Thursday, July 5, 2012





Al Bruno III

The living room is quiet and dark, the only light comes from the laptop screen. The children are asleep and morning is hours away. I have more than enough time.

The header of the web page reads;

“/r/nosleep - Because you weren’t planning on sleeping anyway....”

I skim the titles and the stories knowing that I will find nothing new, nothing unique or groundbreaking. I love it anyway, no one comes to this site expecting anything more. The stories here are old as the hills, hackneyed legends with new names. Before the Internet they traveled via hushed phone conversations and hastily scrawled letters. Before that they were passed back and forth across campfires, exchanged like currency.

“...and some say that broken bones taste best to Kara Muerte...”

I never had much patience for stories of any kind, not when there are so many deep red truths to explorer, but this place, this /r/nosleep holds my attention because the tales and their tellers insist that their words be treated like gospels.

That’s why it says on every page;

“Everything you read in /r/nosleep is true...”

Every time I see that I want to laugh out loud but for now I will content myself with a chuckle. After all the children are sleeping...

I thought I heard something. I went to check the house and the doors. I have to learn to be careful, this story will change my entire world.

Where was I? Everything is true.

Everything is true. Do any of the consumers or contributors to /r/nosleep even understand that no story can ever be true? Simply by trying to describe an event we adorn it or scale it back, just like a fisherman bragging a lost catch.

“/r/nosleep - Because you weren’t planning on sleeping anyway....”

The foolishness of it all makes me chuckle quietly. What is the difference between a memory and a story? They're all just words, words and ideas traveling from one mind to another like a mania or virus. Do you really think every city has an escaped lunatic with a hook for a hand? Do you really think there are vengeful child-ghosts stalking the lost places of the world?

“ slouched in the darkness like some great beast waiting to pounce on the weak and unwary...”

Most reasonable people would scoff, but the readers here on /r/nosleep want to believe and sometimes that is more than enough.

All of us here. We read, we remember, we try to believe and slowly, ever so slowly the stories burrow through our minds like a cancer, ruining and re purposing.



“Everything you read in /r/nosleep is true...”

What is it the more religiously inclined people are want to say? Faith manages.

Yes, it does.

“...something yowls in the moonlight...”

Scraps of tales cloud the edges of my vision, childish fears, adult dreads and cruel impossibilities. Tell me /r/nosleep, what have we created? What can be worse than a nightmare?

Let me tell you this;

There is a dead woman at my feet. Her blood has soaked into the carpet, a stain spreads out from her head like a halo. Her husband is by the front door, an icepick in his chest. Neither of them ever had time to cry out, their faces are still and surprised.

Perhaps that is cruelest and most untrue story of all, that Mommy and Daddy will protect us from the monsters but we know better don’t we my fellow contributors?

“The living room is quiet and dark, the only light comes from the laptop screen. The children are asleep and morning is hours away. I have more than enough time...”

Everything you read in /r/nosleep is true.


  1. ooh, nice twist at the end! Makes you wonder if there are more killers waiting on the other side of the screen, waiting for feedback on their latest post. very creepy! :D

  2. Love love love this! The way it flowed, the uncertainty I got while reading and thinking "okay, how is this going to wrap up" and then the actual ending - I thought it was fantastic. I love a good horror tale. Well done!

  3. Definitely had a nice rhythm to it. You're like a horror beat poet, Al.