The Thing behind the curtain.

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic


Controlled by the metaphysical strings of an inter-dimensional puppet-master, he is trying to fight the path and destination he is being led on and to.

Submitted: August 13, 2018

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Submitted: August 13, 2018

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I have regained my autonomy, though only for a brief time. I need to convey my story, I need to warn the rest of humanity. I hope I am not too late. It all began a week ago, of that I am certain. It will never let me forget. The day began as normal as any day in my uneventful life. It was only when I fell asleep after a hard day's work that the terror began. Of the dreams I remembered, they were as dull as my waking life, albeit more surreal. That night, however, I dreamt of something completely foreign to me. I wandered down an aisle in an abandoned theatre. The seats were all covered in web. They all suffered from the disintegration of time. It both looked and felt like no human had set foot in the theatre for decades, maybe even centuries. But something began calling me, luring me towards it.

 

I moved against my own volition towards the stage. The grand stage upon many epic plays must have been performed in a bygone age. This did not strike my heart with fear, not yet. I never had a nightmare in my life, or if I had, I never remembered them when I woke up. Thus, I was not frightened by the calling, or its source. I was more excited than anything else. As I got closer to the stage, the stronger the call became. When I was at the foot of the stage, I suddenly began doubting myself. Was this really an epic adventure in the Dreamrealm, or was it something more sinister? I could not decide, as I stated earlier, neither epic adventures nor terrifying nightmares has blessed or plagued my dreams. It did not matter, because whatever it was that called me to it, still had me in its grip.

 

 I was still the marionette to this puppeteer. I ascended the stairs that led up to the stage. I then positioned myself in the centre of the stage, and faced the curtain. Applauds and cheers erupted behind me, and the whole theatre exploded with light. I turned around, but saw nothing. The lights blinded me. I could still hear the applauds and cheers from an audience which I could not see, and which had not been there before. Then as suddenly as it began, it ended. The lights were swallowed by the darkness. The crowd, whatever it consisted of, which emanated the sounds had vanished. Then the call became stronger than ever. I faced the curtain once again, and a sensation came over me. I really wanted to see what was behind the curtain. I walked slowly, like in a trance, towards the curtain, with my right arm stretched out towards it. I felt that nothing else mattered but what was behind the curtain, nothing in the entire world. This was the greatest moment in the history of creation.

 

 Those kinds of thoughts raged through my mind as I walked towards the thing I sought to unveil. As I reached the curtain, I grabbed it with my outstretched hand, and was filled with both bliss and dread. Then I woke up. I was shaking heavily and bathed in my own sweat. I know, how could this relatively dull dream, compared to what many do dream, fill me with despair and lure such a reaction out of me? I did not know back then, but I do now, and you will soon too. Throughout the day I could not banish the dream from my mind. It was always present, and it disturbed my daily affairs to such an extent that I was given a warning from my employer; if I did not get myself together, he had to terminate my employment. The most shocking thing was that I could not care less whether I would lose my job or not.

 

Such an indifferent attitude was foreign to me until that day. I bought a bottle of vodka on my way home. It was something I felt I really needed. When I got home the sofa felt my entire weight fall upon it, like lightning from the heavens. For hours, all I did was drinking vodka straight from the bottle while lazily watching TV. It was a report of some missing person, but nothing interesting enough to make my mind focus on it. My eyes may have been staring at the TV, but my brain was occupied with something else. I obsessed over the dream, analyzing it bit by bit. Why? I could not even begin to comprehend, but something called me from the depths of the Dreamrealm I had visited in my sleep.

 

 After hours of continued drinking I fell asleep on the sofa, the TV still blazing. Once again, I was in the abandoned theatre. I began walking down the aisle toward the stage and the curtain, drawn to it by the call beckoning me to unveil what lurked behind. But something was different. Chillingly different. The unnerving change began eating me from within. I looked around the theatre, trying to pinpoint the change. My eyes found it, or did it find me? I was not sure. On a seat in the front row sat a man, stale like a statue. His entire focused was placed on the stage. While I wandered towards the stage, I tried to talk to the man, but received no response in return. My focus was on the man, while my legs carried me up the stairs onto the stage.

 

 Once again, I placed myself in the centre. I faced the audience of one. When my sight fell upon the man in the seat, I saw something was wrong with his face. He had no eyes. The sockets were still there, but instead they contained a vortex of darkness, sucking the light out of existence itself. It was only after I had stared at the vortexes of darkness that I realized that the man was mumbling something, thought in a very quiet tone. I moved as close as I could while on the stage, but could still not here what the man said. I tried, but failed, to leave the stage and walk down to the man. My body did not allow me to leave the stage.

So, I did the only thing I could do under the circumstances; I began reading the lips of the man.

This is what he said: “Xat^Zoroth”.

 He said it over and over again, still in the same quite tone, never raising his voice. I did not understand what he meant. I had never heard of something called Xat^Zoroth. I was entranced by the abnormality of the man. Terror and tranquility clashed inside me. What dispelled my hypnotic fixation on the man was a sort of growl. An indescribable growl of such an unutterable and cosmic horror beyond human comprehension, which froze the very blood in my veins. Absolute panic began spreading inside me like an aggressive cancer, and tears began flooding my eyes.

 

The source of the growl lied behind the curtain, and all I wanted to do was to escape this hellish theatre and run to the edge of the world in an effort to hide from whatever unleashed such a devilish growl. This, however, I could not do. The hold which the thing behind the curtain had over me was too strong, and it called me to it once again, this time stronger than ever before. My feet began moving towards the curtain on their own, and I was utterly helpless against my own accursed limbs. Once again stood I in front of the curtain, with my right-hand grabbing hold on it, and was about to lift it to unveil the thing behind it. I lifted it slowly, with a heart beating so hard and loud that one might have mistaken it for a bomb.

 

When I lifted the curtain to about the height of my eyes, I awoke once again, shaking and bathing in sweat. The TV was still on. It was something about a missing kid and the discovery of some sort of ritualistic murder, thought, I confess, I had little to no interest in hearing about the misfortune of others as my own was drowning me in the black sea of madness. I dared not move from the sofa, I could not face the rest of the world in this state. Why were these dreams taking its toll on my sanity, why was they so terrible beyond reason? The bottle of vodka lied empty beside me. I needed to leave the apartment. I could not stand being inside it for much longer, I thought to myself while I slowly rose from the sofa. Before I left the apartment, I felt I needed a good shower and a change of clothes. Once that was done I slammed the door behind me as I left the apartment, and rushed out of the building into the streets and the flood of people outside.

 

Where I wanted to go took a couple of minutes to decide, as I stood amidst flood of humans going up and down the street. Where I finally decided to go to was a coffee shop not too far from where I was, and so I went. When I arrived there, I bought a big cup of coffee and sat down around a table next to one of the windows looking out on the busy street. The cup became empty very fast as I poured the coffee into my mouth and drank it in one big swoop.

 

It burned, but that was good. Both the heat and the caffeine was what I needed as I tried to piece my mind together after the shattering of it during the night. I needed to get my act together before I lost everything, sanity and all. It could not continue any longer, and I knew I had to put a stop to it. It was just insane! Why would this have such a devastating effect on me? It made no sense whatsoever, I thought as I stared out on the people walking past the window, blissfully unaware of the abomination that awaited the unlucky ones deep in the dreamrealms. I ordered five more cups of coffee after that, and drank them all as fast as the first one.

 

Once I was done with the coffee, I decided that whatever lurked behind the curtain, the source of everything wrong in my life up to that moment, needed to be confronted and banished from the dreamy depth of my mind. Thus, I left the coffee shop and walked with determined steps towards the bus stop just in time to catch the one I wanted. It took about 10 minutes until I reached my destination; The Great Library of Yahire. I was sure that within this old castle-like building there would be texts that would be of enormous help to me in my battle against whatever lurked behind that infernal curtain.

 Sure, I could have used the internet for my research, but I did not do that for two simple reasons;

 1. I did not want to be in my apartment any longer than was absolutely necessary, and

2.I had a lot of caffeine and adrenaline racing through my veins, thus I wanted an opportunity to use it to a fuller extent than sitting in front of a computer. Though, I admit, I would scour the internet for anything that might be of use to me, but only if I found nothing of value in the library. This whole undertaking bore no fruit, and I gave up on the library after I had searched for many hours through all the books they had on the occult, dreams and so on. It was useless, I mumbled to myself while I was leaning on a bookshelf. The creeping doom that is apathy began crawling on me, seeking to penetrate my brain and infect it. I began to cry and laugh at the same time. It was both comedic and tragic, and it was really nothing I could do about it. True, I could seek out the professional opinion of a psychiatrist, though this did not excite me in the least.

 

On the other hand, I could use the computer and scour the internet in one last attempt, though it would surely be in vain, would it not? There was no point to any of this, I realized as my tears poured down to the ground like rain from the heavens, and the laughter that I emitted brought that quantum of comedy that kept the flame of sanity lit. I wrapped myself in self-pity and cursed all deities and devils that might exist through my laughter and floods of tears. Suddenly darkness began to descend upon me, and before I knew what was going on, I was dragged into the Dreamrealm of the accursed, hellish theatre once again.

This time, however, I did not begin my torment on the opposite side of the stage, but on the stage itself. In the seats on the front row sat the man, as well as a child. The child, just like the man, had vortexes of darkness instead of eyes.

Unlike the man, however, the child spoke loud and clear, no need to read her lips: “BECOME ONE WITH THE LORD!”

That is what she spoke, nay, screamed, over and over again. The sound of her scream made my ears bleed. The despair that filled my heart grew even stronger each time the child repeated her devilish words. I covered my ears with my hands, even though it did not help in the least, and turned away from the horror on the seats and faced the curtain for the third time.

 

As I stared at the curtain, I felt that this would be the last time I was ever having this dream. This time I would get to see what lurked behind the curtain, and all this would be over. I walked faster than I had ever walked before in this theatre towards the curtain. I grabbed the curtain with both of my hands and began lifting it. When the curtain was lifted to a height over my head, I stared into the eternal darkness beyond. With a deep breath I passed under the lifted part of the curtain into the abyss. The curtain fell back behind me, and I was engulfed by the darkness.

 

There was no source of light. I wandered blindly forward with my hands outstretched in front of me. I felt nothing, aye, not even the floor beneath my feet seemed to be there. It was as if I was walking on air. Then a sound emitted from somewhere in the dark, making everything around me tremor and inflicted me with incurable horror. The sound seemed to be a voice, though of a cosmic kind, which seemed to be able to shatter existence itself. I will try the best I can to relate here what it uttered, though it was neither a language known to this world nor spoken by any human.

 

 This is what it said, written here by the best of my abilities: “GHUX'Thraqth^HOZXYQ-Pmthyxhqiang”.

There is no way for any human to successfully replicate the sound, and the so-called words within. It may not seem to be anything horrifying with these words, but I assure you, this cosmic voice of maddening horror would even make Satan himself commit suicide. The only reason why I did not end my existence was of one simple reason; I was not allowed to. The curtain behind me was suddenly drawn, allowing both the man and the child see what happened behind it. The opening of the curtain also allowed light to vanquish the darkness. What I saw I cannot even begin to describe. It was a cosmic abomination whose very presence gave birth to madness and summoned the feeling of utmost horror, which corrupted the heart and mind of anyone who witnessed this thing which both deities and devils feared above everything else. My body became like that of a statue, forcing me to look at the Thing which lurked behind the curtain and possessed complete control over me.

The man and the girl began laughing hysterically behind me in a manner only fit for the personification of insanity itself. Then I lost consciousness. Everything faded to black. The next thing I remember is regaining consciousness a while earlier before I began writing this. The memories began flooding my mind. Memories forgotten, no, memories not truly belonging to me. I was shown all the terrible things I had done. Not only during the time of my “dreamless sleep” so to speak, but before also. It seems I had sleepwalked during my nightmares of the theatre. I had abducted and ritually slaughtered a man and a young girl, the very same ones that were on the news and which attended the theatre in the Dreamrealm, watching me with their vortexes of darkness. I had also, it seems, during my loss of consciousness, sacrificed 7 more during different rituals.

 

 The nature of these rituals was, I learned from the voice deep inside of me, to open a gate linking this world of ours to the Dreamrealm. A gate which Xat^Zoroth (The name of the Thing behind the curtain) could pass through. The creation of this Gate of Dreams is not an easy task. It requires quite many a sacrifice and performance of rituals, too many for one puny human to do alone. Xat^Zoroth had begun reaching out to many other humans throughout the world in their dreams, attaching his strings to their souls. I somehow managed to retake control over my body and mind, though I believe this won't last long. That is why I am writing this, in hope of reaching as many people as I possibly can.

 

I want to warn them, to prepare them for when they are chosen to become one of Xat^Zoroth's puppets. Even though, deep down, I know it to be a lost cause. Who would believe me? They will undoubtedly read this as the ramblings of a madman. My time is about to run out, I can feel the grip of the God of Puppets returning. Whoever might read this, heed this final warning of mine: After your first venture into the theatre in the Dreamrealm, when the influence of Xat^Zoroth is at its weakest, take back control by committing suicide when you wake up so that the Thing which lurks behind the curtain has control over you no more.


© Copyright 2018 JonathanEHova. All rights reserved.

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