Why You Gotta Do Dis to Me?

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Before I get started, I would like to talk about my last post. That post was a result of me spending way too much time on this reading scary stories to pass the time at work. I thought to myself, “hey, I can write stories like these!” so, voila! I may continue it, I may not, you’ll just have to come back and see. But, since I haven’t been on that subreddit since starting that story, you’ll have better luck putting your money down on California Chrome winning at Belmont June 7th, to complete the first Triple Crown since the product of world-renowned(?) breeder Harbor View Farm’s very own Affirmed won it 1978. Anyway, on with the show!

Graduating from college is one of the most depressing things a human being could ever endure. One day you’re waking up at 2:00pm from a night of drunken embarrassment, just to stumble your way to your only class of the day – Underwater Tech Decking 576, 2:30pm (that’s right, you read that correctly, that, my friends, is an advanced class) – and the next day you’re in the real world, begging for a job like the desperate girl who wants to fit in so badly she stumbles her way across the Quad to her 2:30pm advanced Tech Decking class (obviously all the cool kids are taking it, so don’t tell me you wouldn’t risk your life to get to that class). It’s such a dramatic change, no wonder people prolong it and go to graduate school.

Here’s what really rubs me the wrong way about the application process: you’ve done all you can do – submitted application after application, tweaking your resume and cover letter to the job description; watched all of the interview videos your post-college career brain can handle on YouTube; got your suit pressed for the time your interview comes; etc. then comes the worlds longest waiting game. All you’re hoping for is to hear back from that one company who noticed one of your accomplishments is taking home Gold at the 2013 U23 Tech Deck World Championship (finally, all those late night study sessions paid off!) and thought, “Hey! I’ve never seen that before! Let’s bring this young-buck in!” But, in today’s world, where it’s not really what you know, it’s who you know – i.e. no stranger is worth anybody’s time, because time is money, and money is the most powerful thing in the world (hey! What about social media? – any millennial you’ll ever speak to, ever) – you’ll be waiting longer for that email/phone call to come than that girl who got stood up in that one movie about the thing, you know…the one you’re currently thinking about.

Shortly after you apply, you most likely get an email stating they got your application and someone from HR will review it and get back to you within three weeks. So, during those three weeks you begin to paint a picture of yourself sitting in the new age, modern office, equipped with the top of the line iMac’s, where everyone is dressed in the newest fashion trends you find on Urban Outfitters, and you can’t help but to get your hopes up (I mean, that IS one appealing picture, amirite?). You mark off on your calendar 21 days to initiate the countdown, and the closer you get to that date without receiving anything from Mr./Mrs. HR, a little piece of your heart breaks off. You then come to realization your email never did make it to HR, the stupid fucking algorithm that sends out automatic replies is a pathological liar, and you start that process all over again; this time, more depressed than ever.

Excuse my French, but is it that freaking hard for someone to stay true to their word and reply back to you, even if you don’t get the job, within the given period of time? It literally takes less than a minute for someone in HR (hell, utilize the intern) to draft up something along the lines of:

Dear Mr. Aponte (enter x2) Thank you for applying for the [insert job title here] position at [insert company of your choice]. Unfortunately, we have found someone else whose qualifications better suit the job description. We appreciate your time applying and will keep your resume on file for future positions. (enter x2) Thanks and good luck, (enter x1) Sandra Dean.

Even receiving an email as simple as that mends a few pieces of your heart back together after suffering through the countdown. Never in your life will you be somewhat relieved to have gotten bad news, simply because you have evidence stating your application and resume were actually reviewed (even if it was just another pathologically lying algorithm).

For all of those virgins-to-the-real-world who recently graduated and don’t have anything lined up yet, I seriously encourage you to A) go back in time and fail your finals, B) start passing out your resume as if you were a Lady of the Night who is 5 jobs away from her monthly quota with only 3 hours left, or C) strongly consider graduate school while you’re still in college mode. It’s a pretty rough life out there.

Good luck,

Ms. (soon to be Misses!!!!11!1!111!) Dean.

Human Resources (BITCH) Rep.

The Never Ending Night

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There we stood holding our breath, as the only source of sound came from the wind forcing its way through the broken shutters, whistling like a janitor waxing the floors at the end of the work day. Darkness filled the house around every corner. I’m not talking about the darkness you have when you turn your bedroom light off to go to sleep. You know, the kind where you can maneuver your way to the bathroom if you need to, thanks to your alarm clock illuminating just enough to make out the door. I’m talking about the darkness you get when you close your eyes, not even able to make out your own hand three inches in front of your face. “So, this must be what it’s like to be blind” I said, attempting to lighten the mood, but failing miserably. “Shut up and turn on the damn flashlight” directed Sarah. I reached for the flashlight I had in my back pocket and turned it on.

The house was just like the kind you see in horror films: old, Victorian-styled house with rotting wood panels somehow keeping the house upright. Shutters hanging on by nails that, if pierced your skin, would have tetanus coursing through your body almost instantly. Layers of dust so thick if you breathed in too heavily, you might literally cough up a lung. There were stairs that ran along the left side of the house, leading the way up to three bedrooms on the second floor. To the right of the front door was a room occupied by a grand piano. If you walked further down the hall you came to a formal dining room with a chandelier not even the heirs of oil-tycoons could purchase. Opposite that was an office occupied by a large oak desk, stained with a blood-red finish, facing a wall filled with every type of book you could imagine: medical, law, economics, even taxidermy. At the end of the hall was where you found a large living room and kitchen, as open as the Great Plains. The living room floor was filled with furniture resting peacefully under bed sheets and broken glass. On the walls hung picture frames and mirrors that were turned around, so the only thing showing was the back of the wooden frame. In the kitchen lied the most profound smelling foods, rotten to the core.

The beam of light pierced through the darkness, revealing the back door leading to the deck. I turned to the right towards Sarah, only knowing she was in that vicinity due to her snark demand. She raised her hand to block the light from her eyes and groaned, “are you trying to make me go blind?” Chuckling, I turned and shown the light to my left where David stood facing the wall. “Well, this is embarrassing…I thought I was facing you guys”, he said. He turned around, grinning from ear to ear, “so, now what?” As we stood there, contemplating the next move, it hit me like a ton of bricks. “Uhhh…guys? Where’s Elena?” Fear struck Sarah’s face as she began yelling Elena’s name. “Elena! Elena! Where are you?!” Sarah’s voice bounced off the walls, filling every room in that house. She stopped, pausing for a response, but received nothing.

The flashlight began to flicker on and off. I could feel Sarah’s eyes pierce my skin, giving me the sensation of that year I did the Polar Bear Plunge. “Stop acting so immature, Josh. Can’t you tell I’m already freaked out enough?” I banged the flashlight a couple of times on my knee. “I’m not doing this on purpose, Sarah” mimicking the sound of her voice. When the light stopped flickering, David cleared his throat, “I guess we should go look for her, huh?”

We walked down the hall in a single-file line, as if we were kindergartners going to lunch. I shined the flashlight in each of the rooms passing by, but to no avail Elena wasn’t in any of them. As we were approaching the living room we heard this loud crack that echoed throughout the house. We stopped, frozen in our tracks, hearts racing and heavily breathing yet again. “Should we go up there?” I proposed. “If we do, you’re leading the way, Columbus; considering you have our only source of light” David said. I stood there, ruminating about what David just said, but the only thing that kept running through my mind was me reaching the top step and getting hit in the face by a blunt object and never seeing the light of day again. “It was probably just wind slamming a shutter shut”, I cowardly said, “let’s keep going.” When we reached the back room, consisting of the kitchen and living room, the smell hits us instantly. “Oh my god, Sarah, close your legs”, David jokingly said. Another smack filled the air, but this time I think it’s obvious as to who made that noise. “What the hell, Sarah? I was kidding. Relax” David painfully said.

Scanning the kitchen with the flashlight, realizing I wasn’t finding anything significant, I turned to the living room. As I guided the flashlight across the open room I came across Elena sitting in the corner, curled up in a ball. Sarah couldn’t help but scream when Elena’s body filled the circle of light cast by the flashlight. “Elena? Elena?”, I whispered. “Is everything alright?” She raised her head, tears running down her face as if she were at a funeral. She jumped up and sprinted into Sarah’s arms, squeezing her so tightly you could hear Sarah’s spine cracking. “Now that’s what I like to see!” David said, as he raised his eyebrows up and down repetitively. Elena turned to David, giving him the nastiest of looks.

“I thought you guys left me” Elena sympathized. “Did you not hear us calling your name?” Sarah asked. “No. I guess the fact my mind was racing with thoughts as to what was about to happen to me effected my hearing.”

That’s when it happened. A light other than my flashlight seeped through the shutters, filling the living room with a casting lined shadow on all of our bodies. Struck with fear, my reflexes somehow kicked in and I turned the flashlight off. We all stood there hoping the occupants of the car mistakenly pulled up to the wrong house. As the tires rolled across the gravel driveway, the breaks sang the highest of melodies and the car finally came to a stop. The house was once again filled with darkness as the headlights turned off. The door to the car squeaked open, sending shivers down our spine as it slammed shut. Then, silence.

Never Ending Footsteps

Miscellaneous

For those of you who know me, I’m a sucker for scary things. Let me rephrase that: I’m a sucker for scary things that I’m not physically apart of (e.g. watching scary movies, reading scary stories online, etc.), unless it involves clowns, fuck clowns. Yeah, I get goosebumps, the chills, and sometimes my eyes gloss over as if I’m about to cry, but even though I get these same reactions every single time (mostly from reading scary stories or hearing someone retell a scary story, as opposed to movies/tv shows) I eat that shit up! (Out of curiosity I looked up that last “symptom”, because I was young and naive and thought it only happened to me. Luckily I was wrong, so I’m a little less weird than what I previously thought.) But, turn the tables and put me in a situation where I’m about to see some unexplainable shit, I, just like the majority of human existence, try to play it cool and then casually freak the fuck out. As is the case with this story. Enjoy!

I’m just going to cut straight to the point: my parents house is haunted. When we first moved in, we took a picture of the house to send to relatives and there was a silhouette of a girl in one of the windowpanes on our front door; my dad woke up to a girl (same one?) sitting in his computer chair in his office; my dad saw a figure at the end of the hall in the windowpane of our basement door; I’ve gotten in bed at night only to find warm spots as if someone was previously sitting there; etc. Anyway, apart from the bed thing, I’ve never really encountered another instance of paranormal phenomenon until that night.

It was sophomore or junior year of high school and I was telling some friends of mine at school many of the stories I just previously listed. Reaping all of the glory that comes along with living in a haunted house (of course there’s glory to that!), one of my friends asked me if I’ve ever physically saw this ghost, to which I said no, thus tarnishing my paranormal street-cred. But, I wasn’t going to let that disappoint me. Just because I haven’t seen anything doesn’t mean it’s not true, so I brushed it off and continued with the school day.

Fast-forward to later that night – my mom, the only other person home at the time, was downstairs working out in the basement. I, being the studious person I am, was sitting in my dad’s office “doing homework”, minding my own business, when suddenly I heard the faintest of footsteps on their hardwood floors. It was noticeable enough to catch my attention, but I brushed it off and told myself it was probably my mom downstairs. A few minutes went by and suddenly I heard them again, but this time they were clear enough that I could pinpoint where they were coming from; the hallway parallel to the office. So, being the brave person I thought I was, I mumbled to myself, “I’m going to regain my previously tarnished paranormal street-cred and sit right here until I see this ghost.”

Glossy eyes fixated on the open door, I sat there as the steps got louder and louder. What started as a valiant effort towards this whole “being a man regaining that street-cred” thing, I began to break with every step I heard, trembling in the chair. Each step sounding like it was the last step until I saw the mystery person/thing, I couldn’t take it anymore. I hopped up from the chair and took off down the basement stairs. With how fast I was going down the stairs, I’m surprised I didn’t fall like the dumb girl in those scary movies who always fall when they’re running from the killer. Once downstairs, I poke my head into the workout room to see what my mom was up to. Of course I already knew she was working out, but to my surprise she wasn’t there…

Just kidding, she was there wondering what all of the commotion was. I didn’t want to tell her exactly what happened, so I said what any loving son would say: “Oh, that was just me running down the stairs to check on you :)”

So there you have it – my anticlimactic ghost story, in which you probably thought you were going to find out just who, or what roams the halls of my parents house. Of course, looking back on it now I’m pissed at my 16-17 year-old self for not having the balls to see the outcome, but put me in that same situation again and I’ll sit through the whole thing. I think. It’s probably the same thing that tried to choke me while I was sleeping a couple of months ago at my new house, but we’ll save that one for a rainy day.