didn’t know what I was doing or how to punch that well, but the point had been made. I don’t know it if was one of his friends or mine, but a few kids grabbed me roughly by the shoulders and drug me away kicking and screaming. Imagine a very angry bobcat, flurries of hissing, spitting, and yelling as I attempted to claw my way back to my prey.

Even though he had managed to scare me, I learned something about myself that day. Your body just sort of reacts, there is no thought. The strange part was even though I had been afraid, I felt alive afterward. Like that fear and adrenaline left me with a sense of euphoria. I later would learn in high school that phenomenon is endorphins released from the brain to make you feel better. Similar to what chocolate does. That’s where we circle back to that fear-inducing spark that leaves us all feeling like we’ve barely escaped our doom─ and damn, does it feel good. That’s where I think all of this may stem from, the relief of being alive.

But getting back to my earlier point, we enjoy being scared because of that chemical reward. Also? Who doesn’t like to feel like we’re special and some nefarious entity has singled us out.

We all have that one story (or a story that’s been passed on through our family) we can’t explain─ maybe it’s noises in the dark, or lights coming on when they shouldn’t. What was that looking down from the window of the old abandoned Blackwood home? You know the one where everyone died a horrible death. Even if these aren’t something you can relate to, why do we go a little faster down dark hallways or a small spike of panic as we move through the dark to the bathroom? There is no logic to it and we rationalize with ourselves that nothing is there─ but it never actually works, does it?

Because the fact remains that all of us, just a little bit, like to feel that prickly sensation and wonder─ am I really alone?

Short Horror Movie Will Make You Sleep With The Lights On, Forever | Creepy  gif, Scary gif, Creepy

Well, my lovelies─ what do you think?

Pleasant dreams,

❤ Grey