Northglenn

Northglenn, Colorado is a beautiful place.

Or at least, it appears so upon the surface. But this is merely a cover, a slowly crumbling fa├žade stretching seven miles. There are thousands that live within its boundaries, but only one who knows of the truth. Centuries before the town even came into being, she was shunned as a witch. The reality is far worse, but you are not ready to know of it yet. Perhaps you will be in time. All I can tell you now is how to make things better, if it is not already too late.

Go to the outskirts of Northglenn, to its eastern side. You will see a great black boarding house, narrow but extending six stories above you. Knock upon the door, and wait for what appears to be a small girl to let you in. She will appear to be no more than six years of age, but she is almost certainly older than you. Do not talk to her before you have given her your one request: "Lead me to the one you serve, Alice." She will shake and cry, but after much sobbing will do as you request. "Legion ate father, she let him free," she'll tell you.

You will be directed to the sixth floor by her. You will be greeted by the woman at room number 216. She will smile a toothy, shark-like grin. So long as you live, even should all your senses fail you, it will linger on in your mind. When you have been let in, take out a knife. Stab her immediately, taking great care to rip her stomach open. Do not worry about the police or neighbors. Should you succeed, you will find a silver bell with the words "A Sound of the End" engraved upon it. No matter how much you shake it, it will not ring by your hand. Take it and leave the house with Alice immediately. Watch over both for the rest of your days.

And pray that the bell does not ring.

Her

Colorado is a fairly large place. It holds many cities, towns, and counties. Some of them are easily seen, others are quite well hidden. One of the quieter of the "visible" ones is that of Northglenn. Three blocks from one of its middle schools, it is said that there used to live a peculiar old woman.

She was quite malicious, predatory even. Many called her "The Witch", or simply "Her", even the elders of the neighborhood. She was considered the Holder of Dreams by some, the precursor to those foul guardians by others. But I cannot say much about that, only that she was quite unpleasant. She rarely said much of anything, mostly tending to her garden. When she did say anything, it was almost always to her son Matthias. The most you could generally hope for upon approaching her (and you'd have to be quite foolish to do so), was an unnerving glare or another of her seemingly endless complaints. She seemed to be misery personified.

Sometimes the neighborhood children would ride past her house on their bicycles. She would frequently throw pebbles, sticks, even hot coals at them. She claimed the sidewalk was her territory, and none were allowed to pass. Frightful as this was, this did not deter people from attempting to enter her domain. For some ungodly reason, people felt compelled to do so. Many said their minds seemed to wander into the depths of her house in their sleep, festering in the putrid, boiling pit she called her cellar. Those who did not know her were free of this fate, or so the towns people claimed.

They say that the cellar held all of the trauma of childhood. Every scrape, every taunt, every terror faced would overwhelm you once more. Your only respite were the rotting, cedar-steps leading up to the entrance. And you would feel the sweaty hands of all manner of nameless specters, those terrible things you swore lived beneath your bed, accosting you once more as you made your way out. And if you slipped, what awaited you was far worse.

But the entrance was not the end of it all. For if you opened the door, you would enter the rest of the house. It was always the same as your own, save for a vague but undeniable darkness that seemed to saturate everything. You could gaze upon the windows, but doing so would not yield any sights saved for the now gaunt and unspeakably cruel visage of that hag.

Eventually, after much wandering the walls would turn a bright and blinding red. The hallways would then collapse, enveloping you in a vast and unending abyss. You could at that point hear her chanting the words "THEY CAN NOT BE SAVED" and laughing. It was always a dry and gravely cackle, far worse than anything you might have heard before or since. And then you would wake up.

It was not the dream's sights and sounds that made it truly disturbing, though those were quite unsettling on their own. Nor was it that it repeated itself, often at the most unexpected of times. What truly made it unbearable was the familiarity, the utter plausibility of it all. It was not surreal or fog-like like so many other nightmares, but rather as incomprehensible and awful as the worst of your life's moments.

Not too long ago, I heard that the Witch had passed away. Matthias moved somewhere out west to the desert, to tend to some ghastly and alien-looking seeds of his. He said that he would be back in due time with his crops when he left, or so his neighbors claimed. Soon after a young couple moved into the house, which at that point looked remarkably restored despite its prior decrepitness. Though the Witch was gone, the townspeople claimed her presence remained. The dreams did not cease. And from time to time, the townspeople claimed to see a pale young woman tending her garden.

I know this not because I have heard of this, but because I lived next to her. I have had the dream consume me. I have tried to exorcise it from myself. But none have been so lucky as to purge it from me. And there are still others I know who continue to be haunted by it. But over time, I have come to accept it, and warn others of similar dangers. For you see, every town bears its own monstrous secret. Sometimes it is human, others something else entirely. But it is always present. You just need to know where to look.

Matthias

I could see them coming each day. In automobiles, bicycles, other abominations. The horse was surely abominable enough. Why couldn't your kind have stuck to walking upon your awkward legs, guarding over the smoldering pits you called "home"? Sorry, I digress. I find that often happens now in my age.

As I was saying, I saw them every day. The children were always present, in the flesh and in the Dream. They were oh so many colors. White, brown, red, yellow. It was quite beautiful really for a while. I tired of seeing the gray flesh of my kind. Oh bother, I'm rambling again, aren't I?

Very well. The Children would moan and cry. They would simper about like the ignorant hairless apes they were, desperately trying to escape. It did no use though. How could they possible escape, when their mind could only conceive of one exit? That very door which we had so craftily sealed off from your kind, which "Legion" poured forth from all too many years ago? It would be pitiful, if I still felt such useless emotions.

It is fortunate that they did not know of what lay within our doors. The tools from which so many wondrous things were made. The cards, which show that which will surely come. Even the globe, which showed the shame of "your" world for what it was. All would have been squandered, of course, but if a few of the cleverer among you had seen them I shudder to think what might have occurred. You might have destroyed our traps! Those silly little Objects we have helped so carefully to build over the eons. The ones which, I'm afraid, we too fell into.

Until you released us. And I must warn you, we are stronger than any of the foul things in your tales. The frightful "fair" people you flattered. Those lords and ladies skilled in the deepest and most damnable magics. Those nightly predators that fed upon your very life's essence. None of those beasts could possibly compare to us. Even now, they envy us with their primitive minds. We are legends among the legendary, the most fearsome of the feared. And in waiting, I am afraid that we are now consumed by the same affliction that they now have:

Hunger For You.

Them

This scraggy, ripped up note was found in a small house in Utah which seemed to have been consumed by flames, remarkably leaving the note untouched.

I don't have much time left on this earth. I just returned from an expedition with my friends Dimitri and Jake. Allow me to introduce myself briefly, I am Isaac. I am writing from my house in Utah, but now nowhere is safe anymore. Let me explain.

Two days ago, my friends and I stumbled across a forum on an internet horror site which spoke of a wicked tale which occurred not far from here. Curiosity peaked, we researched more of these stories, and soon found a website with a vast collection of these fables. We thought they were scary stuff, but in the end we knew something so otherworldly could not exist. Mere rubbish, if you evaluate the legitimacy of these stories scientifically.

A day ago, I learned that science is not entirely accurate.

My friends and I decided to finally debunk this story by trying to obtain the item the story spoke of. Items packed and ready, we traveled to our destination.

That place we drove to was Northglenn, Colorado.

Our drive there was a peculiar one. No traffic, no other people, no gas stations, even no road markings, besides the crumbly dirt path which was barely visible as we trekked through the mountains. Bad weather accompanied us as a guest, brewing inhospitable storms which towered over our car. As Northglenn came into view, darkness grew.

Finding our way around the small city to the east side, the city slowly began to change. Subtly at first, the color of buildings, but then gradually, the buildings began to look worn down. Windows were busted, trees and life dead. Almost like an illusion becoming undone.

Word for word like the story.

Arriving at the east side of the city, we couldn't miss our site. A great, narrow, worn down, black building, labeled "Northglenn Boarding House". Slowly exiting our black Ford Expedition, we peered around the city. The light was dulling, buildings growing darker. Dirt and sandy roads wound through to the heart of town, obviously abandoned. No signs of life whatsoever.

Dimitri ventured forth first, approaching the rickety and old double doors to the boarding house. Though reluctant to open the doors, he slowly drew them out, their sounds echoing for eternity. No young child greeted us at the door. Maybe this story wasn't so true after all. Just a coincidence of events.

Disbelief growing in us, we began to think of turning back, for the young child had not shown. After some arguing, we decided to seek out room 216. The interior of the hallways were lined with paintings and portraits of people so depressing. All dressed in black as well. Coincidence? Anyway, the hallways seemed to last for miles, yet the narrow building seemed so small from the exterior.

Finally arriving at room 216, our hearts were pounding so hard I could hear them. Since I led the expedition, I decided to open the door. Firmly grabbing the cold handle, I thought about the situation ahead of us. If the woman was to appear, what would we do? Throwing all thoughts aside, I turned the old metal knob, slowly creaking the door open hair by hair.

What we saw next nearly made us puke. As a matter of fact, Dimitri did. A woman with her stomach gouged open, bearing knife incisions. Her eyes were open, no expression emitting from her face as she lie down facing us on her side. She wore a bright red dress, the ones you see from old-fashioned movies. She carried dark black hair, even in death seeming to glitter so perfectly. She looked as if she were in her late 30s, though we could not confirm anything. Lord knows how long she was dead, maybe for 1000 years, maybe for 1 year. Her skin looked as healthy as any living person's.

"Holy shit!" I remember Jake yelling in shock and awe. "This can't be true!" He quickly turned and darted out of the room screaming, voice amplified by the hollow walls. Dimitri, mouth green from the vomit, followed suit. I was last, gaze fixed on the lady. Turning to the door, I saw all light leave the room. As I swung open the door, I was overcome with the desire to look back. What my eyes fell upon no one can describe. I can only say that this figure had male qualities, and bore gray skin. And from his mouth erupted a toothy, shark-like grin, teeth razor sharp and seeming to drip saliva, symbolizing its pure hunger.

I cannot very much describe what happened after, for my mind was consumed by that "thing". Are there more? How many of Them are there? After countless sleepless nights of researching, no description of this being has bee offered besides one. I believe what I saw was the son of a woman who also lived in Northglenn. It might have been the same who's stomach had been removed. All I truly know is one thing.

His name is Matthias, and I am now Prey.