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I wake up with a start. Who am I? Where am I? I’m in a bedroom, whose? Right, my bedroom, but who is me? Something is wrong, very, very wrong. Need help, but why? I get up. I feel weird, why? I walk out the door, why, don’t know. Have to run, run fast, run away. It’s after me. It's there, but what’s IT?
“Hello, John, are you there?” I hear. Right, John, that’s my name.
“Yeah, I'm here!” I call back.
“Come over here!” The voice calls. Whose voice? I walk towards the voice. Who is in here with me? Where is here? Ah, right, this is my house. Don’t remember where in the house I am now, though. I’m in the dark. It’s quiet. It smells musty. Feels clogged, like the air is stale, and that, for some reason, is scry, too.
I open the door, and a ray of light hits my eyes, It’s a flashlight. It’s held by the person who was talking, so I meet the owner of the voice. Oh, it’s my friends, whom I invited over.
At the sighting of my friends a flood of memories hits me all at once. My name’s John Kolkenbrew. Yeah, that's a good name, I like that. This is my house. Today’s my birthday! I'm turning 25. I have a brother too, Charles. Oh, poor old Charles... Right, back to my friends.
Hal Gaalson is a hulk with long blond hair. Briggs Williamson is so thin, he looks like a twig. They are both pretty chill, but right now one look at them is enough to see: they know something is wrong, too. Briggs is clutching a flashlight like It's his teddy bear. Hal looks real frazzled, and that is strange, because not many things can frazzle Hal.
“Why am I here?” he asks.
“I invited you both over for my birthday” I answer.
“Yeah, but all the lights were off; why the hell is that?! What happened?!” Briggs screams. He is the most rattled of all of us, but that is not strange, because it’s not hard to rattle Briggs.
“Somebody turned them off,” I offer.
“Somebody ? Who?!” Hal yells.
“You tell me!”
Don’t know how long we would keep arguing, but then we hear something. It sounds like skittering. I can't see where it's coming from. Of course I can't see where it's coming from; the only light here is the flashlight Briggs is holding. I hear the skittering coming closer and closer, it sounds like a human on all fours. We all turn in the direction of the noise, and Briggs shines his flashlight at it..
It is a human on all fours who instantly turns away and starts skittering away from us. I feel like I have seen that person before, but it’s hard to tell when he’s running away on all fours.
“We should turn the lights back on,” Hal says, looking a bit shaken.
“Yes!” me and Briggs say in agreement.
We walk until we hit a wall. Then we start walking staying close to the wall until we find the light switch. Once we see the light switch we run towards it like children running to their mom after a long day at school. I flick the switch. The lights stay off.
“That is not good, very not good” I say.
“Maybe it's something wrong with the circuit breaker?” Hal says, hopefully.
“Let’s try and get to the circuit breaker then,” I say.
“Where is that circuit breaker, John?” Briggs asks.
“I didn't remember where the light switch was! Do you think I can remember where the circuit breaker is?”
“How can you not remember where the circuit breaker is, in your own house?!”
“Well, all our heads are not in the right place today, are they?” I say. And then, hopefully…
“In a basement?”
“Can we get to the basement?” Hal asks.
“We don't even know what floor we are on. We might already be in the basement” I say.
We look around for awhile until we notice a light coming from the other side of the room. We cautiously walk over to the light until we realize that it is a balcony, and the light is moonlight. We run over to the balcony door and walk out to the fresh air. There is table in the center of the balcony with some candles and remains of a nice dinner on it. Once I see the table, a group of images hits me, and I see me and Hal and Briggs eating the food. The next thing I remember is a wave of woozines as me, Hal and Briggs all start to fall out of our chairs. The last thing I saw before blacking out was something standing over me.
I snap back to reality. Hal and Briggs look like they just had that same memory. We all move from the table and run to the other side of the balcony.
“Let's find ourselves some stairs and head down,” I say.
We find the stairs. We go down. It’s dark and weird and our heads are still not in the right place.
There’s a large room at the bottom of the stairs. As we investigate, I hear that same scittering from earlier coming up behind us. Before I could say anything I feel something heavy leap onto my back and pull me to the ground. My friends turned around and Briggs shine the light onto us. I feel the weight lift of my shoulders and turned around to see that same person running away on all fours. I feel a short moment of victory and a first clear thought of the day: that thing doesn't like bright lights. Anyway, it’s gone now.
We start to get a better look at the room we’re in. It’s large, with many shelves and a large speaker system. At closer inspection we see that the shelves are full to the brim with CD’s and vinyl discs. Ranging from Amon Amarth to Taylor Swift. Somehow or other, this music ties us to the regular world, the world that is safe and normal.
“I like this room,” says Hal.
We sit down on the couch to rest for a bit. The moment of silence is suddenly cut of by a piercing scream coming from our left. The scream is cut short as suddenly as it started. Something about that scream feels familiar. It sounded like… a family member?
“Let’s go, we have to help whoever is screaming” I say and start to walk towards the screaming.
“No way!” Briggs says.
“But we have to help! I feel like it’s someone I know!”
“FINE, let's go help, but as soon as things feel fishy, we run,” Briggs concedes.
We start to walk towards where the scream came from. After a short time walking we get to a door. Even before we open the door something feels wrong. Okay, everything feels wrong this morning, but this is worse. This feels like something is sucking life out of me, like I’m about to walk into a prison and lock myself in.
We open the door and walk in. We enter into a reasonably nice looking bedroom. Everything seems to be in perfect order, but we don’t spend much time looking around because here, the feeling of wrongness is just amplified. Finally we see something visibly wrong. There is something written on the wall. The writing looks like it was scrawled on with a knife covered in ink. It reads “KILL IT IT MUST DIE HELP ME HELP ME IT WAS AT TH--” It cuts off and the line of ink trails of down to the floor. We walk back to the door, but then we notice that something else was written after the ink trails. The ink here is a bright red. Just reading it felt like reading some ancient terrifying scripture. It reads “You can try but you can't win, no one can win my game, NO ONE”.
Suddenly I feel nauseous. As I look around the walls have started to run down like they are melting. I want to get up, NO, I HAVE TO GET UP. I hear voices. The voices are coming from the wall. They are laughing at me, so many voices. Hundreds of voices, so many. The laughing is deafening. Just as suddenly as the laughing started, it stopped. Now there’s singing,
“Just keep playing, just keep playing, just keep playing...”
Over and over again. I have to run, NOW. I manage to get up and run to the door. I open it and keep running, as fast as I could.
I stop to look and see if Hal and Briggs are with me. They are.
“Okay, we are leaving now, NOW,” Briggs says.
We start to walk. We open the first door we can see and find ourselves in a different room. It looks like a living quarters for butlers or some other kind of household help. There is a small tv and a few chairs. There is a bed in the corner. It seemed to have a figure in it. We slowly walk towards the figure. When we are about 10 feet away from the bed, I trip and fall down. The noise feels like a bomb going off. We all look towards the figure to see if it would move. It stays still. We all look at each other in surprise as I pick myself of the ground. We walk up to the figure a lot less carefully this time. He was turned away from us, so we roll him over and get a good look at his face.
He is a man of about 35 or so. I thought he looked like my housekeeper, but how can you tell without the eyes?! That’s right. His eyes… they aren't there. They are just white. Nothing. Empty. Gone. We all back up in horror. We run as fast as we could out of the room and run to the staircase.
We run downstairs to the 1st floor. Here, we feel safer, so we stop to catch our breaths.
“What was that thing? Was it a person?” Hal asks.
“He looked like my housekeeper, Nathan, I think” I say.
“Who did that to him?!” asks Briggs trembling a little.
“The same thing that knocked us out at the dinner table and caused those walls to laugh,” Hal says.
I feel that I stepped on something. On closer inspection, I had stepped on a red tie. Suddenly I remembered something. This was my brother’s tie. Right, my brother! Charles was always jealous of how successful I was. I’m good at physics, so I went to MIT. When I finished a new theorem that was suppose to make me famous, he had destroyed all of my work in one night. How? He threw my laptop in the fire, and hid the backup hard drive so well I could never find it. But even though he did that, I knew he was my brother, and if that thing got to him, I have to save him.
“Well, I can't just leave this mansion, I have to save Charles,” I say. “Wait, now that I think about it, he was supposed to be here last night, but i don’t remember seeing him. He could still be somewhere!” I realize.
“He’s right, we have to help his brother,” says Hal.
“SCREW YOUR BROTHER! Do you even remember what he did to you?!”screams Briggs.
“Blood is thicker than water,” says Hal.
“Yeah, whatever. I, unlike you guys, care about living through this. If you have a death wish, then, by all means go try and find whatever did that to your housekeeper!” Briggs yells.
“Maybe, we will do just that, eh? Let's go find this thing! There’s only one of him, and there are three of us. Let’s go, Hal” I say, and start to walk towards the door.
Hal looks conflicted for a bit but decides to follow me. Briggs shuts the door after us. I walk away until I realize that I don't know where I plan to go. I decide to walk towards the fire place, to perhaps get something that we could use as a weapon. As I walk towards to fireplace I feel like somebody's watching me. I know that feeling, and it never means anything good. I run towards the fireplace, but just as I am about to reach the fireplace, I fall to the ground.
Suddenly I feel like I am looking through another set of eyes. It takes me a while to understand what I am looking at. I realize that I am looking at myself from the ceiling. I am curled up in a ball on the floor. Hal Is running over to me. I suddenly notice a voice, it takes me a while to realize that the voice is coming from whatever creature I am in. It’s laughing the same way the walls were in the room upstairs. I also hear it saying “Just keep playing” over and over again. The creature hears something and looks over to its left. I am feeling the creature’s senses, I could hear so much, I could see so much better in the dark. The noise is coming from Briggs running back to us. I am suddenly back in my own body.
I look up to where I knew the creature was. I see nothing. Nothing. No, that’s not right, there has to be something. Then I see the piece of ceiling I was looking at move. No, the ceiling didn't move, something on top of it moved. Then I see the outline of the creature. It was pure black, I couldn't make out the full figure but I could tell that it was wrong. It feels like it shouldn't exist. I hear footsteps and I remember Briggs. Briggs comes into my sight.
“Guys, I feel like somethings wrong” Briggs says, obviously very unsettled by the presence of the creature.
“RUN, NOW!” I scream at Briggs and Hal I start to run. Briggs looks like he is about to ask why but then the creature jumps down and lands right behind him. He turns around and runs in the opposite direction faster than I have ever seen him run. The creature turns around and looks right at us. Though I cannot see its eyes feels like its eyes are digging into mine. I feel like I need to run away as fast as I can.
“GET TOWARDS THE DOOR!” I scream. Me and Hal run towards the door, I also see Briggs turn towards the door. I start to hear the scrape of what sounds like claws running after us. We manage to get to the door before the creature. We slam the door shut and find ourselves in the garage.
Hal holds the door shut while Briggs and I investigate our surroundings. Yes, we are in the garage. There are three cars here, mine, Charles’s, and Hal’s.
“I can’t hold this for much longer, whatever this thing is, it packs a punch.” Hal says, his voice thick with strain.
“Oh no, no, no, no, NO!” Briggs screams.
“What is it?” I call to him.
“The wheels have all been slashed.” Briggs says, distraught.
“Oh god, what can we do noth...” Hal starts before he is cut of by the door being knocked of its hinges flying into him. The creature jumps on top of Hal. Hal manages to surprise the creature and push it off of him. I run up the steps and look for something to use as a weapon. I run up to the workbench. On top of the workbench there is a wrench, I pick it up and throw it at the creature. The creature, though it wasnt looking at me, manages to move out of the way. It turns around to look at me and begins to move towards me. But suddenly something hits it in the side. I turn towards where the object came from and I see that Briggs threw it. The creature jumps towards Briggs but he manages to get out of the way before the creature hits him. The creature slams into the wall behind Briggs. The creature lunges at Briggs and again Briggs manages to move out of the way. Briggs moves to the other side of the car that the creature is near. The creature looks at Briggs from the other side of the car, the creature proceeds to pick up the car and toss it away as if it was nothing. The car slid across the floor with an awful sound.
Briggs looks stunned for a second and snaps back to reality as the creature jumps onto him. The creature and Briggs fly into the wall under my overlook. Briggs collapses to the floor. The creature raises its claws. Suddenly Hal runs up to the creature and hits in the chest with the wrench that I threw at the creature earlier. The creature doubles over but quickly recovers and grabs Hal and slams him to the ground.
“GRAB SOMETHING JOHN!!” Hal screams as he struggles with the creature. I start to franticly look around for something to use. All I can find is a screwdriver. I run over to the edge of the overlook and see Hal losing his fight with the creature. In a flash of courage or idiocy, I jump of the edge of the overlook and land on top of the creature. I shove the screwdriver deep into its head. It emanates a sound like that of a million jet engines all at once. The force of the sound breaks all of the car windows and sends me flying into the wall behind me. I see the creature dissipate into some sort of black dust. Me and Hal look at each other in a mixture of shock and relief.
“We did it,” Hal says simply.
“We did it,” I repeat like an echo..
The reality of what we just did hits both of us at once, and we jump up and hug each other with all of our might.
“WE DID IT!” Hal yells.
After a few seconds of joy we both remember Briggs and run over to him. He is unconscious but looks to be in relatively good shape. We start to drag him back to the house. After we brought him next to the fire place he woke up and we told what had transpired. I left Hal to call the police and take care of Briggs, and went to the second floor. I wanted to find my brother after not finding him in his room, I checked the library. As I was walking to the library, I realized something, I remembered where the Library was, I remembered! When I walked into the library I saw that a book was open, I didn't recognize the book. The book had no titles but it seemed to be a manual on various ancient creatures and monsters. There was a page bookmarked, It was the beginning of a chapter titled, “The Parasite”. As I read I felt a horrible feeling. The entry page read thus. The Parasite is an ethereal being whose main goal is to harvest intelligence. No One knows where it came from. It is a very powerful being that should not be taken lightly, but there is a bit of good news. The Parasite is not very powerful on its own, it needs a host, it usually takes whoever summoned it as its host. The Parasite and the host have a deal. The host gives The Parasite victims, and The Parasite gives to the host power.
I stopped reading. It suddenly all made sense. I couldn't find my brother because he was merged with The Parasite, he was the host. He summoned it to attack me, on my birthday! The butler we found was the first victim of The Parasite. The person I saw scuttling around when I woke up was my brother. The Parasite had been separated from him when he tried to kill me, that's why I had hallucinations from The Parasite’s point of view. And when I killed the Parasite, I killed Charles, too. We’ll never find his body because he dissipated into the black dust, together with the Parasite. I don’t know if I’m happy about killing the Parasite anymore. I also killed Charles.I killed my brother; I did it. ME.