Faces


I wasn't always crazy. I've been sitting in this locked, padded room for awhile now. They won't allow me a pen or paper, but they know if I don't tell my stories then I will shut down completely and talk to no one. Honestly, I think they use my stories as studies in for their death row freak show. Why am I not on Death Row? Well, I'm probably not old enough and they think I'm insane.

I'm not sure when it all happened. I've always been fascinated with the faces in the wall. I used to point them out to my parents who thought I was a little crazy for seeing faces and body shapes in walls, ceilings, curtains, in fact just about everything. I could see demons in the fire, random faces in plaster, smiling monkeys in rocks...like I said EVERYTHING. My parents took me to the doctor who said it was a phenomenon called pareidolia and was pretty common. They didn't have anything to worry about.

I can tell you now that he was wrong. Very wrong. Sometimes at night I would just stare at the patterns on our stucco wall and just watch until I found one. Usually, it was always the same one and then every once in awhile, I would find new ones. I started to name them. George was the big one with the crooked eyes and Francis was the squinty-eyed one. Pardu was the evil gnome one with a long nose. I would get lost in those faces while staring and expecting them to move or talk. Then one night I screamed the moment one did.

It was Fred. The nightlight was dimmed and the lights were off. Fred always seemed bigger and scarier when it was dark. The moonlight glowed through the window and made Fred look like he was protruding through the ceiling and down at me. Fred came closer and closer until I could feel his hot breath on my forearm. Then it happened! Razor sharp fangs grew from his lipless gums and scratched across my arm as I screamed and pulled away. My mom heard and ran into the room while dragging my dad out of bed. The lights blasted away the darkness and Fred disappeared. I heard her gasp as she turned her head into my dad's arm.

"What is that, Buzz?" my dad walked closer to me, pointing at my arm. "Did a cat or small dog bite you?"

I looked down at my arm and there it was, four puncture wounds in my skin and smaller teeth marks that didn't break the surface. I panted, not being able to catch my breath. There was blood all over my arm and on the sheets. I felt like fainting, but I pointed up at the ceiling. My dad just shook his head, claiming not to see anything unusual.

"There's nothing there, son. Did a tree rat come down and bite you?" He grabbed my arm as my mom handed him a warm rag and wrapped it around my arm. It wasn't bleeding anymore, but stung like hell. They brought me into the bathroom and washed my arm under running water and put antibiotic cream on it. He then wrapped it up in gauze.

My dad gave me some nitetime cold medicine and it stopped the pain and itching. I fell asleep, but dreamt of things biting me all night long. My mom said she came in after hearing me whimper and held me while I slept. She said I was slapping away at nothing in my sleep, but I know better. There were things biting at me. I could see them and feel them in my dreams.

"Wake up, Buzz." My dad shook me in the morning. Get your clothes on. We're going to get you a shot just in case you caught anything." He looked down at my arm in disbelief. There were more scratches and bites on my arms. Now he was really worried. He washed me down with a warm cloth and carried me out to the car. We drove right over to the emergency where they stabbed in right in the ass with a huge needle and told me it was a rabies shot. It hurt like bitch.

Mom drove us to a hotel while dad was screaming at a pest company to come out right away and check out the house. When he slammed down the cell phone, I tapped him on the shoulder. "Dad, it wasn't an animal. It was Fred."

"Who is Fred?" he snapped. "I"m sorry, Buzz. Who is Fred?" He grabbed my hand and squeezed.

"The thing in my ceiling. The face."

"There are no faces in the ceilings. You've got to stop watching those scary movies, Buzz."

I laid down in the back seat and began to drift off and as I did, I noticed the patterns in the leather of my mom's seat in front of me. The dots turned into two slanted eyes and the jagged pattern underneath formed a mouth. It had razor sharp teeth and was smiling at me. I backed away as it stretched out toward my face.

"DAD!" I yelled. He turned around quickly and looked at me. It was still coming closer to my face, but obviously he couldn't see the wall monster. As he grabbed my hand, it slowly went back into the chair. I could now see several of them biting at his arm that was resting on the seat yet there was no blood and he didn't feel anything.

Mom parked in the front of the hotel while dad went inside and rented a room for the night. I watched the faces move up and down the back of mom's seat and one even come really close to her neck. She just sang along with the radio, oblivious to the creatures around her. The one near her neck looked at me and smiled. I could hear its jaws moving and teeth chomping as it bit at her ear and then inside the lower part of her skull. Still, nothing.

I laid back and closed my eyes. At least I couldn't see them when I closed my eyes.

When we got inside I looked at the walls and shook my head no. There were way too many faces in that room. The walls were covered with snapping mouths and moving eyes everywhere. The bedspreads were in a paisley pattern where little faces pushed up from the comforters. "No, dad, they're everywhere. On the walls, on the bed. I can't stay here."

To make me comfortable, Dad order the bedspreads gone and asked for extra plain sheets and blankets. He hung sheets on the walls so I couldn't see the wall patterns. I breathed a sigh of relief. I couldn't see any faces or eyes anywhere.

In the morning I awoke refreshed. I didn't have any bad dreams at all and I slept the whole night. The sheets were still up around the room, but mom and dad weren't anywhere around. Parched, I grabbed a plastic cup and headed to the bathroom to fill it up. As I turned on the light, the faces jumped out at me from everywhere. They were on the shower wall, on the ceiling, and the floor. I screamed and ran back into the room where I huddled in the corner.

Just then someone knocked on the door. "Are you okay? I heard a scream."

I wiped the sweat from my brow and with one shaking hand, opened the door. A girl about my age stood there. She was beautiful, in fact the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. Suddenly I was embarrassed for acting like such a wimp. "Nah, I'm fine."

"What's with all the sheets?" she lifted one from the wall and one of the faces popped out at her.

"Don't do that!" I slapped her hand away.

"Dude! Don't get so weird. I'm going to the pool, wanna come with? Come on!" she motioned for me to follow and I did. These things couldn't possibly be at the pool and in the daylight. We both jumped in and laughed as we splashed one another. Then it happened. There were no faces inside the pool, but all around on the edge of the pool where the cracks and holes were in the concrete there were hundreds of  them. She swam over to the edge and put her hand on the side. One grinned and opened its mouth, ready to bite down on her pretty hand.

"NO!" I screamed, knocking her hand to the side.

"What is wrong with you?" she put her hand back on the edge of the pool. As I stared at it, hoping the face would go away, she stared at her hand, too. She screamed in horror as the fangs of the face drove right into her hand and started gnawing on her fingers. I pulled her hand away and helped her to the shallow end of the pool.

"What the hell was that?" she cradled her bleeding hand.

"I don't know, but we're not going anywhere."

We looked around the pool and I'm sure she could see the same thing I was seeing. The rim of the pool was lit up with faces all grinning and snapping at us. Some would stretch out and get really close, but none of them could touch us. I saw my mom and dad walking up with breakfast. "See the stairs, let's run for it. There aren't that many."

The edge where the stairs were had the least amount.of faces snapping at us. We half swam and half ran to the edge. I crawled out first, feeling fangs scraping on my legs. When she started up the stairs, the biggest one headed right for her ankle. As she grabbed my hand, it bit down on her ankle and held on while I dragged her up to the side. Suddenly, they were upon her everywhere. No matter how hard I pulled, their teeth pulled her back. She screamed as they ate away at her legs.

I just remember screaming and screaming as my dad pulled her from the water. She wasn't breathing and the scratches still happened as he pulled her over the side. He tried CPR, but as the ambulance arrived she was gone. She stared at me with blank eyes.

When we arrived at the police station to tell them what happened, all I could do was tell them exactly what had happened to me and then to the girl. They told my parents that I needed to speak to their psychiatrist and then I was locked up in what was probably an interrogation room. As I waited, the faces in the walls came alive and bit at me with their sharpened fangs. Some could stretch longer than the others, many seemed to pop off the walls and crawl up legs with little arms grabbing onto my clothes, pulling themselves up. They scratched and tore at my skin and shirt as they shredded the fabric. Blood dripped down from my open wounds to the floor, but I just sat there staring at the wall. Nothing could stop them. I even tried squishing one with my foot and when it puffed back open like a blow fish, it scratched me even harder.

I could hear my mom crying when the door opened. "Everything will all right, honey." she said through stifled tears. I knew that she was lying, but I didn't care. Just hearing her voice felt good knowing that I wouldn't hear it again for awhile. The doctors washed me and put bandages on all of the new scratches. They put a blindfold on me until we got to the hospital where the crazy people lived. I was okay with that. The room they put me in was void of any patterns on the walls, furniture, or floor. Even the ceiling was smooth. I curled up into the bed and took a long, much needed nap.

It has been a few months now. Everything is fine. People don't come into my room, but talk to me through a window where I can only see their faces. When mom first came they let her in, but the faces on her shirt started biting me. They tried to tell her that I must have scratched myself, but I think she knew better. I don't dare tell her otherwise for if she believes me then they might scratch her, too. I just can't have that happen.

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