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My girlfriend died. She was in a car accident. My mother woke me up the next morning to tell me. She was a mess and I found myself comforting her instead of processing what she had just told me. After she left it sunk in. I cried for hours. I started crying because my girl was gone. I kept crying because our last words had been hard ones. A fight over the phone.

The funeral was awful. I only glanced at her body. Too much make up. It made me ill.

Later that night I found myself hugging my pillow, unable to sleep. I fumbled for my phone in the dark. I read our last text conversation. Then I wrote her a new message:

Me: I'm so sorry, Lizz. I'll love you forever.

I hit send and eventually drifted off to sleep.

I woke up to my phone buzzing. I looked at the time. 1:49 am. It was a message from her phone.

Lizz: Forever? smile emoticon

Who has her phone? I wondered. I was instantly angry.

Me: Who is this?
Lizz: It's me, Lizz.

I was so angry tears started welling up in my eyes.

Me: Whoever the hell this is, please... just stop.
Lizz: It's me, I promise. I'll prove it. Ask me something only I would know.

I proceeded to grill her with question after question. The sun was up before I was convinced. But it was undoubtedly her. She said she couldn't tell me where she was, but that it was amazing and she was happy. She said it was against the rules to talk to me, but that she couldn't help it. That made me smile. She said she couldn't call, but that she would continue to text me whenever she could.

For months we conversed via text messages, usually late at night. We mostly reminisced about old times. She refused to share any details about her new life. I didn't want to pry. I was just happy to read her messages.

Then she told me I should start dating again. I told her no. We started arguing:

Lizz: I don't think we should text each other anymore.
Me: What are you talking about?
Lizz: This was a bad idea. I'm sorry.
Me: No. Wait. I'm sorry. I can't lose you again.
Lizz: I love you.
Lizz: Goodbye.

I texted her everyday for weeks begging her to write me back. I soon found myself in the grips of depression. I had lost her all over again.

One night I awoke from a dream I was having about Elizabeth only to find myself alone in bed. My room was cold and dark. I had left the window open. I grabbed my phone to check the time. 1:49 am. Zero messages. I would have cried, but I was all cried out.

I heard a faint shuffling noise coming from inside the closet in front of my bed. I looked up... and there she was. She slowly emerged from behind my hanging shirts and jackets, pushing them aside. Even in the dark her delicate features were unmistakable. Her dark, wavy hair bounced as she walked slowly toward me.

"Lizz." I whispered. My heart was pounding. She didn't say a word. She just stared into my eyes with a sideways smile on her beautiful face. The moon coming in from my window made her pale skin glow.

Suddenly, my phone vibrated on my bed. I jumped. She stopped and looked down at it.

Maybe she can't speak, I thought. I picked up the phone and read the message:


By Reddit user: markarjoh90

It’s Halloween, Mama, so please don’t be mad.
You found me, quite safe, so instead, let’s be glad.
And now that we’re home and I’m warm in my fleece,
May I have my candy, if only a piece?
You brought me back early from tricks and from treats,
Don’t punish me more by forbidding me sweets.
“Why did I stray off as we went down the lane?”
That Clickety Man called, “Let’s play by the train.”
What “Clickety Man?” Oh, the one by the tracks,
Where clickety wheels make their clickety-clacks.
And the clickety bones that poke through his pants,
Play clickety beats, for his clickety dance.
The October wind blows his skin off in flakes,
While whistling a tune through the holes that it makes.
But the skeleton grin that lies on his face,
Is not truly happy, he feels out of place.
First, struck by an engine that came in a rush,
His unburied body decayed in the brush.
And that means old Clickety’s without a bed,
No box, and no hole, and no stone overhead.
So I said, “Come with me, nobody will mind.”
But as not to scare you, he followed behind.
It’s Halloween, Mama, so please don’t be mad.
Just you, me, and Clickety won’t be all bad.
You shouldn’t be giggling! Don’t laugh anymore!
That clickety knock is my friend at the door!

by James Michael Shoberg

It’s been about two months since it happened, since I came home from work on a rainy night, flowers and chocolate in hand. This isn’t going to be easy to say, but if I’m going to tell the story, I have to tell all of it.

I had had an affair. I didn’t mean to, really I didn’t. It just sort of… happened. I was having dinner with a coworker, speaking of a new contract about to be signed, when the conversation moved to her apartment. I felt terrible afterwards, I wanted to take it back, but I knew I couldn’t.

My girlfriend could be… overly dramatic. That’s why I knew it would only make the situation worse to try and hide it and risk her finding out herself. So there I was, standing outside our apartment, flowers and chocolate in hand, preparing to beg for forgiveness. I raised a shaking hand and knocked. I waited a few moments before knocking again. I could hear the large grandfather clock ticking through the door, maybe she wasn’t home?

I set down the flowers and began fumbling for the key. I wanted to confront her, not wait for her and then tell her, I’d lose my nerve by then.

I found the key and slid it into the lock, paused briefly, took a deep breath and pushed it open. The door swung open and bounced off the wall, nearly hitting me in the rear as I bent down to pick up the flowers. I kicked it back open and walked into our tiny living room. upon walking in I smelled something burning. It was faint, but definitely there. I smiled a little, Jen never was the best cook, I learned that at thanksgiving last year when she burnt the entire turkey. My smile slowly faded as I remembered my reasoning for being there. I made a right into our small kitchen, to find nothing. Oven was not on, nothing in the microwave, even all the dishware was still in place. Nothing had been touched since our lunch a few hours ago. Then what was that smell?

“Jen?” I called out, my voice seeming to shatter the silence in the room. I peeked into the bathroom, nothing. I made a 180 degree turn toward our bedroom. The smell was coming from there.

“Jen? You here honey?” I said cautiously, my now violently shaking hand reaching for the doorknob, twisting it, and slowly pushing it open.

The first thing I noticed was the blood. It was so dark, almost black splattered over the majority of the wall behind our bed and up onto the ceiling. It was still dripping. Jen was laying on the bed, feet planted on the floor one arm hanging off the bed, the other above her head. A shotgun laying by her side.

I don’t know which was louder, my breathing or the blood dripping on the wood floor. When the chocolates hit the floor, it was like an atom bomb going off in my head.

“JEN!” I ran over to her, immediately beginning CPR. I frantically tried to remember my high school days as a lifeguard.

“28…29…30!” I quickly moved to breath, but there was no mouth to breath in. All that was left of my girlfriends head was her lower jaw.

I didn’t care.

As I look back on it now, I can’t imagine what the police must have thought to see me giving CPR to someone with no head. I wasn’t all there, I can admit that. They said her T.O.D was within the hour.

“Judging by the smell…” I overheard one of the forensic specialist say “…I’m surprised he didn’t hear the shot.” The next day, the police showed me security camera footage of the outside of my coworkers apartment. I attempted to keep myself from breaking down as I saw Jen's car pull into the lot and her watching through the first floor window.

I failed.

At the funeral, none of her family members would look at me. None of them said it, but I knew what they were thinking.

It was my fault. I drove Jen to blow her own head off with a fucking shotgun. It’s weird to think that you caused someone's death, that what has happened now means nothing.

Because of me.

That everything that was going to happen now means nothing.

Because of me.

The cops wanted me to go to a therapist, even gave me a card, but it didn’t feel right. Why should I seek help for my problems when I am the problem?

All of this took place in about a week, the next six weeks were just… numb. I’m still in the same apartment, I couldn’t afford to buy a new place, plus I don’t think anyone would want to buy that place, not now.

So this brings us to last week. I was sitting in our living room, watchig T.V. While the initial shock had begun to fade, the guilt was all too real. And the silence, the fucking silence. It was deafening. No amount of T.V. could block out the silence, no matter how loud I turned it.

That night was the first time the silence was broken, and it came as the sound of the front door buzzer. I muted the T.V. and sat for a moment, waiting for it to buzz again. No one visited since Jen died, they probably hit the wrong button. About five seconds passed before it buzzed again. I groaned as I stood up and walked over to the small panel on the wall. I leaned in close and held down the red button.





The voice sounded distant, as if someone was talking from down a long tunnel.

“Hello? Anyone there?“

STATIC "How could he do this to me?” STATIC

“Ma'am, are you ok?”



“I gave him everything, he was my everything.” STATIC

“Ma'am, I think you have the wrong roo…”


The voice came through the speaker so loudly that I jumped back in fear. My right ear began to ring. I walked back to the speaker, but before I touched the button, the voice came through.


I froze. No one can talk to a room unless the occupant is holding down the receiver button. It’s like a walkie talky.

STATIC “Tyler, I know you’re there baby.” STATIC

My heart froze. I knew that voice. I stormed up and practically punched the red button.


“It’s far from a joke Tybear.” STATIC

I stepped back away from the speaker. There was only one person that called me that, that even KNEW about that…

“Jen?” I whispered.

STATIC “I don’t blame you, you know? You may have fucked that dirty cunt, after I gave you everything that you could ever imagine, but I don’t blame you.”

At this point I had reached my phone. My landlord had an app set up where we could watch live feed of the front door. I opened the app and willed it desperately to load. I had to know. I had to know that she wasn’t actually there. The app finally loaded and I was staring at live feed of the front entrance. I let out a sigh of relief, whoever was messing with me had left.

STATIC “Still here, sweetheart.” STAAAAAAAATIC

I was still staring at the screen when the speaker turned back on, there was no one there. The deafening silence was gone and it was replaced by an unbearable static.

STATIC "I think we need to talk, I’ll let myself in.“

"NO!” I yelled and ran to the speaker, holding the button. “Jennifer, listen…”


My finger was frozen to the button when the sound of the elevator doors opening down the hall echoed through my eardrums. There was silence for a few seconds before I heard a familiar creak of a floorboard in front of the room four doors down to the left of me, then followed by another creak, one I recognized as the one right in front of my door.

I swallowed loudly, finger still firmly pressed to the button. Maybe it was just another occupant that moved on.

“Last time I walked down this hallway, I was thinking about what heaven would be like, flying through the clouds with angels. You want to know something Tybear? There is no heaven after death, only pain and suffering, and you put me there.”

I bowed my head, holding back a wrenching sob. I looked at the door, knowing that my dead love was just on the other side.

“You did it to yourself, Jen.” I muttered, biting my lip.

There was a long silence, followed by barely a whisper.

“Look through the peephole, Tyler.”

I just stood there, not daring to move.


I banged my head on the wall, trying to get the unbearable static out of my head.

“Is that what you want, Jen?”


I pushed myself away from the wall and faced the door. I knew what I was going to see on the other side, but she wasn’t going to go away. I walked up to the door until my nose was nearly touching the cold wood. I inhaled deeply and closed my eyes.

“Ok.” I muttered and looked through the peephole. For a split second I thought there was no one there, but I quickly realized that what I was supposed to be seeing was splattered on the back wall two months earlier. I could see her shoulders, her neck, and her chin. But above the bottom lip and jagged teeth was just gore, the buckshot shredding through the top of her mouth and out the top of her head.

I let out a sob and pulled my hair, I was living in a nightmare.

“I want you to look at me, and know that you caused this.” She said. Now that I saw her, her voice echoed throughout my head.

“WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO?” I screamed between sobs, “HOW CAN I FIX THIS?”

There was a long sob, the headless body outside my door remaining perfectly still.

“I want you to join me, to be by my side forever.” She said in a calm voice. “All you have to do is walk through the door.”

I frowned, looking at the doorknob.

“If that will help you.” I said, reaching for the doorknob.

“Not that door, Tyler. The eternal door. It is locked and the Key is in the chest in your closet.”

I backed away from the door. Almost in a trance, I walked into my room and pulled out the blue chest stored in the back of my closet and undid the metal latches. The unbearable static was getting quieter the closer I got to the Key. I took a deep breath and opened the lid. The Key seemed to glow in the light, beckoning me to touch it. I lifted the Key out of the case and flipped open the small compartment in the Styrofoam.

There were two shells left.

I loaded the break barrel Remington and snapped it back closed. The police gave it back to me after they checked for further evidence. I tried to throw it out immediately after, but I was drawn to it, like I knew I’d need it someday.

I walked back out to the living room and faced the door. For the first time in two months, I was at peace. I was going to be with Jennifer again. I lifted the shotgun and pressed the end of the barrel firmly against the roof of my mouth. Upon contact, my front door swung open and Jen was standing on the other side, head intact, just as I remember her.

“You’re almost here, darling.” She said with a smile. “The door is unlocked, now you just have to walk through.”

I pulled back the hammer and shut my eyes.


My eyes flew open to see a police officer standing in the entry way, hand outstretched toward me. “You don’t have to do this.”

“I have to.” I gargled, finger still on the trigger.

“Why?” He asked calmly, with a hint of fear.

“Because my dead girlfriend is at the door.”

When I said those words, the fog seemed to lift and the unbearable static faded. My dead girlfriend… wasn’t there. How could she be? She’s dead.

I dropped the gun.

I’ve been seeing a psychiatrist for the past few days. He says I was lucky that my neighbor heard me yelling and had called the cops, I’d be dead otherwise. He said I was suffering from severe PTSD after the incident, and since I saw her death as my fault, the only solution in my mind was to end my guilt the only way I knew how.

“You both made a choice in the same situation.” He said. “You chose one way, she chose another. It was her choice to end her own life, and you chose to continue yours. By laying down the weapon you recognized that she was not actually there, that this whole nightmare was self induced, and acceptance is the first step to recovery.”

by santaismysavior via

“I’ll give you a moment,” Tom said, ever the respectful brother.

“Please stay,” Susan asked. “If you leave me here I might jump in with him.” She had always been dramatic, but there was definite sincerity in her voice now.

“He’d love the absurdity of that. If it wasn’t his funeral he’d probably double-dog-dare you to do it.”

A laugh caught halfway in Susan’s throat, escaped a moment later as a sob.

“He was so funny, so full of life, so determined. Every day he’d tell me, ‘Susan, if all those supermodels beating down our door can’t take me away from you, how does cancer stand a chance?’”

“Supermodels?” Tom’s train of thought often struggled to build up steam. “Oh,” he muttered eventually, “he was joking.”

“I miss him so much. I hope he knows that.” Susan traced his cheek with her fingertips, bent and placed a trembling kiss on his unmoving lips. She pulled back slowly, shuddering with grief and leaving many tears in her wake.

“It’s hard, seeing him like this,” she sniffled. “I almost wish we hadn’t done open-casket.”

But I was happy she had. Torturous as it was, I was glad to feel her touch, her grieving kiss, her tears warming my pallid skin. And though I couldn’t breathe, much less move or share my appreciation of her gestures, they were precious sensations that I would hold dear in the long, cold silence that would follow the closing of the casket.


source: by reddit user WriteOrWrongo via

Every once in a while, something very interesting will come into my mom’s library.

We live in a small town, so people often go to the library for answers, knowing that my mother has an extensive background in researching things like history and genealogy. Those are the people we get most often, actually: people with questions about their own family history. Oftentimes they’ll come in with partial records and ask my mother to fill in the gaps. She’s always more than happy to do it. Not only is she good at it, but it also serves as an acceptable reprieve from the relative boredom of small-town life.

I enjoy helping her out, too, from time to time, and hearing about the cases she works on. Some of them are interesting and tell stories you wouldn’t believe – murders, secret graves, sordid suicides, and a million other gritty pieces of humanity that have been swept under the rug. Since I was a child, this has fascinated me.

But I wish that my mother hadn’t taken on this last case.

It was an elderly woman living on the edge of town who brought the photo album in. She claimed it wasn’t hers and didn’t know where it had come from. “It belonged to my mother, but I’m certain that none of the pictures are from our family. She must have gotten it from someone, but for the life of me I just don’t know who! I’m sure it belongs to someone in the town. Perhaps you could find the original owners?”

My mother was all too eager to agree. After all, she loves a good mystery. She can never walk away from one. So the woman handed over the album and left in good spirits, glad to be rid of it as it was “cluttering up her house.”

I didn’t understand that last statement until I saw it. Let me tell you, the album is HUGE. It’s perhaps the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen, actually. The cover is thick and heavy, definitely made of wood, and bound with a fabric that was probably once resplendent but now resembles a slice of dilapidated old carpet from a murder house. The pages are thick, too, but of what material I’m not entirely sure. They are burgundy in color and each page holds about four photographs.

And the photographs.

My mom practically squealed when she saw them. The latest pictures are from 1910, with the majority of the pictures from the mid-1800s. The pictures are clear and most of them are labeled with first names, which my mother found very interesting. “Why no last names?” she muttered as we looked through the pictures. But she didn’t seem to mind, it just added to the mystery. It would be a fun challenge.

But something about those pictures really freaked me out. I mean, I was really, really uncomfortable. And I just couldn’t explain why. There wasn’t anything strange about them, but I found that I didn’t want to look at them very long. I just felt like I’d stumbled across something I shouldn’t have.

After a few weeks, my mother seemed to have reached a dead end with the album.

No matter how hard she looked, she was unable to identify its original owner. Although an “S” was inscribed on the metal clasp, none of the families in the area with last names beginning with “S” seemed to have any connection to the album. And the more my mother looked, the more confused she became.

“Maybe it isn’t from our town at all,” she mused to me one afternoon. “Maybe it’s from somewhere else… that woman’s mother could have gotten it from another acquaintance or another family member. At this point, we’ll never know. But I really don’t think it’s from around here.”

I sort of shrugged it off. I was kind of glad that it came to nothing. It made me feel a little more relaxed.

But it shouldn’t have.

As a last resort, mom decided to stop out at the old town cemetery. It was in use up until the mid-1900s, at which point it was too full, and a new one was opened up closer to the edge of town. The cemetery was fairly dilapidated now, but my mother did her best to take care of the gravestones that were left, hoping to preserve some of history.

Mom asked me to go with her, and I came along, for lack of anything better to do. Would it be terribly strange to say that I rather liked the old cemetery? It always seemed so peaceful to me, and the strange quiet had a tendency to still my nerves. Sometimes, I would even go there myself, just to walk around and get a grip on life.

Since I didn’t know what we were looking for, mom did most of the searching herself. She gave me a few names to look out for on the off-chance that I saw something, but I wasn’t too invested as I began my slow walk around the graveyard. I came to the back right side and decided to spend my time there. It was the corner of the yard dedicated to children.

Now I’m going to sound really morbid, but the children’s stones were always my favorite. Of course, it broke my heart to see them, but there was something beautiful about those tiny white stones – well, they used to be white – with the little lambs carved into them. And I took a strange comfort knowing that the children had only suffered a little hardship before they died… at least, that’s what I hoped. That’s what I told myself.

So that’s where I was wandering, absentmindedly reading a few of the stones, when something caught my eye.

It was one stone inscribed with two names. The inscription was remarkably clear for its age, and I was able to read almost all of it after rubbing the dirt away.

Martha and Mary Armstrong

B. June 6, 1862 D. August 8, 1862

“Mama, listen, Papa, listen,

A harp to me was giv’n;

And every time I touch a string,

‘Tis heard all o’er Heaven!”

For whatever reason, those names stuck out to me. Why did they sound so familiar? I was almost positive I hadn’t looked at this stone before…

“Hey, mom!” I called out across the graveyard. She must not have had anything yet because she came over immediately, eager to find anything. “Do you have the pictures of the album? Can I take a look at it?”

My mom kept pictures of each photograph on her phone. It was the easiest way of keeping all the information without lugging the giant sonofabitch around everywhere. She handed her phone to me until I found what I was looking for.

It was a picture from the back of the album. Two women about eighteen years old, identical twins, with austere faces. One was sitting and the other stood behind her. Inscribed beneath their picture were the names “Martha and Mary.”

My mom looked at the picture over my shoulder, then looked at the headstone. “Huh… that’s… really weird.”

“Yeah… but there’s no way…” I trailed off, frowning and wondering… was there a way?

Mom and I had no other leads, so we stuck to the children’s stones, looking for more matches.

And we found them.

Out of the thirty-two pictures in the album, we identified twenty of them. All of them infants, all of them dying within a few months of being born. We might have been able to identify more, I suspect, but some of the stones were so old that the inscriptions had been rubbed away and were unreadable.

But there were too many similarities for it to be a coincidence.

I could tell that my mother was a little bit unsettled. I was, too. But we took pictures of all the stones and recorded the epitaphs so that we could take a closer look at them at home. Mom decided to go to the county courthouse and try to find any remaining records on the infants, although neither of us held much hope – dead children don’t leave many records, unfortunately.

As for me, well… I couldn’t get rid of the nagging feeling that I was missing something.

My mom left me at home a few days later to go to the courthouse and continue her research. I took that opportunity to take another look at the album itself.

I don’t really know what drew me to it – I suppose it was the mystery, the intrigue of the unknown. All that poetic shit. But I couldn’t deny that it held a fascination for me that I would rather not have had. It still made me uneasy, still frightened me.

And this time, I noticed something even stranger about it.

I had been running my hands along the edge of the back cover when I felt a ridge under my finger. I lifted the book to get a better view, at which point I realized that a portion of the stitching on the cover didn’t match the rest of it. In fact, it looked like it had been resewn.

Curiosity got the better of me, and I fetched a knife from the kitchen.

As carefully as possible, I cut through the stitching and peeked inside. There was definitely something in there. I slipped a finger inside – it was about all I could get in – and dug around until I managed to pin it down and drag it out.

It was a photograph.

It was exactly like the others in that it seemed to date around the mid-1800s.

Unlike the others, however, I knew the people in this one. After all, how could I not recognize myself, my older brother, and my older sister?

My heart almost stopped as I saw our unsmiling faces staring at the camera. There could be no doubt that this was us.

With a shaking hand, I turned the photograph over, hoping that there was some kind of explanation, any kind of inscription.

And there was.

Find them.

I’m really starting to wish she never brought the goddamn thing home.

source: by reddit user sleepyhollow_101 via -

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