It was the middle of summer when the fire sparked in the barn. Could have been caused by anything really, and the fire marshal said it was natural causes, but I don't think so. This fire started quickly late at night, and burned the barn to near ashes before the fire department even got to my property to help douse the flame.
Despite what they told me, I knew better, I kept better care of my property and wiring than that. It must have been middle of the night by the time the firemen got in their trucks and left, letting me know that the police would be by tomorrow to take a statement about what happened. Standing there alone I got to look at this rubble and decided to pick through it, see if there was anything worth salvaging in this soaked, smoldering mess.
I must have spent an hour looking through what once was my barn. The charred bodies of most of my animals were all that seemed recognizable. Giving up the search I started to leave the mess and head back up to my home, though I didn't get far. I heard what I could only describe as scratching, like a blade against stone. Pausing I listened closely, and between the soft cracking of embers and the drips of water I heard the noise again and again.
Looking back through the barn, I followed the noises as they came, pausing only when they did. They led me to a small trap door I had never seen before in my life, I could only figure it was covered up by the previous owner because there was no more use for it. Crouching by the door I listened again and sure enough that scratching noise was coming from inside.
Quickly, I looked for something to help open that door, the remains of a shoeing hammer would do, and got to work opening the door. Surprisingly it opened quickly. Tossing the hammer part aside I peered into the dark hole before me. Nothing, but, those scratches sounded again. Picking up a piece of wood that wasn't horribly soaked, and finding a strong ember I made up a make shift torch to better see as I entered this abandoned cellar.
After hitting the bottom of the cellar, I was immediately hit with a strong smell of metal. Overpowering almost, I had to stop and and blink a few times. Getting my wits about me, I moved forward. Could this have been an old mine? I wish it had been. I would have rather paid the permit fines to have this hole rather than come across what I did.
Ahead of me, in the darkness I saw shapes, hardly recognizable in the light I had. But, as I got closer, I saw. Bodies, four, five. Maybe more. Mangled messes of people littered the floor before me. All of them torn open along their middles and missing what had to be every organ they had.
Blood covered the floor as if all of these were fresh bodies. Scared by what I saw and feeling sick at the sight of it, I rushed back the way I came, slammed the door shut, vomited, and ran back to my house across the field.
I don't know what compelled me to not tell the officer who came over the next day about what I had saw. I don't even know what compelled me to go out after they left and check the barn again. There was just something I needed to see for myself, to try and convince myself that I didn't see what I saw.
When I got back out to the remains of my barn, I hesitated to go further, but I needed to know. Stomping through the rubble, I retraced my steps back to the area that door was. To my surprise however, there was nothing there. Door was gone, hole missing. Could I have imagined the whole thing? Breathed in to much Carbon Dioxide and hallucinated the whole thing. Having a little laugh at my overactive imagination I headed back to my house to start the days work. Had to get back to work rebuilding a barn and getting a hold of replacement animals.
Walking up to my home I notice a slip of paper on the floor by my door. Something the police left? Picking it up I look it over. "I see you," is all it says. I flip it over to see if there is anything else, but no, that's it. "I see you." Figuring it was something the officers left on accident, I crumple up the paper and throw it away. I had better things to do besides worry about some prank the officers were investigating.
Over the next couple of days things went on like they usually did. I did my work, tended my farm, worked on building a new barn, even had time to go out and party with some friends for their birthday. I hadn't even considered what happened in the barn that night. All in all, everything was just how I expected life to be. It had been about a week since the barn burned down, and I was turning in for the night after a long day.
However, something just didn't feel right. I felt, watched. Getting up from my bed I checked my house. I don't know why to be honest, but I felt I had to. After going through each room I returned to my bedroom and went to lay down. Just as I was about to get into bed, I noticed something outside. Two dim red lights just glowing out in my field. Walking over to my window, I peer out into the darkness to try and get a better look, but, after about five minutes, they disappeared. Despite my confusion I knew I needed to sleep, and went back to bed.
This feeling went on for days. Always feeling like I was being watched, like someone was following me around even though I was alone. Every night those dim red lights appeared outside in my fields, and each nightI got less and less sleep. I was basically going about my days on autopilot. Days turned into weeks of this. I even went so far as to go to the doctor and get some medication to help me sleep at the very least. They worked for a few days, but that was it before I was back to being up all night.
It had probably been three weeks since it started, my life had gone to shambles, parts of my field were being ignored. The barn I had started was left half finished. My friends had even noticed that I was turning into a shell of myself. They even offered to help me out come the next day, and being as tired as I was I could only agree to their help.
Trudging into my home, I tiredly kick off my shoes and wander as if mindless into my kitchen. Had I not needed to sit down to eat, I probably would have never seen the deep messy scratches in my table, and I certainly wouldn't have read it. Right there, gouged into the table, were the words 'I hear your heart-beat'. I moved away from that table so fast it toppled over, spilling what I had made all over. I didn't bother to investigate further, I just went up to my room and laid in bed, trying to ignore those dim lights outside my window.
The next day, as promised, my friends showed up bright and early, though I was a mess when I greeted them. I didn't even bother to invite them in, knowing full well I had not cleaned up the mess from the night before. I just grabbed a few things and we set off to get more of the barn done. They were good to me, worked hard to make up for my lack of energy. They even let me sit down and close my eyes for a while. It was the first time in a month I had felt safe enough to close my eyes, let alone sleep, so it was no surprise that when I opened my eyes again it was dark outside.
At first I was confused, then, upset. How could my friends just let me sleep through the day? And how could they forget to wake me up when they left? Getting up from where I sat, I grabbed a flashlight I had brought along just in case we worked into the night and made my way out of the barn.
Since I had heard no sounds of my friends working or talking I had assumed they left for home. But exiting out of the newly put up door I was surprised to see their cars still parked up near my house, however, none of my lights were on. Confused by this, I flashed my light around the fields looking for signs of them.
The only thing I noticed was a person sized part in my unkept fields leading away from the barn and house and off into the woods. I don't know what caused me to follow this, and I wish I never had decided to.
Following the field I eventually came to the treeline that was the edge of my property. Looking down there were marks in the dirt, something obviously went through here. With flashlight in hand I went on, occasionally calling out the names of my friends but getting no response. It wasn't for another ten or so minutes before I got some response to my calls, if only it had been one of them calling back. No. It was that scratching again.
Those long, drawn out scratches against stone. And again, for whatever reason, I decided to follow those noises. It was all I had to go on. And soon came across a familiar sight. Before me, just like that first night, was that old trap door, just out here in the wilds with no rhyme or reason. Against better judgement reached out and opened that door, this time not needing any tools to pry it open.
Flipping open the door and gazing into that all consuming darkness should have caused me to head for the hills. I almost did too, but something caught my ear.
It was the voice of my friend, and he sounded hurt. Without thinking about it I went down into that darkness, calling for my friend and keeping my grip on that flashlight. I felt like I had been walking forward forever, the tunnel just going on and on and the darkness never easing up. It wasn't until I started to think about this darkness that I began to get that feeling again. I was being watched. Something in this darkness was watching me, and I knew it.
About that time I finally reached something. My shoe made a different noise than the sole to rock floor it had been. What was below was wet and goopy, and the smell of metal reached my nose. Pointing my flashlight down I saw it, blood, covering the floor just like before. Steeling my nerves I slowly pointed the flashlight up and ahead of me only to discover a horror. My friends, dead, mangled, and missing all of their organs. There was something else though, a sound unlike before. It was a wet, sloppy, crunching sound just beyond my flashlights glow.
Lifting the flashlight just a bit more the face of my last friend came into view, and something else. Bone, but not his, and it was moving! Stepping forward the beam of light focused on whatever it was brought the thing into view. Hunched over my friends body was a large skeletal thing, and yet, not completely human in shape. On each of its vertebra were long spikes, and those eyes! The red glow I recognized as the lights that plagued me!
I must have made a noise looking on this thing because it slowly looked up at me. In its mouth, for lack of a better word, were the guts of my friend, chewed on and dangling from its teeth.
It turned toward me and stood up to its full height, and it was then I got to finally see the thing in its entirety. It really was just a skeleton, but filling its rib cage was a large, beating heart, and it was covered in the guts it had "eaten" from my friends.
Extending its arms out toward the side of the tunnel it scratched at the rock, its hands no longer hands just large blade-like things capable of all kinds of horrible things. The sound of the scratching was harsh on my ears. The creature stopped his long scratch we looked at each other for a moment. It could have been eternity for all I could tell staring into those red eyes.
Without so much as a warning the thing lunged my way and without so much as a thought my body took off the other way. The only thing I could hear was the beat of my heart, the hitting of bone feet on stone, and that scratching along the walls as we ran. And I ran, ran and never looked back.
I didn't even stop to close the door to that hell tunnel when I finally broke free of it. I just kept going until I get home, and even then I wanted to keep going. I barely got the door locked in my hysteria. All that night I listened to that thing running its bone blades along the wood of my house.
It has been three months since that night. My windows are now boarded up. My doors can't even be used as doors anymore since I have sealed them. My fields are overgrown and any animals I had are probably dead. I get all of my food and other things by delivery and it gets pushed in through a small hatch door in one wall. I dare not leave my house, it'll get me if I do.
I sit here a shell of a person, typing this to you, warning you. Do not go through the door in the ground. Do not follow the sound of scratching on stone. Do not. If you do, it'll come for you too, and it won't stop. I hear it now, outside, running its blades over the wood of my house. It's only a matter of time.