just something i wrote for class....don't judge me too harshly when i wrote most of this is was half asleep
Mr.Craddock gazed out into the ominous depths of space, gaping in awe as he saw millions of stars illuminating the lonely darkness like solitary lanterns.
“Oh my gosh Alex! Look! Look at that! And that! OH and especially that one!” Mr.Craddock yelled excitedly, jumping from viewport to viewport to see as many stars as he could.
“Calm down Tim! It’s just stars!” Alex replied, barely pausing to look up from her astronomy book.
“Is that a black dwarf star?!” Mr.Craddock asked with glee, barely moving away in time before Alex slammed into the glass, searching through space like a madwoman.
“WHERE?!WHERE DID YOU SEE IT!!!?” Alex yelled.
“Oh my gosh, how did you fall for that?” Mr.Craddock gasped between laughs “I was totally just messing with you!”
Alex’s cheeks turned a deep shade of red, making her face look like Malibu Barbie’s sunburnt cousin. Without saying a word, she slowly walked back to her chair, sat down, and continued reading. Although she didn’t say anything, Mr.Craddock knew this was his cue to leave or suffer her full wrath.
“I-I-I…I’ll just…go…help Steve…now….mmmkay?” Mr.Craddock stuttered, hurrying through the space station door before a heavy something hit the door. By the sound of the clank, it was probably the toaster oven.
Mr.Craddock strode through the shiny metal corridors, whistling softly to himself as he did a little dance.SpaceMr.Craddock thought to himself I can’t believe we’re really going to Mars! Thinking of all the months beforehand of touring and space training after that, it all seemed like a dream. If the reception on Mars is even half as good as the others, we’re in for quite a concert!
Deep in thought, Mr.Craddock didn’t notice until his face had hit the ground that he’d tripped on something. Muttering curses under his breath, Mr.Craddock slowly pushed himself back up, noticing with annoyance how much his left ankle hurt. Using a wall for support, he scanned the narrow hallway for whatever he’d tripped on.
With a loud “AHA!” Mr.Craddock picked up the rogue wrench from where it’d ended up further along the hallway.Who’d just leave a wrench lying out where anyone could trip over it?Mr.Craddock pondered, examining the wrench for anything that could help him place it.It was a typical wrench, made out of steel with an embellished rubber handle. Looking closer, Mr.Craddock noticed what looked like a small dots of bright red on the ends.Ok, this is weird. I should probably find whose wrench this is.Resuming his whistling while trying not to put too much weight on his left ankle, Mr.Craddock started at an agonizingly slow pace towards the living quarters.
After knocking on the stainless steel door and getting no response, Mr.Craddock burst through the door, yelling a hearty “AAYOOO” to see if anyone was inside. Closing the door behind him, Mr.Craddock looked around his surroundings to see if anyone was just hiding from him. The living quarters were composed mainly of a common area with a small table and four small, metal chairs. In the corner of the common room was a tiny sectioned off nook which held their dehydrated food in grey, featureless bins. Directly adjacent from the opening door were four other doors which led to their respective rooms.
Looking at the room now, Mr.Craddock was completely shocked. The chairs were scattered across the room, the table was split in half in the middle of the room and the bins had been thrown about, scattering dehydrated food packets everywhere. But the doors were by far the worst. Mr.Craddock’s door hung from one hinge, scraping along the floor as it slowly swung back and forth. Steve’s door looked like it had a chainsaw go through it, although that wasn’t new. The first day they’d been on here Steve got really drunk and drove the chainsaw that he’d ‘brought’ through his door. But now, it had even more marks, and the metal at the ends of the hole looked charred.
Alex’s door was missing a huge chunk in the side of it, and had various claw marks over its surface.Peter’s door was the least damaged, as it only had a few marks in it that looked suspiciously knife-like, and a deep indent that was clearly from a wrench.
As Mr.Craddock stood there, just trying to absorb the amount of destruction he was seeing, he saw something pass by behind Steve’s door through the chainsaw holes. Not daring to make a sound, Mr.Craddock slowly bent down to his knees, trying to figure out what to do.What if whatever did this is in Steve’s room?!Mr.Craddock thought, trying not to panic.OhmygoshwhatifitsamonsterwhatifitkilledanyonewhatifitwantstokillmetooIneedaweaponohcrapohcrapohcrapitknowsi’mhere.
Taking a minute to get his wayward thoughts under control, Mr.Craddock had one dominant thought. He needed a weapon. Leaning to get a better look, he spotted a broken table leg that would probably do the job. Inching forward slowly, he carefully picked up the metal table leg from where it rested amid the scattered food and chairs.Alrighthe mentally told himselfnow I just need to sneak up on it.It knows I’m here, but not where in the room I am.
Mr.Craddock walked very slowly, so as to avoid making noise by stepping on anything on the floor. What was normally a one minute walk had become a deadly game of minefield, and the consequences for losing would be dire. Minutes seemed to stretch into hours as Mr.Craddock slowly, very slowly, got ever closer to the door.
Finally, after so much inching, Mr.Craddock reached the door, positioning himself to its side so he could run in swinging. Mentally preparing himself, Mr.Craddock shoved to door so violently that it knocked whatever was on the other side right off its feet. With a yell, Mr.Craddock ran into the room and whacked the figure on the head with his table leg. Before he could get in another blow, the figure kicked his feet out from under him. As he fell, he could see the figure’s shadow falling across him, and tensed up for the blow. With a mixture of surprise and confusion, the figure spoke in the voice of the man he knew so well.
“Tim?!” Steve asked in a disbelieving tone “I thought you were dead!”
“Steve?!” Mr.Craddock replied, just as disbelievingly as Steve “I thought YOU were dead!”
With one hand, Steve helped Mr.Craddock up, as his other hand had a firm grip on a chainsaw that had Ol’ Betsy written on it. As soon as Mr.Craddock was up, Steve punched him right in the face, causing his cheek to flare red hot with pain. “What the heck Steve?” Mr.Craddock asked in even more disbelief.
“You hit me with a freaking metal table leg.” Steve replied indignantly “I should be saying that to you!”
“Ok, ok .You’ve got a point.” Mr.Craddock conceded “But I thought you were whatever did …this.” Mr.Craddock gestured broadly back at the direction of the common room “What happened?”
“That? No, that wasn’t me.” Steve said, his face seemingly darkening “As for what happened, I’m not too sure myself, but here’s what I know.” Steve moved towards his bed, dropped the chainsaw and collapsed onto it. ”I was here, tinkering with Ol’ Betsy, trying to get her ready to market to the Martians when Alex came into the common area. She asked me if you’d been here, and I told her you hadn’t. After that she started freaking out because you’d left hours ago and no one had seen you. On top of that she’d had feelings of being watched and heard strange noises all over the ship, and had sworn she’d seen something moving around in the shadows. I tried to calm her down, but she was insistent that I help her look for you. So I picked up Ol’ Betsy and we started searching for you. At first it was a little creepy, but eventually we got used to it.Once we got to where Alex saw you leave, things went very wrong. Someone jumped out at us and cut up Alex and I pretty good. He chased us, but we got separated. After that I think he chased Alex, and cornered her in her room.”
“Wait” Mr.Craddock interrupted “Does that mean that she….?”
Steve replied with a sigh, sadness clearly in his eyes. “Yeah.You can go look, but it’s a mess in there. I put her sheets over the worst of it, but it’s still not pretty.”
“Maybe later I will, but not now. We have to catch this sicko before he hurts anyone else!” Mr.Craddock said, hefting his table leg like a club “What happened to Paul by the way? Is he dead too?”
“I don’t know “Steve replied with a shrug “but he left an hour ago and hasn’t come back, so I doubt he’s alive. After I ended back up here, I guess he wasn’t quite done with Alex. I managed to hold him off long enough to get into my room and scare him off with Ol’ Betsy. I waited in my room for a while, in case he came back, but Paul heard the noise and asked what happened. When I told him that I thought he was hiding in the cargo hold, he picked up one of my wrenches and ran after him.”
“Oh wow “Mr.Craddock exclaimed “that’s quite a story!”
“Yes, I suppose it is.But right now, the only story I’m interested in is yours. Where’ve you been this whole time?” Steve exclaimed, a slight undertone of suspicion in his voice
“See, that’s the weird thing. The only thing I remember happening since when I left Alex and coming here is walking down the hallway. I did have a pretty bad trip though, someone left this lying on the floor” Mr.Craddock said, showing Steve the wrench he’d tripped on
Steve’s eyes widened in surprise. “How did you get this? This is the wrench Paul took when he left.”
“Like I said, all I know is that it was nearby when I fell. It’s probably what I tripped on. Mr.Craddock replied
“Well, maybe you were knocked unconscious when you fell. I’ve read about that sort of thing happening, where the people don’t even know they’ve been out for hours.” Steve said with a note of relief in his voice.
“Yeah,that’s probably what happened” Mr.Craddock said with confusion in his voice “Alright,let’s go see if we can find Paul and maybe stop this psycho while we’re at it.”
“Weren’t you listening Tim?” Steve replied with exasperation in his voice “When he attacked Alex and I, he cut me pretty deep “Steve rolled up the side of his shirt, exposing the large blood-encrusted wound beneath “If I leave this room, It’ll probably just reopen it and I’ll bleed out.”
“Ok, so revised plan. I’ll go find Paul, and if you see that guy again, chop his head off.” Mr.Craddock said, dreading the prospect of going down there alone “Oh, and quickly before I forget, what does he look like?”
“Well, he’ll be easy to identify because he’ll be the one stabbing at you, but he wears a demonic looking mask and a dark robe. Cliché, but whatever works for him I guess.” Steve replied, dragging his chainsaw to sit on the bed next to him
“Thanks. Good luck staying alive.” Mr.Craddock said tersely, his nerves jumping like a frightened horse. He walked back out the door, closing it behind him and steeling himself for what lay ahead. Grimly, he walked to Alex’s room and looked inside. The small desk off to the right had been overturned in a struggle, and her bed posts had been mostly smashed too. In the far left corner, however, was a gruesome sight. Blood spattered the wall and floor outwards in a great arc, coating the wall with it.There were indeed sheets over what Mr.Craddock assumed was her body, but he shouldn’t have even bothered. The blood had stuck heavily to the sheets, matting the sheets so close to the body that he could see the bloody outline on the sheets. Completely overwhelmed by what he was seeing, Mr.Craddock doubled over, vomiting out a chunky brown liquid with the loud sounds usually accompanied by retching. ”Hmm, when did I have peas?” Mr.Craddock muttered to himself as he spat the last of the bile out of his mouth that had the distinct aftertaste of rotten peas.
Eager to be out of this room, Mr.Craddock hurried out of the living quarters, closing the door behind him so Steve would know if Paul came back. Looking down the dark hallway, Mr.Craddock unconsciously gripped his table leg a little tighter and continued on.
Mr.Craddock paused at the shiny, grey double doors to the cargo hold, listening for any sounds that might tell him if anyone was inside. The hallway that he was standing in was dead quiet, and he couldn’t hear any discernable sounds coming from the cargo hold except for the sounds of his own breathing. Mr.Craddock pushed the left door open slowly, watching for any signs of movement so as not to be caught off guard. Waiting for his eyes to adjust to the dimly lit exterior, Mr.Craddock’s eyes began to play terrible tricks on him. He could swear that he saw shadows that seemed to dance and slip about where none existed. The creepiest thing, however, was that he could see faces writhing out from the shadows, only to be swallowed back into the terrible black void that was the darkness.
And then, just like that, the macabre visions stopped and he could see the large space for what it was; empty space. Relieved that the mirages had gone, Mr.Craddock let out a breath he hadn’t known he’d been holding.
Suddenly, a box on the other side of the room fell off its stack, creating a loud THUD that echoed throughout the large area. Suddenly on full alert, Mr.Craddock brandished his table leg like a mace, ready to swing at whatever moved. Carefully, he moved through the maze of boxes, looking at every nook and cranny.
When he reached the box on the other side of the room unmolested, Mr.Craddock had a shining moment of hope that maybe he was the only one down here.Looking at the box, Mr.Craddock was able to make out a handprint in the dust, stamped at the edges with blood. With a sinking feeling, any hope Mr.Craddock had had about leaving here without conflict vanished. Hearing the slight scuff on shoes on the floor behind him, Mr.Craddock whirled around, bringing his table leg about like a bludgeon. His weapon collided with empty air; however, as everything still looked as it had before. Rubbing his head with his empty hand, Mr.Craddock tried to figure out what was going on.This isn’t making senseMr.Craddock thought to himself, still mentally on alertwas anything even really there?
Looking down, he noticed that another pair of footprints now existed a little ways back from where he was standing.Ok, keep calmhe thought, mentally reassuring himselfare there any other signs of where someone might be?
Scanning the dim interior of the room, nothing looked changed that it had before. The floor was still coated in a thick layer of dust, and no other boxes had fallen. Looking back to where he came in, he noted with shock that a large amount of boxes had fallen, blocking the door and escape.
“Well, well. Look who we have here!” A voice boomed out, seemingly coming from everywhere within the room. “If it isn’t Killer Craddock!” The voice said with a hysterical laugh, sending shivers down Mr.Craddock’s spine.
“What?” Mr.Craddock replied in shock; keep his arms loose in case he needed to swing his weapon. “I’m no killer! If anyone’s the killer, it’s you!”
The voices answer was only that horribly deranged laugh, echoing throughout the room like a horrible cacophony of madness.
“I’m the killer? OH no no no! “The voice rambled, clearly becoming distracted by this questioning. “Don’t you remember?” Suddenly, a figure appeared right behind Mr.Craddock, eyes glinting in pure madness. “Because I do.” It whispered threateningly into his ear. Swinging his weapon to try and hit the maniac, Mr.Craddock gasped out in pain as he felt cold steel go into his knee, making him go down hard. A flash of pain and a curtain of heat to coated his leg, making his movements sluggish. Mr.Craddock’s swing didn’t completely miss him though, as he hit the maniac in the side hard.
Retreating into the shadows, Mr.Craddock lost track of him. But he could tell he was still there, circling around him, waiting for an opportunity to strike the final blow. Mr.Craddock managed to rise to one knee, constantly watching the darkness for his assailant.
This time, the maniac’s voice was punctuated with painful wheezing “Yay! My turn to play again! It was hard watching you only play with the others, but now it’s my turn again! I’m going to win this time!”
“What are you talking about, you babbling freak?” Mr.Craddock yelled fed up with his way of talking “What game are you talking about? And what others? What have you done to them?”
“Well of course you remember, silly!” The maniac replied as if it was common knowledge, his voice gaining intensity with every word. “That game where you chased them! And found them! And cut them open like sheep! “The maniac’s incessant speech paused for a moment, then continued, full of guile.” Oh wait, I forgot you forget! Now we’re forgetful friends! “Again, he laughed, so horribly full of insanity that Mr.Craddock almost forgot what he’d said about some ‘game’.
“What do I forget?” Mr.Craddock said, suddenly paying more attention to what this maniac was saying.
“Oh, I can’t tell you! That’s also what I forgot, was that you said not to tell you that you forget! You’re so much bossier when you’re like that, and so much meaner to poor old Paul.” Paul replied, his voice filled with sadness on the last few words.
“Paul?!”Mr.Craddock gasped, confused by this sudden turn of events.” What happened to you?!”
“You don’t remember that either?” Paul cackled, causing some boxes not too far from Mr.Craddock to fall over. “You took a knife, cut cut and sliced, until Paul’s mind remained no more! Then you let me be free, just so I could see, all the things you did to the others!”
Hearing this, Mr.Craddock felt a cold sensation running through his entire body, making his heart feel like it was in a vacuum, all the hope and happiness being sucked out. Suddenly out of breath, Mr.Craddock’s limbs turned to Jell-O, causing him to sink to the ground in defeat.It’s hopelessMr.Craddock thoughtCould I really be the killer?Seeing his indecision, Paul chose that moment to pounce. He flew through the air, knife drawn, eyes filled with bloodlust. Time itself seemed to slow down, as Paul’s flight slowed in midair, giving Mr.Craddock time to ponder his final thoughts.
Look at himMr.Craddock thought to himself, feeling very hollow insideI probably did that to him. He’s a maniac because of me.A dark, primal voice rose up from deep within Mr.Craddock, echoing throughout his mind, repeating one simple question.Do you want to live?Begrudgingly, Mr.Craddock responded to the voice, hating himself for his answer.Yes, I do want to live.Sounding very pleased, the voice responded in its deep, dark tone.Good. Then you shall live
Time sped up again, and just as Paul was about to deliver the final blow, Mr.Craddock’s hand shot out, catching Paul right in the chest and pushing him through the air, into the heavy walls of the cargo hold. Without thinking, Mr.Craddock rose, and smashed Paul with his table leg in the face, causing a blood spurt to come out of Paul’s nose, painting the top of his clothes a sickly red.Mr.Craddock kept hitting him, over and over again, without remorse.
Finally, when Paul’s face was a bloody mess he stopped swinging. The adrenaline that had been coursing through his body slowly drained out, leaving him standing there, exhausted and horrified at what he’d done. But he wasn’t as horrified as he should have been, because he’d done this before. He remembered now, chasing the others through the ship, cornering Alex, cutting her up, running from Steve, only to capture and torture Paul into insanity so he’d kill Steve and he’d kill Paul later. So, Mr.Craddock did not feel as horrified as he should have been. On the contrary, he felt a guilty pleasure, the knowledge of a dark deed that had been done without anyone knowing.
Taking a final moment to look at Paul’s desiccated corpse, Mr.Craddock felt a grin come to his lips, reluctant at first, but then he fully embraced it, opening himself to the madness he harboured. It washed over him, coloring his thoughts with darkness, dirtying his soul with evil, overwhelming every sensation he’d ever felt until all that was left was madness.
And then he woke up.
Mr.Craddock suddenly burst out of bed, mouth open in a silent scream. Feeling confusion he looked around his surroundings, only to see the familiar carpeted floors and yellow walls of his bedroom. Looking out the window, he saw the tree in his backyard; branches hitting the window, so twisted and gnarled it looked like a person. Taking a moment to calm his heavy breathing, Mr.Craddock tried to figure out what had happened. He’d been on a space station, doing something, and then…
Suddenly, with a flash Mr.Craddock realized it had all been a strange dream. The dream was already fading from his mind, leaving a blank impression in his mind. Shaking off the residual jitters he’d had from his dream, Mr.Craddock settled back down into bed, calming his mind to embrace sleep. Slowly, as Mr.Craddock nodded off and his mind began to slow down, he had one, final thought before his mind was sucked into the void of sleep.
He’d didn’t have a tree in the backyard.