cover art by vassalady
Hello? Is anyone out there?
Come on, if you can hear me, fucking answer!
Look, I need help. Please. My name is Dean. Dean Winchester. And I’m stuck… I’m stuck at this freak’s house, and I need help. He’s going to kill me.
Please. Please, please, please. Someone. Anyone.
Shit. He’s coming.
Hello? Hello? Anyone there?
I know ham radios aren’t in anymore or whatever, but there’s gotta be someone who’s picking this up. I can’t just be talking to myself.
If you’re out there answer me. Please.
You don’t know what he’s capable of. Listen, he’s got plans to… He means to…
My kid brother, Sammy, is with me. Kid I say, Sammy’s almost taller than me these days, not sure when that happened. Huge. Still skinny, but.
Please, we need help. Anyone?
Okay. I know, it sounds like a prank. But it’s not. If you’re out there… Please listen.
My brother and I, well, see our dad travels a lot for his job. And I take care of my brother. Sammy and I were headed home from school, and it was stupid, I know, but my bike was busted anyway, so I told Sammy we’d just ditch it at school and cut through the woods. And I’d done it before, not with Sammy, but just on my own, I knew the way.
But Sammy, he’s… He gets scared. And he won’t say it, but he’s got this sixth sense. Sounds stupid, I know, but it’s true. He gets feelings, and while we were in the woods, he got one of them.
Screaming, he said. Or maybe sobbing. And he just booked it.
I ran so hard after him. It was totally out of our way. I didn’t even know the woods went that far, and I don’t know what direction we went in. South, maybe? I don’t know.
Anyway, we came on this house. Big, two story thing, wood, white paint peeling, but there were flowers in the window sills.
I trust my brother. Sammy’s a smart kid. So when he says there’s something here, someone in trouble, what do I do? I tell him to step back and go up to the fucking house.
But Sammy got scared, told me not to. And I did anyway.
There wasn’t anyone around. No one. But Sammy was convinced, and I knew he had to be right.
But there was no one there. Couldn’t see anyone in the windows. Ended up breaking in, thought it’d be fine, it’d be safe.
But then he appeared. And we couldn’t get out.
He’s. He looked normal at first. Just some dude. Offered us fucking cookies and milk. We were breaking into this guy’s house, and he wasn’t stringing us up. What else could we say except yes?
What was that? Sammy?
Please say you haven’t given up. I know it’s been a couple days, but he almost caught me last time. He’s out at the moment, though.
Please, please, whoever’s out there, you have to help us.
Whatever the hell was in those cookies knocked us out good. When we woke up, we were in a room on the second floor. No windows. Just a couple cots. There were… stains. From whoever had been there before. Puke. Shit. Blood, maybe, too.
He lets us out, makes us clean, cook. We get showers if we’re good. Always feeds us, though, to keep us strong, he says. It’s been… god, how long? I don’t even know.
Only discovered this old ham radio a couple weeks ago. Probably didn’t notice I saw it when I brought him his dinner, eating up in this attic instead of the dining room for once.
Good thing. Maybe.
If anyone’s out there at all.
Please. Please. Please, please, please. Help us, please. Please.
I can’t… Please. It hurts. So much. Please. Help.
Please. Please. Please. Please. Please.
Two months. No response. But this piece of shit is working, I know it is.
Maybe you aren’t out there. Maybe it’s just me and Sammy, alone. Just the two of us.
Because no one cares. Dad doesn’t. Didn’t. Left us on our own anyway, weeks at a time. Probably isn’t looking for us. No Amber Alerts for poor Dean and Sammy.
No one. Just us.
If you’re out there, say something! Fucking anything!
We’ve tried to escape, but… the doors, windows, I don’t know why, but they won’t open. They won’t break. We’re stuck. And he’s too fast, too smart, too…
I’m scared. I’m so scared. I try to be strong for Sammy, but I just…
Sammy’s gone. It’s been over a week. Sometimes he separates us, but not for this long, just a few days at most. It’s never been a week.
I can’t find him. He’s nowhere. His cot, it was cleaned and removed sometime when I wasn’t looking, and. And…
I can’t find him. I can’t.
Sammy… Oh, god, Sammy… I’m so sorry…
It’s not to the basement. Wherever he goes, when I know he doesn’t leave the house but is still gone, it’s not to the basement.
It’s through the kitchen. A secret door, underneath the linoleum. Never noticed it before. But that’s where it is.
Next time he’s out, I’m going in. Next time.
Oh god. Oh, god, oh god, oh god.
The walls… covered in bones, bleached and arranged like some goddamn mural. Hair - human hair - as a coat, rows of teeth in necklace after necklace…
Jarred eyes. Jarred hearts. Jarred heads.
So many… So many, at least enough for a dozen or more…
And a book, oh god, the book. Page after page of-
I’m going to be sick.
But Sammy is there. He’s still alive, thank fuck whoever is out there that he’s still alive. I couldn’t get him out, the lock was stuck, but if I can just break it…
I have to do it soon. There’s no telling how long either of us will survive otherwise.
If you’re listening to this, you have to come now! We can’t wait any longer. We can’t wait.
If you’re out there… Thanks for nothing.
Sammy and I can’t figure out how to get out of the house. Not yet. The doors are still all locked, the windows won’t break. But Sam’s got an idea, he’s a smart kid, paid attention in chemistry. Mixing it up right now, gonna blast the door right of its hinges.
We’ve got all the time in the world.
I went back to get Sammy, and he…. the freak found me there. But I’d already gotten Sammy free, he picked up one of those jarred heads, smashed it down on the guy’s head. It shattered, and the smell…
But the weird part? The part that I can still see? The way the guy’s face just started peeling, like he was rotting on fastforward. Skin in patches, just tearing off and-
Think the guy styled himself as some incarnation of Satan. After seeing that… I’d believe it.
Sammy killed him, and neither of us are sorry.
So thanks. Thanks for not doing shit to help us.
Sammy and I, we’re all each other needs. So long as we’re together, we’ll get through.