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Messages - Skill Flea

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16
Story Critique / Re: Unsavable (Pokepasta)
« on: 12:24:17 AM 02/17/17 »
This is pretty good work considering its your first short horror story. It's well written and I can see the resemblance to a DP ashcan story.

My name is John, btw. I'm one of the content managers here on the website and it looks like this was your first post. Please feel free to contact me here if you have any questions. We also have a discord that I'm regularly on that you can join to meet some other creators. Let me know what you think about the website and ways to improve.

On behalf of everyone here, Welcome to TooSpooky! 

17
General Discussion / Re: Midnight Marinara Suggestion Box
« on: 11:41:56 PM 02/14/17 »
And Skill, I have thought about PenPal before, but I worry there might be the copyright catch, since the author eventually went on to print and sell the story, I think? Worth investigating nonetheless. And it gives me an excuse to... actually read PenPal, I guess!

I can't be 100% sure but if you do a quick YT search for 'Penpal', you find tons of videos. Also, the novel 1000vultures wrote is much longer than the original creepypasta and is fundamentally different. I've also thought about covering it on my own channel and as far as I can tell many more creators way larger than me have gotten away with it. Hell, some of them do 6 separate narration videos for each story. So again, I can't be 100% but my gut says its fine.

18
General Discussion / AskaFlea 'Slur Words for Orange People'
« on: 02:55:48 PM 02/11/17 »

19
Your Stories / Re: It's Cold Out Here
« on: 04:41:19 PM 02/08/17 »
Thank you Lav, I'm still getting the hang off creating payoffs. Thank you for taking the time to give me your feedback.

20
Story Critique / Re: Think Happy Thoughts
« on: 04:35:26 PM 02/08/17 »
It's fine dude, you didn't break any rules. Jesus, this is long though, lol. I'm one of the content managers here, so feel free to ask questions if you have any. We also have a discord if you'd like to join that. 

Welcome to our community!

21
Story Critique / Re: Black Rice
« on: 11:36:12 PM 02/07/17 »
I'll start off with a nitpick, cause I like this story but want to get this out of the way. Why did the co-worker and the boss from the first memo have given the code names 'Dana and Brenda'? This stood out to me because, from the way its written, the other workers from the later memos have their real names; Chen and Saanvi. Is Chen and Saanvi also given fake names? If they are their real names, then why not use Dana and Brenda's real name too? Also, this was a internal memo, so why give out fake names at all? Especially if every character is only given a first name? 

EDIT: Nice job fixing this, it was a very simple nitpick and didn't ruin the story at all.

The positive is that it is written very well. I like the set up, the office setting is perfect for an ashcan story, and the characters' actions are all very believable. The climax is very sad and little shocking, though I'm not sure if I would personally dub it scary/disturbing. Overall, it was a very good read that many ashcan readers will enjoy.

22
General Discussion / Re: Midnight Marinara Suggestion Box
« on: 03:29:07 PM 02/07/17 »
This may sound really obvious but I'm surprised you haven't tackled PenPal yet. I would think there would plenty of material to write a Penpal script for MM, even a multi-part episode like you did for Red Sky at Night.   

23
Your Stories / Re: It's Cold Out Here
« on: 03:17:06 PM 02/07/17 »
Cons: The pay off is a little weak and the stakes could have been higher.

Pros: Holy shit this was well written.  The setting, the characterization of the narrator, the tension, all of it was great.  I've only worked in food retail for a bit and not in this bad of a situation, but the manager and punks were immediately recognizable.  I'm really impressed just by how well this was put together.  It was so easy to imagine myself in the freezing cold, shitty car, and dank sidewalk where the narrator is hacking up a lung (btw, nice using your experiences for a character ailment).

Good work dude.  One of your best to date.

Hey dude, thanks for the incredibly kind words.  Thank you for also noticing how I threw my own recent ailments onto this protagonist. I feel like finally getting this story posted got a lot off my chest and will allow me to move forward.

24
Your Stories / Re: It's Cold Out Here
« on: 04:04:01 PM 02/06/17 »
Feel free to give feedback btw.  ;)
 

25
Your Stories / It's Cold Out Here
« on: 03:51:51 PM 02/06/17 »
Imagine having no job and desperately needing the money just to support yourself. What would you do for minimum wage?

Now try to imagine having a job where the work makes you incredibly queasy but you still had to work there anyway. I have no issues when it comes to handing customers their shitty food when it’s in a smiling box or a greasy paper bag. Seeing it and touching it however, makes me want to quit McDonalds more than I already do.   

To make matters worse my job is for the night shift. I like having the evenings open but it was the only position they had for someone like me. That she-bitch of a manger initially promised that I wouldn’t have to handle the food preparations. I was needed for other menial tasks along with my normal cashier and drive thru duties. Clean bathrooms, take out the garbage, sweep/vacuum the floors, and all the usual tasks associated with being an insignificant lackey. They have me working from six at night to three in the morning. The restaurant floor closes at midnight but they keep the drive thru open till three. After midnight, I’m expected to work the drive thru and help clean the place during any downtime. 

Now my experience here has gone from mildly frustrating to downright appalling. Lately, I’ve been coughing up a wonderful mixture of green, orange, and black phlegm. I can’t exactly see a doctor anyway and need all the work I can get. My job isn’t that hard to replace. Also, the fucker they hired to help me clean the joint just disappeared sometime last week and didn’t bother to tell anyone about it. For some reason my superiors were not making it a priority to hire someone else and simply told me to quote on quote “Deal with it.” So for the last week or so I’ve been here on my own. I’ve always hated that lazy piece of shit but hate scrubbing this place by myself even more.     

Then there was the time that group of assholes decided to key my car a few nights ago. Last week, I went outside for a quick smoke break during my shift and saw three punks keying slur words on my fucking doors! Chasing them was a losing effort and only made me hack up even more of my lung. I would’ve ran the fuckers over if I hadn’t stupidly forgotten my keys in the break room. Unfortunately, as of late I’ve been seeing traces of those punks hanging out around the shopping center. I usually see their bikes somewhere around the parking lot area, tossed in a pile like they own the place. For the time being I’ve elected to park behind the adjacent Stop N’ Shop since it’s in the same shopping center. I always park under the broken pole light just to keep the car as safe as possible. Fun fact: peeing on a bicycle seat really ruins the integrity of the stitching.

So last night I reached my limit. The kid once again decided to not show up to work and left me to take care of everything like usual. It was 1 am on a rainy Wednesday morning and I hadn’t seen anyone within the last half hour.  I was coughing, sneezing, and hacking up all sorts of colorful shit and decided to retrieve the smokes from my car. I purposefully leave them there to help resist the temptation but whenever I get stressed I tend to cough more and smoking is about the only activity that helps me relax. For all you know-it-alls out there, yes it doesn’t take a doctor to tell you that smoking is bad for your health and I don’t like being told what I already know.

After turning off the lights in the store, I began walking towards my car. We have security cameras watching the place but unless I report something the she-bitch doesn’t check the tapes. Now the joint is the only establishment not connected to the rest of the shopping center. The building is literally in the middle of the parking lot facing the Stop N’ Shop. We are the only place still open at this time of night, so walking to my car always makes me feel how empty the large parking lot really is. Accompanied by the pitter patter of raindrops, I headed towards the back parking lot to get to my car. It began to get really nippy outside and soon my eyelids began to feel heavy. After all, it’s really difficult to change your sleep routine and get used to sleeping in the middle of the day. So I just sat in my car to stay warm, smoked out the window, and rested my eyes. I fought against myself to stay awake but it was a losing proposition. 

After waking up and realizing my incredible blunder, I immediately checked the glowing green display on my dashboard that now read 3:37. With no time to lose I drove the car back towards McDonalds. I could hear the faint sound of crackling beneath my tires as I began to move. It didn’t really matter to me in the moment as I sped through the empty backlot. I turned the corner, saw the golden arches, and was dumbfounded by the scene in front of me.

Everything was completely normal. I had passed out for more than two hours and somehow by some divine intervention, there was the joint in the state I had left it. No one was there to complain and nothing was out of the ordinary. All quiet on the greasy front.

I marveled at my luck. I mean it was a Tuesday night and I was the only living thing here for miles. Even if someone did show up for a late night snack, they probably would’ve fucked off the second they saw the darkness in the building. Still, I was more amazed at my ability to actually get away with doing what I just did. I smiled and turned to my car towards the shopping center exit to leave. Then the store keys that I had left on the passenger’s seat tumbled out and fell all the way to the floor mat with an obnoxious jingle. I hadn’t locked the store.

I had intended to come back to the joint after retrieving my pack but it still wasn’t the smartest move on my part. It would be very unfortunate if someone were to find the doors unlocked in the morning. I drove back up the small incline towards the joint and parked next to its right entrance. Upon closer inspection, nothing appeared to be out of the ordinary but I definitely had not locked those doors and was not about to get in trouble for a great shift where I was able to catch some z’s.

The weather outside had gotten significantly more chilly, nothing out of the ordinary and it had stopped raining. It was just way colder than it was before. The car door had actually slightly frozen over and it was pretty difficult getting out at first. I approached the cold brick building, the condensation had created a cloudy veneer over the frozen windows. I needed to go inside to lock everything up, so naturally I took my keys and opened the door.     

The smell hit me like a truck. It was spicy, almost like some off-brand tabasco sauce, but it was overpowering and permutated throughout the dining area. I was a bit startled by this odor but far more annoyed. All I could think about was how this could cost me my job. I walked around the dining area for at least a few minutes, searching hectically through the almost empty garbage cans under the soft drink machines but I couldn’t find the source of this stench. To make matters worse, it was beginning to get really warm in here as if someone had turned up the heat.

I remember turning in the direction of the thermostat to check on it and immediately having my attention drawn towards a wheel poking out from behind register. Attached to that wheel was a bike parked right behind the register and next to it laid two more. I knew who the owners were immediately and I was enraged.  Of course they had to pick the one night where I left the doors unlocked. As I came into the kitchen area, the odd spicy aroma began to fade. However, now I was smelling something that was definitely more recognizable. Pot. Soon the faint sound of giggling was also heard, confirming my suspicions that I was not the only one in the building.

Now I couldn’t exactly close the joint with a bunch of teenagers inside. By around four in the morning, I had figured out exactly where they were. If the pot smell wasn’t obvious enough, I found a trail of hamburger wrappers on the floor. Starting from the heat cabinet where we keep the food warm and following it all the way to the break room door. Those assholes were probably having the time of their lives in there.

I really did not want to deal with calling the cops on these punks. Even if I did, those fuckers would probably receive nothing but a slap on the wrist. They are most likely in high school or something and I’ve always suspected those pretty boys were from wealthy families. There’s at least four country clubs in my community and you can learn a lot about a person based on the variety of footwear and clothing they have. Even that smug sense of superiority they all blatantly show off is an attitude that’s all too familiar for some lackey like me. Hell, it’s not like they were the only ones that were not supposed to be here at four in the mourning and I still didn’t want anyone to look at those security tapes.

I’ll admit that grabbing a large kitchen knife and scaring the shit out of them out really did cross my mind. It was an incredibly stupid thought but one that gave me a fleeting moment of joy. However, after a few minutes of brainstorming, I decided that I just had to confront them and yell at them to leave. I reasoned with myself and came to the conclusion that they were probably too high and stupid to really put up much of a fight anyway. Plus, they would have the same incentives as me to not get caught and would not tell anyone about this. I still had no intention of calling anyone but they didn’t know that. So I approached the closed break room door and tried to act as diplomatic as possible. 

“You motherfuckers have exactly 30 seconds to get out of here or else I’m calling the fucking cops!”

After saying the word ‘cops’, I could hear the sound of giggling again. I couldn’t believe what was dealing with and how far this whole thing had escalated.   
“I’m serious! You assholes better leave right now or you’ll all be in serious trouble!”

Now they were really getting under my skin, the giggling wouldn’t stop and they were clearly not taking me seriously. Soon the store keys were out of my coat pocket and I was looking for the correct one that would let me inside. Another violent coughing fit hindered this process as I fumbled around with the keys. The giggling escalated into a chorus of hushed laughter as I continued to hack up a colorful phlegm-filled rainbow. I found the right one and worked the keyhole until I could hear the faint clicking sound. In that moment the sound of laughter ceased and all was quiet except for my labored breathing.
 
This wasn’t the first time this had happened, I’ve had coughing fits in the past that have affected my breathing but never like this. My hand was clutching the doorknob in a desperate attempt to hold the rest of my body up. I was out of it for at least a solid minute. The dizziness was overwhelming and I nearly puked whenever I looked down at the ground. When I finally came around, I remember screaming in pain as I practically had to peel my hand off the freezing metal. My lightheadedness was so bad that I failed to realize how frozen my hand was. Somehow, the door was colder than ice.

I’ll spare you from the more gruesome details but anyone who has frozen pulled pork before could probably come up with an accurate description of what the palm of my hand looked like. After running over to grab the heat lamp, the door opened behind me. They say that sometimes your actions are not your own and other times you can complete a task without even thinking about it. Like blinking and breathing or for that night, hauling ass. All I can remember is hearing a voice in the back of my head begging me to find warmth and like a wounded animal I blindly took off. I must’ve looked like shit as I blindly ran into counters, tripped on a cord, and then bashed my face into the hard paneled flooring.

The fading sound of roaring laughter inspired me to quickly get up and flee further away from the break room door. The temperature had only continued to drop and the parking lot outside was covered in a black ice minefield. The car had frozen over and it took a while for it to get started. I slammed down on the acceleration and my left tires went over a large bump. Nothing else mattered in that moment as I recklessly sped away from the restaurant. I must’ve ran at least two red lights before finally calming down. I kept driving forward with no destination in mind, I was just sort of on autopilot at this point. Eventually the sun came up and I pulled over to the side of the road. It didn’t take long for me to pass out.



It was around 11 am on a beautiful Wednesday morning when I came to.  My cellphone blew up and I have some snazzy new messages from my boss. I needed a hot shower and a meal so I decided to go home. Pretty soon afterwards I found myself packing a bag. I think I’m going to go on the road for a little bit. I’ve always been a nobody in this town and maybe that’s finally going to pay off. Hell, what’s the worst that can happen? Finding a new town and new start will be great for me. Perhaps I can find a new job and eventually find a way to buff out the message keyed on the driver’s side of my car.

So, what would you do for minimum wage?   

26
Featured CreepyPasta / Autopilot
« on: 01:16:36 PM 01/08/17 »
Have you ever forgotten your phone?
When did you realize you’d forgotten it? I’m guessing you didn’t just smack your forehead and exclaim ‘damn’ apropos of nothing. The realization probably didn’t dawn on you spontaneously. More likely, you reached for your phone, pawing open your pocket or handbag, and were momentarily confused by it not being there. Then you did a mental recap of the morning’s events.

Shit.

In my case, my phone’s alarm woke me up as normal but I realized the battery was lower than I expected. It was a new phone and it had this annoying habit of leaving applications running that drain the battery overnight. So, I put it on to charge while I showered instead of into my bag like normal. It was a momentary slip from the routine but that was all it took. Once in the shower, my brain got back into ‘the routine’ it follows every morning and that was it.

Forgotten.

This wasn’t just me being clumsy, as I later researched; this is a recognized brain function. Your brain doesn’t work just on one level, it works on many. Like, when you’re walking somewhere, you think about your destination and avoiding hazards, but you don’t need to think about keeping your legs moving properly. If you did, the entire world would turn into one massive hilarious QWOP cosplay. I wasn’t thinking about regulating my breathing, I was thinking whether I should grab a coffee on the drive to work (I did). I wasn’t thinking about moving my breakfast through my intestines, I was wondering whether I’d finish on time to pick up my daughter Emily from the nursery after work or get stuck with another late fee. This is the thing; there’s a level of your brain that just deals with routine, so that the rest of the brain can think about other things.

Think about it. Think about your last commute. What do you actually remember? Probably little, if anything. Most common journeys blur into one, and recalling any one in particular is scientifically proven to be difficult. Do something often enough and it becomes routine. Keep doing it and it stops being processed by the thinking bit of the brain and gets relegated to a part of the brain dedicated to dealing with routine. Your brain keeps doing it, without you thinking about it. Soon, you think about your route to work as much as you do keeping your legs moving when you walk.

Most people call it autopilot. But there’s danger there. If you have a break in your routine, your ability to remember and account for the break is only as good as your ability to stop your brain going into routine mode. My ability to remember my phone being on the counter is only as reliable as my ability to stop my brain entering ‘morning routine mode’ which would dictate that my phone is actually in my bag. But I didn’t stop my brain entering routine mode. I got in the shower as normal. Routine started. Exception forgotten.

Autopilot engaged.

My brain was back in the routine. I showered, I shaved, the radio forecasted amazing weather, I gave Emily her breakfast and loaded her into the car (she was so adorable that morning, she complained about the ‘bad sun’ in the morning blinding her, saying it stopped her having a little sleep on the way to nursery) and left. That was the routine. It didn’t matter that my phone was on the counter, charging silently. My brain was in the routine and in the routine my phone was in my bag. This is why I forgot my phone. Not clumsiness. Not negligence. Nothing more my brain entering routine mode and over-writing the exception.

Autopilot engaged.

I left for work. It’s a swelteringly hot day already. The bad sun had been burning since before my traitorously absent phone woke me. The steering wheel was burning hot to the touch when I sat down. I think I heard Emily shift over behind my driver’s seat to get out of the glare. But I got to work. Submitted the report. Attended the morning meeting. It’s not until I took a quick coffee break and reached for my phone that the illusion shattered. I did a mental restep. I remembered the dying battery. I remembered putting it on to charge. I remembered leaving it there.

My phone was on the counter.

Autopilot disengaged.

Again, there lies the danger. Until you have that moment, the moment you reach for your phone and shatter the illusion, that part of the brain is still in routine mode. It has no reason to question the facts of the routine; that’s why it’s a routine. The act of repetition. It’s not as if anyone could say ‘why didn’t you remember your phone? Didn’t it occur to you? How could you forget? You must be negligent’; this is to miss the point. My brain was telling me the routine was completed as normal, despite the fact that it wasn’t. It wasn’t that I forgot my phone. According to my brain, according to the routine, my phone was in my bag. Why would I think to question it? Why would I check? Why would I suddenly remember, out of nowhere, that my phone was on the counter?

My brain was wired into the routine and the routine was that my phone was in my bag.

The day continued to bake. The morning haze gave way to the relentless fever heat of the afternoon. Tarmac bubbled. The direct beams of heat threatened to crack the pavement. People swapped coffees for iced smoothies. Jackets discarded, sleeves rolled up, ties loosened, brows mopped. The parks slowly filled with sunbathers and BBQ’s. Window frames threatened to warp. The thermometer continued to swell. Thank fuck the offices were air-conditioned.

But, as ever, the furnace of the day gave way to a cooler evening. Another day, another dollar. Still cursing myself for forgetting my phone, I drove home. The day's heat had baked the inside of the car, releasing a horrible smell from somewhere. When I arrived on the driveway, the stones crunching comfortingly under my tires, my wife greeted me at the door.

“Where’s Emily?”

Fuck.

As if the phone wasn’t bad enough. After everything I’d left Emily at the fucking nursery after all. I immediately sped back to the nursery. I got to the door and started practicing my excuses, wondering vainly if I could charm my way out of a late fee. I saw a piece of paper stuck to the door.

“Due to vandalism overnight, please use side door. Today only.”

Overnight? What? The door was fine this morni-

I froze. My knees shook.

Vandals. A change in the routine.

My phone was on the counter.

I hadn’t been here this morning.

My phone was on the counter.

I’d driven past because I was drinking my coffee. I’d not dropped off Emily.

My phone was on the counter.

She’d moved her seat. I hadn’t seen her in the mirror.

My phone was on the counter.

She’d fallen asleep out of the bad sun. She didn’t speak when I drove past her nursery.

My phone was on the counter.

She’d changed the routine.

My phone was on the counter.

She’d changed the routine and I’d forgotten to drop her off.

My phone was on the counter.

Nine hours. That car. That baking sun. No air. No water. No power. No help. That heat. A steering wheel too hot to touch.

That smell.

I walked to the car door. Numb. Shock.

I opened the door.

My phone was on the counter and my daughter was dead.

Autopilot disengaged.

Written by Skarjo


27
My husband Jeremy has never been an abusive man but he’s always had that temper. I know that he loves our girl with all his heart and he would never lay a finger on her nor myself. I guess you could say our family is the poster child for traditional values. I take care of the house while he works at the coal mines, we live a simple but happy lifestyle. Whenever that man started screaming though, I would silently go into the basement with my little Sarah to get away from the noise. You see, I have very sensitive hearing and my husband’s yelling can really ruin a peaceful night.

For whatever reason, Jeremy’s temper would always worsen as the weather turned colder. He’s always had that bad back he never wants to admit having. Perhaps the lower temperature had a negative effect on him physically but then again Jeremy has always hated the cold.  I guess for as long as I’ve known him, there’s been many things that cause that man to rant and rave. The media, diet sodas, cheerleaders in football games, liberals, Mike’s dog; and all that was just during one very memorable breakfast with our extended family.

Jeremy does most of the bellyaching around here but there has been something that’s been driving me mad lately. Bells. I’ve been hearing the sound of bells ever since Thanksgiving. Jeremy and Mike were passed out on the couch, Sarah was in bed, and I was trying to clean the table. That’s when I began hearing the ringing of bells, I wasn’t afraid of the sound per se but I had no idea where it was coming from. The ringing was only there for a few moments before it disappeared.

As the weeks after Thanksgiving came and went, I kept occasionally hearing the sound of bells once more. Sometimes they were louder and sometimes they lasted a little longer. I was going crazy trying to figure out where they were coming from. Jeremy couldn’t hear them himself but was kind enough to comb through the entire house. Of course he found nothing. 

It was the 21st of last December when the bells finally had a point of origin. I was preparing dinner when Sarah came running into the kitchen with this huge smile on her face.

‘Mommy, its Santa! Santa is here!’

She pulled me towards the front window and outside stood a man with broad shoulders dressed as Santa Claus. He was standing at the front of the house, facing away from the door. A small red pot was by his side with a little sign that I could barely read: ‘Please consider donating!’ Although he was still facing away from the house, as I was looking at him, he began ringing his bell. I made sure the house was locked before grabbing Sarah and running for the basement. I had no idea who this man was and wasn’t about to take any chances. 

But then the ringing stopped and I could hear two men begin screaming at each other. One of them was definitely my husband, he must have just come home. I held my daughter as the minutes of screaming went on, until there was a loud bang and the screaming ceased. I ran upstairs, leaving Sarah behind, only to see Santa coming inside. The jingle of my husband’s keys was the last thing I heard.
   
It is now spring. I’m resting at my mother’s house trying to get back on my feet. My husband is gone and my child is nowhere to be seen.     

30
Your Stories / Re: He's Fast Asleep
« on: 12:49:52 PM 11/30/16 »
You really did a fantastic job.  :D

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