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Laughing

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Even after the therapy sessions, the memories are still painful. The memories still haunt me. The people don't believe me about the story. Most of the time, they think I'm insane, or just think that I'm making it up. But I promise that this is a very real story.

In my neighborhood, there wasn't very much to do. You have the shopping area a few miles away, deserted restaurants and old offices, nothing very interesting. And even though it was a rural area, it was still very, very empty. Most houses had the For Sale signs on the porch. Many stray cats and dogs just roaming the area, most with their fur matted and stained. There were many old people, most women who came from larger cities like New York or Seattle or some place like that.

Many days, I wondered if I should have just moved somewhere more interesting or a place which would bring better income, but I never did. Something just told me that I shouldn't. So I continued living there in my small rented home on the outskirts of the neighborhood, working as an entertainer at one of the few restaurants that was still open, doing my harp performance in a small group of people who played instruments in the area. The restaurant would usually make us play the same happy songs, like La Cucaracha, or Night Fever, a classical version of these. Some times we would play sad songs if someone was visiting the restaurant for a funeral reception or something. But that never brought me down. I always tried to be cheerful, no matter what happened. But one day, that changed.

One day, at work, something strange happened. A new customer arrived, for the first time, which was strange. In the restaurant, we usually had the same people coming in. But it wasn't just because they were new that it was strange. They were wearing a mask that literally had no features. I felt intimidated by this person. Not just that they had one of the strangest appearances that I'd ever seen, but also they didn't seem to move while we played. But I to continue working or else I wouldn't get paid that day, and I needed all the money I could get. But the more we played, the more the person seemed to be dead. It didn't seem like the natural movement of a human body. The longer the music played, the more the body seemed to seemed to just let go of it self. The arms dangled and the head hung, swaying back and forth extremely slowly. After the song had finished, shakily the thing hauled itself from the chair, stumbled towards the stage, almost falling over every few seconds. While this was happening, many people began moving away from the person. Its arms almost seemed as if they were keratin in heat, twisting in an uncomfortable manner. After he stepped onto the stage, the other musicians began to leave, and I did as well but I couldn't leave.

The thing in the mask had put one of its thin, skeletal hand on my right shoulder. I don't think it could speak but it seemed to screech and hiss as I saw behind the mask, the other half of the head was also pale white and blank. That couldn't possible, there weren't any holes, how could they breathe? But still, I tried to cheerful so I asked, "Hello, did you enjoy the piece?" the thing didn't nod but the screeching ceased. Then its arms wrapped around my neck, as if some kind of hug. I thanked the person and said that they could visit me any time. I didn't just say this to be friendly, no one was ever kind to me in the neighborhood, so if a paranormal creature that couldn't speak, why not be its friend if it had a shine for me? But everyone else just stared at me, looking as if I had just had an arm chopped off. I didn't care how they looked at me, and even though I hated all of them, I still smiled joyfully to them and stood up straight without slouching. And for the rest of the night, we played more songs until the restaurant closed, at half past eleven.

As I went home, I half expected that the thing would meet me along the way, but it didn't. So I continued alone, avoiding the animals' glares that pierced me. When I reached my apartment block, everything seemed darker than usual. Not that the dark bothered me too much, it just seemed bizarre. As I walked up to the second floor, there seemed to be stray cats in the stairwell, but I wasn't sure. They seemed to be running down the stairs, as if they had just been scared. But the cats in this town are always odd, so ignored it.

There were many strange things today: the cats in the apartment building, darker than usual and that person in the restaurant. I dismissed them as I didn't care. When I entered my apartment, I did what I usually did: I drew things I saw that day in my sketchbook. I drew cats fighting with dogs, specifically two Jack Russels and a Persian were fighting. Then after that I drew three children that were laughing at me, calling me names and insulting me for always being so cheerful, as if it was a bad thing.

Then, I drew the thing that I met at work, I drew him at the moment where he placed his bony hand on my shoulder. All of these were mediocre anime style drawing, but nonetheless, I enjoyed it, so I continued. At this moment, I heard heavy breathing and scratching outside the door. I couldn't ignore it, so I went to the kitchen, grabbed a butcher knife and opened the door. But what I saw wasn't a murderer, I saw the thing.

"Hello, uh, would you like something?" I asked in my posh English accent, "Oh, it's you!" I smiled, gesturing him in, not caring whether it was a good idea or not. He slunk in, his upper body slanted behind the legs, seemingly uncomfortable. I motioned to a seat in the kitchen, which he declined and stood up, but I told it to sit down because it was too tall for my apartment and its head was hitting the roof.

So the person sat with his legs bent under the chair reaching three tiles away and I sat on the chair opposite him. I started asking it questions, like where it came from, or how it got here, but it couldn't answer. It stretched out its arms to grab a pencil from the counter and a sheet of paper as well, and began to write something in a sprawly scrawly handwriting like a young boy's handwriting. It read, I come from beneath and I came through the drains of this town. I didn't understand it but considering it was a tall seemingly androgynous person dressed in black, I couldn't expect much better. I asked more questions, but I received the same sort of answer.

That was when he noticed my sketch book, he scrawled, Could you show me your notebook? I said okay and handed it over to him. He flicked through the pages, feeling the pictures with his hands, as if it was braille text. He stopped on a certain page and wrote on his page What is happening there? I didn't know if I wanted to tell this new person about my private life, but after I pondered it for a while, I decided that I would tell him.

"When I just moved here, I had a very close friend called Gregory, but he was not a good friend. He wasn't a friend. He pretended to be my friend, because the people of this place wanted to know who I was, so they sent Gregory to get information about me. He seemed nice so I became his "friend" and then he asked me to tell him things about me, and I denied. But after ten months, I began telling him many secrets about me. After that, he never talked to me again, told everyone my secrets and left town. Since then, I haven't had a friend, that was eight years ago."

While I was telling my story, he was leaning over the table and had his head in his hands. His breathing was heavy and raspy. Then he wrote You don't like the people here do you?

I shook my head but answered, "No I don't like them, but I've decided to be friendly to everyone, so I can be a better person than them," He then scrawled Why should you have to be nice to them? You could be just as horrible to them and it would be their fault. But I shook it off, telling him I shouldn't take advantage of what they had done to me. Then he began asking me strange questions like Do you hate all of them? Which people are the worst? Do you want them dead? The only one that I answered was the last one.

"Yes, yes I do," I smiled, laughing at how insane I sounded, "But it's not like I can just go round murdering everyone." I stared at him for a while, ignoring how creepy the person looked and noticed something strange. The back of the man's head had the letter "x" cut in, bleeding. I stared at it, but the more I stared, the more it didn't seem to be there.

Then he wrote I'll be going now and with a gangly push, he sprung out of his seat and stumbled to the door. I went to see if the thing had opened the door, I wasn't sure if he could. So I went to the door but it was open, in fact, it seemed that one of the hinges were broken. I decided to just close the door and leave it as it was. I didn't know where the man had gone, and I wasn't sure if I wanted to. I turned off the kitchen's light, hid the papers that the thing had written on and went to bed.

When I woke up, I realised I was late for work, so I threw on my clothes and sped out the door. The corridor smelled of rubbish and the stench hurt my nostrils so much that I practically threw up, so I ran quickly down the staircase to the ground floor. I rushed so much that my hat flew off but I was too late to go and get it back, so I just continued sprinting towards the restaurant. But quickly as I running, I realised that something was strange today; no one was there. No taxis, no cars, no pedestrians, no stray animals even. But I thought it might of been some obscure celebration or something that'd I'd never heard of.

So I continued and when I arrived at the Asian themed restaurant I worked at, it was empty. Not even the owners, Mr. and Mrs Bao were in the restaurant, who always came to the restaurant early and waited for the other people who had a job in the building. But I went to the stage, looked at the other instruments. They seemed interesting to me, since the harp was the only instrument I had ever played, so I began tapping so keys at random on the piano, making an ugly sound but it made me happy, so I continued.

Then I played on the violin, then the viola, then bassoon and so on. Eventually, I questioned why no one was there so I went outside and saw, no one. I began walking down the street devoid of life, not knowing what was in the alleys. As I walked I passed an alley, something fell and then another thing moved quickly out of sight.

I decided to go down the alley where I had seen the movement and ran down the alley. It seemed as if there was nothing there but rubbish bins. It smelled worse than usual, even for a dump. So I lifted the lid of one of the bins, and I was horrified. The mangled bodies of Mrs Bao and Mr Bao were sitting among the rotting organic material. I vomited in the bin and dropped the lid on the can. I almost began crying, I didn't know what to do. I looked in the other bins, and saw the same sort of thing every time.

Mangled bodies in the bins with the mouth stuffed with paper. I was horrified, especially by the fact that I thought I knew who it was. The man. So I rushed down the alley, seeing the shadowy figure of the thing. I began sprinting towards it, wanting to know what was going on. Eventually, I reached a dead end and I saw him. I didn't care if I died doing this, I needed to know what was going on.

I cornered him, and as I did this, he shrank back, drawing his arms back and kneeling down. He arms were shaking and his head stained with human blood. A low hum came from his head, even though he didn't have a mouth or a nose. The humming became very loud, hurting my ear drums. I seethed with rage, he thought this was a joke or something. I began kicking him as he was crouching next to the brick wall. "Why did you do this!"

I screamed, pounding his head with both fists until something happened. His head began spinning round, blood flowing as his happened and eventually, the head stopped. The head appeared to have a crack down the middle, and then drove his fingers in, increasing the crack until his head split in half, both halves falling off. What was revealed was disgusting. A blood red face which had a large lower jaw and no eyes: just two, soul piercing holes filled with darkness. The mouth sprayed blood as it moved and what it said was this, "Why aren't you happy?" it asked, its face melting, nose becoming undistinguishable, "Have I done something wrong?"

With that, I stared at him, my mouth gaping, "HAVE YOU DONE SOMETHING WRONG? YOU'VE KILLED ALL THESE PEOPLE THAT'S WHAT DONE WRONG!" I screamed, clawing at his face.

He seemed worried, almost a confused look, "But this is what you said you wanted!" it snarled, the face changing in appearance, into, my face. "YOU DID THIS! YOU TOLD ME TO THAT YOU WANTED EVERYONE DEAD BUT YOU COULDN'T DO IT! SO I DID! AND THIS IS HOW YOU REPAY ME?" Then it stopped, its body went limp and fell backwards onto the wall. I was still staring at it in horror. Not only had it just ranted in a demonic voice about killing, it had chosen my face. Why would it choose my face? Was it to torment me? Or was there a reason? Then, after a few minutes, a small hand ripped the Man's body, the fingers twisted and bony. Soon it the entire body to which to hand belonged to. And the body was not a pretty sight.

The head looked like a skull with a thin layer of skin on it. The eyes were red and goat like, with the pupil thin, long and horizontal. The body was naked, but in between the two legs, a large foot sat, kicking up and down. And the legs, were non-existent. It sat on the body of the murderer. And then it began laughing, first very quietly, but gradually it got louder and eventually it became hysterical. The laughing was insane and the child began ripping out its own inside. I don't know why but I approached the girl, reaching out for a hug.

Then it happened. The child began throwing up body parts of people that it's host had killed. Mrs Smith's glass eye, Johnny Darslow's body, Mrs Bao's head and many other parts of people but most didn't have any distinguishable features. Then the child fell to the ground, shaking until it was nothing but a puddle of black liquid. I began screaming. That's where I can't remember any more.

Now I live in Saint Evelyn's psychiatrist ward in Canada, where I live in a padded cell in a straitjacket. I am not writing this but someone else is, but they are writing what I am telling them to. Thank you for reading this. I hope you don't meet him

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