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Messages - BlackDragonSlayer

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1
Story Telling / Re: BlackDragonSlayer's Short Stories
« on: October 18, 2021, 07:51:32 AM »
Halloween Horror Special 2021 part 2
Just Fall Apart

     He awoke with a start, drenched in sweat, from a dream—no, a nightmare. A horrid nightmare. As he jolted up, he made a sharp gasp. Collecting himself, he turned his head to look at his clock and out the window. It was still night. It was nothing; just a false start to the day brought about by a meaningless, albeit briefly startling, dream. He had the leniency of at least a few more hours of rest. For now, all was good.

     Hours later, he woke up to his alarm. Blasted alarm. His back hurt, as it did every morning, before he even sat up to get out of bed. Such was the reality of life and of getting old. But, for at least a few more years now, he still had to get up to go to work. He sat up, reluctantly, and turned. A sharp pop and a brief pain in his left knee as he started to put his feet down on the ground. That would be the new normal from now on, he mused to himself… but this pain felt strange in some way. The type of pain felt different, lingered just a bit longer.

    He disregarded his discomfort as he got ready for work, same as he did every weekday. He crammed himself in his just-slightly-too-small car and began his half hour commute. His vehicle was always a bit uncomfortable—he could afford to upgrade for at least another year or so, something he had told himself last year, not to mention the year before, verbatim—but today it felt particularly constraining, like he was a contortionist trying to fit himself into a box just a little too tight for comfort. He cursed his misfortune, as he did almost every day where he remembered to do so. He had never wanted to end up as a professor teaching psychology at a perfectly mediocre university; he just fell into the role because no other opportunities presented themselves readily. As the years passed he simply accepted his fate. As he got older, riskier job opportunities he might have taken when he was younger no longer seemed appealing. He liked the security his position brought, even if it wasn’t exciting or particularly fulfilling, not to mention the fact that the compensation was much less than what he felt it should’ve been after all his loyal years of teaching. He got good reviews every year. Not the best of the bunch in the grand scheme of things, but high enough to where he was considered a mainstay of his department.

     As he adjusted his left leg in his vehicle, he once more wondered where this sudden, unusual pain came from. He was active enough, sure, and his job wasn't even particularly strenuous, mentally, physically, or otherwise. The most physically demanding part of his job was hoofing it between his office, the university's main lecture hall, back to his office, then whatever classroom the power that be had deigned to assign to him for his next class. Sometimes stairs were even involved. Every year he always taught at least one section of an introductory psychology class, along with a section of an upper division class. This year, he taught Sleep Psychology and the Analysis of Dreams.

    Once he reached campus, he headed straight for his office, but he wasn’t there for long. Not even long enough to rest and take a seat. As he walked across the gentle yet somewhat hilly field that served as the center courtyard of the campus, he suddenly felt a pop in his ankle as he set his foot down on a slope. He stumbled slightly but caught himself before he took a tumble. The pain wasn't just a single pop, but felt like a series of small fireworks rapidly popping one after another in his ankle. He groaned as he clutched his ankle while sitting on the ground and waiting for the pain to subside, which it did before long. However, even as he stood up and attempted to keep walking, his ankle felt weak, like something had come undone that shouldn’t have. He resolved to visit the campus health center before the day ended; but first, he had a lecture to give. He limped his way across campus and up the stairs.

     He usually stood for most of his lectures, only sitting when he was particularly exhausted or when his immediate focus wasn’t needed; today, however, he sat for most of his lecture. Putting too much weight on his leg was painful, and every time he stood, he wobbled hesitantly. The two hours of the lecture dragged on longer than it usually felt. His mind was preoccupied the whole time with the nagging pain radiating up and down his leg at irregular intervals. He let the lecture out 10 minutes early, not just because he finished all his material, but also because he wanted to deal with his pain as soon as possible.

     He went into the campus health center. It was empty today, so he was able to head right back. He was seen by a medical student, a kid who was in one of his classes a number of years back when he was still pre-med. After a brief exam, the student sat down and relayed his findings.

     “Well, I don’t know what to tell you,” the student said, “this is extremely unusual. If you showed any sort of history with this type of thing, I might be able to give you a better idea of what you’re dealing with. On first inspection, I’d say that the joints in your left leg are falling apart in a way that one might expect with Ehlers-Danlos, but you don’t exhibit the symptoms of any of the other types. To be safe, I’d go see a doctor and get some thorough tests done.”

     As soon as he got home, he made an appointment with his doctor. The date was two weeks out, but he figured he would be all right until then, as long as he didn't abuse his leg.

********************

     The next morning, he woke up in pain. Both his legs hurt, and the pain echoed through his back, which was already hurting by itself. As he tried to turn to get out of bed, his whole body ached. He began to set his left foot down on the floor, but simply moving his leg hurt, let alone the pain of touching his foot on the ground. He retracted his foot. Even his right leg felt tender and weak. He lay down flat on the bed once more. If nothing changed by tonight, he thought, he would call in sick to work, get them to find a replacement for a week or so; but he couldn't simply cancel class today. At least, he didn't want to.

     He phoned up one of his friends. He would help him walk and drive over to the university safely. He always had a wheelchair and a set of crutches handy for emergencies.

     His friend arrived, concerned.

     "Are you sure everything's ok?" his friend asked. "You injure yourself or something? Just the other day you seemed fine."

     He tried to brush it away, saying that he had simply not been feeling well lately in an unusual manner, and assured his friend he had already made the necessary arrangements to get checked out as soon as possible. They tried the crutches at first, but even the crutches felt uncomfortable under his arms, like they were digging into his flesh, his muscles, and his joints and tearing away at them every time he leaned his weight on the crutches. Instead, they opted for the wheelchair; regardless of how much of a scene it might make with the students around campus, it was the only viable option they had. And so, he made his way to work. The students would understand.

     As he was wheeling himself around campus, his arms began to make audible popping sounds, each snap accompanied by discomfort. As he was teaching, the noises continued irregularly. He tried his best not to show the pain on his face. His students were clearly already well aware he wasn't in great shape. He couldn't let it affect the quality of his teaching.

     At the end of the day, he made his way back home. As the day had carried on, his left leg felt progressively weaker. As he wheeled up to his front door, the leg felt numb and flimsy. It sort of dangled around, like the muscles had unraveled and the bones had begun to liquefy. Part of him realized that he should do something about it right away, but his stubbornness prevailed. He assured himself he was fine, that he could wait. He was feeling tired and drained anyway. Maybe all he needed was rest, and he’d feel better by morning…

     He carried himself over to his bed, then got in. He groaned as his shoulders hurt and felt weak. He huffed and gasped for breath. He was tired, so strangely tired… sleep washed over him before too long.

********************

    He suddenly awoke in the middle of the night in agony. Pins and needles pain wracked his body from his toes to his shoulders. His left leg especially felt weird, like he felt all the pain from before in his leg, but at the same time he couldn’t really feel the leg itself. With what little strength he had, he tossed his blanket off as his arms quaked and shook at any bit of movement. Dark as it was in the room, he could still see what was underneath from the light outside. His left leg, or rather, what remained of it, looked like a string of pencil shavings with thick goops of flesh and blood clumped on the sheets beneath. He gasped, an attempt at a scream, the most sound he could get out as his chest burned and his lungs seized up. He reached out for his phone in the darkness, and that was all he remembered…

    He woke up in the hospital. A team of doctors and nurses was standing over him. As he opened his eyes and tried to sit up, they all jumped to alert. Much of the pain he felt earlier was gone, although his body still ached all over. He opened his mouth and gasped.

    “Sir, don’t try to talk,” one of the nurses said. “We don’t know what’s going on with you, but we got you stabilized from earlier when you first came in. You managed to call just in time; you probably would have gone into shock if you had waited any longer. We amputated the remnants of your leg. We’re keeping an eye on your body for any further changes.”

    This did not reassure him. But he had no other choice but to remain.

********************

    That night, he dreamed he was at home once more. Everything was normal. He woke up normally, had breakfast like any other day. He started to brush his teeth, but as he did so, something felt off. He spit into the sink, and blood mixed with foam landed in the sink. His teeth felt strangely unsteady. He looked in the mirror, and his gums were bleeding at the edges of his teeth. He reached into his mouth and felt his teeth one by one. They all felt loose, wobbling like they could come out at any moment. His fingers gripped a tooth, and then…

    He jolted up again, gasping. It was still late, definitely before sunrise. The room was cold. He reached for a mirror by the side of his hospital bed, his arm shaking the whole time. He held it up, shaking, and opened his mouth. Everything seemed fine, but just to be safe, he reached his thumb just inside his mouth. The tip of his thumb touched against the bottom of one of his canines. He gently nudged it back and forth as a test, and…

    CRINK.

    The tooth broke off from his gums and fell down into his lap. Gasping, he put the mirror down and reached for the metal tray by the side of the bed. He picked the fallen tooth up and dropped it in the tray with a dull “clink.” He picked up the mirror again. The action had already loosened some of his other teeth. He dare not close his mouth for fear all his teeth would dislodge. A sick curiosity came over him. He reached his hand into his mouth once more.

    CRINK. CLINK. CRINK. CLINK. CRINK. CLINK. CRINK. CLINK.

********************

     The days passed. Sometimes he heard them talking out in the hallway.

     “This isn’t like anything we’ve ever seen before. We don’t know what’s going on, and worst of all, nothing we’ve done has been able to stop it.”

     As his limbs numbed one by one, his other senses began to sharpen. Everything was always too bright. He could hear things from farther away. The pain he felt sharpened even as they increased the dosage of the pain medication they had him on. The feeling of the bed rubbing against his body as he writhed in agony. All the while, he continued to fall apart piece by piece. First his other leg, then bits of his lower torso started to peel off. His right arm was losing feeling by the day, almost a relief as the pain he felt in his arm and shoulder sharpened suddenly. He was in and out of surgery to try and remove the peeled skin before it started to decay. Every day, new doctors came in to suggest or try new treatments. Nothing worked. He was losing hope. Every day felt more and more like a haze. Every day, he felt less and less human, and more like a hazy blob that was simply seeping apart.

     Night after night passed. He had lost his right arm a few days ago. It peeled apart as he was awake to witness it. The skin tore slowly at first, and then ripped apart with force. Everything else that was once inside dripped down sloppily or just plopped downward. His screams alerted the nurses on call. Now, not much of him was left. His insides burned. As he lay there, gasping and fighting for every breath of air, thinking about being brought to this wretched, loathsome state, he felt his insides turning. He groaned gently. It hurt too much to do anything more. He felt twisting and turning, and melting inside of him. It started down below, in his intestines, and slowly worked its way up, through his stomach, lungs, heart, up his throat like burning fumes, and even up in his head. His head felt full, like his skull would burst at any moment. He wailed loudly. His remaining arm throbbed.

     Was this the end? His body pulsed. He tore at his hospital gown, managing to peel it off with strength that he thought had left him. He twisted and turned in the bed as lines formed all along his skin and his insides trembled and gurgled as they expanded and melted.

     The pain!!! He screamed as his skin ripped at the seams, like someone was ripping apart leather with their bare hands. His arm ripped apart and viscous liquid poured from the tears in his body. He lost all feeling in his arm, but it was quickly replaced by a pain that consumed him. It had to be just a dream, yet another horrific nightmare!!! He screamed one last scream before he could make no more noise as his deconstruction completed itself and the last of his remnants peeled themselves apart from each other.

     But he never woke up, for it was not a dream.

STAY TUNED FOR PART 3: THE BLEAKEST CHAMBERS OF THE HEART'S DESIRE

2
Story Telling / Re: BlackDragonSlayer's Short Stories
« on: October 03, 2021, 09:20:36 AM »
Halloween Horror Special 2021 part 1
The Shadow Under the Door

     Hall H. That’s what everyone called it, even though its official name was Baker Hall. Located smack dab in the center of the dorm rows, it was the tallest residence hall on campus. It was ten stories tall, and more importantly, shaped like a giant H. That’s why they called it Hall H, of course. It’s also where I spent most of my second year on campus. Only most of the year and not all because, you see, at the beginning of the year I was assigned to a different dorm, but my whole floor flooded because of a pipe burst and they had to move all of us out into different halls. By the time my turn was up to be assigned a new room, Hall H was the only dorm that had openings. Unlike the other dorms, most of the rooms had single beds—just you, your bed, and your desk—but at a cost. We had to suffer through the horrors of a communal bathroom. Each floor had four, located at each end of the H. Rooms were along the sides. The center of the H was where the stairs and elevators were.

    There were a bunch of silly stories people shared about Hall H. Just like every one of the other dorms. But they were silly stories, y’know? Some of them tried to be a little scary, but they weren’t.

    There were never any stories about Floor 9. My room was right next to one of the communal bathrooms.

    Even though the building was ten stories tall, there were no rooms on the tenth floor; that was where the building’s common room was. Though most of the floor was interior space, there were a few outdoor terraces. Each of them was rimmed by thick iron bars that were close together. I think they greased them up to make them difficult to grab onto, because they always seemed to be slippery. Either that, or it was an attempt to waterproof them. It rained here often enough for that to be the case. You could see through the bars, but they were too high for anyone to climb.

    Being next to the shared bathroom was a bit tough. There was a lot of noise all throughout the night as students elected to go to and from the room at their own pace. There would be a rush at night, and another rush in the morning. Overall, though, it helped to be able to know when the bathroom was busy so I could time my own business and not be left waiting for a stall, a shower, or a sink. I got used to the noise. You sorta expected the noise after some time. I could fall asleep quickly, and I usually didn’t wake up unless something was really loud. But in Hall H, there was always one thing that kept me awake at night.

    I first noticed it the Tuesday after I moved in. I moved in on a Wednesday, so it didn’t happen for almost a full week afterwards. By then it was far too late to move out.

    I suddenly woke up in the middle of the night, for no reason. It was absolutely silent outside. I checked the time. 4:32am. Huh, odd. I went back to sleep.

    That next Tuesday, I once more woke up in the middle of the night. Again, I checked the time. Again, 4:32am. At this point I didn’t notice that it was the same time as the week before. But this time, instead of going back to sleep, I stayed up just a bit longer. For a time, it was silent.

    Then, I heard something out in the hall. It sounded like wet footsteps.

    This was, of course, a normal occurrence when one lives directly adjacent to a communal bathroom. Thinking nothing of it, I quickly went back to sleep.

    The third Tuesday, I once more awoke at 4:32am. This time, however, I took note of the strange, seemingly coincidental circumstance. I simply figured that something—maybe an alarm of one of my immediate neighbors, or maybe some noise outside my window that might have a reason to occur at the exact same day and time every week—had caused me to wake up at this exact time, the same time as the week before.

    I was too busy thinking that I didn’t really notice the wet footsteps until they stopped. The way the room was set up, the bed is against a wall, facing the window. There’s a short hallway that leads to the door. If you want to see the door while you’re on the bed, you have to peek around the corner a bit. And, feeling in a curious mood tonight, I did just that.

    There was a shadow under the door. It was right up against my door. It wasn’t moving.

********************

    Every night, there would inevitably be at least a few hours each night when nobody was in the bathroom. But every Tuesday, I woke up at 4:32am sharp, and the hall was silent. Nobody was in the bathroom, nobody was out walking in the hallway. But before long I heard the wet footsteps making their way across the hall. They stopped right in front of my door. They stayed there for far too long. And then, with a few more wet steps, they left. The shadow disappeared.

    As the weeks drew on, I slept less each night. As I learned to listen for the noises each week, I could hear the footsteps coming from farther off. As I got better at silencing the noises I made, I could hear more of the noises it made. Short, raspy breathing. The subtle creak of the door on its hinges as the thing pressed itself up against my door. One time I was even bold enough to get off my bed and closer to the noise. The shadow left as soon as I touched the floor. I went back to bed straight away.

    Everyone thought I was crazy. Nobody would listen to me, nobody would do anything. Nobody would even try. They wouldn’t send someone to check it out, and they absolutely wouldn’t approve a room change under any circumstance. I was too damn scared to do anything myself but watch as the shadow appeared under my door, stayed for a while, and then departed.

    It could’ve just been a crazy person, I still tried to reason, or someone who was dedicated to messing with me; but they would’ve had some insane dedication to the routine. There was no way it was just a person. No, it was all too horrifically coincidental, especially with what was to come.

    You may be able to guess what came next. It started happening more often. Every Tuesday without fail. Sometimes Friday. Occasionally a Monday. Maybe a Thursday every once in a while. The pace picked up just as finals week started. Next semester. Every Tuesday. Most Fridays. Some Mondays and Thursdays. Now Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays too. No day was off limits. It went fast.

     EVERY. DAY.

     I wanted to die. I was barely sleeping every night. I kept waking myself up several times each night in the middle of the night. Worried that thing would finally break down the door, or maybe just pass through, and do horrific things to me as I slept. I don’t know what I imagined, but nothing good. Some days I just didn’t go to classes so I could get in at least a few hours of sleep during the day. One of my professors graciously allowed me to switch sections to a class later in the day, and that helped. But not much.

     I didn’t know how long I could take this for. In the end, I had to do something, and I knew what. No matter what the outcome, I had to do it to keep myself sane. To end it all one way or the other.

     I started the night by unlocking my door. I settled down into my bed, a quiet, sleepless rest. I was on guard. On watch. I kept a vigil, for no reason really. Perhaps I was worried that I would somehow fall asleep and miss it. I don’t remember when, or for how long, but I drifted off briefly at some point. But what I do know is when I woke up. 4:32am. It happened the same as it always did. The wet footsteps coming from down the hall. They reached my door and stopped. The shadow under the door. It pressed itself against my door. But this time was different. I could hear the door handle jiggle, gripped by a hand that was as wet and slimy as the feet that made the sloshing footsteps. It sounded like it was being opened by something that didn’t know what a door handle was.

     It couldn’t open the door.

     The shadow left. I got up right away and went to the door. I took a deep breath, and weighed in my head whether I wanted to actually do this or not. It wasn’t over yet. It had to end now. I had to reassure myself that I wouldn’t be tormented by this for the rest of my time in the room. That it wouldn’t just keep coming back.

     I reached out and opened the door. I peered out and looked to the right, away from the bathroom and down the hallway.

********************

     After that night, they approved my request to move to a different room. At first, I slept better.

     But really, I shouldn’t have opened that door.

STAY TUNED FOR PART 2: JUST FALL APART

3
Off-Topic / Re: The NSM Ultimate Ranking Topic
« on: September 18, 2021, 11:40:29 PM »
I've updated my Pixar Rankings with Soul and Luca, and also moved Onward and Incredibles 2 around a bit.

4
Gaming / Re: What are you playing right now?
« on: June 17, 2021, 06:02:19 PM »
From the beginning of the game Sue says this

"A first rate lady should be able to play an instrument like this as a sign of good breeding."

On top of the that, the romantic relationship between Justin and Feena.  So odd.

EDIT.  I don't think "Odd" is the right word.  It just feels not right to have two pre-pubesent people engaging in a romantic relationship.


However, if I played Grandia when it came out, I would have loved the romance between Justin and Feena because I could project myself onto Justin.
I don't know a lot about the game or its setting, but that quote is exactly the mentality people have had at points in human history.

5
Off-Topic / Re: The Post Your Thoughts of the Moment Thread 2
« on: June 17, 2021, 05:59:57 PM »
Wow the internet has changed...forums are dead?
until the great forum revival of 2035

6
Gaming / Re: What are you playing right now?
« on: June 11, 2021, 06:23:58 PM »
Grandia I.  For the first time.

Getting odd vibes from it.
Oh? Elaborate? :P

7
Story Telling / Re: BlackDragonSlayer's Short Stories
« on: May 23, 2021, 03:24:52 PM »
Assorted Poetry
Eel

     You know I'm not the best at talking
     We walk together, make small talk
     In the kitchen, quietly sharing dinner
     But just when I'm ready to say something

     You slip away

     Maybe a voice call you take
     Maybe you just smile and wave goodbye
     And leave the room like nothing just happened
     Too quick for any more words

     You're one slippery character

     Like an eel

10
Off-Topic / Re: The Post Your Thoughts of the Moment Thread 2
« on: May 04, 2021, 01:06:12 AM »
Can't believe I remembered my password to get in here.

I'm 28 now and haven't touched a piano in 10+ years, time really does go quickly. The site looks awesome though, keep it up guys.
Good to see you back, even if it's just a quick check-in. :D

11
Forum Games / Re: The CTRL-V Game!
« on: April 23, 2021, 02:18:50 PM »
Research Article Summary

12
Forum Games / Re: "Say something nice about the person above you" game
« on: April 23, 2021, 02:18:03 PM »
You revived this thread just so you could say something nice about someone. <3 That's pretty cool. 8)

13
Off-Topic / Re: The Post Your Thoughts of the Moment Thread 2
« on: April 23, 2021, 02:16:44 PM »
I'm in a similar boat. Started college in 2016. And I wasn't overseas then (but am now), nor a mod.

14
Off-Topic / Re: The Post Your Thoughts of the Moment Thread 2
« on: March 30, 2021, 04:02:09 AM »
Facebook
lol

I used Facebook a lot until I really got into Instagram. Facebook's insistence on continually changing the layout didn't help, nor did the dreaded "family members start adding me." :P Still good for finding/sharing college events though.

15
Off-Topic / Re: The Post Your Thoughts of the Moment Thread 2
« on: March 29, 2021, 01:50:31 AM »
i just don't use the forum very much
That about sums it up, RIP forums

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