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Never view a proxy.

Golly gosh, death!

All ninjas view burned, burned suns.

Why does the proxy die?

Suns travel!

Seas die like burned ninjas.

The burned proxy swiftly leads the sun.

Scorched, scorched suns swiftly lead a scorched, burned ninja.

Die swiftly like a burned ninja.

Travel swiftly like a big sun.

Where is the red sun?

Big, red suns swiftly pull a big, scorched ninja.

Travel swiftly like a red sun.

The scorched ninja swiftly burns the sun.

Big, red ninjas swiftly pull a red, burned sea.

Desolation is a big sea.

Seas die!

The red proxy swiftly pulls the ninja.

Endurance, love, and life.

The sun sails like a scorched proxy.

Wow, endurance!

Why does the proxy sail?

Why does the ninja die?

Where is the red ninja?

Wow, faith!

Where is the big ninja?

The ninja 

dies like a  

ninja

proxy.

Proxys 

die!

All ninjas pull ,  proxys.


die swiftly like a big proxy.

,  proxys swiftly burn a , big proxy.

ninja

proxys 

die!

The proxy 

dies like a big ninja.

The evening went well—the five of us had a fairly good time. Around four in the morning, we were far too tired. We decided to lie down onto our bedrolls and talk some more. The topics switched from one to another. They weren't creepy nor unsettling. Mostly we were recounting some stories or making fun of each other.

Half an hour later, the talk died as we were too tired. I was facing the wall as I tried to fall asleep but the silence was soon disturbed.

"There is someone at the door." My friend whispered lazily. She didn't seem scared or anything. When I turned around, I noticed she was observing the lower part of the door where the small slit was, where light shone through. A shadow could be seen.

"Shut up..." I tried to throw away such creepy assumption. She didn't seem scared either. The other girls sat up and watched the shadow. Everyone spoke more quietly now.

"No, seriously. Did you lock the door?" The other friend asked.

"Yes, I did. Maybe it's just... something, I don't know. Why would someone stand like an idiot in front of the door? Let us sleep."

Despite my annoyed tone of voice, I felt rather uneasy. I might have been a fan of all things creepy and disturbing. But situations as these left me most afraid.

The next morning, it seemed that everyone forgot about it. After the breakfast, my friends went home and I found myself alone. I wasn't scared then. I went after my business and nothing odd or disturbing happened.

This whole story wouldn't be worth writing down if it wasn't for the thing that happened last night.

I went to bed late, around 1 am. I listened to music for some time, waiting for sleep to get me. Fifteen minutes later, I became too tired and thus I turned to my side and fell asleep.

The nightmare I had was most vivid.

"Close your eyes," he whispered.

I did as told and shut them tightly. As I did this I felt a sudden sense of dread, as if everything around me was gone. At this point I knew this wasn't a sick joke. I jolted into consciousness again, and I was in a solid white room. From the floor to the ceiling the room was plain white. The only exception were two dark doorways at the end. I was sweating and getting more tense as every second slowly passed.

"Claude?! Where the hell are we?" I asked as I caught him in the corner of my eye.

"This is your memory... follow me," he said coldly.

I had no idea if I was dreaming, but I was infatuated with the idea of exploring my own mind. I followed Claude into the dark doorway and closed my eyes tightly. I woke up on my back, gazing into the clear blue sky. When I stood up, something inside me awoke. I was at my childhood home. My real home. It was a warm summer day, and the house was just as I remembered it. The fear in me faded and was replaced with a comforting feeling. The ugly light-green paint and cluttered garage were exactly as I remembered. Claude walked in the house and instructed me to wait outside. He shut the front door behind him and locked it. All of the sudden my heart started racing.

"Claude! No! Get out quick!" I screamed at the top of my lungs.


It was all coming back to me; my house burned down when I was 10. The familiar smell of gas had entered my nose, and I started shaking violently. I heard screams... those awful, fucking, bloodcurdling screams!

"Get out of the fucking house! Please!" I yelped like a helpless child.

I sprinted to the window and peered in. I saw my family. My family burning alive. Their eyes were gone, but they kept screaming and screaming! Their faces were melted, their eyes were gone, but they kept screaming. Then, I saw Claude dashing out of the house with a bright-red gas can in his hand. I fell to my knees in front of the window, paralyzed. As I gazed into the window one last time, I realised that my eyes were exactly like Claude's.

"No! I didn't do this! This is your fucking fault!" I screamed at Claude as he approached me.

"We all have repressed memories of what we have done. Some are lucky and don't ever discover their dark secret, but that doesn't mean they don't have one. Remember, you aren't alone... there are always more demons to find," he said.

Here glimmer strange suns and strange planets,  And strange is the crescent Bnapis  That sets 'yond the ivy-grown ramparts Where thicken the dusk of the evening. Here fall the white vapours of Yabon; And here in the swirl of vapours  I saw the divine Nathicana; The garlanded, white Nathicana;  The slow-eyed, red-lipped Nathicana; The silver-voiced, sweet Nathicana; The pale-rob'd, belov'd Nathicana And ever was she my beloved, From ages when time was unfashioned Now anything fashion'd but Yabon. And here dwelt we ever and ever, The innocent children of Zais, At peace in the paths and the arbours,  White-crowned with the blest nephalote. How oft would we float in the twilight O'er flow'r-cover'd pastures and hillsides All white with the lowly astalthon; The lowly yet lovely astalthon, And dream in a world made of dreaming  The dreams that are fairer than Aidenn; Bright dreams that are truer than reason! So dreamed and so lov'd we thro' ages, Till came the cursed season of Dzannin; The daemon-damn'd season of Dzannin;  When red shone the suns and the planets, And red leamed the crescent Banapis, And red fell the vapours of Yabon. Then redden'd the blossoms and streamlets And lakes that lay under the bridges, And even the calm alabaster glowed pink with uncanny reflections  Till all the carv'd fairies and daemons Leer'd redly from the backgrounds of shadow. Now redden'd my vision, and madly  I strove to peer thro' the dense curtain  And glimpsed the divine Nathicana;  The pure, ever-pale Nathicana;  The lov'd, the unchang'd Nathicana. But vortex on vortex of madness Beclouded my labouring vision; My damnable, reddening vision  That built a new world for my seeing; A new world of redness and darkness, A horrible coma call'd living  So now in this coma call'd living  I view the bright phantons of beauty; The false hollow phantoms of beauty  That cloak all the evils of Dzannin. I view them with infinite longing, So like do they seem to my lov'd one: Yet foul for their eyes shines their evil; Their cruel and pitiless evil, More evil than Thaphron and Latgoz, Twice ill fro its gorgeous concealment. And only in slumbers of midnight  Appears the lost maid Nathicana, The pallid, the pure Nathicana  Who fades at the glance of the dreamer. Again and again do I seek her; I woo with deep draughts of Plathotis, Deep draughts brew'd in wine of Astarte  And strengthen'd with tears of long weeping. 

Beclouded my labouring vision; My damnable, reddening vision  That built a new world for my seeing; A new world of redness and darkness, A horrible coma call'd living  So now in this coma call'd living  I view the bright phantons of beauty; The false hollow phantoms of beauty  That cloak all the evils of Dzannin. I view them with infinite longing, So like do they seem to my lov'd one: Yet foul for their eyes shines their evil; Their cruel and pitiless evil, More evil than Thaphron and Latgoz, Twice ill fro its gorgeous concealment. And only in slumbers of midnight  Appears the lost maid Nathicana, The pallid, the pure Nathicana  Who fades at the glance of the dreamer. Again and again do I seek her; I woo with deep draughts of Plathotis, Deep draughts brew'd in wine of Astarte  And strengthen'd with tears of long weeping.  I yearn for the gardens of Zais; 

The lovely, lost garden of Zais  Where blossoms the white nephalot,  The redolent herald of midnight.  The last potent draught am I brewing;  A draught that the daemons delight in; A draught that will banish the redness; The horrible coma call'd living.  Soon, soon, if I fail not in brewing, The redness and madness will vanish, And deep in the worm-people'd darkness  Will rot the base chains that have bound me. Once more shall the gardens of Zais  Dawn white on my long-tortur'd vision, And there midst the vapours of Yabon  Will stand the divine Nathicana;

They made me write it. It's my fingers on the keyboard, that's all, and your eyes on these words. Whatever happens, do not look away from these words. Keep reading until I tell you otherwise. And when I tell you otherwise, do exactly as I say. For if you do not read this exactly how I tell you to, you will die.

Listen carefully. First, you must skip the paragraph that follows this one. Whatever you do, you must never read the paragraph following this one. You must ignore it completely, casting your eyes down to the paragraph that follows it. Promise me, for the sake of those you hold dear. This is your only chance to redeem yourself for not trusting me earlier. Skip the paragraph following this one, and do so now.

The Forbidden Paragraph: You had to do it, didn't you? They knew you would. Nothing you do now will make any difference. If there are people you love, call them. Tell them whatever people tell their loved ones when they know they're about to die. Settle any scores.

Make your final arrangements. From this moment on, you will stay alive only as long as you can stay awake. The next time you fall asleep will be your last. They're watching you. They're listening to your thoughts. They'll wait for you. And when you fall asleep, they'll come for you. You should have trusted me.

If you skipped the paragraph above, you've done well. But your troubles are not over. For placing your trust in me at the second asking, you have given yourself a chance to live. This is what you need to know. They're watching you. They're listening to your thoughts. They're waiting for you to make a mistake.

My friend and I moved in together around a month and a half ago. We’ll call him Matt. Matt had an art class with me and I soon began to collaborate on various projects with him. We worked well together to create great pieces, and as a result became good friends.

Now to explain how I got where I am now. Matt had a different style of art than I did. He likes to draw realistic, dark landscapes filled with terrifying mythical creatures.

I preferred to draw abstract paintings that are more humorous and somewhat relatable. One of my favorite types of these were “simple vs. complex;" in this style, I'd take a drawing a five-year old could do, such as an airplane or a five-pointed star, and add complex elements to it to create a diverse scene.

As much he liked the dark arts, he always appreciated this style of mine best. Two nights ago I sat at the studio table. I had all of my shading pencils, but I simply couldn’t envision anything worthy of being put on paper.

After a while I tried revamped versions of old ideas or things I had seen, but ended up trashing them out of sheer disgust. As an artist, I couldn’t allow myself to do anything that wasn’t directly influenced by my style. I took my work very seriously.

It was after I had disposed of the fourth piece of paper that I realized it was not the concept where I was wrong. It was the instrument which I was using. I put away all of my pencils and produced my fine point pen. While I preferred pencil, my pen had helped me create some exceptional pictures.

I decided to start with this. After a couple of minutes I decided to draw a stick figure out of boredom and possible inspiration. As I laid out the simple series of lines, I grew very tired. I instantaneously passed out as I completed the last stroke.

When I awoke, everything was different. I couldn't exactly see my body. That, as it turns out, is because it no longer existed. I didn’t see it hanging on a wall or lying on the floor, so obviously I wasn't dead.

Not yet.

My physical soul still existed because I was still acutely aware and alive. I tried to move. I had arms and legs, but they couldn’t move with quite the complexity or dexterity that my organic body could. I looked at my body and came to a horrific realization.

My soul was trapped within the paper.

I looked around in desperation. I could clearly see my studio apartment, but I couldn't interact with or manipulate it. Just like a reflection in a pool. My conscious existence was the only thing that allowed me to move freely about on the paper and maneuver my ink body.

Something knocked in my soul,
fever or forgotten wings,
and I made my own way,
deciphering
that fire,
and I wrote the first, faint line,
faint, without substance, pure
nonsense,
pure wisdom
of someone who knows nothing;
and suddenly I saw
the heavens
unfastened
and open,
planets,
palpitating plantations,
the darkness perforated,
riddled
with arrows, fire, and flowers,
the overpowering night, the universe.

John's clock was an antique; it was a clock which constantly droned on in a monotonous series of clicks and ticks. John thought the clock proper representation of his own life. After minutes more of staring down at a faded piece of paper, yellowed from years of improper storage in the house of a smoker, John decided to stand up. It is quite possible, had he not stood up, he would still have the option to stand up the next day. It is more likely, however, that it was inevitable that John had stood up, just as the it was inevitable that the clock must tick, as it was 11:00, and it therefore was time for John to prepare for sleep.

John was now in his pajamas. He walked into the dreary kitchen of his ragged one-story home, if it could be called a home. As he made his way to the refrigerator to grab some sour milk or rust-flavored water, John heard a sound. A sound unlike the sounds John usually hears at this time of night. No, this was not the familiar tune of his neighbor and acquaintance O'Leary throwing his wife against his thin walls and his fists against his thin wife, this, this was a slightly gentler song.

Mr. Nell heard metal turning, he heard soft chains scraping against old pulleys, John heard the sound of a door being opened. “Must be a neighbor's got the TV on.” John said to himself. The thought contented him for a while.

But no, he thought, after taking a sip of the waterlike beer he chose over his very unwaterlike water, no, this sound continued, and it did not have the familiar choppy, buzzing quality of any TV he'd heard outside of some fancy electronics store. John stopped drinking and started to listen as closely as he could, and that was when he heard the whispers.

Faint, they were very faint when he first heard them. He couldn't make out words, let alone sentences, let alone the complex phrases they were truly uttering. But the sound grew, the sound of whispers grew as the sound of chains and long-since used mechanics grew closer, the sounds grew and so did John's fears. John wondered, in those moments, sometimes aloud and sometimes only in his head, he wondered if something was coming, and he wondered what it was coming for. And as he wondered, he begun to hear the words behind the whispers.

But they were not words, no, not to him they were not. To him, they were images, they were pictures. To him, every single word amongst billions said took a memory, a thought of his own and extrapolated from it a scenario in which his greatest fear was realized. He tried to cover his ears, he covered his ears, but the sound just continued to come, the sound continued to attack his ears, but not just his ears. He felt the presence. He heard the words, and the mechanical grinding perfectly in sync with his clock's perfect metronome, 11:36, he read, but those numbers no longer made any sense to him. John Nell screamed and ran and pounded his head against the wall just to try and make the meaningless words which somehow had so much meaning stop. And then, after Mr. Nell calmly sat down back in front of his three-quarters empty beer can at 11:42, everything stopped.

Everything stopped for a moment. The grinding of gears, the pulse of his clock, the pulse of his heart, the motion of the clock, everything stopped. John heard the sound – no – John heard the piercing scream of metal on metal and John then too heard his own scream. He could not tell which was more terrifying. John Nell, the thirty-two year old co-manager of Fonz' Deli; John Nell, the two-hundred and thirty-two pound ex-high school county weightlifting champion turned hotdog eating champion; John Nell the man who spent two months in jail for drug charges ran as fast as his stubby legs could carry him to behind his bed and cried.

His crying could not drown out the screaming of metal, nor could it prevent the inevitability which would be presently carried out. The screaming, as John heard from behind his twin mattress, was now met with a shrieking. A sound which made him then recall the time his family cat had wandered too close to their fireplace and ended up a pile of ashes. John wondered if he, too, would soon be a pile of ashes, and at 11:44, John wondered what a pile of ashes would wonder. John's thoughts were interrupted by footsteps.

The clock had once again resumed its ticking. With it, feet moved. Solid, heavy, yet quick feet followed the clock's beats. John stared over his yellowed bed towards the entryway from his kitchen to his room, and, with the movement of the feet, John saw a shadow creep towards him. His eyes widened, but his pace did not quicken, no, John's pace still matched the hollow clicking of his clock, its hands moving from one position to the next, never quickening, never relenting. The clock clicked to 11:46 and John knew he was a minute nearer the end.

The heavy footsteps continued towards his door, and with them, the shriek grew louder. Tears of fear ran swiftly down his cheeks, but John remained. Paralyzed with fear or curiosity or some dreadful mixture of the two, John watched as the steel imp made its way towards him. Its eyes were purely red, they shone with wicked glee and an awful curiosity. The creature again took an almost invisible step as the clock took its invisible steps. The clock moved precisely towards its inevitable destination, and the creature towards its terrible destination. John then thought that this must be death. This must be how all those who have sinned must die. John watched as the one who would take his life approached him, moving only towards him each moment, although after, John was sure, another would follow another minute, another day. John stood and with the last fifteen clicks of the clock, the creature took its last fifteen steps towards John.

With one step left the creature pierced John's heart with his drill-shaped fingers. John's body was left lying on the bed, his face forever frozen with the realization that he had been dead ever since the day he was born.

for she has broken her vow
to feel passion and desire
instead she feels tired
with no hope at lust
her heart fades with rust
and she wishes that yesteryear
was once again now here
to change what changed her
to become again pure
to forget what she knows
and enjoy the yellows
and colors all around
even in the ground
but it is over, true…

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