- Big Sky Country
- Ich ging hinein
- Oddly Magnetic Umbrella
- The Summoning Game
- How Much Would You Need?
- Creepypasta: Cement
Item #: SCP-XXXX
Object Class: Safe
Special Containment Procedures: All entrances to SCP-XXXX are to remain secured outside testing. Currently, testing is approved for Entryway 4. Only D-Class personnel are permitted to enter SCP-XXXX-1, and must be furnished with food, water and a tether. Light surveillance is necessary to prevent unwanted intrusion into SCP-XXXX-1.
Description: SCP-XXXX is an abandoned factory located at 145 Wilson Street, Kentland, Indiana, United States.1 SCP-XXXX-1 is an extradimensional space accessible by all 12 entryways of SCP-XXXX. Though it is currently not understood how entryways relate to one another inside SCP-XXXX-1, each opens at a fixed location2, and it is believed all exist within the same space. SCP-XXXX-1 is not visible through any of SCP-XXXX's windows or doors before entry is made.
SCP-XXXX-1 is a seemingly infinite painted desert plain. Features including cacti, animal skulls3, rocks and tumbleweeds are occasionally present. Thunderstorms, typically severe, have been witnessed in SCP-XXXX-1, and testing has shown that all entryways experience the same atmospheric phenomena concurrently. Night has yet to be witnessed in SCP-XXXX-1, and temperatures remain relatively stable around 36°C, with major variances occurring after a storm has passed. For a list of further phenomena related to SCP-XXXX-1, see Addendum XXXX-A.
Addendum XXXX-A: Notable Excerpts from SCP-XXXX-1 Exploration Logs
Test Number: 1
Entryway: 1 (Front door)
Duration: 12 minutes
Notes: Baseline test to determine properties of SCP-XXXX-1. Test subject notes entryway is not visible from within SCP-XXXX-1, save for the tether emerging from it. Two Carnegeia gigantea, approximately 10 m tall, are observed 3 m behind the entrance point. Subject notes hole consistent with bird nest in one cactus, but no birds or nesting materials are seen.
Test Number: 4
Entryway: 2 (East side personnel access)
Duration: 35 minutes
Notes: Human footprints observed in sand. Subject follows prints back to their source for 20 minutes, ending at a dry creek bed. Prints do not extend across.
Test Number: 5
Entryway: 12 (Skylight)
Duration: 3 minutes
Notes: Attempt to determine relationship between entryways. Entrance point is horizontal external to SCP-XXXX and vertical within SCP-XXXX-1, making both ingress and egress difficult. Test aborted after tether becomes lodged in entryway.
Test Number: 7
Entryway: 2, 3 (East side garage door)
Duration: 1 hour, 26 minutes
Notes: Attempt to determine relationship between entryways. Subjects entering Entryway 2 and Entryway 3 are unable to make visual or audio contact with one another. Subject who entered Entryway 3 finds a book4 nearby a water bottle left during Test 5. Test is halted five minutes later and subjects recalled. Pages of book have been torn out seemingly at random; object otherwise displays wear consistent with being in an arid climate for an extended period of time. On the inside of the front cover is written:
On the inside of the back cover is written:
Saint Ade protect us
The rest of the writing is smeared. Object is housed in Non-Anomalous Storage Site 45.
Test Number: 8
Entryway: 4 (Eastmost rear window)
Duration: 1 hour, 13 minutes
Notes: First observation of features on the horizon. Subject instructed to travel toward apparent mountain range, but reports inability to make progress. Notes considerable numbers of bovine skulls while retracing steps to entryway, not observed during outset. Instructed to collect sample. Analysis of sample reveals non-anomalous Bison bison cranium, weathered consistent with exposure to arid climate for an extended period of time. Housed in Non-Anomalous Storage Site 45.
Test Number: 10
Duration: 15 minutes
Notes: See Addendum XXXX-03.
Test Number: 15
Duration: 3 days, 9 hours, 21 minutes
Notes: Attempt to reach mountains in distance. Testing team is provided extra water rations and hot-weather gear. On second day, storm is encountered, hampering progress. Team instructed to make camp. On third day, team reports shift in surroundings, and is instructed to return via tether. Team halts retrieval upon sighting a small cabin.5 Exploration reveals advanced state of decay consistent with abandonment in a desert climate. Items retrieved include three empty tin cans6, a plastic prescription pill container without label7, an empty oil lantern and a leather-bound journal8. Team recalled fully; human footprints noted along path of tether, not observed during outset. Items are housed in Non-Anomalous Storage Site 45.
On ██/██/████, a test conducted with the purpose of reaching mountains in the distance was aborted early after discovery of an individual within SCP-XXXX-1. Test subject reported egress beside a mesa heretofore unrecorded in SCP-XXXX-1, after which a woman was seen lying prone 6 meters away. D-46759 administered water from her ration and was instructed to bring the subject back to the entry portal.
The subject, classified PoI XXXX-02, was treated for dehydration and sun stroke and held for questioning at Site-██. Transcript of initial interview follows.
Interviewed: PoI XXXX-02
Interviewer: Researcher Adams
<Begin Log, 13:45>
Adams: Good afternoon, Ms. ██████. How are you feeling?
PoI: Much better, thank you. Where am I?
Adams: At a private recovery facility. I'd like to ask you a few questions about where we found you, if you don't mind.
PoI: Sure. Don't know if I can be much help, though.
Adams: What do you know about the desert you were found in?
PoI: Honestly, nothing. I'm not sure how I got there.
Adams: What is the last thing you remember before being found by our staff?
PoI: Um… I was going into a house, in Ade. I opened the front door, everything looked fine as far as I remember, and then I was in this desert.
Adams: I see. And you have no idea how you might have ended up there? Nothing was strange about the doorway?
PoI: No, not that I can remember, I'm sorry.
Adams: Thank you. Is there anything else you would like to add?
PoI: No. Well, I'm hungry.
Adams: All right. I'll see if we can get you something to eat. Thank you again for your cooperation.
PoI XXXX-02 was observed for six days before being amnesticized and released. During this time, SCP-XXXX-1 experienced stronger storms than usual. Attempts to recreate PoI XXXX-02's experience in the community of Ade, Indiana have been unsuccessful. PoI XXXX-02 has denied any knowledge of the meaning of the contents of the cabin found within SCP-XXXX-1. Upgrade to Euclid under consideration.
Item #: SCP-XXXX
Object Class: Euclid
Special Containment Procedures: As SCP-XXXX must be contained in situ, its viewing room has been closed off to civilians under Standard Cover Story 145: Repairs in Progress. Other art pieces previously housed in the same room have been removed and relocated. Pieces damaged in the original growth event have been incinerated and their creators supplied with Standard Cover Story 1153: Damage Due to Water Leak.
Description: SCP-XXXX consists of two parts. SCP-XXXX-1 is a statue of Pegasus on display in the █████ █████ Museum in █████████, Germany. The statue is 2.1 meters high at the shoulder, atop a low dais, with its left foreleg raised and wings furled, and originally made of plaster plated in bronze. In its current state, SCP-XXXX-1 is unremarkable save for its lack of head at the shoulders and the series of 57 holes along its torso.
SCP-XXXX-2 is a tubular network of unknown material, uniformly 2.2 cm in diameter and covered in short, light blue hair. The material is cool to the touch, does not react to external stimuli, and has thus far resisted sample collection. SCP-XXXX-2 passes through each of SCP-XXXX-1's 57 entry points once in a series of straight lines, and is anchored to the floor, ceiling and three walls of SCP-XXXX-1's viewing room via unknown methods.9 SCP-XXXX-2 regularly expands and contracts along its diameter, at a rate of 0.3 cm every 3-4 seconds.
History: SCP-XXXX-1 was gifted to the museum in 1951, by the son of its creator, P████ H█████████, and showed no anomalous activity until 09/11/2011. Investigation into the H█████████ family has determined no connections with anomalous artist groups or other abnormalities of note.
Security footage recorded 09/11/2011 at 20:06 shows a hole opening in SCP-XXXX-1's left shoulder and a small disc of bronze falling to the floor. A rounded cylinder matching the material description of SCP-XXXX-2 emerges from the hole and progresses at a rate of 0.5 cm/s to the opposing wall, appearing to flatten against it. Four seconds later, SCP-XXXX-2 emerges from the ceiling and penetrates SCP-XXXX-1 again on the dorsal side, leaving a small hole in the statue, but not the ceiling. After five minutes, SCP-XXXX-1's head is sheared from its shoulders by an unknown force, leaving a flat plane from which SCP-XXXX-2 emerges. Growth event continues for the next 17 minutes, SCP-XXXX-2 entering and exiting SCP-XXXX-1 at random angles, before SCP-XXXX-2's leading end reenters SCP-XXXX-1 and ceases movement.
Footage does not record what became of SCP-XXXX-1's head.
Addendum: Exploration Log XXXX-01
On 16/11/2011, an invasive exploration via fiber optic camera was ordered and carried out after closing hours.
A cable is threaded into an entry hole in SCP-XXXX-1's dorsal side. Initial images show a web of SCP-XXXX-2 crisscrossing the hollow interior10 without intersecting itself. Further exploration into the thoracic cavity reveals a humanoid head, not previously seen on security footage. Head features large eyes and mouth, but no nose.
Upon discovery, the head appears to be sleeping, but wakes and turns toward the camera. Head appears to speak11 before moving forward and biting off the camera end of the fiber optic.
Further exploration has not been authorized.
Item #: SCP-XXXX
Object Class: Safe
Special Containment Procedures: SCP-XXXX is currently kept in an opaque locking briefcase in Safe Item Storage Locker 145 at Site-22. SCP-XXXX must not be kept at Sites containing other text-based anomalies. Testing may only be carried out by D-Class Personnel; no visual recordings of tests are allowed.
Description: SCP-XXXX is a hardback book of unknown description12. When any portion of SCP-XXXX is viewed by an individual able to read English13, or held in any individual's possession for more than five seconds, the subject will experience an intense fear reaction to libraries, the idea of libraries, and books other than SCP-XXXX.
Testing as of 08/05/2015 shows that "library" in this context refers to any building that stores books. The reaction is proportionate to how central the storage of books is to the building's purpose, but includes bookstores, department stores, schools, many Foundation sites, and SCP-2602, which used to be a library. (For further reading, consult Crosstest Log XXXX/2602-Formerly-a-Library.)
The induced phobia remains present in the subject until eye contact is broken and the object is removed from their possession, then for a period ranging from 5 to 20 minutes afterward. This "cooldown" period can increase with repeated, prolonged exposure to SCP-XXXX.14 Presence of prior phobias or anxiety disorders does not seem to have an effect on the SCP-XXXX anomaly.
While breaking contact between SCP-XXXX and a subject under its influence is not unduly difficult, subjects have universally been unable to do so of their own accord. To date, a physical description of SCP-XXXX has not been ascertained, as subjects are incapable of reporting on the context or content of the object while under its influence. The effect is also transmitted through video recordings and still images.
Interviewed: Junior Researcher T██████ L███
Interviewer: Dr. Loretta Smith, Site-22 Psychologist
Foreword: On 05/09/2015, an unrelated containment breach during testing caused Junior Researcher L███ to make physical contact with SCP-XXXX and fall under its influence. Due to his unusual behavior during the incident, JR L███ was remanded for psychological screening and questioned about the events.
<Begin Log, 10:07 06/09/2015>
Dr. Smith: Please describe, in your own words, how you came into contact SCP-XXXX.
Junior Researcher L███: I'm not really sure. It was the damnedest thing. It was like, all of a sudden, there's the book, in my hands, along with a copy of its containment protocols. Which, I should stress, I was familiar with prior to the incident. I remember feeling this overwhelming sense of disbelief. I literally could not believe I was holding this damn skip.
Dr. Smith: And the phobic response occurred afterward?
Junior Researcher L███: Uh, yeah, almost immediately after that. I go from disbelief to just… really scared. About nothing in particular. Undirected phobia, is that a thing?
Dr. Smith: Please continue.
Junior Researcher L███: Uh, well, anyway… So, I'm afraid of bees, right? Ever since I was a kid, always have been. I see one, I get the least idea there's one anywhere near me, I'm consumed by the need to get the hell away from it. I'm saying this because that was basically what I felt while holding SCP-XXXX. Except kind of not.
Dr. Smith: It sounds similar to a panic attack.
Junior Researcher L███: Maybe? I've never had one before, I wouldn't know. Sorry. So, basically, I was just scared, like really, really scared, but to no purpose.
Dr. Smith: What happened during the incident?
Junior Researcher L███: Well, I basically tore ass through the Site, if you'll forgive me being informal. I was just running, clinging to this book, scared out of my wits, looking for… I knew something was wrong, that the situation was wrong, and the only thing I could think, when I even could think, was, "I need to get this to someone who needs to have it."
Dr. Smith: "Needs to have it?"
Junior Researcher L███: I was thinking in terms of someone who could recontain it, if you can believe that.
Dr. Smith: All right. But by your own admission, you were running aimlessly through the Site?
Junior Researcher L███: Yes. [laugh] I was going up and down elevators, even. I had that much sense, at least. I'd like to credit my training, maybe that was keeping me halfway sane? Just running around, trying to get this thing back into containment because I know that's what needs to happen, but too scared to figure out exactly how.
Dr. Smith: You were found in stairwell E-10 after the incident.
Junior Researcher L███: Oh geez, yes, I'm never going to live this down. I think when the Security guys found me, I literally shouted, "Stay back, it's loaded!" I probably sounded crazy. All I could do was keep my arms wrapped around it so no one would see it. I don't exactly remember how they got it away from me, I'm just glad they did.
Dr. Smith: All right. Thank you, T██████. I don't have any further questions for you. Is there anything you'd like to add for the record?
Junior Researcher L███: Yes, actually. You know how we don't know what it looks like? Like, because when you're looking at it, you're too damn scared to register?
Dr. Smith: Yes?
Junior Researcher L███: Well, I couldn't tell you what it looks like, either. I mean, it was the same effect, I just knew what it was somehow and took off. But I got some kind of insight, maybe? Because I was fighting this thing the whole time I was running around with it.
Dr. Smith: And that was?
Junior Researcher L███: "Ideas want to be free." Like, that's what I got from it. I couldn't tell you how, if I read it on the cover or something, but that's what I want to say.
Dr. Smith: Thank you, T██████. Concluding interview.
<End Log, 10:33 06/09/2015>
Closing Statement: Junior Researcher L███ was given a commendation for exemplary conduct while under the influence of a cognitohazard. Further attempts to ascertain the content or physical characteristics of SCP-XXXX have been unsuccessful.
Item #: SCP-XXXX
Object Class: Euclid
Special Containment Procedures: SCP-XXXX-1 is to be contained in a standard humanoid living unit, fireproofed, with a relative humidity no higher than 35% and a nightlight. Currently, requests for coloring books, toys and entertainment are to be granted. Requests for burning material must be approved by the overseeing Researcher. To preserve SCP-XXXX-1's mental health, and thereby its physical integrity, weekly supervised visits with SCP-XXXX-2 are authorized. SCP-XXXX-1 is also integral to maintaining the containment of SCP-XXXX-3, and focus should be kept on their continued communication. Personnel interacting with SCP-XXXX-1 should have a high empathy score on standardized Foundation tests and be noted as working well with children. As of April 1, 2005, SCP-XXXX-1 is not to be exposed to SCP-XXXX-4 or questioned about PoI-XXXX, per recommendation of Dr. Marlene Stoneking, Site-14 Psychologist.
SCP-XXXX-2 is to be contained in a standard humanoid containment unit with a relative humidity no lower than 40%. Requests must be authorized by the overseeing Researcher. Personnel entering the containment unit must wear Class-I Biohazard Gear. All interviews and testing should be performed within the containment unit, to minimize movement of the subject. Once daily, SCP-XXXX-2 should be sprayed thoroughly with purified water and the floor of the containment unit washed. Any intact, non-brown leaves recovered should be placed atop SCP-XXXX-2.
SCP-XXXX-3 is to be contained in a reinforced, airtight observation chamber with a retractable inner containment unit. The outer unit will have single window made of bulletproof, reinforced smart glass that must be checked daily for defects and a one-way communications device built into the chamber. The glass must be opaque at all times when the subject is not being interacted with. SCP-XXXX-1 must be present during interviews and at all other times when the glass is transparent. Weapons must not be visible on personnel while the glass is transparent. In the event the smart glass is damaged, high-powered suction fans will be used to maneuver SCP-XXXX-3 inside the secondary containment unit. Replacement of the glass must take no longer than 45 minutes and personnel must keep all tools and utensils attached via cord to their person. Under no other circumstances is the containment chamber to be entered. Should SCP-XXXX-3 breach containment, high-powered fans are to be used to return it to its containment chamber. Every effort must be taken to prevent the subject from learning the whereabouts of SCP-XXXX-4.
SCP-XXXX-4 is to be contained in a 5m x 5m holding unit with continual camera feeds, remotely-activated high-power halogen spotlights, and dual-level access points. All entrances must be watertight and should feature airlocks. Personnel are not to enter the chamber unless authorized by the Site Director, and should not come within 5m of the entrances when SCP-XXXX-4 is in its active state. Should SCP-XXXX-4 become hostile and attempt to breach containment, personnel must wear Class-IV full-body protective gear and engage with high-powered spotlights. Flamethrowers are to be used as a last resort. (See section on Behavior for notes about improvements to containment.) Once SCP-XXXX-4 is returned to containment, all areas it has entered must be thoroughly sanitized via Protocol Delta-Arnhaus. SCP-XXXX-4 is not to be allowed contact with any other instance of SCP-XXXX.
As the Foundation's understanding of PoI-XXXX is currently incomplete, current action can only be focused on anticipating its arrival. Any reports of anomalous activity near Site-14 in line with current knowledge of PoI-XXXX's nature should be reported immediately to the Site Director for further consideration.
Update 30/12/2004: The communication device must be activated only while visitation protocols are underway. Under no circumstances must SCP-XXXX-3 be reminded of the existence of PoI-XXXX.
Description: SCP-XXXX is the designation given to a group of four entities. SCP-XXXX-1 is a humanoid with the appearance of a young female wearing a toga15, 1 meter tall and weighing 36 kg. SCP-XXXX-1 is made of human bile and blood serum in approximately equal amounts. Despite this, it remains solid, with slight surface yield to pressure consistent with paraffin wax. Atop its head is a cloth wick, 7.5 cm long, which supports a perpetual flame.
SCP-XXXX-2 is a humanoid male composed of leaves from numerous tree species, primarily Quercus sp., Acer sp., and Ulmus sp.16, and wearing a sedge hat17. Leaves are primarily in shades of red, orange and yellow, but trend to brown in the extremities. Binding the leaves is a viscous substance comprised of clotted erythrocytes suspended in equal parts human bile18 and an unknown fluid related to the composition of SCP-XXXX-4. SCP-XXXX-2 exudes this substance at a rate of approximately 0.1 L/day. Skin contact produces a burning sensation; prolonged contact can cause a rash and flaking of the epidermis. At least one personnel is on file as having had a severe allergic reaction to this compound, and safety protocols have been updated accordingly.
SCP-XXXX-3 is an entity taking the form of a perpetual dust devil containing numerous bladed and blunt instruments. Aside from the instruments contained in its form, it is invisible to the naked eye. High-speed photography has shown that the instruments, whether bladed or otherwise19 are coated in what appears to be human blood. Sample testing has to date been impossible.
SCP-XXXX-4 in its inactive state is a pool of undifferentiated toxic waste, approximately 260 liters in volume. Sample tests have shown high amounts of human leukocytes along with motor oil, [REDACTED] and a fluid of unknown composition. When active, SCP-XXXX-4 takes on the form of a humanoid emerging from this pool and composed of the same, with no discernible head, phalanges or lower limbs. Height is variable but has been calculated at a possible maximum of 5.2 meters.
Behavior: SCP-XXXX-1 experiences a condition similar to Dissociative Identity Disorder. Typical behavior is equivalent to that of a child of 7-9 years of age, however the subject frequently experiences confusion due to conflicting or intrusive memories of another individual. These memories have induced a state similar to survivor's guilt, and SCP-XXXX-1 displays wildly varying moods. Typical triggers for extreme emotional reactions include extended periods of isolation, extended periods of separation from other instances of SCP-XXXX, exposure to SCP-XXXX-4 and being left in darkness20. SCP-XXXX-1 frequently expresses dismay, anger and sorrow at the idea that it has somehow let down the other instances of SCP-XXXX.
In regards to the flame atop its head, SCP-XXXX-1 has expressed terror at the idea of it being extinguished. Despite this, SCP-XXXX-1's tears are capable of reducing the flame's intensity, along with deforming its own body. For this reason, Dr. Stoneking has developed a program of diversions and working with SCP-XXXX-2 and -3 to maintain a positive mental environment and prevent SCP-XXXX-1 from damaging itself.
SCP-XXXX-2 spends its time sitting in a lotus position with its body hunched over. It is generally unresponsive to outside stimulus, but will occasionally be seen shuddering as if in extreme pain. SCP-XXXX-2 tends not to communicate with personnel, and only occasionally speaks with SCP-XXXX-1, though the presence of each has a calming effect on the other. Through monitoring of interactions between SCP-XXXX-1 and -2, it has been determined that SCP-XXXX-2 is attempting to fend off a physical affliction, characterized by the browning of its leaves, using meditation and its own will. SCP-XXXX-2 has stated that shedding leaves is not painful, though it prefers to have the healthy ones returned to it so that they may be reincorporated into itself.
SCP-XXXX-3 is at all times hostile and aggressive, attempting to use the instruments contained in itself21 to batter its containment chamber. SCP-XXXX-3 has breached containment █ times and caused numerous casualties, including █ deaths of security personnel. While the presence of SCP-XXXX-1 has a minor calming effect on SCP-XXXX-3, especially when it is in containment22, this effect is notably limited, and SCP-XXXX-3 tends to resume hostile action before SCP-XXXX-1 leaves its presence. SCP-XXXX-3 is able to understand speech, but is not able to communicate itself. It is believed that SCP-XXXX-3 is driven by a need to terminate SCP-XXXX-4.
Since installation of a 2-meter sunken pool in SCP-XXXX-4's containment chamber, it has remained in its inactive state more consistently and breach attempts have reduced in frequency by 250%. Prior to this, SCP-XXXX-4 was known to spend periods of between 4 and 17 hours in its inactive state before becoming active and attempting to breach containment. SCP-XXXX-4 has breached containment █ times and caused ██ casualties. When active, its behavior includes moving around its chamber23, attacking walls and entry hatches, and vocalizing at 80-90 dB. Exposure to SCP-XXXX-1 resulted in no change in behavior and considerable distress on the part of SCP-XXXX-1. Outside containment, SCP-XXXX-4 will attack any living creature within range, alternately bludgeoning them with limbs extruded from its center of mass and attempting to pull them within itself to drown. The liquid comprising SCP-XXXX-4 induces emesis within 60 seconds if ingested and has demonstrated minor carcinogenic properties, as well as promoting growth of viruses and bacteria known to be harmful to humans.
Recovery: SCP-XXXX was discovered in ██████████ Parish, Louisiana, United States, where MTF Xi-5 ("Swamp People") was tracking an outbreak of SCP-████. At the time of recovery, SCP-XXXX-1 and SCP-XXXX-2 were attempting to restrain SCP-XXXX-3 and SCP-XXXX-4 from fighting one another, with little success. Upon arrival of Foundation forces on the scene, SCP-XXXX-1 ran to them for help and SCP-XXXX was brought into containment, with █ casualties.
Addendum: Interview XXXX-01
Interviewer: Dr. Stoneking
Foreword: Intake interview with SCP-XXXX-1, immediately after recovery and classification.
<Begin Log, ██/██/2004, 10:22>
Dr. Stoneking: Good morning, SCP-XXXX-1, my name is Dr. Marlene Stoneking. I have a few questions I'd like to ask you, if that's all right.
SCP-XXXX-1: [no outward acknowledgement]
Dr. Stoneking: SCP-XXXX-1, is something the matter?
SCP-XXXX-1: [quietly] That's not my name.
Dr. Stoneking: @[AUTHOR'S NOTE: INTERVIEW UNFINISHED]
Addendum: Interview XXXX-06
Interviewer: Dr. Stoneking
Foreword: Interview as part of mental health protocols after personnel noted erratic behavior from SCP-XXXX-1. Specifically, a crayon drawing of SCP-XXXX made by the subject had been written over with the words "I FAILED THEM", which was then violently overwritten in black.
<Begin Log, 08/12/2004, 12:10>
Dr. Stoneking: R███, how are you today?
SCP-XXXX-1: Fine, Doctor Marly.
Dr. Stoneking: Would you like to tell me about this drawing you made today? [slides drawing onto table]
SCP-XXXX-1: [looks at drawing, then quickly away] No.
Dr. Stoneking: R███, you know that if anything is bothering you, you can talk to me about it. Right?
SCP-XXXX-1: Yes, Doctor Marly.
Dr. Stoneking: Are you sure nothing's wrong?
SCP-XXXX-1: N-no. [begins to shake] I'm very lonely.
Dr. Stoneking: Why is that?
SCP-XXXX-1: I miss my friends. [points to drawing]
Dr. Stoneking: Would you like to see your friends again? Would that make you feel better?
SCP-XXXX-1: [silent for ten seconds] Yes. I think. It would be nice.
Dr. Stoneking: Aren't you worried they might try to hurt you? Three and four can be very… mean.
SCP-XXXX-1: Maybe. Um, I don't think they'll hurt me if I just talk to them.
Dr. Stoneking: Well, I'll see what I can do, R███, all right?
SCP-XXXX-1: I just hope they don't hate me.
<End Log, 12:18>
Closing Statement: Per Dr. Stoneking's recommendation, visitation between the members of SCP-XXXX was allowed on a provisional basis. A plush toy was added to SCP-XXXX-1's personal effects, with SCP-████ being chosen as the subject expressed that it "used to be my favorite". Investigation into SCP-XXXX-1's awareness of SCP-████ is underway.
SCP-XXXX-1's original drawing features all four members of SCP-XXXX standing together and smiling, despite the lack of discernible facial features on all but SCP-XXXX-1. SCP-XXXX-4 is, notably, drawn entirely with blue crayon.
Addendum: Interview XXXX-09
Interviewer: Dr. Stoneking
Foreword: On December 12, 2004, SCP-XXXX-1 was taken on a supervised visit to SCP-XXXX-4 as part of SCP-XXXX mental health protocols. The latter immediately became hostile in the presence of the former and breached containment. SCP-XXXX-1 was removed safely, with only minor casualties before containment was reestablished.
<Begin Log, 12/12/2004, 13:38>
Dr. Stoneking: R███, are you all right?
SCP-XXXX-1: No. [visibly upset]
Dr. Stoneking: [to attendant] Please get her stuffed toy. [to SCP-XXXX-1] I'm going to ask you some questions about number four, is that okay?
SCP-XXXX-1: [silent for five seconds] I guess so.
Dr. Stoneking: Do you know why he attacked you?
SCP-XXXX-1: No. He wasn't mean like that last time I saw him.
Dr. Stoneking: He wasn't, was he? Do you think something might have changed?
SCP-XXXX-1: Mr. Murky got to him.
Dr. Stoneking: [pauses] Who is that?
SCP-XXXX-1: [begins to cry] He's the one who did this.
Dr. Stoneking: Don't cry, sweetie, you know what that does to your face. Can you tell me more about Mr. Murky? Who is he?
SCP-XXXX-1: I don't know. [sniffs] He did this to us, and then he made four go crazy and three get mad and two be all dirty, and then he left.
Dr. Stoneking: Do you think he'll ever come back?
SCP-XXXX-1: I hope not. [breathes deeply] 'Cause if he comes back, I'm gonna kill him.
Dr. Stoneking: [stunned silence]
SCP-XXXX-1: I'm gonna kill him 'cause I hate him! I hate him, I hate him! [SCP-XXXX-1 continues this way for three minutes]
<End Log, 13:45>
Closing Statement: During its tirade, the flame on SCP-XXXX-1's head continually grew in intensity, doing considerable damage to the table, walls and ceiling of Interview Room 13. This continued until facial deformation from both heat and tears rendered the subject blind and mute. Dr. Stoneking was able to exit the Interview Room with only superficial burns. Per her recommendation, future interviews are to be conducted in SCP-XXXX-1's containment chamber. An investigation into the entity named in the interview was launched, and it was designated PoI-XXXX.
Addendum: Interview XXXX-10
Interviewer: Dr. Stoneking
Foreword: As SCP-XXXX-2 is the only other member of SCP-XXXX to be at all communicative, an interview was scheduled in an attempt to learn more about PoI-XXXX.
<Begin Log, 13/12/2004, 14:30>
Dr. Stoneking: SCP-XXXX-2? C████, are you awake?
SCP-XXXX-2: [shivers, speech inaudible]
Dr. Stoneking: I'm sorry, I couldn't make that out. I'm going to kneel beside you so I can hear you better and relay what you're saying, is that all right?
SCP-XXXX-2: [gives no outward acknowledgement]
Dr. Stoneking: I was talking with R███, and she mentioned something called "Mr. Murky". [Here, SCP-XXXX-2 goes noticeably still.] I wanted to know if you could tell us anything about what that might be.
Dr. Stoneking: He said, "It's inside me." What's inside you, C████?
Dr. Stoneking: [lifts hand and looks at fluid coating glove] You mean this is what he did to you?
Dr. Stoneking: He's trying to expel a hostile force. Like a virus, C████? Yes, like a virus or a poison. Can you tell me who or what Mr. Murky might be, and where we can—
SCP-XXXX-2: No. Don't… look for him. Don't… don't ask the others.
Dr. Stoneking: Okay. All right. Thank you.
<End Log, 14:35>
Closing Statement: Investigation into PoI-XXXX remains underway.
Addendum: Incident XXXX-10
On 29/12/2004, PoI-XXXX's name was mentioned within hearing distance of SCP-XXXX-3's containment chamber. This caused an increase in hostile activity from the entity, resulting in a containment breach. SCP-XXXX-3 deviated from its typical behavioral pattern, attempting to escape Site-14 rather than attack SCP-XXXX-4. Containment was reestablished after 30 minutes, with 4 casualties.
During cleanup, it was noted that scoring on the walls created by SCP-XXXX-3 spelled out words in Mandarin Chinese and Russian. Partial translation follows:
Allow [me/us] [access/freedom] kill [him/her/it/them
Further attempts to coerce communication from SCP-XXXX-3 have been unsuccessful. Containment procedures updated.
Addendum: Interview XXXX-12, Level 2/XXXX Clearance Required
Interviewer: Dr. Stoneking
Foreword: SCP-XXXX-1 requested an interview with Dr. Stoneking, which was granted per mental health protocols.
<Begin Log, 05/01/2005, 02:51>
Dr. Stoneking: You wanted to see me, R███? Did you have a bad dream?
Dr. Stoneking: Do you want to talk about it?
SCP-XXXX-1: [silent for twelve seconds] Usually, when I have nightmares, Mister… He's in them.
Dr. Stoneking: Was this one different?
SCP-XXXX-1: [nods] I saw people. A bunch of people. I felt like… like I knew them, but I didn't know them. I couldn't see their faces.
Dr. Stoneking: What were they doing?
SCP-XXXX-1: Standing, all in a big group. I think they were laughing. Like maybe it was a party. They were having a good time.
Dr. Stoneking: Why was it a bad dream then?
SCP-XXXX-1: I don't know, Dr. Marly. I just got really, really sad and woke up.
Dr. Stoneking: Don't worry, R███, it's all right. Why don't you try and get back to sleep? You'll feel better in the morning.
SCP-XXXX-1: I still remember them sometimes, Dr. Stoneking.
Dr. Stoneking: [silent for five seconds] What do you mean?
SCP-XXXX-1: All of them, their faces… I can see them, but then I can't. I remember how I screwed up, how I failed them, but they're all still here. It's… [rubs face] It's confusing. Like I'm not who I am. I think I know me, but… It's like I'm living two lives. Or I'm two people. What's wrong with me?
Dr. Stoneking: [breaks interview protocols by making bodily contact with SCP-XXXX-1] R███, is that you? Is that who I'm talking to?
SCP-XXXX-1: [begins to cry] Help me, Doctor. I know they won't put us back together. Help me enjoy my second childhood. Help me make that bastard pay.
<End Log, 02:59>
Closing Statement: Interview was terminated before SCP-XXXX-1's tears could further deform its features. Subsequent observation has suggested SCP-XXXX-1 has some form of dissociative identity disorder. Dr. Stoneking was issued an unofficial reprimand for breaking interview protocols; protocols are under review.
Document XXXX-08: Level 2/XXXX Clearance Required
Its childlike nature aside, given the memories SCP-XXXX-1 has access to, and the fact that it responds to the name "R███", it is believed that SCP-XXXX are the disappeared members of MTF Xi-5. Correspondence is not one-to-one, as the Mobile Task Force had █ members. SCP-XXXX-1 is believed to be Major R█████ A██████; SCP-XXXX-2 is likewise believed to be Lieutenant C█████████ L██. SCP-XXXX-3 is believed to be an amalgam of two or more members of the MTF; the same is possible for SCP-XXXX-4.
Update: It is currently unknown if PoI-XXXX is a former member of MTF Xi-5 or a separate entity. Investigation is ongoing.
Document XXXX-09: Level 3/XXXX Clearance Required
After the December 13th, 2004 interview, focus shifted into sample analysis of the unidentifiable fluids that -4 is made of and that -2 exudes on a regular basis. Primary analysis results are listed in the object description; anything beyond those was inconclusive.
On December 19th, 2004, improper labelling of samples led to the two fluids mixing together.
We shouldn't have gone looking.
-Dr. Johnathan Liddle-Huff, Researcher overseeing SCP-XXXX
Item #: SCP-XXXX
Object Class: Safe Euclid
Special Containment Procedures: As of ██/██/████, the whereabouts of SCP-XXXX are unknown and the object has been reclassified Euclid. Monitoring of the previous location of Point-Alpha is ongoing. Investigation of PoI XXXX-01 has been hampered by her death on ██/██/████ from natural causes.
SCP-XXXX is kept in Storage Locker L-Beta-33 in Site-39. Testing may be conducted with authorization from 2 Level 2 or one Level 3 personnel.
Description: SCP-XXXX is a dark blue oil-paper umbrella, decorated in floral motifs consistent with similar items sold as art or souvenir pieces in Japan24. When collapsed and held by the end of the handle, SCP-XXXX orients itself via an unknown process to point horizontally toward a location on Earth near ██°N, 145°E, designated Point Alpha-XXXX.
Triangulation tests revealed Point Alpha-XXXX to be located approximately 10 km east of Mount Unabetsu in Japan25 Teams attempting to reach Point Alpha-XXXX were unable to reach it from the ground or air. Teams coming within 1 km of the expected location would experience GPS malfunctions and erratic behavior from SCP-XXXX. Attempts to reach Point Alpha-XXXX without the use of SCP-XXXX revealed no irregularities or notable features.
Addendum XXXX-01: Recovery
SCP-XXXX was purchased from a merchant on the Santa Monica Pier in southern California. Once SCP-XXXX's anomalous properties were discovered, the merchant was classified PoI XXXX-01 and placed under surveillance. However, despite being handmade, no link between SCP-XXXX and PoI XXXX-01 could be found.
Addendum XXXX-02: Test Authorized on ██/██/████
On ██/██/████, Dr. Royland authorized a test with a single subject, given provisions, audiovisual recording equipment and SCP-XXXX, but no GPS. Agent Jennings, who had been involved in two previous approach attempts, departed from nearby Sakimui Village, outside the 1 km boundary around Point Alpha-XXXX on ██/██/████, with instructions to follow SCP-XXXX to Point Alpha-XXXX and make regular reports for the recorder.
A recovery team was sent out three days after Agent Jennings failed to report back in. The team experienced none of the expected GPS interference within the 1 km zone of effect and was able to recover the recording equipment. Transcript follows.
<00:01> First report, makin' sure this thing works, yeah? Sure is a nice place [IRRELEVANT DIALOGUE REDACTED]
<25:34> Checking in again. Unless I miss my guess, I should be inside the, ah, one-kilometer exclusion zone. Terrain's pretty standard for foothills at this altitude, so it's been kinda slow going. I did see a couple of [IRRELEVANT DIALOGUE REDACTED]
<50:48> Okay, I think I am at Point Alpha. Camera appears to be running. Using the skip to try and zoom in on where I should be.
Visual shows Agent Jennings circling a small hillock. A cave entrance is visible on one side. Agent Jennings produces a high-powered LED flashlight and approaches the entrance.
<51:03> I'm heading on in, yeah? Now that I'm in the cave, I guess it's worth noting the skip's got no pull anymore. Guess it's home, eh?
Agent Jennings continues through the cavern. Light illuminates rough stone walls covered in lichens and moss. Floor is damp. Passageway narrows at one point, requiring Agent Jennings to shed his backpack and continue through with only the recording equipment, SCP-XXXX and flashlight.
<58:29> Hey, so, bit of a tight squeeze there. Hope nothing takes the pack while I'm in here. Coming up on a sharp bend here, let's see what— Jesus Mary Joseph!
90 degree bend to the left reveals a small chamber and the end of the passage. Seated in the chamber is a humanoid, approximately 3 meters tall, covered in long, dirty white hair. Of note are three eyes across the brow, a vertical mouth, and a third arm below the left arm26 Eyes open as Agent Jennings exclaims, and the entity seems to focus on SCP-XXXX. Entity's facial features stretch.
<58:34> Okay, I'm looking at an unclassified humanoid, uh, thing. Shit.
Uh, I'm sorry, I don't understand you.
[It's been too long, old friend. We've been waiting.]
Is this what you want?
Agent Jennings extends SCP-XXXX towards the entity, who reaches out and takes it.
[Now, let us go home.]
Entity seems to have seized the object. I'm sorry, Command, I am completely outside my training here.
[Ah, and the other one. I suppose I should offer you some reward.]
A blinding light is produced by the entity for 5 seconds. When it ends, the entity, SCP-XXXX, Agent Jennings and the cave are gone.
The clothing, provisions and recording equipment sent with Agent Jennings were located on the ground at Point Alpha-XXXX. The surroundings were similar to those seen on the video recording, without the presence of the cave entrance. Dr. Royland was reprimanded and demoted for loss of a contained item and trained agent. Currently, it is believed that SCP-XXXX and Agent Jennings are irretrievable.
Item #: SCP-XXXX
Object Class: Euclid
Special Containment Procedures: One translation of each version of SCP-XXXX-1 is to be kept on file at Site-17. One copy of SCP-XXXX-1 is to be held in storage at Site-17, open to SCP-XXXX-2 and actively monitored. Any change in SCP-XXXX-2 is to be reported to the Researcher overseeing SCP-XXXX, who will initiate Protocol XXXX-Babel if deemed necessary. All other copies of SCP-XXXX-1 are to be confiscated and destroyed. Active campaigns are being run in all affected areas to suppress knowledge of SCP-XXXX.
Description: SCP-XXXX is a language game28 designed to be played by speakers of a number of Slavic, Caucasian and Native American29 languages (refer to Addendum XXXX-1 for full list of target languages). The exact rules differ depending on the target language, but generally consist of adding consonants before, after or into specified consonant clusters, sometimes resulting in phonemes that are difficult to pronounce naturally.
The rules for SCP-XXXX are detailed in SCP-XXXX-1, a children's book whose title translates as "The Summoning Game: Make Friends With the Stars!" The author is given as Delaware Athens.30 SCP-XXXX-1 consists of three portions, the first being the rules for SCP-XXXX for the given language. The second portion consists of a series of illustrations of a number of known and unknown anomalous creatures, including SCP-███, SCP-████, and what is believed to be a previously unknown form of [REDACTED], along with exhortations for readers to play SCP-XXXX and "summon" the creatures into our world. (See Addendum XXXX-1 for excerpts.)
The final page of SCP-XXXX-1 is inscribed with a half-circle arc, designated SCP-XXXX-2. At one end of the arc is an image of a closed eye, with an open eye at the other end. The first 1.2 radians of the arc, as measured from the closed eye, emit a yellow light.
When certain sound combinations are uttered by a human, the arc's length increases by approximately .001 radians. These sounds can be produced by applying the rules of SCP-XXXX to certain words, often obscure, from SCP-XXXX target languages. While the likelihood of these sounds occurring during normal conversations modified by SCP-XXXX is statistically negligible, no method has been found to reduce the arc's length.31
SCP-XXXX came to the Foundation's attention after a string of child disappearances in Tbilisi, Georgia. An instance of SCP-████ was captured by Mobile Task Force agents sent to investigate, but later vanished from containment. Interrogations of involved parties led to knowledge of SCP-XXXX and the commandeering of 120 copies of SCP-XXXX-1. Despite attempts to follow the instructions printed in SCP-XXXX-1, testing has yet to cause SCP-XXXX or any other entity to materialize.
Page 10: Image depicts a semi-humanoid being in the process of consuming a nebula.
"Grandfather lives in space between stars.
When Mama and Papa won't give what you want,
Say His name and He'll eat their eyes.
Remember to eat dinner before dessert!"
Page 14: Image depicts [REDACTED]. Investigation into potential information breach is ongoing.
"Screamers were made to punish the wicked.
Tell them names of children who taunt.
They will be taken with family and pets.
Remember to share!"
Page 20: Final page with illustration, opposite SCP-XXXX-2. Depicts haze over a black background. Some personnel have reported slight variations in the image. Investigation pending.
"Play the Summoning Game and wake them up!
If you win, we win!
If we win, there will be peace on Earth!
Remember Grandmother waits!"
Addendum XXXX-2: Shortlist of target languages for Protocol XXXX-Babel.
Shalish (Suspected Confirmed, see Addendum XXXX-4)
Ubykh (Neutralized, see Addendum XXXX-3)
As of 7/10/1992, Protocol XXXX-Psocoptera (Proposal for Targeted Extinction of the Ubykh Language, Doctor R█████) has been declared a success. Proposals for similar operations are still under consideration.
Amelia Kostarevsky, Ethics Committee
Addendum XXXX-4: Foundation agents embedded in US and Canadian customs were alerted to suspicious book shipments on 04/██/████ and 04/██/████. Investigation revealed copies of SCP-XXXX-1 written for speakers of Sháshíshálh and Nsyilxcen, bound for reservations in British Columbia and Washington state, respectively. Documentation with both shipments designated a port of origin in Akureyri, Iceland. When investigated, the address led only to an empty warehouse. Investigations into the publisher of SCP-XXXX-1, "Ad Nihilo Press", remain underway.
The threat posed by SCP-XXXX cannot be confirmed at this time, owing to certain inconsistencies in the depictions of SCP-███ and SCP-████ in SCP-XXXX-1. Nevertheless, the outcome of SCP-XXXX is being treated as a potential unknown K-class scenario.
-Dr. Emil R█████, Researcher overseeing SCP-XXXX
Item #: SCP-1XXX
Object Class: Euclid
Special Containment Procedures: In light of Incident 1XXX-01, SCP-1XXX must be contained in situ, and the New York City Police Department has been contacted to assist with containment. One Foundation agent is to patrol the immediate vicinity of SCP-1XXX between the hours of 22:00 and 2:00, dressed as a New York City police officer, and discourage individuals from lingering on SCP-1XXX. Any conversation occurring between civilians and SCP-1XXX-1 is to be interrupted immediately and the civilian subject taken into custody. SCP-1XXX-1 is not to be accosted or prevented from fleeing the area.
In the event of a deal between SCP-1XXX-1 and a civilian being completed, the civilian is to be detained and the nature of the deal ascertained. Subjects given non-homicidal tasks are not to be interfered with. Amnestics should be administered after payment is confiscated.
Description: SCP-1XXX is a park bench located next to a bus stop outside Dante Park in New York City, along Broadway. Testing has revealed no anomalous properties inherent in the materials. SCP-1XXX's anomalous effects manifest if it is sat on by an unaccompanied individual between the hours of 23:00 and 1:00.
Subjects report a significant decrease in traffic and ambient sound within two minutes of sitting, and the appearance of fog. A man, designated SCP-1XXX-1, will approach the subject five to ten minutes of the fog's manifestation. SCP-1XXX-1 is generally described as unkempt, wearing a stained trench coat and oversized, unlaced boots. SCP-1XXX-1 will engage the subject in conversation and offer them a large sum of money, starting at $100,000, for performing a task. Tasks are initially described in vague terms ("Clean up a place", "Tie up some loose ends"), but if pressed, SCP-1XXX-1 will provide more detail while steadily increasing the amount of payment. The maximum payment offered to a subject has been recorded as $███████. In no case has a subject ever challenged SCP-1XXX-1 for proof of payment, stating in interviews that the idea never occurred to them.
Once a deal has been reached, the subject will receive an envelope detailing the precise nature of the task and a timeframe for its completion. Tasks largely involve killing a specified person in a particular way, often gruesome or involving mutilation of the corpse in a particular manner after death. Other tasks involve cleanup of sites filled with extreme levels of refuse and human leavings, retrieval of items from heavily secured locales, and [DATA EXPUNGED].
Any subject who is able to complete the task as specified will receive an envelope in the mail the following morning, containing payment of the agreed amount. Attempts to trace bills have been unsuccessful, and the envelopes do not feature a return address. Interviews with previous subjects have revealed that payment will occasionally come in the form of a business card for an appraiser and an item which will be appraised for exactly the agreed upon amount plus the appraiser's fees. Interviews with the appraisers have yet to yield results as to the identity of SCP-1XXX-1 or the individuals associated with SCP-1XXX.
In the event of a task being completed unsatisfactorily despite a subject's best effort (not within the timeframe, without the precise details of the task), the subject will receive an envelope with a typed card reading "Sorry, no dice". Subjects making no attempt to complete a task, or who have third parties act for them, will be visited at home by a quartet of entities, designated SCP-1XXX-2, that appear as large men in black suits and dark sunglasses. Encounters with SCP-1XXX-2 include demands for subject to continue their tasks and often physical aggression. Refusal results in the death of the subject via unknown means (surveillance equipment has routinely failed to capture the death of subjects) before SCP-1XXX-2 enters a large vehicle and vanishes. Attempts to track SCP-1XXX-2 have been unsuccessful.
If at any point a third party approaches SCP-1XXX during the process of making the deal, SCP-1XXX-1 will announce the deal being off and leave the site. Attempts to follow SCP-1XXX-1 to its origin have been unsuccessful. SCP-1XXX-1 has a keen knowledge of nearby surroundings and has eluded Foundation efforts to track it from the air as well as from the ground. It has demonstrated preternatural abilities (running, jumping, vanishing after being obscured by overhangs) and has refused all attempts at communication. It has also used numerous routes of escape, further preventing the Foundation from ascertaining its whereabouts.
A park bench initially designated SCP-1XXX was transported from its location at E. 60th St. and Fifth Ave. to Site-██ on ██/██/████ and contained as a Safe object.
On ██/██/██, a subject approached Site-██ and told agents he was "in the market" for park benches and would pay double the asking price for one. After being detained and questioned, it was determined the subject had been given the location of Site-██ by SCP-1XXX-1, after encountering it at the bus stop from which SCP-1XXX had been extracted. Subject was administered amnestics and released. Monitoring showed no adverse outcome for the subject, who discarded the typed card upon receipt via mail. Card was retrieved for analysis.
A second subject was apprehended on ██/██/████ attempting to breach Site-██'s ventilation system. Interrogation revealed subject was again under direction from SCP-1XXX-1. Subject was released as previous.
On ██/██/████, a lone subject matching the description of an instance of SCP-1XXX-2 was apprehended outside Site-██ thanks to increased security protocols. Interview follows.
Interviewer: Agent M█████████
** Agent M█████████:** Care to tell us how you found this site?
** SCP-1XXX-2a:** Just give us the bench. That's all we want. Give us the bench and we'll leave you alone.
** Agent M█████████:** I don't think you understand how things work here. I've got a team en route to get you holed up in a containment cell. So you have about two minutes to tell me who you are, where you came from and who you work for before we extract that information from you the hard way.
** SCP-1XXX-2a:** No, I don't think you understand. That bench is our property. You need to return it to us so we can keep running our business.
** Agent M█████████:** What business would that be?
** SCP-1XXX-2a:** Our business.
** Agent M█████████:** You're not getting the bench.
** SCP-1XXX-2a:** Then we'll have to relocate.
Closing Statement: SCP-1XXX-2a refused to answer further questions. When Agent M█████████ opened the interrogation room door to allow the containment team access, SCP-1XXX-2a escaped via unknown means. The room's surveillance camera went black prior to SCP-1XXX-2a's escape, restoring proper recording to show the door still locked and SCP-1XXX2a gone. Agents were interviewed and noted only a sudden force pushing them back from the door. SCP-1XXX's effects were observed to have transferred to its current location. Original SCP-1XXX was replaced in its original location, but monitoring has revealed no further anomalous properties. Containment procedures updated.
He noticed the first one while crossing Oak Street. As a residential road off a minor throughway, the sight of a cement truck coming down it from the state route was rather unusual. But as it turned out, a new sidewalk was being poured just down the block, so it was hardly unexplainable.
The second truck barrelled down Washington Street toward him just a block past Oak. It was going rather fast for a school zone, which was what caught his eye. But then, it was just now summer and school was out, not to mention it was headed for that new construction. Again, nothing unusual, though he thought the driver looked odd, not that he could see much at that distance or speed.
It was a fine morning to be walking anywhere, after all, and there was little reason to pay such things heed. The sun had risen enough to warm the early morning air, and there was nary a cloud in the sky. Birds gathered in a treetop and a groundhog poked its out from a culvert, zipping back inside when it spotted him.
The third cement mixer passed in the direction he was going down Creek Road, toward the industrial sector.
This time, he had the distinct feeling he was being watched, though again it was hard to really notice what the driver was doing, thanks to the glare of the sun. The vehicle had definitely slowed as it passed by him, however. It gave him the willies, just a little bit. Still, he was within a few blocks of the factory he worked at, so he wouldn't have to give much more consideration to the herd of cement trucks in his town.
Why would a small college town need so much cement in the middle of summer, though? It was the best time for road projects, yes, but he'd only seen the one back on Oak Street so far. Maybe it was just a strange coincidence. Maybe the third one had gotten lost on its way to Cambridge or Springfield or something, and was thinking about stopping for directions but changed its mind.
He picked his way through the grass at the roadside, the streets past Creek Road lacking sidewalks, and trudged through the gravel on the short bridge over Vernon Creek. Checking both ways, he crossed Creek Road and turned up Spencer Avenue, a light spring in his step as he climbed the gradual rise from the intersection. At the top of the hill was a dip, and another hill past that. And in the dip sat a cement mixer.
He stopped, a hand reaching behind him as though reflexively searching for a wall to cling to, his heart pounding in his chest. The mixer's load was not being delivered; instead it sat, churning and churning, the engine growling idly. There were no sidewalks here either, and no place where it seemed that cement might be needed. That sensation of being watched again crept up on him, making his hair stand endwise. He choked it down with a deep breath. Feeling rather foolish, he grinned, waved to the silhouetted driver, and began crossing the street so that he could skirt around the truck.
It moved, turning towards him and edging forward. Feeling his heart rate increase again, he hastened for the shoulder. The truck pressed forth, accelerated, nosed into the oncoming lane and placed itself between him and the embankment. He reeled for a moment before catching his balance, and found his voice.
"Hey, buddy, I dunno what you're up to, but I'm tryin' to get to work here! Would you…" He squinted, but the windows were just reflective enough that he couldn't make out the driver's features. "You mind moving?" he asked, far more calmly.
The truck responded by edging forward once again.
He suddenly felt like a mouse before a hungry cat. He took two spooked steps backward. The cement mixer matched him move for move, staying just a few paces away. Turning his head, he caught a glint out of the corner of his eye. The sun was reflecting off the windshield of another cement truck.
Something screamed in his head and he took off running southbound down Creek Road. From behind him came the sounds of engines, roaring to life and belching black smoke into the air. The two cement trucks pursued him at an ever-increasing speed, occupying both lanes of the road.
A little voice reminded him that he needn't follow the asphalt and he heeled right, dashing up the hill into the side lawn of a car refinishing plant. There was another mixer in the driveway. It paced him, herding him through the parking lot as he ran past the building.
Around the other side of the plant was another road, a spur called Experience Way that contained but a few companies. A fifth cement mixer waited at the top of the little road, surging towards him as he came into view. Panicking, he took off down the spur, which changed from blacktop to hard grey cement a few feet off of Spencer.
The spur terminated in a circle large enough to turn a semi around in, at the center of which sat one more cement truck. It chugged to life as he entered the circle and crept forward. From around him, the other trucks did likewise, surrounding him. Then one blew its horn; the others answered and he fell to his knees, hands over his ears.
"What the fuck is going on?" he cried against the cacophony. "What do you want?"
An engine revved angrily and he looked up. In the shade cast by the large drum, he could finally make out the face of the driver.
Only it had no face.
A blank ovoid of flesh stared impassively at him from beneath a blue baseball cap. The figure wore a matching blue uniform jacket, but its arms hung limply at its sides, no hands upon the steering wheel. Despite the lack of eyes, it seemed to be looking at him.
The truck that had hemmed him down Experience Way pressed forward and he was forced to crab walk backwards into the circle. His hand slipped from the pavement, a nasty gash opening along his wrist as it slid along a hard edge. Looking over his shoulder, he saw a deep pit carved into the cement roadway. The truck revved again, approaching closer, forcing him into the hole lest he be crushed beneath them. One by one, the cement mixers began to turn.
"This isn't funny!" he shouted, straining to be heard over the din of six diesel engines moving in time. "Your company will be hearing…"
The threat died on his lips as he searched the backs of the trucks for logos, words, any sign of ownership. There was nothing, not even a "How good is my driving?" placard.
The chutes descended.
He struggled to his feet, nursing his wounded arm, and stared dumbfounded as thick liquid cement poured out of the spinning barrels and into the depression in which he stood. It pooled around the bottoms of his jeans, covering his feet. The surface rose in burps and dribbles as pound after pound of the stuff fell.
"Help!" he shouted. "Somebody help me! I'm down here!"
In a moment of clarity, he reached for his cell phone, but it was in the same pocket as his cut wrist, and the blood caused the smooth black plastic piece to slip from his hand. It hit the top of the cement, now up to his knees, with a soft plop and began to sink.
The clarity died. Blindly, he lurched forward and thrust a hand into the cement. It burned his skin, seeping into his bleeding vein. He cried in a mix of pain, fright and primal anguish and began slapping at the waist-high cement, his one hope of rescue forgotten in his animal panic.
Filling the pit was the work of but a few minutes, and the last inches were enough to at last silence the screams. Their work finished, the chutes retracted. Six cement mixers drove down Experience Way, parting ways at Spencer Avenue and Creek Road and Washington Street, and left behind nothing but a fresh patch of drying cement and single sign: