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The Stretcher

Reading Time: 18 minutes

Will was a short boy.

His whole life he had to look up to people, never seeing eye to eye. He was teased throughout elementary school for his short stubby legs that never seemed to grow. As others around him hit puberty his body seemed to forget the process of growing taller. Will’s voice fell, he started to grow facial hair, but his legs never grew.

The doctors told him it was natural. “You’re just a late bloomer,” They would tell him no matter how old he got. Once Will hit high school that excuse grew less and less hopeful. Some doctors told him it was just his genes, some said it might be a rare disease blocking bone growth. Will didn’t care what it was, he just wanted it fixed.

The turning point came in his junior year. The jokes about his height had gotten old in fifth grade, he didn’t pay much attention to those anymore. What he did care about was love. Girls around him were falling for taller guys, even boys at average height. Will found no one willing to deal with his shortness no matter how short the girl.


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He was eating lunch when it happened. “Will, you won’t believe this.” James said through heavy breaths. James was one of Will’s only friends, a heavy boy with an overly positive attitude. They seemed destined for each other: two boys shunned for their bodies. James sat down across from Will, shaking the table with his weight difference. Before Will could open his mouth James was shoving a phone screen in his face. Will sat down his sloppy joe to look at what was so important. He was shown a screenshot of a text message, seemingly a group chat. Will spotted many names he knew: Ava Marsh, Sam Wilkes, Ally Fairchild, and even the most beautiful girl he knew: Jamie Spencer. The girls were discussing boys within the grade, throwing out names of potential relationships and what not. Most of it was boring, but Will spotted his name towards the end of the texts. It was Sam Wilkes that had brought up his name, a girl that he barely knew. All of the girls in the chat said no, but Jamie said something different. “If he was taller I think he’d be cute. You guys are being too mean anyway.”

He couldn’t believe his eyes at first. Jamie Spencer said that, the Jamie Spencer he had known since kindergarten. The girl who became a model in middle school, the girl who won princess every year at homecoming. Will immediately felt something change within him. He had a goal now, something to reach for: a date with Jamie Spencer! He had dreamed about that for years. James beamed a wide smile to him from across the table but Will’s mind was somewhere else. He had to find a way to get taller.

That night he took the solution of everything: The internet. He saw the common answers: eat more vitamins, stretch daily, get more sleep. He had tried all of those things more than he cared to count. He went from page to page looking for any answer, any possible thing he could do. He went to sleep thinking of Jamie that night. He dreamt of her long brown hair, her bright blue eyes. She was the only girl that had considered him, that had seen him as equal. He just had to get taller.

The next day was a blur. Classes didn’t matter, drama didn’t matter. Will even ignored the daily taunts from Jeremy, a talk that usually consisted of being called short or stupid. Jeremy had hung over his life since elementary school and Will was prepared for it to end. He just had to get taller. James was surprised to see him so happy at lunch. “What happened man?” The large boy asked cautiously. His tray (piled high with food, of course) clattered onto the table with a flurry of sound. “Did you even read the text you showed me yesterday?” Will responded. “Jamie freaking Spencer likes me dude!”

James scoffed into his sandwich. “Don’t get ahead of yourself, she said you’d be cute if you were taller.” Will didn’t listen to his words. “I’ve looked at any possible way I can get taller, it’s all the same bull answers. Vitamin this, doctor that. I just want an actual solution.”

“Why don’t you ask Mr. Harem? He’d be the one to ask,” James suggested. Will quickly considered it. He is the top science teacher in the school, I guess it’s worth a try. “I guess I will,” he stated while standing. James looked up from his food with a look of pure confusion. “I didn’t mean right now!”

Will was already halfway across the lunchroom heading towards the science wing. James shook his head as he walked away. He just didn’t understand the craze about girls, how could they be better than a good pizza?

“Mr. Harem?” Silence. The door in front of Will was locked with only a swirling darkness visible within the window. He knocked again, a little harder this time. Will cringed as the knocks echoed down the long empty hallway. The science wing was always considered a creepy part of the school but he had never seen it that way before. He understood in that moment however. Darkness seemed to fester at the end of the halls, any sound seemed to crescendo into a deafening boom. Will could even hear his own heartbeat pumping faster and faster within his chest.

Without a warning the door in front of him swung open. Will yelped loudly, stumbling backwards into the wall. The man standing before him laughed, a genuine chuckle. “Sorry I took so long, I was just finishing lunch. Are you supposed to be down here?”

Mr. Harem’s voice was smooth yet sharp, gentle yet commanding. Will had once heard a rumor that he was a former army commander, but he had also heard he turned into a monster at night. Rumor’s weren’t exactly plausible at his high school. “Sorry for bothering you, I just had a quick question.” The teachers eyebrows perked up in interest. “Let’s hear it, you have me curious now.”

“This is gonna sound super stupid, but is there any possible way to speed up human growth? Or to just get taller, or anything?” The words sounded comical leaving his mouth but Mr. Harem didn’t even crack a smile. It was almost a relief to not get laughed at. “So you’re trying to be taller, eh? Sick of that Jeremy kid picking on you?” Will nodded, surprised at how much he knew. Mr. Harem frowned at him. “I’m afraid to tell you there’s no cure for your little problem. I would just suggest eating more vitamins, all it takes is time.” Will felt anger rise within him. “I’m sorry Mr. Harem, but that vitamin crap is bullshit. There has to be something, anything.”

The teacher stepped back in surprise, his muscled arms wrapped across his chest. Will immediately regretted his words but he had to do something. He had spent his whole life looking up to people, it was time he changed things. “You’re really serious about this, aren’t you?” Harem asked. His voice sounded strained. Will nodded enthusiastically, a smile growing on his face. Harem checked down the dark hall, a look of worry on his young face. “Come with me, I’ll show you something.”


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The boy followed him into the large classroom. The pair navigated past the rows of desks and seats to approach a door in the back of the room. The class was dim with only muffled sunlight guiding the way. The cheesy science posters on the walls seemed to glare at Will, following him with their cold blank eyes. The door they approached led to the supply room, a room any student was forbidden from. The science teachers leave all of their chemicals and supplies within the room for easy access, making it a hazard zone for students. James had once told Will that the science teachers had all made a chemical bomb once in the supply room to fend off against any attacks on the school. You really can’t believe anything at the school.

“Wait here for a second, I’ll be right back.” Harem said. He quickly rushed through the door, slamming it behind him. His mannerisms seemed odd but Will didn’t care. All he could think about was Jamie Spencer. As he stood in the dark he started to imagine how he would reveal himself to Jamie. He saw the crowded lunch room all turning to look at him, surprise on their faces. The girls would all gasp, Jeremy would immediately grow jealous, and even James would stop eating to look at him. Jamie would run up from her seat to him, throwing her arms around him. The room would immediately break out into applause and cheers, overshadowing Jeremy’s crying in the corner. Things would be perfect.

Will was disrupted from his dreams by a sweaty Mr. Harem. He rushed through the door, an obviously fake smile on his face. “Everything’s ready, now all I need is you. You sure you want to do this?” The boy nodded instantly, no ounce of doubt in his mind. He didn’t care that he had never heard of an actual way to grow taller, all he cared about was a chance. Mr. Harem did one final look over the room, and then opened the door behind him. Will was ushered into the warm darkness.

The air was sticky. The boy was immediately hit with a smell of an animal, as if he had walked straight into a barnyard. His footsteps on the concrete floor echoed throughout the room, a room that was only supposed to be a small supply closet. A small pit of fear started to grow in his chest like a mid-summer weed. The lights turned on as Will began to think.

Doubt immediately filled him. The walls were barren and void of shelves piled high with chemicals. The floor was indeed a dirty concrete, and Will spotted many unidentifiable stains throughout the room. The space was quite bare besides a large cage placed towards the back of the room. The large metal box was covered in dents and marks, but he could not see inside. Mr. Harem stood next to Will, his eyes focused on the cage. “Sir, I don’t underst-st-st-and,” Will stuttered. Harem looked terrified but he continued to force a thin smile. His sleek brown hair looked a little bit more unkempt, his cool eyes looked wild. Will contemplated running back to freedom but something held him back. He had lived a life of being looked down upon, of being smaller. Jeremy’s taunts filled his head, Jamie’s sweet laugh filled his ears. He had made up his mind.

“What do I have to do?” Will asked with a cracked voice. The boy felt his stubby legs shaking wildly underneath him. “Just slowly walk forwards and say what you want to change about yourself,” Harem answered. Before Will could ask questions the teacher quickly left the room. The sound of the slamming door woke the boy out of his stupor. Am I really doing this? He pondered. The room seemed to grow darker as Will stood. Light fell from the corners of the room, darkness started to grow. His blood ran cold as he realized the lights really were dimming.

The ceiling lights grew dark one by one until only one remained, a dim bulb in the center of the room. Will could still see, but barely. The cage was only a grey blob in the room, the walls were unseen in the darkness. He decided to do what Harem said.

Step by step he inched forward. Another step was another hurdle, another obstacle in his search for happiness. He moved further into the dim light, closer to the cage. He could hear no sounds from within the cage over his ragged breaths, but he knew something was there.

Will could feel another presence in the room. It was waiting for him, waiting for his command. The boy’s heart was beating out of his chest, his skin had run cold. Sweat ran down his forehead like a flowing river. His legs shook, his hands shook. His mind was a flurry of warnings and broken thoughts all forming a picture of Jamie’s sweet face. Will’s legs stopped him in the middle of the room, only a few feet from the cage. It was time.


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“I want t-o be tal-l-ler,” He stuttered. His voice was nonexistent, an echo of its true self. Everything seemed to stop as the words left his throat. The hum of the remaining light died out in a fading cry. His footsteps had grown faint. His heartbeat even seemed to stop.

The thing in the cage started to groan. It started as a low cry, a sound full of pain and anguish. It crescendoed into something greater, something massive. The sound resonated throughout the room, working its way into Will’s eardrums. The scream was so harsh, so inhuman. Will felt his own pain in that scream. His struggle of trying to fit in, trying to be normal. His nights of crying into his pillow contemplating cutting off his useless legs. The days of being endlessly teased and picked on for years. The idea that he’d never be loved.

The cage door started to open. All he could see within the cage was a swirling darkness hiding the nightmare within. There were no sounds of movement, no flickers within the black. Will stood petrified waiting for anything to happen. The anticipation seemed to slow time itself, making one minute feel like twenty.

The hand was the first thing he saw. It crept out of the darkness slowly, dancing across the cold concrete like a scurrying spider. The fingers were skinny coils of bone and flesh protruding from the grey-skinned wrist. The hand was slender yet human-like, alien yet familiar.

The creature continued to move further into the light. It’s arm was long. Longer than any arm Will had ever seen. In fact, he reckoned the limb was longer than his whole body. His legs forced himself to step backwards, to get as far away from that thing as possible. It’s hands blindly reached out into the light, leaving the rest of it’s vile image to Will’s imagination.

He cried out as the creature screamed once again. The sound was louder this time. All Will could do was imagine the face of the creature that could make such a noise. For only a second he imagined Jeremy himself being the monster in the darkness.

An alarm suddenly blared around him. The familiar sound woke Will out of his fears. It was an announcement bell, the one that plays at the end of the day. His sweat-covered ears heard his principal’s voice fill the room around him, bringing him a sense of comfort within the fear. If he closed his eyes he could’ve imagined himself standing in English class waiting for the final bell.

The creature did not like the noise. It screamed its most intense cry yet and moved into the light. Will only caught a glimmer of it before he was thrown into the wall. One second he saw a mass of elongated limbs barreling towards him, the next he was blinded on the floor. Pain surged through his head down to his fingers. He felt the odd warmth of blood running down his neck down to his collar. He tried to sit up but he was too disoriented to move, too disoriented to move. All he could do was listen to the sound of a massive crash, and then a scream. A human scream.

Will regained his focus after a minute of pain and confusion. His vision came back first to show him a view of the concrete ceiling above. His head throbbed along with his heart, a rhythm that seemed to grow with ease. The boy pushed himself up slowly. His arms trembled beneath him but he managed to stay in a sitting position. The room around him was empty.

Will’s heart fell as he realized what happened. The creature, monster, whatever it was had escaped. The door to the room was a splintered mess of twisted wood and metal. The beast was stronger than anything Will had ever seen.

The sound of destruction and chaos continued to occur from within the classroom. He could hear glass shattering, wood cracking, and the eventual slam of the door being thrown open. The monster was out.


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I have to warn them, Will realized. The end of school was the busiest time of the day, every student was packed together in the halls rushing for the exits. It was a death trap. With a newfound burst of strength he managed to stand up. Dizziness overcame him but he managed to stay on his feet. The boy started to hobble towards the door, or what was left of it.

The classroom was a disaster. All of the desks were crumpled piles of wood piled up in the center of the room. Glass and debris covered the floor, all that remained were the watchful posters on the walls. Mr. Harem was nowhere to be seen. Will limped over the debris towards the one thing that could alert the school. The fire alarm.

With one fluid motion Will grabbed the handle and pulled. There was a second of delay, but the harsh scream of the alarm started to fill the school. For a second over the alarm Will could’ve sworn he heard the cry of the beast. He just hoped it wasn’t too late. He hoped the monster was lost in the empty halls of the science wing, away from the students. He hoped Jamie was OK.

Will rushed to the phone. His trembling fingers dialed the main office of the school as fast as possible. “C’mon, cmon.” Will whispered. “Did you pull the alarm Mr. Harem?” A woman’s voice asked from the other end. “Everyone has to leave the school now, there is something in the halls,” Will yelled into the small plastic phone. The boy was met with laughing on the other end. “Nice try kid, if you pulled that alarm you’re getting suspended for a few days. We’re sending a teacher over right now.” Will felt anger rush through him. “No listen to me, there is some sort of animal in the hall-.” The line was dead. Will angrily slammed the phone down. Why can no one believe anything in this goddamn school?

The first thing Will heard as he entered the hallway were screams. The cries were intense and emotional, full of fear. Will couldn’t help but start to cry himself. Anger and fear overcame his senses, but there was a feeling that was stronger: guilt. This guilt poured through him like a flood. It’s not my fault that thing got out, Will thought. Was it?

He started to run towards the main hall. The main hall was basically a death trap with it being the only place in the school where all the lockers were located. At the end of school it’s basically a sea of people, a sea of potential victims waiting to be found. The monster was heading straight towards them.

The alarms above continued to blare, digging into Will’s ears. As he ran he couldn’t help but notice the damage. The walls were covered with dents and scratches, broken glass covered the floor. Luckily there were no signs of human remains yet, that eased Will’s aching heart a little. As he turned the corner out of the science wing he caught a glimpse of the creature. He could only make out a very long leg rounding a corner. The leg was just as pale and thin as the rest of the creature, but something about it was just off. It was too long, too unnatural. Will’s breath caught in his throat as he realized the monster was now in the lunchroom.

Will ran down that hall faster than he ever did before. As he ran he prayed that everyone had left the school. There was always a group of kids that stayed in the lunchroom after school, he just wished they were smart enough to listen to the alarm.

Will turned the corner to witness pure chaos. The creature was in the middle of the massive lunch room, and it was angry. It was larger than Will could’ve imagined, it was stronger than he could’ve imagined. The thing was at least 10 feet tall but it seemed to stay on all fours. It’s legs and arms seemed to make up most of its height, with its torso being a small skinny stomach. It’s head was that of a human’s. It’s long black hair cascaded down to the floor like a waterfall. It’s eyes were black, it’s nose was small, but it’s mouth was different. It didn’t have a mouth. All that remained was a pale pile of flesh where it’s mouth should’ve been. Will didn’t know how it made the crying sound it had before, but he didn’t have time to ponder. All he had time to do was duck as a lunch table was thrown straight towards his head.

The table exploded behind him. His feet fell from under him and he tumbled forward as another table flew by where he was standing. Wooden shards and a thick layer of dust fell onto Will below. His lungs ached for fresh air, his legs screamed with pain. He willed himself to stand, to get away from the doorway. He heard several other tables and benches being thrown and crushed from within the lunchroom, sounds that made him cringe.

Another thought came to Will’s mind. The main hall was connected to the lunchroom, if that thing got through the entrance it would be all over. All Will had to do was keep it in the lunchroom. He just needed enough time for everyone to get out. Will peeked around the door to see the creature crawling towards the main doors. It’s moves were spider-like yet human, rigid yet oddly fluid.

With all of his might Will ran into the room and yelled, “Taller! I want to be taller!” The beast turned slowly, it’s bulbous black eyes settling on him. Its face was emotionless but Will liked to think it was surprised.


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The creature started to scream once again. The flesh where it’s mouth would’ve been started to expand, growing like a bubble. It reminded Will of the massive bubbles James would make with bubblegum in first hour. The sound was ear piercingly loud, doubled in volume by the echoes within the room. As Will stood in fear he heard another sound, a quieter sound. Someone was crying.

He turned to see a group of kids huddled in a corner. It was the group that went to the lunchroom after school. They sat together, arms wrapped around each other tightly. Will’s breath caught in his throat as he spotted a girl in the group. It was Jamie Spencer. Tears were streaming down her delicate face, her perfect hair was a tangled mess. There was another special person in the shivering huddle: Jeremy. Will reckoned he was crying more than Jamie.

The monster finished its cry with a final gurgle in its extended throat. The boy turned back to see it slowly arching its back like a cat stalking its prey. Its spine cracked and twisted as the creature prepared to pounce. This is what I wanted, right? Will thought. I just wanted to get taller, right?

The creature charged. The giant mass of limbs and hair crawled faster than Will had ever seen an animal run. All he could do was turn around before the creature grabbed his waist. Pain surged through his chest as the monster slowly lifted him. Sharp nails dug into his skin, his bones shifted under its grasp. He could feel warm blood trickling down his stomach into his pants, painting his blue jeans a fresh red. The things eyes seemed to scan across his body, analyzing him. It was like a surgeon analyzing how to tackle an operation. When Will thought the pain was too much he felt gravity take hold.

He fell to the ground with a loud smack. Pain continued to course through him, as did adrenaline. The pain was dulling but Will didn’t know how long it would last. The creature came back down to all fours and loomed over the scared boy. Tears streamed down the boy’s face, tears that were all too familiar. This is what I wanted, Will continued to persist. This is what I wanted, needed. No more being picked on. No more self doubt. No more loneliness.

Will turned his head to see the group of girls once again. Jamie Spencer was looking back this time. Her eyes caught his and a flood of feelings fell through him. The boy smiled.

Jamie Spencer watched in horror as the creature started to work. It’s bony hands wrapped around Will’s leg and pulled. And it pulled. And it pulled.

The boy’s screams filled the room. Jamie looked away but the sounds remained. She could hear bones cracking, skin tearing, muscles ripping. She could hear every ounce of pain Will felt. Please pass out, Jamie wished. Anything to stop the screaming.

The boy whimpered as the beast moved on to his other leg. The screams continued, as did the ripping. It was all Jamie could handle. Everything was too real. Monsters were supposed to be fake, a thing of dreams. This is a dream, it has to be, Jamie wished. Her mind was a flurry of doubt and fear, her body was unresponsive. Will’s cries were scarier than any monster she could’ve imagined.

Jamie slowly looked up to see the beast approaching the science wing hall. It had finished its work. With a final glance it turned back to look at its masterpiece: the tall boy. In fact, the boy was now almost as tall as the creature.

Jamie couldn’t help but look. Just a peak, she told herself. Her tear-filled eyes slowly raised to land on the mess before her. Will was indeed tall. His legs reminded her of when she used to pull play-doh apart. It would stick together and stretch until it snapped and fell apart. Will’s legs never snapped.

His skin was like torn paper. Some sections remained, some were ripped. Blood poured from his legs like a hose. Jamie could spot the muscles underneath the skin aching and writhing in pain. His bones, Jamie guessed, were not connected. The many sections of his legs were only held together by bridges of muscle and skin acting like pieces of tape. Jamie had to look away from the legs, anything but the legs. She felt something snap in her then, some sort of sense that was now gone. It was as if a weight had lifted off her chest, a weight that had been there her whole life. Her eyes darted to his face, a face she assumed would be blank with a lifeless stare. The girl immediately puked as she saw his face. Will was still smiling.

The boy had stopped feeling the pain after his second leg was done. For a second it was mind-numbingly terrible, the next it was gone. What replaced it was a euphoric sense of happiness. He had done it, he had really done it. He was tall.


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Will looked to see Jamie watching him. He couldn’t help but smile. It was exactly as he imagined it. Jeremy crying in the corner, Jamie admiring him. All he needed was James putting down his food, but he doubted even a monster would stop that. He didn’t care about James anymore, he was too fat. Fat as Will was short. He wasn’t short anymore. He had fixed it, he was normal now. That thought made the boy’s smile grow ever wider.

Jamie felt her body take control. A curious sense of, well, curiosity seemed to overcome over her. Will was somehow still alive. Not only alive, but smiling. She felt her legs start to carry her towards the tall boy. Her mind was screaming for her to stop, but she continued anyway. There was something about his smile that was comforting. He was so tall.

“How… how do I look?” Will asked. His voice was surprisingly clear, perfectly void of fear. Jamie looked over him. “You’re so tall,” She answered quietly. Her body continued her closer and closer. “Jamie, let’s get out of here,” Jeremy yelled from behind. Tears rolled down his face as well, his body seemed to be shaking uncontrollably with fear. The whole group stood to leave but Jamie didn’t even flinch.

“I…I saw your text. You said you would like me if I was a little bit…”

“Taller.” Jamie finished. There was a new feeling coming over her. Will beamed a wide smile, blood pouring from his teeth.

Jeremy screamed in horror as Jamie embraced Will. He at first thought Will had dragged her down; at least until he saw the kiss. He felt his stomach retch as the pair shared a bloody embrace. The group all turned to run, their eyes filled with fear. Jeremy stood his ground. He watched as Jamie and Will started to laugh, a laugh that was just as terrifying as that creatures cry. “You’re so tall.” Jamie laughed through her ragged breaths. Jeremy reckoned she was completely crazy. “I’m so tall, so tall, so tall!” Will responded through his chuckles. His eyes were wild, his face was lit up in pure glee. The couple started to repeat themselves like a song stuck on replay.

“You’re so tall, so tall!”

Jeremy started towards the main hall, the words growing fainter behind him.

“I’m so tall!”

Jeremy felt his stomach turn and proceeded to puke.

“You’re so tall!”

Jeremy took his last look at the scene. He could see the outline of Jamie straddling Will, a couple doomed to insanity. She really did lose it after all. And with that Jeremy turned away to live a life of nightmares and paranoia. He would never get those laughs out of head.

The monster was never found. Mr. Harem spent years looking for it but it had just vanished. No sightings, no reports, no paths to follow. The school would never open again, probably due to the multiple suicides of students following that day. It was a tragic mark on the town’s history. Questions were asked but none were answered. No one could describe what the kids saw that day, the kids that were urged to take their own lives.

Will was wrong about one thing however: James would never eat again.


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Credit: Drew White

The post The Stretcher appeared first on Creepypasta.

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