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Barbed Wire

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I'd like to say I'm sorry in advance, I don't know how many lives I just put in danger. If you heard of the name Mr. Barbed, you are already in danger. My name is Dexter Kane, and I have very little time left before he finds me.

It started with a campfire story; it always does. Me and a few friends went on a camping trip. I will never forget the story my friend Vic told us around the campfire. That is when I was introduced to the story of Mr. Barbed.

"I guess when you meet him, you're day will start off as usual." Vic started solemnly, "You'll know when you see him - he wears a red long coat, wrapped with -" Vic started stuttering before he tried to stop the story. My friend, Louise, had short patience with this.

"Well go on, tell us." Louise said excitedly.

"I- I can't." Vic said, sounding as if he where on the edge of a panic attack.

"You know the rules, once you start a campfire story, you have to finish it." Chad, another friend of mine, pointed out.  

"I should never have started." Vic said under his breath.

"Well you did, so you have to finish it." I told him. I can't not tell you how much I regret saying that.

Vic sighed, "Fine, he wears a red longcoat, wrapped in barbed wire, with three lines of barbed wire hanging from both of his arms. And he wears a mask, a mask made of silver, a very clear silver, that if you look him in the face, you'd see your own." Vic stared into the campfire as if engrossed by the flames, he began muttering, chanting, really, "Close your eyes and count to twelve, when you wake up you'll be in Hell, close your eyes and count to twelve, when you wake up you'll be in-"

"I think it's time for you to wake up and finish." Chad said.

"Once you know his name, an encounter with him is inevitable." Vic said.

"Oooh, so what, now he's going to come after us?" Louise asked sarcastically.

"That's a pretty good story, surprised you were creative enough to make it up." Chad said.

"I didn't make it up, there's a reason why this story never spread." Vic said. Now, for two weeks before I first heard this story, Vic wore long sleeved shirts and we didn't give it much thought until tonight. Vic rolled up his left sleeve. Around his left arm there was a scar, as if someone wrapped barbed wire around it tightly.

Louise shook her head "That's not funny, if you're going for authenticity, that's a little too far." Louise shook her head. Vic rolled his sleeve up.

"Don't you get it, I know his name, he came to me afterwards. I was one of the lucky ones, but he'll find me again, and now he'll find you. If not tonight then soon." Vic said uneasily, and unnervingly. We didn't know what to say, we were uneasy as Vic sat at the campfire staring at it as if catatonic. We didn't know what to make of it, we were worried. He actually seemed to believe in this Mr. Barbed.

We decided to hit the hay shortly afterwards. Chad volunteered to sleep in Vic's tent to make sure he was okay. I slept in my tent, while Louise slept in her own. After Chad went to sleep in Vic's tent, I noticed something, I heard rustling in Chad's tent as if something or someone was moving inside it. It stopped as if it seemed to know that I noticed, so I decided not to make anything of it. I went into my tent and started to dose off, and as I drifted off, I heard this thing. It was like a voice, a droning, whispery voice.

Close your eyes and count to twelve when you wake up you'll be in Hell.

I woke up the next morning and heard Louise scream. When I got up, and rushed from my tent. She was panicking, crying, and her words were hard to understand. She was pacing around holding herself, at the verge of hysteria.

"They're dead! They're dead! Oh Christ they're dead!" Louise said. She saw me and pointed out towards Vic's tent. I walked towards it and noticed it was open. Lousie followed behind me cautiously. Then I saw what she saw. Vic was laying there with his throat raked open by something, and Chad's head was wrapped up in barbed wire. It was wrapped around his head like a Christmas present, skin tight, but I could still make out his eyes, they had a look of fear and pain in them. It was at this point Louise broke down in tears, and all I could do was hold her and think to myself - how did we not hear this?

Eventually, we got the police down here, and the investigation was over in under a week. From what we've seen and told them the official story was that Vic committed suicide after killing Chad. They didn't get a motive, so Vic was posthumously declared insane. According to the reports, it wasn't the barbed wire that wrapped around his head that killed Chad, but rather strangulation from barbed wire.

Chad's funeral was closed casket, followed by the cremation. They were unable to unwrap the barbed wire from his head. It was virtually impossible to tell where it starts and finishes.

About a week after the funeral, Louise's family decided to take her on a vacation to visit from relatives in England, to help her get through the grieving process. My ways of getting through it were different. I spent a lot of time by myself in my apartment, thinking about what happened this past month. All I could hear was that voice over and over again.

"'Close your eyes and count to twelve when you wake up, you'll be in Hell.

One night, after a week, I got a call - Louise had also died, just the day before. Her younger cousin found her body in the living room, strangled by barbed wire. I just couldn't believe this. I went to my kitchen to see what I had that was strong enough to wrap my head around it - Chad and Vic died on the same night, and Louise not even three weeks later. I opened the fridge door and felt around, but before I could further think about it I turn around and then I see it - this, thing, a figure. Just like Vic's description -  red longcoat, with barbed wire wrapped around it, and three long strings of barbed wire hanging from both of his arms, and on his face, a silver mask, clear enough I could almost see my reflection.

There was no doubt about it, Mr. Barbed was standing face to face with me, and try as I might I could barely scream. Then I heard that droning, whispering voice only not in my head, this time I could hear it as clear as day. 

"Close your eyes and count to twelve, when you wake up, you'll be in Hell.

Now I could say I was paralyzed with fear, but I felt two natural instincts in my gut - run or fight. And on my first instinct, I grabbed a carton of milk, and threw it towards him. Mr. Barbed merely leans out of the way. As I tried to run but I felt him grab at me, one of the pieces of barbed wire scrape my face, but I manage to run past him. As I reach the other end of the room, Mr. Barbed grabs my shoulder and pulls me towards him.

Don't bother running, I'll just find you faster and kill you slower.

My next instinct was to break free. As I struggle, I reach for the mask, lifting it slightly. Mr. Barbed releases his grasp to readjust it. I turn and see only his mouth, his leathery grey skin, and black lips with oily saliva. As I try to back away, I hear him speak again.

"There's not much you can do. You could beg, I love it when they beg.

As I try to make another break for it, I feel him pull me back and slam me into fridge. Then, all I see is black.

When I woke up, I quickly realized I was in a hospital bed and it was daytime. I tried to talk, but all is could mutter was his name "Mr. Barbed."

"Who's that?" A small voice asked. I turned around and saw a four year old boy in a hospital bed beside mine. "Is he a friend of yours?"

"What? No, uh. You-. You don't know how I got here do you?"

The boy shook his head. After about a minute, my doctor entered the room. He explained that my landlord found me when he was going to collect my rent. My family has been informed, and then the doctor brought up Chad, Vic and Louise, and their deaths - how they were caused by barbed wire, and that I was being treated to a barbed wire cut on my cheek - that, and a small concussion.

Shortly after he left, the boy beside me introduced himself. His name was Wendall, and he was being treated after kidney surgery. Wendall will be released in two weeks and was curious on who Mr. Barbed was. I try to change the subject by discussing things he might of liked. He told me his favorite cartoons, movies and about his friends. The company was nice, and at least I wouldn't have to talk about the recent tragedy's in my life with him, not that he would understand.

After two days, when I was asleep, I heard something moving in my room, I assumed it was a doctor or orderly on nightshift, but a second thought drew my attention - I wake up completely to see Mr. Barbed standing over me. I turn to Wendall to see if he was alright, I could see that he was awake. Awake and being tied down by two lines of barbed wire and a third line hanging loosely from his neck. I tried to get up, I wanted to help him, but as I struggled to get up I felt a sharp pain in my chest. I looked down and saw four to six  lines of barbed wire tying me down to the bed. Mr. Barbed walks towards Wendall's bed and reached for the wire hanging from his neck. Wendall was on the verge of tears, but seemed unable to actually cry out in fear.

"No! No, you leave him out of this!" I shouted towards Mr. Barbed. Mr. Barbed looked back at me.

But you brought me to him. What was the first thing you said to him?

This made me think, and I remembered what Vic said when he told the story - once you know his name, an encounter is inevitable.

"No... No don't." I noticed Mr. Barbed stop, clearly enjoying my begging "Please don't, he doesn't know, do to me what you want but leave him out of this."

Mr. Barbed turns too me and leans over me again Now that you mention it, there is one thing you can do. I heard him chuckled in amusement before he spoke again Let people know my name, and I'll consider letting you and kidney boy here be. If not, well, you'll just bring it on yourselves. That was at that point I blacked out again.

I woke up the next morning. Wendall was clearly in shock over what happened last night. To my shock and curiosity, the barbed wire was gone from both of us, and there where no signs it was there to begin with. Wendall tried talking to me about what happened with Mr. Barbed, and all I could do was try to convince him it was just a bad dream.

After another day in the hospital I was let out. I'm sorry but I had too, I had to let people know his name, I don't know how many lives I'm risking telling you this. He just won't leave me alone, I hear his voice, I see him walk out from behind the corners and vanish, I just don't know how to stop it. I know he'll find me again tonight, now that I let people know his name. Once again, I'm sorry, I didn't know how to stop it, I had no other choice.

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