The following short story was presented at the Jersey City Writers’ monthly genre event–Creepypasta: A Literary Reading of Web Horror. Please enjoy.
This story was originally found on a message board about the paranormal.
“The Weeping Man – DO NOT READ”
I think everyone is familiar with the weeping man story, but just in case you’re not, here’s a quick rundown. If you go out alone at night and are waiting at a bus stop or train platform you might encounter a ghostly man who will be crying. You’re supposed to ignore him and just walk away. When you get home, he’ll be waiting outside your door. Ignore him again and make sure you lock the door behind you. He disappears by sunrise. That’s it. A bit creepy but hardly a good ghost story. I forgot it almost as soon as I heard it and only remembered it again about eight months ago. How I wish I would have remembered the damn story in time.
I was waiting at the bus stop on River Road as I often did on Thursday nights. I hadn’t been there long when I turned and saw a man sitting on the bench with me. I don’t think he was there when I walked up, but maybe I just didn’t notice him. He had graying hair, wore a rumpled brown jacket, dark pants, and dirt covered shoes. Nothing remarkable. He was hunched over with his face in his hands though and he was crying so hard that he shook the bench. I felt bad for the guy so I asked him if he was alright.
Instantly all sound stopped and before I could react, he had gripped my arms tightly in his bloody hands. I screamed but no sound came out. I struggled to get away, but it was like being stuck in stone. His drew his face inches away from mine. I could smell rotten flesh and that metallic smell of blood. His features were obscured by jagged, scratch-like wounds. His mouth was sewn shut with large, rough stitches. Then, I heard the following as overlapping, pressured whispers. It seemed to come from everywhere.
“…made me do it…. she wouldn’t shut up… had no choice… baby kept crying… wouldn’t listen… I WARNED them… wouldn’t stop screaming… over and… OVER AND… then finally… QUIET… deep under the crossroads… silenced forever… sewed the secrets in… SEWED THEM SHUT! But I hear them… must tell someone… can’t trust ANYONE… not even myself… ANYONE WHO TELLS… ANYONE WHO HEARS… it’s MY secret… I WILL SEW YOU ALL SHUT!”
My head throbbed intensely as the words repeated and ran together, etching themselves permanently into my brain. Then, without warning, I fell backwards onto the bench. The sounds were gone. I jumped up with the intention to run, but the sharp pain was still so bad that all I could do was hold my head. The pain started to fade when I noticed the bus lights in the distance. There was no sign of the weeping man anymore. I hesitated for a moment, then decided that taking the bus home would be a lot safer than going home alone in the dark. I felt slightly comforted by the heavy sounds and stale smells of the bus but I refused to look out the windows and couldn’t stop shivering.
I didn’t sleep that night, nor any night since. I see his face in gruesome detail every time I close my eyes. I still hear what he said to me; nothing can drown it out. My roommates know something’s wrong with me. That’s not surprising since I refuse to leave my room. I could never tell them what happened. It might have been a figment of my twisted and vivid imagination but if it wasn’t… I could be putting their lives in danger. After all, the bruises on my arms were real.
I’m telling my story after all this time because something new started happening about two month ago that pushed me past my breaking point. I thought I heard voices. Voices that silenced the whispers that had tortured me for months! They were asking for help but no matter what I did, I was never told how to help them. Soon, I was seeing things out of the corner of my eye and over time I saw two shadows appear more openly and more often. They’re both here right now, watching me write this They aren’t shadows anymore but blurred figures. Their pleading is constant. One looks like a woman in white. She is deathly pale, but her arms have dark marks, like bruises. She has black hair covering almost all of her face. I can see her mouth. It’s sewn shut. I think her neck was broken, since her head is tilted at a disturbingly sharp angle. I bet she was the weeping man’s wife and he killed her. Oh god… she smiled as I wrote that.
I’m looking at the little girl now. She’s a miniature of the woman except instead of a broken neck, she seems soaked and a bit bloated. Her dripping hair covers her face completely and, I’m not sure why, but I’m relieved. She scares me more than the woman does. There are times when I just scream and cry and beg them to go away and leave me alone. They never do, but I can hear the little girl giggling for hours afterwards. I assume she was his daughter, and he drowned her.
Wait… they’ve stopped asking for help… it’s finally quiet…
I don’t see them anymore. The room is getting colder. I have to hurry. I couldn’t tell my loved ones and put them in danger, but I had to tell someone! You looked for this. You sought this out. It’ll all be over soon now, for you and for me, but at least you’ll have seen the paranormal with your own eyes.
Please forgive me.
Are you watching ‘weeping man’?! You’re big secret is out now! SEW ME SHUT!