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Like a Virus

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On November the 24th, 2009, the police force of the small community of New Felsburgh, Maine, received a most disturbing phone call from an elderly man living secluded in a house just outside the town, near the edge of the woods. The man was clearly terrified and panicking judging by his voice and the fact that he was practically shouting.

The senior, who had immigrated from Norway some twenty years ago, complained that some kind of beast was prowling outside of his house, trying to get in. The officer tried to calm the man down, trying to tell him it was probably just a coyote or maybe a bear.

In either case, as long as the man had his doors and windows closed-the police officer assured him-that the creature could not get in, and that he would be safe until the cops arrived to remove the animal. Strangely enough, this seemed to enrage the man. He began shouting even louder, telling the officer that “It isn’t that goddamn simple!”.

Immediately after he had finished that last sentence, a loud sound of shattering could be heard in the background, probably on another floor. The man’s panicked screaming turned into a terrified whisper.

“It's inside! Oh god, help me!”, were the last words they could make out as the sound became more distorted. White noise began becoming audible. At first faintly in the background, it rapidly became louder until it became almost unbearable to hear.

By then the officer realized the man was in danger. Although he didn’t think much of the sudden white noise as crappy receptions were common in the area, something had definitely broken into the house. So he got into his police car and took the ten minute drive to the old man’s house praying he was not too late.

Arriving at the scene he noticed one of the windows on the bottom floor was broken, like something had come crashing through with great force. There were large claw marks on the front door, but they were unlike any the office had ever seen. They could not have possibly been from a coyote or bear, they were far too large for that. Furthermore, the claws that had inflicted this damage had apparently only three fingers, and those fingers had much more distance in between them than even a human hand.

By now the officer was obviously concerned not only for the victim’s safety, but for his own as well. As he kicked open the door, the first thing he noticed was how unnaturally dark the house was. While the weather was cold due to the season, it was a reasonably sunny day and light would’ve been shining brightly through the windows, none of them being covered in curtains. Yet still, the house was dark. Not pitch black, but more of a grim, grey-ish kind of darkness that was usually paired with twilight. Like some kind of invisible blankets were covering all the windows, allowing only for so much light to enter the house.

With his firearm drawn, the officer carefully ventured into the house. His first priority was to see if its inhabitant was still safe. After checking each room downstairs and finding nothing out of place, nothing even remotely touched, he went upstairs. Now there were only two rooms upstairs; a storage room and a bedroom. He was unsettled by how... normal the house was aside from the darkness.

If a wild animal had managed to get in, there would’ve been signs of it wandering through rooms. When he put his hand on the bedroom door’s knob he quickly released it, letting out a short scream of agony. The doorknob was hot! So hot even that it had left an ugly burn mark in the knob’s shape on the man’s palm. His surprise at this was quickly drowned by another, more dominant feeling of fear when he realized that whatever was inside the house would’ve heard his scream.

He held his breath, his heart thumping in his throat as he listened for a sound. A creak downstairs, the voice of the man calling out for him, or perhaps the sound of claws paws making their way up the stairs or through the bedroom to get to him. A few seconds passed like this.

Nothing. No sound besides the rapid beating of his own heart. Instantly the officer felt ashamed. What was coming over him? Why was he so scared? He carried a gun, if any wild animal would actually try to attack him, he would kill it before it came close enough. He had no reason to be scared, right? Then why did he feel like a little scurrying mouse being watched by a predator? Why did he feel like he was being watched by someone... something that was in here, wanting to kill him?

There wasn’t anything in the house, though. The bedroom, when he entered, was empty. The phone the man had probably used was off the hook sitting on his nightstand. The bed was unmade and the sheets were messy, but if anything that only indicated that he hadn’t made the bed this morning. The storage room was equally empty besides a few boxes. There was simply no trace of the man, or whatever could’ve caused those scratches.

Further investigations by the police revealed nothing about the man’s whereabouts. No clues could be found, no tracks nor any drops of blood. He had simply vanished off the face of the earth. After some months, the case went cold. By then, the officer that had received the call and had been the first to enter the house had all but forgotten about his scary experience in the house.

Or so it seemed.

A few weeks after the case had gone cold, the officer started to see a psychiatrist. He had began having trouble sleeping. Often he would lay in bed next to his wife for hours twisting and turning, unable to feel at ease. Somehow feeling... unsafe. Whenever he would sleep, he would have nightmares. The exact nature of these nightmares he wouldn’t recall; either he couldn’t remember them or was too horrified by them to describe them properly. All he told was that he would wake up from them screaming and in cold sweat, waking up his wife in the process. The psychiatrist suggested he’d take some time off from work and prescribed him some medicines to help him sleep.

It didn’t work. The nightmares persisted, and the officer began to show signs of paranoia. He claimed he felt watched everywhere now. At work, at home, in crowds and even in the bathroom. He became very high-strung over the weeks of visiting the psychiatrist, often being visibly startled by even mundane sounds like a car passing by the office or a door closing.

His last visit had been particularly disturbing.

The officer, by then a stuttering, pale mess, claimed that he was being followed by some type of abomination. He described it as a beast walking on all fours that normally was the size of a car, although it could change its size to fit in smaller places. It had a thin, bony body; its ribs visible beneath its pitch black fur. The fur became thinner on its arms. These arms were long and spidery, and were furless from the elbows down, revealing a pink, scaly skin much like a rat. Its hands consisted of three long fingers with long, yellow claws at the ends. These arms were much longer than its hind legs, which were much more compact, completely covered with fur and ending in hooves. The creature had no tail, and when it wasn’t running it moved forward like an ape, leaning on its scaled knuckles. The description the psychiatrist found most disturbing was its “head.”

In between its shoulders, its head was shaped like a jagged ball made of... faces. Human faces. All of them pale as snow, all of them individually muttering soundless words and changing expressions as if they all had a will of their own. Most of them seemed to be in pain and despair, although a rare few seem to have given into madness, staring at the cop with a wide, crazed grin. He claimed the face of the man who had disappeared from his house was among them, his face stuck in an expression of despair as he cried dry tears and pleaded for help only to find that he could make no sound.

The officer claimed the creature was everywhere. Whenever he was outside, it would stand there at the end of the street, leaning on its knuckles. Whenever he looked at his window, the beast would be there looking inside. When the psychiatrist asked the man where the creature was now, he pointed past him, at the window. The psychiatrist followed the man’s finger and saw nothing, yet the officer kept claiming that this beast was standing right outside the window.

The officer then stood up and placed his hands on the psychiatrist's desk, leaning forward as his mouth twisted into a maddened grin. Then, he spoke the following words:

“It’s coming for you next! It’s like a virus, spreading its taint through contact between people. I made the mistake of entering the house of one of its victims, and you made the mistake of being in the presence of one!”

His message was followed by a maddened giggle, almost like that of a child. Before he left, he claimed that the psychiatrist couldn’t help him. This left the good doctor bewildered and, admittedly, very unnerved. Because apparently this beast was somehow linked to the cold case of the Norwegian man, the psychiatrist did some research on his computer at home and, the next day, at the police station. After some digging, he discovered something terrifying.

All of the officers who had been involved with the case were missing. Some were only recently gone, but others had been missing for months! Apparently all of them had displayed the same symptoms at work; complaints about nightmares and feeling uneasy and stressed.

This outright terrified the psychiatrist because he had been trying to call the patient only hours after he left his office, only to get no answer. Even if something had happened to the former cop, his wife would have had to pick up, right?

But what scared him the most, the one thing that sent shivers straight through his spine and caused the hair on his skin to stand right up, was that last night, he had been having an absolutely awful nightmare.

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