Black Door Ajar
Difficulty 5/5 Dormant horrors await behind the black door.
Entity Count 1/5 Dread the man of the shadows and its patience.
Chaos Gradient 3/5 It is an intersection between reality and nightmarish imagination.
Basset-Frazier Index 3/5 Cyclical nightmares shared by humanity.

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It lurks the nighttime hours.






Black Door Ajar

What lies behind the black door?






Amidst the Devil's hour, shadows of varying interpretation waltzed around my bedroom. A freezing breeze drifted aimlessly about the winter air. A tall, warm glass of milk once sat undisturbed on a bedside table; now, a circle of condensation replaces it. The warmth of my blankets betrayed the cold of the night. It seemed as though my evening would be ordinary. That is, until the black door creaked open. The black door should never be opened. The previous homeowner, petrified by unspeakable horrors, told me to never open the door.

When she told me of the shadow man I took her for a lunatic: just another paranoid schizophrenic consumed by terrors constructed by the superstitious mind. The creaking of floorboards at this ungodly hour proved my theory otherwise. I left the safety of my moonlit bedroom to investigate. Surely she could not be telling the truth. Alas, across the corridor was the forbidden door — disturbingly left ajar when it was normally shut. Footsteps on the hardwood floor proved the presence of another being within my typically lonely house.

It is in the house with me. I can no longer endure my own footsteps without the dreadful knowledge that said footsteps may also be overlapped with those of another entity — one unlike anything known to man. The shadow man is in my house, and I must make my escape before our paths eventually meet. It seemed as though reality dwindled with each step. By the time I reached the bottom of the stairwell, nothing felt truly real anymore. Now, reality is but a surreal nightmare induced by my newfound awareness of the entity's presence.

I must be quiet. I am afraid it has already found me, however. She said the creature is one with the owner. It is the incarnation of torment and is bonded to the current homeowner. It knows where I am. Like a predator toying with its prey, it only wishes to torture my mind. A haunting chill creeps down my spine at this grim revelation. I do not know how much time I have, but I do know that I will not suffer through the same harrowing nights that my predecessor had endured. I refuse to. I must leave immediately. I will abandon this hell and never return.

And so I creeped ever so slightly towards the front door, half-expecting to be sighted by the fabled shadow man. I was besieged by a cacophony of frightening thoughts. Second only to the thought of being found, I feel as though the thought of "no one will believe you" pesters my shattered mind the most, almost unnaturally so. Now, the thought of the creature influencing my psyche began its meteoric ascent through the rankings of thoughts pervading my exhausted mind. I hesitated to step any further. It knows of my plan. It knows all.

Knowing this, I peered around the corner. My cold, sunken eyes made contact with it. It stood there uncannily, seven-feet-tall and pitch-black. It studied me ominously. I was frozen with fear. Time itself grew horridly dilatory as I glared into its darkness. My heart felt heavy, weighing twice as much as I became conscious of its aperiodic, stifled thumping. Its head was motionless and supernaturally focused on my eyes. Then, in a sudden jerk of movement, it lumbered towards me. A rush of energy overcame me, and I bolted towards the front entrance.

I was now outside. Breathing heavily under the star-studded midnight sky, I paced down the sidewalk. I looked over my shoulder periodically. I did not know the limits of this creature. The darkness veiled its presence. I meandered about until I came upon a rusted playground. There were no small children in my neighborhood. Alone with my racing thoughts, I tripped over the plastic rim of the playground and stumbled into the mulch. I faced upwards toward clear skies. I felt it loom over my sprawled-out body. I jerked backwards as it stepped in.

I anomalously sank into the mulch as if it was quicksand. I became completely enveloped in it. Then, for a minute, there was nothing. I woke up to familiar floorboards lined with dust. I was in the room behind the black door. The dreaded entrance shut and the veil was lifted. The room dissolved into chaos until darkness was all that was left. Now, in the realm of the beast, I had a clear view of its nightmarish collection. Leagues upon leagues of humans frozen still in time and space. Its collection spanned for thousands of miles of futile oblivion.

Said collection encompassed the entire population of human civilization twice over. It is said these souls originate from even the farthest reaches of alternate humanities. Like myself, they were fellow victims of the creature. Everyone stood unnaturally still. Furthermore, not a single word was spoken by any of them. They all just stared blankly. The array of humans were arranged to stare into the inane for all of eternity. Each of them torn from their native universes and rigorously spaced arm's length from each other in this dismal assemblage.

I could not move out of the rigid position I was in. I was unable to willingly speak or move. There was nothing I could do anymore. I was part of it now. Then, the voices began. It was the voices of people who found the black door. I was now able to recollect memories that did not belong to me. A cacophony of shrieking voices vying for attention flooded my thoughts. I could no longer hear my inner monologues. My brain feels like hundreds of people encompassed it. Each of them a tortured consciousness of their own trapped in apathetic nothingness.

The voices spoke of the shadow men — The Collectors. They said the black door itself is a gateway to a murky area of the universe — intertwined between multiple points of reality. Now, out of the expanse of darkness, a shadow man materialized before our fleshy, inferior forms. In an instant, nightmarish terror permeated our collective consciousness. This is the point of intersection; an intermediate realm between us, the room behind the black door, and the creature that now stood before us. It then spoke to us, interrupting the afraid voices:



"No one ever believes. No one. And so the cycle begins anew."




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