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The Ice Cream Man

by cnkguy
The Ice Cream Man

Ice Cream Man

Little Johnny got a fudge pop laced with razors.

Susan got an orange pop filled with hydrochloric acid.

Billy got Dip N’ Dots dipped in fire ant poison.

97 more to go.

A new park everyday; new deaths every night.

He was careful, always making false leads, always covering his tracks. He was clever, he was quick. He always made sure the poisons varied, so there was never a link to the ice cream. The hydrochloric acid took two days to kick in and the fire ant poison started as flu like symptoms. The razors, well, he just threw those in as a nod to the old classic poison scheme. He liked keeping them close, but not too close.

Anti-freeze lemon pops; those took a while to perfect, but in the end, he got it right. The chocolate bon-bons that turned them into cement from the inside out he had bought from a fellow down off Bourbon Street. They had cost a heavy penny, but it was worth it, as it took his count down to 80.

In Ashland, Oregon, he mixed a variety of snow cone flavors with sap from the Chobani Tree, causing them to dissolve into mulch the minute their little fingers touched warm water. This brought him down to 50. Picturing the mothers scream as their children dissolved before their eyes at bath time made his stomach clench, but he couldn’t stop. Not with 50 left to go.

Klondike bars injected with South Sea Coneshell venom were next. That one was good; it took almost two weeks for the poison to be absorbed, and by that time, it was too late. The newspapers of Bodi, California called it the most deadly virus of the year; he called it numbers 39-49.

A tar like substance called Godtish that he bought from a wicked looking gypsy filled in the two weeks that it took the venom to work. That went into the Spongebob Squarepants pineapple pops. It shrunk them so little, not even the most powerful microscope on earth could see them. Godtish brought him down to 20.

Jakku seeds went into the sprinkles. Almost every one of the children in the small town of Arnold, California asked for sprinkles. Never before had Arnold seen such a string of mass child suicides. But it was only a tragedy to them, as his count went down to nine.

He was in the home stretch now, so he picked his victims carefully. The twins from Lakeshore got two cones of arsenic. The lonely boy in East Palo Alto got a frozen black widow in his grape popsicle. Baby Gretchen got the last of the Chobani sap.

Five more to go.

He was parked outside Stafford Park. He watched carefully as children ran in and out of the water sprinklers. Then he turned on his music. They came to him like flies to honey. Parents smiled appreciatively as they handed him their money, oblivious to whom they were actually smiling at.

The girl in the pink swimsuit got a chocolate ice cream with Jakku sprinkles.

A boy named Nancy bought a Mickey Mouse Pop with rattlesnake venom.

A brother bought him and his sister matching Spongebob pops.

Anticipating the arrival of the last of his victims, a familiar face caught the man off guard.

“Daddy?”

The man smiled sadly, and then handed the boy his ice cream.

1 more to go.

 

CREDIT: Kathleen Stahler

The post The Ice Cream Man appeared first on Creepypasta.

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Creepy Pasta


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The Haunted Garnett House Hotel | The Grave Talks Preview

by cnkguy
The Haunted Garnett House Hotel | The Grave Talks Preview

In the 1870’s, the town of Garnett Kansas was a crossroads of a new world. Settlers, cowboys, criminals and the righteous all passed through this now forgotten town. Some notable characters of the day included Wyatt Erp, Bat Masterson, Wild Bill Hickock, Buffalo Bill Cody, Belle Star, Jesse James and many others have all stayed at what was the Garnett House Hotel.

Screams in the night have been heard on EVP recording was taken at the Haunted Garnett House. One of the most disturbing elements of these screams is that they appear to come from a child. Who this child is, and what this child need remains to be known. However, these screams are far from a one-time occurrence.

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HAUNTED PLACES

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The Oracle

by cnkguy
The Oracle

The Oracle

This is roughly a true story. True in that it was told to me by my father, rough in that his memory had decayed with age, leaving his recollection of the year 1975 a bit scarred. He asked me to write it down a few years back, but I never wanted to. I’m not much of a writer, and in all honesty his story disturbed me deeply. He died last month (though his death is unrelated to this story), but I wouldn’t feel right if I did not honor what he had asked of me. What follows is his story in his own words. Again, I have no real way to determine the veracity of any of it, but I know my father believed it. Whether or not you do is your decision. 

Your great grandfather built the railroad. There was a piece of it that ran behind our house, and if you followed it far enough, you would find The Oracle – if you believed in that sort of thing. No one I knew personally had met him, but everyone’s cousin’s best friend’s boyfriend had their own story to tell. Accounts varied wildly –he was either a man or something much worse, either in a decaying old house or an abandoned train car, or perhaps standing in the middle of the tracks, bathed in a halo of sunlight that shot out from his body like lightning. There was no coherent version of him, which may have been his doing; a way of getting people to search for him if only to figure out the truth.

One afternoon, my good friend and I were walking along the railroad tracks. We both knew the legend, of course, but neither of us were looking to find him. We were in our twenties at the time, home from college for the summer. There wasn’t that much to do in small towns back then, so one afternoon, we decided to see where the old railroad, which had been quiet for years, went. We figured that as long as we stayed close to the tracks, we couldn’t get lost, because they would lead us right back to town.

We had been walking for a while when the horizon bent around in an odd shape that cast unnatural shadows against the afternoon sky. As we approached, the shape in the distance grew into an old wooden table draped in a white lace cloth, unmoving despite the breeze. A man sat facing us. His face was sheathed in the shadows of an strangely deepening evening. It seemed as though the sun went down faster the closer we got, and that if we turned and walked the other way, it would rise again. My friend and I exchanged a glance, remembering the old stories.

The man was tall and thin, with a prominent brow and jawline, both of which were accentuated by deep-set eyes and sunken cheeks. He wore an old man’s suit, crisp and fitted, of the kind that were only dusted off for special occasions. It reminded me of the one my cousin was buried in two years before.

“Sit,” he gestured to the two empty chairs across from him, “please.” His voice was smooth, inviting yet commanding. There was a hidden power beneath its surface. Against my better judgment, I felt compelled to take a seat. I made a mental note that the way home was behind us. He smiled as we joined him and turned to me, “Would you like a consult or a vision?”

I glanced toward my friend, who was seated next to me, to confirm that this was really happening. He looked just as confused as I felt.

The Oracle snapped his fingers, “Don’t look at him. Look at me.”

“Would you like a consult or a vision?” His voice was firmer this time. I knew that I would have to choose.

“A vision,” I told him.

“Excellent!” The Oracle grinned. He cupped my face in his hands, and at his touch, I felt an electric, buzzing energy radiating from his fingertips. He pulled that energy from the air around him and directed it into my body. Though I felt like I was convulsing, I was rigid in my seat, paralyzed by the Oracle’s touch. Then, I felt my eyes roll back as I slipped under.

I awoke in a stairwell, walking downward. My footsteps echoed hollowly, and my lungs were clogged with the thick scent of copper. I walked down several floors, but the stairs continued with no end in sight. Peering over the handrail, I stared down an infinite depth and shuddered at the sudden thought of myself pitching forward, over the railing and into the darkness below. As I walked down, a man walked up past me. The next level down, he passed me again. I recognized him from his suit –it was the Oracle. This went on for several floors. I began to walk faster, but he matched my pace. We continued to pass each other. Eventually, I was sprinting down the stairwell, and he was running up at me, our steps creating a cacophony of clangs on the metal stairs.

I must have traveled dozens of floors down when I turned and began to run up the stairs in an attempt to throw him off my trail. It was like he had planned every move I made. He had built this stage and directed every action; perhaps he even chose my own thoughts. As I ran up, he ran in the opposite direction. It was much more unsettling to see him running down. His menacing figure loomed taller than before. Suddenly, the Oracle launched forward and pinned me against the railing, threatening to push me over the edge. Again, I was paralyzed. He held me tightly, like a paper airplane crushed in the unyielding fist of a toddler. A loud clanging shadowed every movement, even the slightest of breaths; it overwhelmed me –steel-toed shoes drumming on metal stairs, a molten gaze so hot it burned my eyes to meet it, the grim assurance of a metal handrail against my back that the metal ground was far below, the frantic words reverberating off metal walls, the gnashing of metallic teeth, and the wailing of a quicksilver tongue.

“Two days from now,” his words seemed to come from somewhere else, like they had traveled a long way before reaching his mouth. “Two days from now, are you listening?”

I could not move. I could not speak.

“Two days from now –that’s June 27th– will be a very important day.”

“What’s going to happen?” I asked.

“This is just a vision. I can’t tell you. You should have asked for a consult.”

The Oracle tightened his grip and brought his face mere inches from mine. I still could not move. The railing bowed beneath our weight and as if at his command, snapped. I fell headfirst into the darkness. As I fell, the air became thicker, heavier almost, and at some point, I was no longer falling downward but upward. The cold ground became an unattainable sky.

I was suspended in midair. The Oracle was gone. I dared to take a breath, but my lungs filled with water. Beneath me was an infinite darkness; above me hung the sun, a pinprick in the swirling surface of the water. It cast a single spotlight that illuminated me.

Beneath me, the ghostly white figure of the Oracle appeared, his arms outstretched toward my dangling feet. I scrambled for the surface. It was like climbing a mountain. The weight of the water held me in place like a writhing ant under a forceful thumb.

My ascent was slow and agonizing, but I escaped before he could grab me. The moment I broke the surface was accompanied by the blaring of a car horn, so loud it shook the water. I returned to my body, which I had left slumped over the table. I began to cough up water in between each gasping breath.

The sun had almost disappeared entirely in the time I was inside that twisted dream world. How long had we been gone? Surely someone will come looking for us, I told myself. All they would have to do is follow the tracks. A troubling thought occurred to me. Would anyone be able to find us? Was this reality, or just another trick of the mind like the stairwell? Had we left the real world for good?

Leaping up from the table, I went to grab my friend and pull him away when the Oracle pointed at me.
“Sit down!” he commanded. Every muscle in his body tensed, coiled like a cobra poised to strike.

Reluctantly, I sank back into my chair. Satisfied, the Oracle turned to my friend, “Would you like a consult or a vision?”

“Don’t!” I warned.

“It’s not your turn!” The Oracle hissed.

He returned his venomous eyes to my friend and repeated, “Would you like a consult or a vision?”
I shook my head, pleading him not to answer, to just get up and run home, but I think we both knew that would be no use. “A consult,” he said.

“Excellent!”

Just like he had done with me, the Oracle placed his hands on either side of my friend’s face. When he pulled him away, his eyes stared straight ahead as if he were in a trance.

The Oracle stared at him intently for a few moments. I wanted so badly to get up and run, but I couldn’t leave my friend. It was dark now, darker than I had ever seen the night. I could not see the moon or any stars. Part of me worried that I was still asleep and that this was more of my vision. My friend’s mouth moved as if he were speaking, but no sound came out. The Oracle seemed to understand what he was saying. He nodded solemnly and brought his hands to his face once again.

Suddenly, my friend snapped awake and began screaming. He shot up from the table and sprinted away. I followed closely behind him, not looking back. We ran for what felt like hours and did not stop until we reached my house. We raced inside, slammed the door behind us, and locked it. My heart still racing, I peeked out of the window. The train tracks were empty. The Oracle had not followed.

I told my friend what I saw during my turn and then asked him what happened in his.

“It was weird, man. When I went under, I woke up, like… outside of my body. I was like a ghost or something. I could move around, but I wasn’t really there. I couldn’t interact with anything. I tried to touch the table, but my hand went right through.” He was silent for a moment, probably wondering whether or not he wanted to tell me the rest.

“I saw my mother, but I… I don’t think it was my mother, if that makes sense. She looked just like her, but you met my mom. She was a nice lady.”

My friend’s mom had died when he was a child. I couldn’t help but wonder how the Oracle knew. My vision was something that he could have shown anyone, but how did he manage to create an experience that was so specific to my friend?

“She looked like my mom and sounded just like her, though she was translucent, much like me. But the things she said weren’t things my mother would ever say. They were cruel. She told me that she hated me and that she was glad about what was going to happen.”

“What’s going to happen?” I asked.

“She said I’m going to die.” My friend looked terrified.

“Did she say when? Or how?”

“No. I tried to ask, but then the Oracle brought me back.” Again, he was quiet. Then, he leaned closer to me, afraid that someone could be listening in on our conversation, and asked, “Do you think it’s true?”

“No,” I said. “I mean, it can’t be. He was just some freak that messed with our heads. Maybe he drugged us or something.” I wanted to believe what I had said, but I couldn’t shake the dread that still lingered in the pit of my stomach.

I drove my friend home and went to bed. I felt better in the morning, but not totally normal. I was still freaked out. We decided not to tell anyone about what had happened because we knew no one would believe it. It would be better for us to just ride this thing out and get on with our lives.

June 27th finally came. I didn’t leave my house. I was determined to prove the Oracle wrong. This was not going to be a big day; it was going to be as boring as I could make it. That evening, my friend called and asked if I wanted to catch a movie. I said I wasn’t feeling up to it and went to bed early, eager to get the day over with. If nothing happened on June 27th, the Oracle was wrong.

I was relieved when I woke up on June 28th. My life was back to normal again, and I felt like I could finally forget about what happened that day out on the train tracks. But when I went down to get breakfast, my mom was sitting at the kitchen table, waiting for me. She told me that my friend was in a car accident last night. On his way home from the movies, another driver fell asleep at the wheel and drifted into the wrong lane. He swerved to avoid a head-on collision, but his car broke through the guard rail and fell into the lake. He drowned.

A wave of dread passed over me, and I felt like I was going to throw up. The memories of our encounter with the Oracle flooded back to me all at once. Even all these years later, I still think about that summer. I don’t know if the Oracle told use those things because they were going to happen or if he made them happen himself. I still wonder if everything would have turned out the same way if we hadn’t sat down at that table.

 

CREDIT: K. Brown

The post The Oracle appeared first on Creepypasta.

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Someone heard me that night

by cnkguy
Someone heard me that night

aroseamongtheashes submitted:

Hello!

This experience I am going to tell is not terrifying or spooky, but one of the most beautiful things that have happened in my life. 

I was like 19 years old (2010) and I had a friend who suffered lung cancer. She told me the doctors said she wouldn’t live more than three months, and I stayed by her side until the last day of her young life  (she did at the age of 17).

She lived in South America and I am from Spain, so I would keep awake until very late at night or just let the computer on all night to receive her messages, overall when I felt things were getting worse. Unfortunately, the tragic day came and at 4:30 am I received the message from her grandma that she had passed away.

I fell on my knees, it was very, very painful. But, anyway, I felt I was happy, I was (and I am) so affortunate to have had the opportunity to meet someone like her. She was wonderful and marvellous. 

Then, I went to the kitcken where we have a big window. I looked towards the sky and I thanked God: “Thanks for giving me the opportunity to have met a so wonderful person like her. Thank you, God. Thank you.”

At that moment, all the lights of the street went out.

I don’t believe in coincidences.  

I know someone heard me that night.

FYNK James: 1 (for scares) /10: This was really sweet. It sounds like quite an experience and I’m glad you had that friendship.

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SCARY GHOST STORIES

Nightmares


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Watching You | EPP Bonus Episode 208

by cnkguy
Watching You | EPP Bonus Episode 208

A ghost tour gives its guests more than they expected as the paranormal make a very obvious appearance.

Did a ghost child make an appearance at the haunted Farnsworth House Inn?

A ghostly woman shows up at the foot of a man bed late in the night.

Harsh demands seem to come from thin air as one woman tries to understand a supernatural encounter.

If you have a real ghost story or supernatural event to report, please write into our show or call 1-855-853-4802!

If you like the show, please help keep us on the air and support the show by becoming an EPP (Extra Podcast Person). We'll give you a BONUS episode every week as a "Thank You" for your support. Become an EPP here: http://www.ghostpodcast.com/?page_id=118

#ghosts #ghoststories #halloween #horror #paranormal #supernatural #haunting #haunted #demonic #hauntedhouse #cemetery #evp #ghoststory #ghostbusters #unexplained #shadowpeople #investigation #truestory

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HAUNTED PLACES

, Real Ghost Stories


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When Science Found God

by cnkguy
When Science Found God

When Science Found GodReading Time: 19 minutes

I’ve never much cared for religion. I mean, it’s interesting and all; the old parables and philosophic insights from people two millenniums removed from the present. I particularly enjoy the books of the Apocrypha, and the Bible’s magnum opus of Revelation if for nothing else than the interesting stories. Even some of the tenants, like an emphasis on strong family bonds and moral stature I can resonate with, but in terms of a giant omnipresent entity that created everything yet loves us unconditionally watching our every move from unseen planes – yeah, I don’t know about that.

I still don’t ascribe to a singular religious doctrine, but knowing what I know now… well, let’s just say the title of atheist would be a little disingenuous. Staking my flag in that camp would contradict all the principals of which my life has been founded upon. Try as I may, I cannot in good faith deny or refute what I myself witnessed. Calling whatever we discovered ‘god’ may in time prove a bit inaccurate, but there is no denying it; we found something.

Science has at times become this sort of monolithic and infallible institution. One that suffers from the ostracization of fringe concepts that fail to breach the egotistic blockade. It is all too often wielded as a trump card to negate all that doesn’t assimilate to the prevailing narrative. Too often outlandish claims are torn asunder because no metrics exist to properly digest them.

For all the good it has brought, science is not and will not ever be an absolute. Nothing is. Absence of proof, is not proof of absence. And what happened out there, in that lab deep below the streets of Stockholm, now stands as a testament in my life, to all the ventures humanity has yet to embark upon. It serves as an anchor, and if ever I find myself drifting away into the blissful seas of cognitive dissonance, it is there to remind me how small and naïve I truly am.

I graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor’s in physics and an incredible opportunity landed in my lap. One of my professors had put in a good word for me with a lab out of Stockholm. I was contacted and offered an internship. One of dozens to be extended the opportunity. I accepted the offer without a moment’s hesitation.

From there I uprooted my Californian lifestyle to move halfway around the world to the frigid north of Sweden. I was not prepared for the cold. Most of my summers were spent in a bikini, frolicking on the sandy beaches of Santa Monica and lounging in the sun. Sweden might as well have been another planet. Temperatures would plummet to a bone-chilling negative 30 in the winter. Luckily for me though, I had a marvelous host family who helped me acclimate myself and integrate into Valhalla.

I was brought on to the team and slowly began the arduous process of melding into the group. They were all incredibly kind and welcoming, but still the feeling of being woefully outclassed by my colleagues was thick as tar pitch. The project consisted of over fifty men and women, all of them among the best the world had to offer. They hailed from Germany, Japan, Poland, Hong Kong, South Korea and many other sovereign states. It was a melting pot of some of the greatest minds I’d ever met. Seeing them in their element, and marveling at the way their minds hurdled asinine topics to delve straight to the cortex was altogether incredible, and more than a little intimidating.

The expressed goal of the coalition was to study the behaviors of quarks, protons and other particles in the subatomic realm to further decode the complex world of theoretic energy matrices. By extension, the group also allotted resources to develop tools for observing and decoding quantum entanglement and string theory. These principles were still in their infancy at the time, and none of us could have ever imagined the enormous magnitude of the things that were to come.

The lab had its very own particle accelerator, which I myself pretty much obsessed over from day one. Most of the concrete data however, was relayed from the lab in Geneva, home of the large hadron collider. I even got to see the magnificent machine in person on a few occasions.

One thing that has always staggered me, is the amount of incredible achievements capable when pursuit of knowledge guides the way. However, the complete polar opposite is also true, as curiosity without empathy all too often yields crimes against humanity.

As you may already know, the large hadron collider was the first machine capable of synthesizing the particle known as the Higgs-Boson. The machine is a particle accelerator built in a 27-kilometer loop. It uses a state of perpetual vacuum and temperature colder than that of outer space to accelerate particles to 99 percent the speed of light. These particles collide with one another, creating spectacular outbursts of radiation and results which are believed to be similar to that of the big bang on a much smaller scale. It is also through this process that the infamous Higgs-Boson can be synthesized.

Some call it the ‘God Particle’, but many physicists are not fond of the omnipotent moniker. It is in a way suitable though, as it is ubiquitous and can spontaneously manifest or dematerialize through processes which are not yet entirely understood. It is a sort of bridge between matter and antimatter. The entity that binds the ethereal with the corporeal. It is the place between light and dark, hard to define, as once light ends shadow begins and vice versa. The exact moment of intersection is difficult to pinpoint, but there is a definitive moment, and that moment is the Higgs-Boson.

It was once thought that matter could only exist in one place at a time, however the particle slit test of our progenitors proved otherwise. A particle accelerator was used to eject electrons between one of two microscopic slits. They naturally assumed the electrons would pass through either slit A or slit B, and when directly observed their premise was corroborated.

However, when an imprint background was installed to bypass direct observation, they noticed a peculiar detail. The electrons produced what is known as a wave, or interference pattern on the imprint like ripples in a pond. This meant that the electrons were interfering with themselves while simultaneously passing through both and neither of the slits. It was at first thought to be a false-negative and outright impossibility, but thousands of repeated experiments all reached the same conclusion. There was denying it anymore. Matter can exist in more than one place at a time, and reality is altered simply by perceiving it.

The world of particle physics is a strange one, and one which we have only just begun to glimpse the majesty of. At times it may even require us to suspend our own limited human understanding of things, to contemplate things beyond our minds comprehension. It was this idea which was the tabernacle of all the group was trying to achieve. To unravel the mysteries of the subatomic universe, and better understand reality itself.

The group was funded magnificently, and state of the art equipment was provided from lavish donors from all around the world. My contemporaries and I began to study the processes again from square one. This consisted primarily of monitoring the nature of particles and testing the same process over and over ad nauseum. Progress was slow, and many failures were soon under our belts, but you can’t build a house without chopping down a few trees.

It took years to decode part of the formula, but eventually we learned that the behavior of these particles could be predicted under certain pretenses. They could also, to a certain extent, be directed. Programmed to inhabit separate locations at the same time, giving them the perceived ability to exist in two places at once. In reality though, it was more akin to a transfer of locale via microscopic slits in the Higgs-Boson. We realized it was not a matter of travelling to, but instead travelling through. Through the fabric of space itself.

With electrical stimuli and coordinate based geo-synchronization, one could manipulate these particles to transfer locations faster than the blink of an eye. The machine used was primitive compared to later iterations, but it’s true potential was not lost on us for a moment.

Time went on, and the technique was further refined, most readily in the distance particles were able to be transposed. It started as only a few nanometers, but eventually we could transfer particles several feet. It was through this process that blueprints for an entirely new type of machine were first devised. It was to be a machine unlike any before it. Instead of electrical stimuli sent through circuits and wires, it was transferred directly from one location to another. Wireless energy transposed through space. This greatly improved computing capabilities and allowed the machine to act and calculate much quicker than anything ever seen before.

Initial ideals for the machine were skeptical at best, but as time went on the real significance of its potential became apparent. When combined with a suitable processor and digital interface, it soon began decoding encryption and translating mathematic cipher in a fraction of the time of anything seen before it. It didn’t stop there, though.

With a binary converter, it wasn’t long before human physiology itself was soon able to be deciphered and converted into convenient little anagrams and simplistic formulas. This soon gave the machine the ability to replicate human tissue and organs from fetal stem cells. When given raw biomass it could manufacture a duplicate heart or lung. One which was genetically indistinguishable from that of the donor’s DNA.

On one occasion, the machine even managed to regrow the arm of an amputee war veteran. Most of us thought it couldn’t possibly work, that the nerve endings on the man’s arms would be unable to be resuscitated after so long. But after seventeen hours in surgery, when I saw the vet move his new fingers for the first time after transplant and cell resuscitation, I knew we had discovered something special.

Diseases became able to be observed on a molecular level and eradicated before gestation. A virus or bacterial strain could be genetically reprogrammed to attack and destroy itself rather than the host. HPV, AIDS, the black death, the common cold, strep throat, gonorrhea, none of them stood a snowball’s chance in hell against the unrivalled power of the machine.

It could even reprogram human DNA to desired proportions, eliminating extra chromosomes and restoring neural pathways to reverse entropic cognitive illness like Dementia and Parkinson’s. Even pre-birth conditions like cerebral palsy and microcephaly were in the process of being all but eradicated.

It wasn’t just organic material either. The machine could take a block of carbon and alter its isotopes to create carbon-14 and elicit radioactivity. This proved interesting for further power possibilities as the machine demonstrated potential of creating its own fuel source, but there was another more pertinent discovery.

By changing the number of protons or neutrons in the atomic nucleus, the given element’s atomic weight was altered, thereby turning it into another element altogether. The machine held the power to change the very building blocks of the universe itself. It could turn copper into gold, bromine into iodine.

I think it was then that we first realized the scope of what it was that we had created. The applications for the machine seemed endless. It could write books, clone living organisms and alter the very elements beneath our feet. It was the philosopher’s stone, the holy grail and the all-seeing eye in one convenient little package. The Deus ex Machina. The world’s very first quantum computer was born.

One important distinction I would like to make, despite the rumors; the quantum computer was not in fact an AI. It had computing power which was eons beyond that of a normal computer, and the ability to perform almost any task given to it provided the necessary accommodations were implemented. For this reason, it was not allowed to make decisions for itself. Many in the group were justifiably nervous at the prospect of an artificial intelligence somehow gaining sentience and going rampant with the power of quantum manipulation.

We really had no idea where our experimentation would lead us, and so the decision was made early on, to prevent it from thinking on its own and going all Skynet on us. The computer was a beast of burden, happily doing any task given to it, but it was us that held the reins.

That was when the bureaucratic troubles first began. A lot of donors for the project, and even a few of my fellow team members had their own ideas on how to best utilize the machine. Every nation involved wanted it for themselves and had their own vision on how best to implement it’s capabilities.

Several members of the coalition ended up leaving the project or being outright dismissed, promising to return with a battalion of lawyers at their back. One man was even caught attempting to smuggle data from the lab, and detained to await prosecution. The reigning project overseer was also relieved of duty. In his place; Dr. Henryk Lundgren assumed the role of director of operations.

Dr. Lundgren is a dear friend, and a brilliant mind. That’s what makes his fate lie so heavily on my heart. It’s a tragedy what befell him, but I won’t act as though he wasn’t responsible for stoking the flames.

Lundgren managed to settle the group down and unite a divided faction of researchers who all held their own agendas. He made the executive decision to keep the computer in the hands of the international team and continue to study it for continued data analysis and eventual replication. All those who didn’t abide were dismissed or removed physically as the need arose.

Lundgren had toiled for years on development of the machine’s virtual capabilities, and decided it best to invest more heavily into it. It took months of development, but soon, a fully-functional Sims-esque program was up and running. The simulation was modeled to be an exact carbon copy of our own world and held all the coordinating pieces within it. All the people, animals and nations. Augmented control apparatuses were then developed to allow us the ability to view the computer’s creation firsthand.

The simulation it created was so visceral, that none could even perceive that they were in a simulation at all. Test subjects were exposed to their own loved ones within the program and could not distinguish them from their real-life counterparts. I even took it for a spin a few times. I was hooked up to the monitor via a neural cortex interface, and had my mind rendered into the simulation.

I awoke to the sights of sunlight peeking through my blinds, and the sounds of cars outside. Around me on the walls were posters of Harry Potter, JoJo and the X-files among countless others. I recognized immediately where I was. It was my childhood home, an apartment complex in Sacramento. The simulation was so detailed, that even my old raggedy-Ann doll with the missing eye was there.

My parents were both there and acted in accordance to how they would behave in real life. My dad even made new corny jokes in a fashion that suited his personality. It wasn’t a memory though, it was an entirely new scenario, concocted by my mind and the quantum simulation.

My parents are both deceased in the real world and getting to spend time with them again was… indescribable. Even if they were just simulations, the experience was profoundly cathartic for me. I ended up leaving the simulation in tears, overwhelmed by the experience and the ability to speak with my parents once again. It even made dealing with their absence a little easier in the real world. After all, I could now speak to them any time I wanted. I found myself never wanting to leave the matrix.

Dr. Lundgren subsequently questioned me about my experience, and I was all too happy to relay the things I had seen. He listened intently, with simple occasional nods and one-word responses. His grey face wore a smile, and cheeks dimpled in delight, but his eyes were far from the present, and worried.

We held a meeting with all staff members sometime after. Lundgren stood and paced in front of the group, silent and mind swirling in thought. When he did finally speak, he held our undivided attention. He walked through all that our little group had managed to accomplish, and all the things we had learned on our journey. All the miracles unraveled and translated into digital coding, and all the advancements made. It was not a triumphant voice however, it was somber, as if none of it truly mattered. He then first proposed his new theory.

Here we were, with an entire simulated universe at the tips of our fingers. A digital reality created and maintained by a machine we had built. A simulation which was so authentic, that none could tell it apart from reality itself. And if we had the power to create that, how did we know that our own universe was not the result of the same process? How did we know our reality was not in fact a simulation?

An unnerving silence befell the rest of the group as Lundgren concluded his epiphany. All in attendance seemed to silently contemplate the idea, with a noticeably nervous aura now lingering. There wasn’t much said after that, but there didn’t need to be. We had an entirely new goal.

Upon returning for work the following day, I immediately noticed that several of our colleagues had abandoned the project without so much as a ‘goodbye’. Only 7 of us remained, among which was the prestigious Henryk Lundgren. He was changed though, his upbeat optimism and inquisitive attitude reverted to an impatient gibbering wreck of a man. He became hostile to prolonged questioning, and I could see the idea gnaw on his mind as he walked the tightrope between madness and genius. At times he even appeared on the verge of psychosis. He would ramble and talk to himself, and pretty much stopped leaving the laboratory altogether.

We set our sights on a new task; to dismantle and test the hypothesis of Lundgren. To develop an ability to break through the boundaries of our suspected simulation and pier beyond our own reality to glimpse whatever may lie on the other side. Nothing else seemed to matter anymore by that point.

Life may be accidental, consciousness too, hell even complex organisms like human beings the result of genetic evolution and a bit of luck. However, simulation is not accidental. It requires an immense amount of dedication, programming and logistics. Not to mention, power and maintenance.

The ability to synthesize digital worlds is not something learned or accomplished by accident. It takes time, resources and brainpower to even attempt it, and even then, it’s no guarantee. The one concept that was off the table immediately, was that the theorized simulation was the result of natural phenomenon or random cosmic alignment. If Lundgren’s hypothesis was correct, and our universe was indeed a simulation, then someone or something had to be pulling the strings behind the veil.

Powerful as the quantum computer was, even it did not have the ability to glimpse directly into higher dimensions. As stated before, it took commands only from us, and could only perform tasks which we could coherently articulate to it. We realized rather early that directly viewing outside the boundaries of the universe was likely not possible. The only option was to send a message.

Through remedial experimentation and dozens of ponderous sleepless nights, we finally had a breakthrough. Our reality is based on laws. Laws of motion, laws of attraction, laws of physics. These laws cannot be broken accidently, but with quantum technology, they can be manipulated. Many believe that intelligent extra-terrestrials were first alerted to humanity when the atomic bombs fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Ours was essentially the same idea. Demonstrating that we had the capability to toil with the quantum world in hopes of eliciting a response from a higher being. If we could ‘break’ or ‘bend’ one of these laws of reality, then perhaps the orchestrator would be compelled to respond.

One of the earlier discoveries we had made was that of the concept of reverse time. Time is a measurement of something that occurs, and without anything to observe, time is meaningless. The concept only makes sense when in the presence of matter. The two concepts of space and time are coterminous, like light and dark or hot and cold; one does not exist without the other. Where there is space there is time, and where there is time there must be space. The opposite of matter is not nothing, but anti-matter. A true nothingness or void of anything substantial does not exist. It cannot exist based upon the nature of existence itself. Anti-matter is the invisible material which operates unseen and fills all the gaps which matter does not. All of it held together by the Higgs-Boson.

If an opposite of matter exists, then an opposite of time must as well. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and all reactions must remain proportional to force exerted. By utilizing the quantum computer, we had the ability to send protons back in time, sort of. We could make them exist where they once had not before they existed there, by using dark energy matrices and particle superpositioning to make them exist in two places at once.

The discovery had actually been made some time earlier, but never officially tested. It was restricted and marked as unbroachable, as many of our patrons were rightfully concerned by the prospect of unintentionally altering the past. Doing so could create a butterfly effect and wreak havoc upon the present. We were told vehemently that the reverse-time experimentation was forbidden, but now we had a legitimate reason to take interest.

It took some convincing on our end, but eventually we were successful when we promised to unveil the greatest discovery yet. The parameters were set within the computer and the lab was prepped for the operation. A single seed of dianthus caryophyllus was placed in a transparent reinforced container in the center of the room. The specimen was placed on damp resin paper, and several little green tendrils had sprouted from its shell.

The idea was to reverse the symbiotic metabolism of the test subject and cause it to rapidly revert to a zygote state. The seed would be directed to perform it’s life cycle backwards, thereby contradicting the natural forward flow of life and time.

The parameters were finished, and Lundgren stood by the machine. He glanced to each of us individually with a sullen demeanor and nervous twinkle in his eye. He looked to me last and I nodded. Lundgren took a deep breath, adjusted his glasses, and flipped the switch.

Immediately the tendrils within the seed began to retract. They disappeared within the shell soon after, and the seed shrunk until the point in which it was no longer visible. The computer alerted us that the task had been completed, and silence descended upon the crew.

We stayed that way for several seconds until a commotion from the computer drew our attention. An array of flickering lights and sirens began to wail like banshees, indicating an error of some sort. Suddenly, the seed reappeared and began to grow at an impossible rate. A mass of wriggling green tendrils erupted from the shell and pressed firmly against the case within seconds. It swelled within and the chamber violently ruptured a moment later sending shards of glass catapulting throughout the room. I managed to duck away just in time, but others in the group were not so lucky.

One man, Reginald Diabek, was struck with a shard in the neck. The piece cut a gash across his throat, causing a thick crimson to spill forth from his gullet. He collapsed to the ground, as others began to rush to his aid. Before we could reach him, the engorged serpentine appendages of the seed ensnared him, slithering around his neck and abdomen. Diabek gurgled and terror filled his eyes as the green pythonic roots began to constrict him.

I watched, at a loss for words, as Diabek’s wound sealed. His grey hair turned to a dark brown. The wrinkles on his forehead and bags below his eyes dissolved into his skin in a matter of seconds. The blackheads and liver-spots on his cheeks soon followed suit. All of us watched, stupefied as the process continued onward and Diabek appeared to age backwards.

Diabek had to have been nearly sixty years old, but in a matter of moments he appeared as though he was a young man in his early thirties. He then went young adult, then juvenile, then teenager. Diabek screamed in terror as his voice cracked from a gruff, raspy tone to a high-pitched pre-pubescent shriek. His body shrunk in his clothes and his extremities retracted within his coat. By the time we had reached him, he was gone.

We didn’t have time to gawk, as our stupor was interrupted by the computer blaring a warning siren, and a flickering plethora of lights designated an external problem of some sort. The display was a failsafe designed to protect the computer from malicious outside sources. Most of us thought the firewalls of the quantum computer were enough to prevent any attempted breach, but apparently, we were wrong.

One of my colleagues scrambled to the kill switch. He was poised to throw it, when he was halted by a sudden shout from Lundgren. Lundgren stood, eyes wide as dinner plates and mouth agape as he stared at the main monitor of the computer. The warning display had ceased, and only a single screen remained active. Upon it was displayed a single loading bar, with approximately twenty percent of it being filled in. This indicated only one thing, something was being downloaded.

We immediately surmised that it must be a virus or other malware of some sort. A prospect once thought impossible based on the security measures of the computer, and yet the download persevered. All attempts made to restrict the download and halt its progress proved futile.

We exchanged nervous glances with one another, torn on whether to pull the plug and save our creation from hostile insurgence, or allow it to continue to whatever ends. The call was eventually made by the investors outside the room, who had since been notified of the development. They demanded power be cut, and the machine be saved. The computer represented a colossal investment, and the costs to repair or replace it if any damage were to ensue was not something taken lightly.

Begrudgingly, Lundgren followed orders and commanded shutdown protocol. It was done straight away, but the machine did not power down. It continued, impossibly, and without a direct power source sustaining it.

Panic began to erupt from the lab, and power to the entire facility was ordered to be cut from the mainframe. It was done within seconds, and the room fell into darkness. The only light that remained was that of the main monitor as the download reached the halfway mark. The computer groaned and whirred under enormous duress as hundreds of fans shot to life to attempt to cool the leviathan machine.

We stood back, unable to make heads or tails of the development. There was simply no possible way the machine should’ve remained active, and yet it was. It continued to fill up the progress bar, powered by the fuel of some unknown outside source. With no other viable solutions at hand barring physical destruction of the computer itself, we could do nothing but await the culmination.

The download finished several minutes later, and the room fell into pitch black. We deliberated for a moment, before deciding our only recourse was to power up the computer once again. The mysterious file weighed in at an impressive 100,000 terabytes, enough to fill hundreds of normal hard drives, but just another drop in the ocean for the quantum computer. Once full mobility was achieved, a single never before seen prompt filled the screen.

“Unknown file type. Do you wish to execute the file?” All attempts made to bypass the prompt failed. We quickly used a separate program on another screen to trace the file’s origin, but to no avail.

Now, there is no hiding from a quantum computer behind a proxy or VPN. It uses algorithm-based process combined with ping response speed to determine probable origin up to an accuracy of 99.999%. We’re talking response time measured in millionths of a second, but for a quantum computer, it’s like the ABC’s. Sure, it gets it wrong once in every million attempts, point being it always has a guess. This time however, we received a new message.

“Unable to determine file origin.” Lundgren took a step back and pondered the situation and wiped the beads of glistening sweat from his brow. With nothing else at our disposal, he realized there was only one option left. And so, he gave one last command.

“Open it.”

The computer began to render the file, the process taking several minutes to complete. It was entirely in binary code, and eventually translated to a single message. Upon completion, two words in a white font sat silently amidst a black background.

I never thought two simple words could have such lasting effects on my psyche. Those two words that have made me question everything I thought I ever knew. The computer fizzled out moments later and shut down. All of us just kind of left after that.

I returned home, overwhelmed by the events and left with a mystic sense of terror instilled deep in my stomach. The following morning, I was called by one of the investors. He informed me, that someone had broken into the lab late the previous night and sabotaged the operation. The lab was lit ablaze and soon reduced to a smoldering pile of ash, and the quantum computer was damaged beyond repair. Whoever had done it, possessed a security card and seemed to know the exact process required to dismantle the automatic sprinkler system.

Police held a single suspect in custody. A man who appeared as a neurotic mess in the center of a maniacal nervous breakdown. He was tried and convicted some time later and declared clinically insane. He was ordained to a mental health facility in northern Sweden, and it is there that he remains to this day. That man’s name? Henryk Lundgren.

I’ve never been able to properly assess just what it was that happened that day. The event has left me shaken and confused in more ways than I could possibly list. I don’t suppose I’ll ever be whole again, I just can’t be.

I know the truth, the reason for our meager existence. We had reached out far beyond, and something had answered our call. Whether or not it was truly what we would call ‘god’, I can’t say. But I will say, after what I saw happen to Diabek, and what became of Lundgren, I can’t think of a better word for it. I think god is something we never could’ve imagined. It holds us all within the palm of it’s hand, and with a simple flick of the wrist, we would cease to be. There is no love, there is no salvation, there is only that which lies beyond the margins of reality. That which we have no possible hope in understanding.

One thing is also certain; it is watching us, and it does not want us meddling in that which we have no business seeing. We are set amidst an ocean of infinite black seas, and it was not meant for us to travel far. That final message could not have been clearer, and anytime I find myself drifting, I remember those two simple words relayed by the quantum computer in its last moments of life.

“TURN BACK.”

 

CREDIT: Zacharius Frost

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