Prompt: You find a old camcorder of unknown origin in a Thrift Shop. Inside is a VHS that’s been in there for a long time and what you watched was bizarre.
I plopped the VHS into the VCR, grabbed my drink from the coffee table, then sank into the couch. Static filled the screen, and a white noise sounded from the TV. I wondered why the cashier at the store let this go for cheap? Usually tapes go for at least double that nowadays, since VHS is somewhat of a relic and there’s a niche of tape collectors out there. Hell, the camcorder alone should have been more, too, but whatever.
Abruptly, jerkily, the static dissipated from the screen, as if the frame-rate dropped from twenty to one, and the noise gradually faded into silence. It was an empty, bleak, gray room. The floor was plain, and it didn’t seem the room had a ceiling. An old wooden chair stood in the center, partially turned towards the camera. A closed door was embedded in the right wall.
For five minutes the still picture didn’t change, then as I was going to get up and refill my drink, the door opened. A small boy walked in. His hair was black and flat against his forehead, and he wore a white gown. The boy closed the door, then went and sat on the chair, facing the camera.
“What the hell is this film?” I asked the empty room.
Then, a black, amorphous shape suddenly shot down from above. It wrapped around the boy’s neck and ripped him up out of the frame. The boy struggled to break free before being torn off screen, but he didn’t escape.
The video became jerky again, its frame-rate dropping. In one frame the room was empty, in the next a tall, thin man stood against the back wall. He wore a black suit and hat. He walked across the room, weaving around the chair, towards the camera. He grabbed the side of the camera and pulled it towards his face. It was like he had gripped my head and pulled me closer. Everything was in first-person. His shriveled, wrinkling papyrus-like skin seemed to ripple over his bones, and his deep-seated colorless eyes seemed to melt endlessly. He grinned as he walked back to the chair, still holding the camera.
The man flipped the camera back, to face the ceiling of the room, but what was above was no ceiling at all. The tarry black and dark red sky flowed and ebbed like the ocean. Slits like slices in flesh opened and closed, opened and closed, revealing globules of sickly yellow eyes that endlessly rolled in pockets of blackened wounds.
The camera was turned to the far wall, held high up by the man. He threw the camera towards the wall. It crashed through and fell to the floor of a dark place, skidding across the floor. Then, there were weird, gurgling sounds from behind as the man came through the hole.
God, this is weird, I thought. I went to take a drink but remembered it was empty. I paused the film, got up and went into the kitchen. I refilled my glass, yawning. Maybe I should just finish the tape tomorrow? I looked at the clock on the wall above the fridge to see it was nearing midnight. Yeah… that sounds good.
I put my glass into the sink, switched off the lights and the TV, and went upstairs to the bathroom. After I finished, I walked to my bedroom—
The hallway light allowed some light into my room, and I could see an oily, gleaming orb laying on the floor. What the hell is that? I turned on the lights and slowly walked into the room. Trailing behind the glass sphere was shrapnel of wood and plaster on the floor, which lead to a large hole in my wall. Cautiously I neared it, bent and peeked through it. On the other side was a gray, empty room with a chair.
“Jesus Christ…” I whispered, then a thought hit me.
I quickly turned to find him standing over the camcorder, leering at me. Before I could run, he gripped my arms and pinched them to my side. His strength seemed to be of at least ten men. I struggled and screamed, but he simply stared at me, grinning. He pulled me in, as if hugging me tightly, then stepped through the hole.
This is impossible, this is impossible, there’s no way this is happening; this is all a dream, a damn nightmare. I closed my eyes and tried to wake up, but nothing changed. The realization came that this was reality and I was not sleeping, that this was actually happening and God only knew what would happen next. I remembered the boy being pulled up into the sky and when I opened my eyes, I focused on the man, refusing to look up.
He set me down on the chair, gripped both sides of my head and forced my neck back. I saw the rippling, black sky and the yellow, rolling eyes, then I heard a voice coming down. It spoke in a language I couldn’t understand. It spoke so fast that even if it were speaking English, I couldn’t have made them out. Then, in an instant, it happened. The amorphous shape came down from one of the flesh sockets in the black ocean above. It wrapped around my body and pulled me up into itself.
Then, flashes of imagery like a slideshow played at breakneck speeds zipped through my mind. There were cloudy, fleshy walls that spoke to me. Runes, bleeding, seeping with oil, runes etched in places and in shapes that have no names. A large, vast room; stairs that seem to go on forever; an altar; a spinning crudely crafted gem that glowed hideously, that spoke to me, to everyone and every thing in the room; then a blackness that was forever, that was sentient, that lived and breathed and consumed.
It consumed me.
As if I opened my eyes, the darkness vanished. I was in a long, shadowy hallway. Out of the gloom, a tall door appeared before me. I reached to the knob, standing on my tiptoes and opened the door. Inside was a gray, empty room with a chair standing in its center.I went into the room, then closed the door. I sat on the chair, then something strong and dark came down from above, wrapping around my neck. Tears ran down my face as I was pulled up into the unknown.
Images repeated, darkness vanished. Now I leaned against the wall in the room, my room, then walked over to the All-Seeing Orb embedded in the opposite wall. I took it in my hand and looked down at it, grinning. I walked over to the empty chair, gripped the All-Seeing Orb in both hands and faced it above.
“Not yet,” I whispered, then threw the orb through the back wall. I followed it, through the hole and into a dark place. There, I waited. Sometime later, a person came in and I snatched him up. He cried and screamed. I took him through the hole and into the room, my room. Mother took him soon after, like the child before him.
I sat in the chair and waited for another.
Read my previous prompt, “The Unknown Dialect.”