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Those Hands

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I can only talk for a few minutes so I'll have to make this quick. I do hope and pray that they don't find you like they found me. Who? I'm getting to that. But they can sense you. They see you. They speak to you and you don't even know. Watch yourself. Check over your shoulders in public areas. Avoid large crowds. They can find you that way. Try to fly under the radar, stay unnoticed, don't talk to ANYONE. Unless...you want to be caught.

I remember when they caught me.

-December 1st, 2001.

It was just another day at work, I was bored out of my mind and it was freezing considering it was winter. I worked at a neat video game store, they had so many good games I couldn't even BEGIN to tell you. Anyway, I was dealing with a rather obnoxious customer demanding an absurd amount of money for a used game when.....he walked in. He wore a black hooded robe that hid his entire body from sight. He went straight to the counter and went through four customers to get there. Yes, through, like he was some sort of apparition. He walked up to me and said in a deep raspy voice:

"Remember your number."

I passed it off as some sort of crazy delusion of an old man, and went back to work.

The next day I was at my house playing some games. I had the best killing spree ever when...he walked in. Through the wall. I screamed in terror. Had he actually WALKED IN? I asked myself repeatedly as he closed the gap between the two of us. Now I'm a pretty calm person, always collected and never too stressed. But when he pulled away his hood, It was so terrifying that I screamed for a full minute before he put a blood-splattered hand on my mouth. That only made me want to scream more. He yelled in a deep booming voice:

"BE SILENT!"

Immediately I found myself unable to speak. He looked me in the eyes with his own. Those deep, empty, lifeless eyes. Filled to the brim with hatred that seemed to pulse through his body like a raging fire. He looked at me, but he wasn't looking at ME. He was looking into me, inside me. I gathered my breath to scream but, remembering I couldn't speak stopped myself short. He pulled back the left arm of his robe to reveal not a hand, but some sort of injection gun.

It was loaded with some sort of fluid I couldn't identify. He approached me and time seemed to stop for a moment, just a moment and I just ran. I flew as fast as I could and bolted out of the house like a bullet shot from a .45 and sprinted full tilt down the street. I heard his angry cries behind me and I knew he would follow. My house isn't safe anymore. I thought, he knows it. I shut myself up mentally and just kept running.

When I reached the mall I stopped. I had lost him. Who was that? I thought desperately to myself, searching my mind for past enemies that might want to take me out. I found none. Scared almost to death I went inside the mall and found a nice bench, I sat down in between two people. They had their faces covered in shadow, and showed no skin. I didn't think much of it at the time, I was too tired.

I woke up two hours later on the same bench with the same two guys. I got up and decided to move on. When I stood up they seemed to like the idea of leaving as well. They stood up and walked towards the same exit as me. I walked with a certain readiness, like I was expecting something subconsciously. I walked out the doors and was instantly pulled aside by a nice looking man. His eyes were wide with fear and he seemed to be constantly checking over his shoulder, as if he was being followed. He asked me in a mortified voice:

"Do you remember your number? TELL ME YOU REMEMBER YOUR NUMBER!"

I looked at him with that What-The-Hell-You-Talkin'-About look and remembered what the man had said in the store. Remember the number.

OH GOD! I thought to myself WHATS MY NUMBER? I said in a level voice

"No."

Tears sprang to his eyes. He looked behind him and yelped like a scared puppy. But...there was nothing there. He cried out in terror and tried to run from whatever drug trip hallucination he was having but he slipped on a patch of ice and fell. The moment his nose touched the ground he froze solid. A massive hunk of ice in the shape of a generic male lay on the ground in his place. The ice exploded and a cloud of blood and gore spewed from the inside, making me sick to my stomach. I felt a presence behind me and spun around, only to be confronted by the man with the injection gun. He looked at me and said:

"What is your number, human?"

I stepped back and heard a mushy sound underneath my foot. I didn't want to even think what was under my foot right then. I looked at him, opened my mouth...and ran. But he was quicker. He grabbed me as I was running and pulled my arm as hard as he could, dislocating it and half tearing it off. I screamed in agony and a crowd seemed to gather around me. Though they didn't notice the man standing right there in front of them. He leaned down and asked me again:

"Do you remember your number?" I said quickly "NO!"

And he smiled. The hatred in his eyes was replaced with a look of pure evil. He let out in a demonic voice, or at least what I imagine to be a demonic voice:

"GOOD."

And slit my throat without a second thought.

I awoke in a hospital, my arm was re-attached and my throat hurt like hell, but remained relatively unscathed. The doctors were looking at me almost hopelessly when I awoke and they seemed so relieved that I was okay. I was asked a couple of questions, told that I would have to stay for another month and they went on their merry way doing doctor things. I sat there and watched some stupid soap opera on the tiny T.V. that was across from the room and slowly dozed off, until he arrived.

The lights dimmed and all the other people seemed to disperse as far away from me as possible and he just...materialized. He reached for me with those blood soaked hands and this time the blood was fresh. He had killed recently. I tried to scream but my throat constricted whenever I tried. He touched me with those hands, and my world went white.

I saw everything flash before my eyes in a constant stream. I saw my own birth, my life in the town as I grew up. My first crush, and the terrible rejection. I saw my years I had spent in high school, screwing around with all of my friends, shooting cars with Airsoft guns and running from the angry owners. I saw my graduation, how I had barely made it out. And I saw my life in my first job, boring. I saw my first car, a sweet looking Ford. And I saw my first encounter with...him. And the visions stopped. I stood in the store looking at myself completely frozen in time. Then he moved. He was the only thing that was NOT frozen. He looked me in the eyes and took off his hood. And I remember his face clearly.

His eyes were just like normal human's eyes, only they were slanted towards his nose, giving him a constant angry expression. They were jet black in the center, surrounded by a blood red iris, and the whites of his eyes were almost ghostly white. He seemed to have a cloudy lens covering each of his eyes, tinting them black permanently. He didn't blink. He couldn't. His eyelids were completely gone, leaving behind trails of blood as if they were freshly removed with a rough blade.

His eyebrows were jet black and his shoulder length hair matched the color of his eyebrows. I could barely see his bleach white skin under the layers of blood that completely caked it from top to bottom. His nose was long and pointed, like a witch, and his ears looked elvish as well. He had a small pencil-stache that I could barely make out under the blood. And his mouth was...unnaturally large. The edges of his wicked smile were literally from ear to ear. His teeth were filed into fangs and he had two particularly large fangs that made him look like a vampire. And he was tall, very tall, his head alone stood about a foot and a half.

He looked at me with his eyes, filled to the brim with disgust and hatred, and snapped his fingers. Whisking me away to a pure white room. Nothing was in it and it was about as large as your average parking garage. I was the only one in the room, wearing a pure white robe that flowed to my knees and had a single frill to make it look more lady-like that it already did. I was wearing pure white sneakers and I had my favorite baseball cap on. I looked around and did my best to analyze the situation. Well...I'm stuck in a white room, no entry points and no exits. I don't see anyone else around and I seem to be well nourished. I was thinking about how lucky I was when he appeared again. He was on the other side of the room and I took my first step since I had arrived. Of course I stepped backwards. That was not a good idea. Instantly the room around me changed.

The white walls were gone, replaced by a deep brown that when looked at closely, were faces, mouths agape and eyes wide, bleeding horribly, tinting the walls red. The floor was replaced with a black stone that was reflectively polished and covered in a layer of clear glass. Inserted in the glass were the bones of countless victims. I recognized them as human remains, and in the middle...a dragon. Everything was covered in endless burning flames and I could hear the screams of tortured victims. I could see their contorted faces and I let out a scream of my own. This mental torment was endless and dreadfully agonizing. The room had, in a matter of seconds, changed from Heaven into Hell.

Befitting the new room change the man across from me had changed as well. His skin was blood red and well muscled. He wore a full set of solid gold battle mail that was emblazoned with the image of an inverted star on each side of his hips. He wore a chestplate made of the same stone as the floor that was sporting a rather large amount of skulls, some human, some I didn't even recognize they were so foreign. He had pauldrons on as well, if demon skulls counted as pauldrons. He wore bracers made of the same black stone in his chestplate and in the floor with the image of the head of a lion. His gloves were iron, and made it look like he could kill even without a weapon.

Around the back and the palm of his hand was a single strip of solid iron bent perfectly to it. The fingers were segmented and made it look like he was wearing about 6 rings on each finger, but at the back of each ring was a point, large and wickedly sharp. If you were to be punched in the face by someone wearing these gloves, your face would have a great deal of holes in it. He wore boots made of black stone as well, and the toes were pointed as well so if you were kicked you were impaled like with the gloves.

His face had changed. His eyes were completely red and always angry, his mouth was more normal sized now and his nose was still pointed, but not to so much of an extent. He had four enormous horns sprouting from the top of his head, bent back behind him, one on top of the other. He had two additional horns poking out from his forehead like a bull. His teeth were deathly sharp and he was always smiling. He had two massive wings sprouting out from his back coming to a point at the top with a single pointed bone. As you look down his wings they split off into four "fingers" and were connected by a thin layer of opaque skin.

He didn't even bother to introduce himself, he just looked at me and lunged. His fingers raked across my chest and I was in instant pain. I gagged and he ripped apart my chest again. I could feel my insides be sliced into nothing as his deadly gloves tore through skin, muscle, and bone. He flailed his arm at me one more time, and tore open my chest with a mushy ripping noise. I could feel my entrails slipping out and I started to feel faint from the blood loss. I fell over and he picked me up and chained me to the four walls. Making me lay flat on my back he nailed four stakes through by newly shown back tissue and snapped his fingers. As he did this he spoke briefly. He said:

"This is your punishment. You have forgotten your birthright, and now you face the eternal torment of my hell"

To my horror the walls started to move away from each other, taking my arms and legs with them. They were slowly torn from my limp body with a disgusting crunch, leaving me with little more than stumps for ligaments. He removed the stakes from my back and I started to slip from my conscious state. However I was instantly re-awoken by the sound of flames, and the smell of burning skin.

I opened my eyes and they were instantly covered in an inferno. It only took me a second to realize that I was on fire. He had awoken me by engulfing me in a roaring flame. He looked at me with those evil eyes and laughed. I started to feel numb and I could feel my life seep from what was left of my body, dissolving into the hellish atmosphere.

But amidst all these horrors, there was a single ray of hope. This hope took the form of a small melodic voice that dragged my soul out of my body, and whisked me away to another place. Hopefully far away from this hell.

Once again, I saw visions as I flew. But these were not my experiences, no, they were someone else entirely. I watched his life flash before my eyes. I knew it was a male when I saw his face as he looked in the mirror. His face was dark and empty, void of life, and covered in blood. I could see small hands on the edges of the mirror, grasping at his face, tearing his flesh from his bones. They tore and tore until nothing was left but a pile of bones. And it spoke to me. It told me:

"I have not much time, but I might be able to save your life, my soul should now be taking you from your body. Unfortunately I cannot keep them at bay for long, you see they are everywhere, they are everyone. They exist in you, and they exist in me. They are our very fears, what we hide away in the darkest crevices of our hearts. The things that go bump in the night, the sounds in your closet or right next to your ear as you sleep. They speak to you, whispering and instilling fear in your heart, for it is your fear that that they feed on. Go now, I release you."

And he was gone. I was back in my body, at the hospital. Instantly I jumped out of bed and threw on my clothes. Oddly enough as I walked out no doctors or nurses yelled at me for leaving early. The moment I walked into the rush hour crowd I could feel something was off. The air seemed colder than it had been five minutes ago. I knew it was...them.

There was no other explanation, nothing else that made any sense. And BOOM! They were on me. two pinned my arms and two more pinned my legs, they melted my limbs directly into the ground and stood up, and smiled. I recognized two of them, the men on the bench with me at the mall. The ones that were with me as I slept. I looked at their faces more closely and a realization dawned on me. These men look quite similar to me.

Then it hit me. The spirit had said that they were the embodiment of my fear. To put it bluntly, they were me. One reached under his cloak and grabbed a short curved dagger. He dug it into my chest without any hesitation and instantly began to carve a shape, a large star, with a circle around its five points, and an inscription. "You are bound to blood and death." And that was it. They left and my limbs returned to my control. Instantly the symbol and the inscription were burned into my skin like an orange hot blade. I could see the smoke and feel the burning flesh, and it was almost too much for me to bear. I almost lost consciousness twice.

I live like this now. Every day they take me, every day I live through that hell with the Red Man. Every day I feel the pain of the symbol and that inscription: "You are bound to blood and death." I fear the day, and I dread the night. I can't go out in public, I can't sleep. This life of mine is driving me insane. I'm moving from one hell to another and I can't stop it. I hope that this message can help you realize just what they are, and what they can do to you. I pray for your safety.

You cannot run.

You cannot hide.

You will never escape.

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