Under the Sheets (Part 5)

Posted by [Deleted user] on Friday 31.08.2012 at 09.24

Someone please help me. I’m scared, and I don’t know what to do.

Things have changed. I don’t understand what’s happening, but something’s very wrong.

Yesterday morning I saw Mr Johnstone. Mr Johnstone who’s supposed to be dead. Mr Johnstone who looks and smells dead, but apparently enjoys walking his corpse self around the footpaths behind his house.

I woke up early yesterday. I hadn’t been sleeping well anyway, I was too freaked out by everything that had happened the night before. So I decided to go for a walk, which is something I like to do. I was heading towards the burned laboratory, more out of a morbid fascination that any genuine desire to see it again, and the meandering route I was taking happened to lead past the back of the Johnstones’ house.

I was still quite a way away when I saw movement in the trees behind their garden. I wasn’t bothered, though. What did it matter to me if there was another early morning walker? Sure, snooping around the house where two people had just been murdered was a little strange, but I wasn’t in much of a position to judge.

As I got closer to the figure I began to notice the smell. I’ve never smelled anything like it. It was absolutely repugnant –I honestly had no idea things could smell that bad. The figure itself was behaving strangely too; not really moving, just kind of wobbling from side to side.

I coughed, and it began to turn towards me. It was then that I recognised the silhouette, so I coughed again to get his attention.

He began lumbering towards me, still obscured by the bushes but clearly recognisable. The stench became overpowering, and I was almost sick.

With a crash, he burst out of the bushes in front of me. I… I almost can’t bear to describe him.

His face was grey and swollen. His mouth hung open, and his eyes were milky white. I think he was blind.

There was a huge gash on the left side of his neck. It was no longer bleeding, but it had obviously bled a lot because most of the front of his shirt was stained red.

I think I screamed, but I don’t remember. All I know is that when he started towards me, his arms outstretched and grasping like a greedy child’s, I turned and ran as fast as my legs could carry me.

In my panic, I ended up in the village. It must have been almost ten by then, and the shops were fairly busy. Being surrounded by people calmed me down no end, but I didn’t tell anyone what I’d just seen. I thought they’d think I was crazy, or that I had a really inappropriate sense of humour.

I stopped in the café, and managed to convince myself to tell the police. I hid in the bathroom, so that no one would overhear my story, but I couldn’t get any signal on my phone.

I left, deciding to head back home and use the landline.

The police didn’t seem too interested. It probably didn’t help that my story sounded really stupid (“hey, I just saw my recently murdered neighbour walking around the woods… you might want to check that out”). Basically they just told me that the Johnstones were definitely dead, and that I should try to relax.

Which is probably what I should have expected.

I spent the rest of the day washing trash TV and snacking. Steven knocked on my door late in the afternoon to tell me that there were a lot of bizarre rumours going around the village, but I didn’t invite him in. I… just couldn’t face telling the story again.

I went to bed pretty early. I think I just wanted not to be awake anymore.

I was just about to get into bed when I heard this weird whimpering from my sister’s room, kinda like she was having a bad dream or something. I was going to ignore it, but then I heard it again so I thought I’d go and check on her.

She was just lying in bed, her arms limp and a book fallen by her side. I could have thought she’d just fallen asleep with the light on, but her eyes were open and she was staring at me, and I could see that she was terrified.

I took a step towards her and she whimpered again, and then I saw a shape underneath her duvet, moving towards the head of the bed.

I ran over and pulled the duvet off, and then I really screamed.

On my sister’s stomach, juxtaposed against her pink flowery pyjamas, was some kind of giant spider. Its body can’t have been bigger than my fist, but its legs must have each been a foot and a half long! It didn’t have as many legs as a regular spider, maybe four or six, but they were as thick as chunky marker pens. Its head was about half the size of its body and set on a slim neck. It had two huge mandibles or feelers or something and I think I saw the sickly glint of fangs… I don’t know, it all happened so quickly.

I screamed again, grabbing one of the thing’s back legs and hurling it across the room. It hit the wall with a sound like a piece of soft fruit would have made. I watched as it righted itself and, with a repulsive speed, darted up the wall and out through the open door.

I heard my mother scream from the hallway outside; she’d obviously been drawn by my earlier shout. I rushed out to her and saw the creature scuttle past her and disappear down the stairs.

The story, as my sister told it to my mother and I, went something like this:

My sister had climbed into bed with her favourite book, and begun reading. Almost immediately after she’d pulled the covers up, she’d felt something hairy move against her leg.

She’d been understandably startled, but had been physically unable to move. When pressed about this, she explained that it hadn’t been like the nightmares where you find yourself paralyzed, but a sort of total unresponsiveness that had seemed to radiate from where the creature was touching her. As if it were able to deliberately keep her from moving.

Needless to say, we were horrified. For me, though, it was about to get worse.

I went back to my room to get my phone and saw, slipping quietly from beneath my pillow, one dark spindly leg. Quickly it was joined by another, and in moments the whole disgusting creature slid out and plopped grotesquely onto the floor.

For a moment I was afraid that I too would be paralyzed, that somehow the creature’s strange influence could bridge the metres between us, but I was able to stumble backwards and close the door. Honestly, I don’t believe any door has ever closed as slowly as mine did last night.

We barricaded ourselves in my sister’s room and called the police; mercifully, this time they listened. They showed up within half an hour (the longest half an hour of my life) and had to break down the front door because there was no chance any of us were going to go down there and open it.

They searched the house and found nothing, but we were more than happy to leave anyway. We spent the rest of the night in a hotel in the village, and that’s where I am now, typing away on my laptop.

I have to go now. I’ve left Steven a message. We’re going to look for Mr Johnstone; I need to find out what he’s got to do with all of this.

***

Life’s greatest miracle: that two bodies can become one… under the sheets.

Under the Sheets (Part 4)

Posted by [Deleted user] on Thursday 30.08.2012 at 00.47

That was fucking terrifying. Seriously, NEVER AGAIN.

We met the others at eight by the pub. J wasn’t there, which is bloody typical (whatever, over it). There were six of us (to start with), all people from my school so I knew most of them pretty well.

One of them, Jess, showed us where the hole was. It was her younger brother who’d fallen in, I think. It was just what it sounds like – a big hole in the ground that led into an underground room. I guess when the lab burnt down; it must have weakened whatever structure had been holding the roof up.

It was quite easy to get into. There were a few long beams that had been propped against the side of the pit, probably by the kids who’d been hanging around here before, and you could basically just walk right down there. One of the girls slipped, though, so some guy who I think was her boyfriend had to take her home.

The four of us who were left had a little disagreement about what to do next. The chamber we were in was pretty big, with tall walls that were probably white before the fire and two large doorways on opposite side of the room. Holly, another of the girls from my school, kinda wanted to just go home; and honestly I kind of agreed with her. The other two, though, Jess and Steven, wanted to go on. I didn’t want to look lame (and I don’t think Holly did either) so in the end we all agreed that we’d pick one of the two doorways and go that way for a little while, and then come back.

In retrospect it was a really stupid thing to do. We knew that the ceiling had already fallen in on one room; how could we be sure it wouldn’t happen in another? Just one more reason I’m never going back there.

We picked the doorway farthest from the side we’d come down on. The other doorway was blocked off a little by rubble and the beams we’d used, and also it was really dark and gave off a really creepy vibe.

I noticed that we all bunched together as we headed towards the doorway we’d chosen. I didn’t mind though, I was already getting a little freaked out. It led down a long dark hallway, with walls equally as charred as those of the previous room, and long fluorescent lightbulbs overhead that just wouldn’t turn on, no matter how hard I willed them to with my mind.

It was really clean. The floor of the first room had been covered in dirt and bits of ceiling, but the floors here were absolutely bare. Part of me (the dark, kinda messed up part) was wondering if we were going to come across the burned bodies of the scientists and soldiers who must surely have worked here, but we found nothing.

A little way down the hall was another door, this one leading to a lower ceilinged room filled with what looked like lab benches. Computer monitors lined the benches around the walls, each and every one blackened and broken. It seemed that this room had not been spared by the fire either.

All of a sudden, Steven called me over. He’d made it was to the far end of the room while the rest of us had still been examining the broken computer and lab equipment that was scattered haphazardly across the tops of the work tables.

I joined him without hesitation, but before I’d even got to him I started to get a bad feeling about the big glass panels he was inspecting.

They were large tanks, the kind you’d keep lizards or spiders in. They were just as fire damaged as everything else we’d seen, but I could clearly make out where the heating lamp had been. My cousin used to have a snake. Did you guys know that? I feel like I may have told you about it before.

The tanks were broken. I know that fires crack glass, but I couldn’t stop myself from imagining that something had broken the glass to escape. Either way the tanks were empty, so if there had been anything kept in there when the fire started it either got out or burned completely to dust.

I didn’t have to think about that too long though, because just then Holly screamed. Steven and I ran over to her and Jess to ask her what had happened, but she couldn’t give us a coherent answer. She said she’d seen something moving, fast and dark and low to the ground, but she didn’t know what it was. I could tell that Steven thought she’d imagined it, and me and Jess were sceptical too, but I knew that we were all ready to leave.

I don’t know if it was for attention or out of genuine fear but all the way back Holly’s head was bobbing about like a squirrel’s, constantly scanning the floor for movement. She clung so tightly to Jess that when it came time to climb back out of the collapsed room they had to go two at a time, with Steven above them and pulling them up and me below holding the beams secure.

When I got home I was so creeped out that I turned on all the lights. Not even joking.

Never. Again.

***

Life’s greatest miracle: that two bodies can become one… under the sheets.

Under the Sheets (Part 3)

Posted by [Deleted user] on Wednesday 29.08.2012 at 17.17

Thanks for all your messages, guys.

Nothing weird’s happened today, which is cool. The weather’s been rubbish too, as per usual, so all in all nothing to report.

I’m quite excited about tonight, though. Steven said a few people are going to check out the underground chamber that kid fell into a few days ago. He said that J would be going 😉 so I reckon maybe I’ll tag along too. You know, if I can’t find anything better to do or whatever :p

We’re not leaving for another couple of hours yet, supposedly so it’ll be “dark and spooky” when we get there. Steven’s here at mine for now. We’re having pizza and messing around on the 360. I’m not being antisocial by typing this now, just so you know. Steven’s trying to complete some single player level on one of the games he brought over, so I thought I’d post a quick update here. Is there anything else to say? Um… I think that’s it.

***

Life’s greatest miracle: that two bodies can become one… under the sheets.

Under the Sheets (Part 2)

Posted by [Deleted user] on Tuesday 28.08.2012 at 12.50

Fml. My mum wants to take me and my sister to Yorkshire next week. We only have like two weeks of summer holiday left and I don’t wanna waste it locked away in some derelict farmhouse in the middle of nowhere with no internet. We already live in the middle of nowhere :/

And on top of that, things are like actually properly weird now. I TOLD you I wasn’t crazy.

Steven phoned me this morning. Apparently some of the local kids have been hanging around the ruins of that military place and yesterday evening one of them fell into some buried chamber. He was fine and stuff, but basically he said that this underground chamber looks like it’s connected to a whole bunch of others, which totally confirms the theory of the big underground lab. Steven said the kid was pretty freaked out, but they got him out fine and I’m sure he’ll get over it.

That isn’t the weirdest part, though.

Two of Steven’s neighbours, the Johnstones I think they’re called, were found dead this morning. Steven said he heard that the postman found one of them half out of the door and covered in blood. I dunno… he probably doesn’t have a reliable source for that though. The weird part is that the Johnstones are the nearest house to the burnt down military lab.

I went over to see Steven after he phoned me, and we went for a look. The police had obviously been there because there was police tape over everything, but can I just say they did a really shit job. It looked like they’d done it in five minutes, which to be honest they must have because we got there at like eleven and the postman could only have found them at like nine or later, right? Besides, I thought the police were supposed to hang around for hours after something like this, interviewing people and shining those UV lights on stuff. Lazy so and sos, I say. Whatever they’re paid, it’s too much.

I’m not actually worried or anything, but if anyone’s experienced anything like this before can they give me a message? There’s still been nothing in the papers about the lab burning down, and I’ve searched for it online but I can’t find anything there either.

I reckon it was definitely top-secret, whatever it was.

***

Life’s greatest miracle: that two bodies can become one… under the sheets.

Under the Sheets (Part 1)

Posted by [Deleted user] on Monday 27.08.2012 at 16.33

Hey everyone.

So I know this isn’t the kind of stuff I usually talk about on here, but there’s been some really weird stuff happening where I live. Like, on Saturday that military building burnt down.

It’s almost two miles from my house, out in the middle of a bunch of fields, but my friend Steven lives near there and he said there was an alarm going off there pretty much all night. Apparently they first saw the fire at about 4am, after the alarm had already been going off for hours, and they called the fire brigade but no one came.

He said a few of his neighbours called them too, and basically were just told the fire brigade couldn’t go or something. Kinda strange, right?

He texted me yesterday morning and I went over to see what all the fuss was about, and the place was absolutely destroyed. There were quite a few people around – all civilians, no military or police – and I spoke to some of them. That bit was kinda cool, I felt a bit like a journalist.

Some of the kids had gone right up to the wreckage, which I would never have done because the old stories about that place still give me the creeps. They said that it looked like the building had some underground floors, which makes sense. Everyone always says that it’s like a top-secret military laboratory or something.

It totally gave me the heebie-jeebies so I didn’t stay there long. Later on in the village, though, it was all anyone could talk about. It wasn’t in the newspapers or anything though. I know it sounds kind of stupid but I was half expecting there to be soldiers patrolling about. I didn’t see any, or even any police for that matter, so I guess that whatever happened there wasn’t that big a deal.

But it’s weird, right? I’m not crazy.

Whatever.

How have you guys been? Have you been watching the X Factor or anything? You know I don’t like that kind of thing that much, but my sister does. I didn’t have to watch it last night though, because the TV reception went all dodgy. Small mercies, am I right?

***

Life’s greatest miracle: that two bodies can become one… under the sheets.

University Achievements

Woo, I finished university with a 2:1! Not a high 2:1, mind, but let’s not talk about that.

I thought this would be as good a time as any to reminisce about all the awesome stuff I did during my three years. Possibly out of a narcissistic need to convince myself that had I focused solely on my work, I would have done better. But, again, let’s not talk about that :p

Well, where to begin…

During my time at university, I’ve been a member of five different choirs:

  1. University Singers
  2. Showstoppers
  3. Sing Out Bristol
  4. The UWE 16
  5. UWE Chamber Choir

I can’t be bothered to work out the exact number, but I’ve been in almost a dozen performances with these fine groups over the past three years (one each with University Singers, UWE 16, and Chamber Choir; and three or four each with Sing Out and Showstoppers). This averages out at roughly one concert per term, which is actually pretty decent going in my opinion.

I’ve also done front of house work for performances I wasn’t a part of – one Sing Out concert and the 2012 UWE musical (which, can I just say, was the weekend before my dissertation was due in and therefore a VERY generous donation of my time).

In a similar performancey vein, I worked for and passed my Grade 6 singing exam. I’m going to be continuing with singing lessons as soon as I get around to finding a teacher 🙂

I’ve been fairly decently involved with Student’s Union activities. I was Welfare Officer for my university’s Student LGBT Network (OutUWE) in my second year and co-President in my third year. I attended two or three NUS LGBT training days and two NUS LGBT student conferences. I attended student council meetings as a representative of OutUWE. I went to every AGM held by my SU,  speaking on behalf of a “safe space” motion in my final year.

I made so many amazing friends and fell in love at least once. I lived with the awesomest housemates I’ll probably ever have, in the awesomest house I’ll probably ever live in.

I kind of feel like there should be more, but I can’t be bothered to try and remember it all now. Whatever. The point is, I had an amazing time and I loved every second of it 🙂

I chose to be gay

Ok, no I didn’t. It was a stroke. A stroke turned me gay.

(I know this is a bit late, but I was too busy to write this when the various stories I wanted to discuss were popular.)

Where to begin, where to begin…

After a stroke in 2011, 27 year old Chris Birch woke up gay. A documentary about him was aired on BBC3 in April this year, and the reaction was… mixed. Once reasonable homos were stirred into a fit of pique by this rugby-player-turned-hairdresser’s story.

“He was always gay!” they cried, “He was just in the closet! In denial! Sexuality is rigid and immutable!”

Which is complete and utter bullshit. A few people made the claim that this guy’s story, and any story that implies that sexuality isn’t as black and white as Lady Gaga tells us*, leaves us open to attacks by religious “gay-cure” therapy types. They have a point, albeit a weak one. Any story that shows people transitioning between orientations could potentially fuel the claims of those who believe that gay people can be “converted” into breeders through prayer or electroshock therapy or whateverthefuck it is they do.

The fact of the matter, however, is that sexuality is not that simple – and of all communities, the LGBT community should be supportive of that fact. Many of us have been asked (by parents and friends) if what we’re experiencing could be “just a phase”. Normally it’s not. We are who we are, and all that. But sometimes it is. People experiment. Teenage girls get girlcrushes. Their existence doesn’t threaten ours, but our insistence on denying theirs is both ignorant and disrespectful.

The situation was complicated, of course, by another story that gained publicity around the same time. In early April, the “Core Issues Trust” booked advertising space on London buses for their “reparative therapy” for gay people. Fortunately the ads were considered to be too controversial, and were pulled. People were angered by these adverts, and rightly so. To quote my favourite line from the X-Men films: “They can’t cure us. You want to know why? Because there’s nothin’ to cure. Nothing’s wrong with you. Or any of us, for that matter.”

But why complicate things by saying that change is impossible? Yes, there are heaps of evidence showing that “reparative therapy” doesn’t work. But still, surely, what we should be aiming for is not a denial that people can change but an acceptance of who they are. Saddeningly, the only place I’ve seen this opinion voiced is in (of all places) the Daily Mail. Really, guys? When the Daily Heil’s opinion is more tolerant than yours, you might be doing something wrong.

It’s not a one way street. Sure, we have the “ex-gay” jerks recruiting our most vulnerable members, but there are straighties making the transition to our side too.

Much earlier this year, around the end of January, actor Cynthia Nixon caused controversy when she said in an interview that she’d chosen to be gay. She was widely criticised (by people that I think should know better – read: gay people) for encouraging the bigots who believe that homosexuality is (always?) a choice. This blog post by John Aravosis is a perfect example of how people got it wrong. It’s titled “Actress Cynthia Nixon says it’s a choice to be gay. And she’s wrong.”, and that title itself is so wilfully ignorant it makes me want to cry. NO, Mr Aravosis, she did NOT say that being gay is a choice. She said that SHE CHOSE to be gay. Can you see how those are different?

In an incredibly patronising first paragraph, he explains that “What she means is that she’s bisexual”. And that makes me so fucking angry. If she was bisexual, why wouldn’t she just say “I’m bisexual”? Hey, maybe she’d never heard the word bisexual before. Maybe she just didn’t know what bisexual meant. Or maybe (just maybe) IF SHE WAS BISEXUAL SHE WOULD HAVE SAID THAT SHE WAS FUCKING BISEXUAL.

Here’s my crazy idea. Maybe, juuust maybe, some people do choose to be gay. Or straight, for that matter. Think about it. You know how those right-wingers keep telling us that homosexuality is a choice? Maybe, juuuuuuust maaaaaaybe, for some of them it WAS a choice. Wouldn’t that help to explain why they’re so sure it is? What about political lesbianism? Sure, a lot of people badmouth it, but it must have worked for some people at some point.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I would like it if we could start respecting the way other people identify their orientation.

Chris Birch, you were a straighty and now you’re a gayer. I believe you. I’m sorry that so many homos have demeaned your past relationships by telling you that you were just closeted (because they knew how? I don’t even), but welcome to the winning team.

If a girl tells me she chose to be a lesbian, I’m not going to tell her that ACTUALLY she’s “just bisexual” (because that would be patronising and rude and… factually incorrect!), I’m going to give her a cheer, a beer, and all the support she needs.

Whateverrr… leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

*no offence meant. Little Monster and proud.