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The Thing That Never Was

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Author's note: Just a warning, the following story was written by me. However, I am fairly terrible at writing. I apologize in advance.

The story begins when my life-long friend Henry began to take an interest in the paranormal. He would sit around for hours at a time just reading up on people’s encounters with the dead, cryptids, and other subjects of that nature. His main focus however, was in rituals.

He would go on and on about this vague sequence of events one would follow usually ending in a scary or odd payout. One day however, he came across an elixir made of some fairly basic herbs that when ingested, caused the user to go beyond the normal area humans could travel. By this, it meant the user would fall into a trance where they would be able to talk to those who passed and those who never were.

I was always fairly openminded to these, simply thinking that he thought of these as stories to read for a cheap scare. In fact, I was starting to enjoy them myself. However when Henry suggested that he should make this elixir, I was extremely skeptical. I thought either it would kill him due to it being a poison, or mess his mind up beyond repair. But he always insisted he saw people on YouTube making it and ingesting it so I should stop worrying. I gave in and said whatever, but Henry insisted that I came along when he took the elixir. I caved in. I thought having a friend around while he did it would make it slightly better so at least I could take him to the hospital if he started vomiting blood.

The day of, he was clearly nervous. His skin was pale and he was shaking. He had a cold sweat running down his face. He insisted he was alright and had already made the elixir. He called it, “La Poción de la Verdad,” which is Spanish for, “the Potion of Truth.” (Spain being the origin of this potion). Because he was afraid he would hallucinate for about five minutes and totally flip out, we planned for him to take the potion in a forest behind Henry’s house to prevent unnecessary drama while his parents were home. We came to a secluded part of the forest only a few people ever visit to smoke illegal substances and Henry took the elixir. It was as brown as mud but wasn’t as viscous. Its smell was odd.

The only way I can explain it is it is similar to the smell you get before a nose bleed. Henry forced down the “liquid” and his face scrunched up. He swallowed it but just barely. We sat there in silence for about ten seconds. Our eyes met, Henry shrugged and looked around. After that, he immediately fell over eyes still open. I checked his signs and they all seemed to be in working order but the odd thing was, he wasn’t entirely passed out. His eyes darted around in shock and his heart raced.

He tried to yelp but it came out as a slight sigh. Before Henry took the substance, he told me to wait twenty minutes before calling the ambulance if something went wrong. His heart may have been beating fast, but it wasn’t at the point of alarm. After ten minutes of what seemed to be paralysis, Henry suddenly snapped out of it. he sat up and our eyes met. His eyes were wide open and there were tears in the corners of his eyes. He said one thing to me, “I saw them.”

Immediately what I asked was who. Henry couldn’t bring himself to answer. Actually, it wasn’t as much as he couldn’t bring himself to answer; it was more of the fact there wasn’t much of Henry there to answer. His eyes were wide, but he seemed unresponsive to my question. His skin was paler and clammier than ever. Afraid that the elixir was still in his system, I brought him to the hospital. They ran some tests on him but doctors found nothing in his system. It wasn’t that a substance was distracting him from reality, there just wasn’t enough of Henry left in consciousness to respond.

I stayed by his side for what seemed like decades, though in reality, it was probably around a couple of hours when Henry finally said something. In a weak voice he simply said, “Brian, make it leave.”

Being the first words he’d spoken in over five hours, I jumped to the occasion and shouted, “What? What, Henry?”

He looked at me with vacant eyes and said, “The thing that never was.” He immediately passed out and didn’t awake.

For the next couple of days, he was pronounced comatose. He didn’t say anything or move an inch. He simply wasted away. The once bright face turned to pale skin, and blue lips. One change in the room that was clearly felt was the feeling; it turned cold. Not a chilly cold but an absence of warmth almost as if all the heat from the room was being pulled towards a point in the room. After a while it caught my attention. Whenever I looked towards the cold spot, I would get a pit in my stomach almost as if it was staring back at me angrily. Eventually my curiosity peaked. I walked over to the spot and put my hand through. What I felt, I can hardly explain. My arm tensed up and started to lose all its warmth. There was a clear line where my skin tone turned from slightly tanned to a cool shade of light blue. I pulled away but the skin tone didn’t change, it still hasn’t.

I looked into the void of coldness and what stared back were small, bright red eyes. It didn’t stare into my eyes, but at a part of me I thought unreachable by eyes. I felt it searching my very being and at this point I stood up and ran out of the room. I sat outside the hospital door curled up against the wall. I felt the heat from the hospital hallway rush in under the door towards that “thing”. I looked through the window on the door to find a dark figure looming over Henry. It was still translucent but it clearly had a physical presence in this world. It had long gangly arms and legs and a hunched slender chest.

Its face was long but caved in, with ears pulled back like a stalking animal. But the most noticeable feature about this “thing” was its multiple mouths with rows of sharp teeth all around its chest that were open and snarling. What happened next, I couldn’t believe. As the figure became more and more clear, it began to suck out what seemed to be a white vapor from Henry.

After what seemed like an eternity of me staring at this thing, the white vapor no longer came from Henry. His head turned to one side and the air escaped from his lungs. Henry had died, and the monster triumphed. By now, it was completely opaque. It let out a mighty roar and turned its head to me. Our eyes met and I stood paralyzed. It was only a moment but it will be a moment that I’ll never forget. After that, it jumped out of the hospital window and it was gone. Henry was dead.

When Henry went where the living were not supposed to travel, he was followed back by a spirit whose horrid purpose denied its right to exist in this world. This being may only survive by absorbing the souls of the living. Its purpose was not insidious however. What draws it to do such a thing is the pure instinct put into every living thing; survival. Because of Henry, this being has gained a physical form.

Written by Brian56t
Content is available under CC BY-SA

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