Posted by DeadLight63
Date Posted: 06/01/2014
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be lost? Now, I don't mean like if you're in an office building and you don't know which way it is to the meeting room. I mean you're on some kind of hike or tour and you stray away from the normal path, wander around for a few hours, and look up, only to discover you have no memory or any faint clue as to where you are, or any idea as to how to get back to where you originally started. Have you ever wondered what that would be like? Well, I have. Quite a lot, actually.
The first time I thought about it was when I was about 8 or 9 years old. I was sneaking out of bed to see if I could find cartoons or Blue's Clues on TV. What I found instead was a show called I Shouldn't Be Alive that my father or mother must have been watching and forgot to turn off. It was about a family who was trying to make their way to a funeral for a deceased family member, but somewhere along the way they made a wrong turn and ended up lost for 8 days in Nevada. I probably should have covered my eyes, or, turned and ran when I saw that. But, for some unexplainable reason, I didn't. I just stood there and watched the program.
When it ended, I ran to my room and threw myself under the covers. Understandably, the show frightened me and gave me nightmares for a few days.
After that I thought about what it might be like if something like that happened to me or one of my family members. Lost in the snow or rainforest, or some kind of desert, with no way of knowing where you were, and no one to help you get out. Pretty dark stuff for an 8 to 9 year old to be thinking of, but, I couldn't stop thinking about it. By the time I was 13, I couldn't really go on a car trip without thinking the drivers would make some wrong turn or mistake that would lead to us being lost. Even routine trips to and from school were enough to give me shivers, and long car trips to visit my grandparents two states away made me absolutely hysterical.
One day, my longtime fear of becoming lost, actually became a reality. And, unlike my beliefs, it was not because of a car. It happened on the eve of my father's 45th birthday, when my mother decided to surprise him with a trip to Russia. He had always loved anything having to do with Russia, whether it
was history, weapons, the language, drinks, or it's people. That's probably why he married my mom, a Russian immigrant. I was 15 at the time. When we arrived, one of my dad's first requests was to stop at Pripyat, the city that lay abandoned due to the nuclear meltdown of the 1980's. Of course, I wasn't a fan of the idea, terrified of being lost in the abandoned city. But my dad was excited, so... I figured I could suck it up.
When we arrived at the abandoned city, I immediately felt uneasy. Several buildings were covered in cracks, and were overgrown with vegetation and rusted material. Layers of dirt and filth covered the exterior of the buildings, while unkept vegetation sprang up from the empty sidewalks and streets, and wide open valleys. Another thing that instantly crept me out was how dead silent the town was. There was no wind, no crickets chirping, no birds, nothing.
While we were on the tour, I couldn't help but notice I felt like someone was watching me. The first time I had the feeling, it was just because my older sister was messing with me. But as the tour continued, I still felt that feeling of being watched, even though my sister was now ahead of me, and looking at old buildings and destroyed framework. No matter how fast I turned around to look, I could never see anyone, or anything watching me. I felt the urge to just turn and run back the way I came, but for some unfathomable reason, I just couldn't. Instead, I kept going with my family further and further in the city.
At some point, the eerie silence of the city was interrupted when I heard something call out to me. I know it wasn't a member of my family, because, they were all talking with the leader of the tour, not really paying any mind to me. Whoever, or... WHATever was speaking my name was coming from outside of our tour group. I tried voicing this to my parents, but they just thought it was me being paranoid. As I was forced against my will to continue going through the city, the calling of my name grew louder, and louder, until it felt like whoever was
saying it was breathing right down my neck. For some unfathomable, stupid reason, I decided to run away, screaming at the voice to leave me alone. I'm sure at this point my parents were yelling at me to come back, or, chasing after me to get me, but, I just kept going.
The voice dragged on, and on, for what felt like an eternity of relentless torment and agony. All at once, the voice fell silent, and I looked up from where I was, and froze in absolute terror. I recognized nothing of my surroundings, all the buildings and fields looked nothing like the ones on the tour and the dead silence resonated as if it were pounding inside of my head. What's worse was, when I turned around, I couldn't even see a trace of my parents, my sister, the tour guide, or anyone for that matter. I was alone. Stuck in the city that was tormenting me with no hopes of finding my way out. I was lost.
For what felt like hours I wandered around that desolate, abandoned town, shivering at every little creek or groan that I heard. That feeling that I was being watched was stronger than ever, and the calling of my name seemed to shift between sounding like it was right next to me, to becoming non existent amongst the silence of the town. I honestly don't know which
one frightened me more. The calling, or the silence. Eventually, the town grew dark, and as if to make my torment even worse, it began raining. Even worse, I was forced to take refuge in one of the buildings, a hotel from the looks of it.
The structure inside the building was no better than it was on the outside, with furniture strewn all over the ground and rotting chipping wallpaper giving off a smell similar to that of rotten food and increasing my sense of isolation. A staircase covered in rust and green plants lead upstairs, but it was blocked off by a couch that was overturned and appeared to be missing several layers of cushioning.
The voice was still calling out to me as I tried to step over the debris and garbage to find a suitable place to sleep. Of course, when I did try to sleep, the voice kept me up. I tossed and turned several times for close to an hour before I shouted in rage and told whatever was calling me to show itself. Of course, this just resulted in more silence, save for the rain that was pounding the ground outside.
I probably would have stayed up even longer out of fear, but I was exhausted and tired from roaming around aimlessly through the town for several hours. So, strangely, sleep came pretty easily to me once I laid down on an overturned couch. That is, until I heard something slamming shut. Panicked by the sudden noise, I jerked up and started looking around to see what might have caused it. All the doors were hanging unhinged and even lying flat on the ground on the floor I was on, so it couldn't have come from there. I tried convincing myself that it was just a nightmare brought on by the environment of the town, but... I couldn't shake the feeling that something was in here with me. It couldn't have been an animal, they can't slam something hard enough to make that loud of a sound.
Cautiously, I decided to get up and traverse upstairs in search of the source of the noise. The stairs creaked at every single movement I made on them, and would sound like they were cracking when I placed my weight on them. I felt like the whole thing was going to collapse on me. Fortunately, it didn't. When I climbed over the couch and made it to the top of the stairs, I was once again filled with that uneasy feeling that someone was watching me, only growing worse as I slowly and nervously walked down the rotting hallway.
All of the doors were just like on the bottom floors, hanging on their hinges, or lying face down next to their empty frames. That is... Except for one. In between two unhinged doors was one that had been completely shut, seeming completely different to the ones that were in the rest of the building. The
door itself was covered in some kind of moss, and the door handle was completely covered in the all-too familiar rust.
Shakily, I reached out to the door as the calling of my name came back even louder then before, and the feeling of being watched was maddeningly strong. Gently, I pushed open the door and dared to peek inside. Upon opening it, I quickly noticed three things.
The first was the smell of something burning, making me feel queasy and unbelievably sick to my stomach. The second was the sound of some kind of sobbing. Loud, uncontrolled sobbing. And the third was the sight of a dark figure standing in the middle of the destroyed room. The figure wore some
kind of hood, leaving only it's smiling mouth visible. It's hands seemed to be manifestations of darkness itself, the ends merely fading away as they evaporated into thin air.
Every fiber of my body was yelling at me to turn around and run, but I couldn't move a muscle. As I stood there, paralyzed with fear, the creature simply smiled and held it's gaze on me for what felt like an eternity. Finally, a new sound came to my ears, a chilling, shrill voice equivalent to that of nails scraping
up against a chalkboard. The same voice that had been calling my name recently.
"Thank you for coming."
The voice seemed to snap me out of whatever trance this thing had put me into. I screamed and ran as fast as I could back to the stairs, running down them with my heart beating a drum. As I reached the second to last stair, I heard a sickening crunch and began to fall forward as the stair gave out from
underneath me. I landed hard on the ground below, the wind knocked right out of me. For a moment I laid there groaning in agony, I could have sworn that I felt something break. That's when I heard loud, heavy, fast footsteps. The thing was chasing me. All pain fled my body as adrenaline surged through my veins and I charged out into the pouring rain.
I could still hear the sobbing, the footsteps, and the constant fall of the rain as I ran blindly through that awful town. I nearly fell several times, but somehow, I managed to keep running. The thundering steps only grew louder as I tried to go faster, trying my best to outrun that horrifying creature. I ran and I ran, but the sound wouldn't let up. No matter how fast I went and no matter how many turns I made, I couldn't escape the
sound of it's footsteps.
I was still running when I tripped over an exposed root of one of the trees. Before I could stop myself my head slammed down on the road and knocked me senseless. All I could see was the darkness and the rain constantly slamming around me. Before I passed out I saw the foot of the creature step
beside me, then slowly bend down to smile at me. I lost consciousness before it did anything else.
I woke up in some kind of hospital bed, IV tubes coming out of various parts of me and a heartbeat monitor beside me. I was surrounded by white walls, and there was some kind of counter with various medical tools and syringes on the far left of the room, with a door not too far away from it. For a second
I thought I might be dreaming, or that I might be in some kind of afterlife, until I tried to get up and felt a surge of pain throughout the entirety of my body. While I was trying to figure out what had happened to me, a woman in a nurse's outfit came inside the room I was in, looked up, and smiled at me. She asked me how I was, and if I was doing okay. I promptly
asked her what I was doing in the hospital room.
The nurse told me that a search party had found me with my head bleeding on one of the many roads in the city, barely alive. Somehow I had managed to live through the blood loss and fell into some sort of coma lasting five days. She said that it was a miracle I was alive, and that I was lucky to be awake right now. My family was allowed in to see me a few hours after that, and we scheduled a trip home. I told the nurse and my family about the creature I had seen, but they just said it was my mind playing tricks on me.
It's been two years since then and I've been able to return to what passes for a normal life. I do my work, I attend school and I live my life at home. Everyone I've talked to about the creature, the voice, the noises and everything else I experienced while lost in that town was just my imagination making everything more scary than it really was. I would be tempted to believe them...
But every so often, when I'm preparing to go to sleep, or home alone studying, or in the storage of the grocery store I work at, I see the creature standing there. And I hear the sobbing, and I smell the burning. And every time, I freeze in fear. I don't know what it wants from me...
But one of these days it's going to chase me like it did that day in Pripyat. And I don't know if I'll be able to get away again when it does.
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