Cinderman

The events that occurred in the following story could be written off as childish flights of fancy. However the fact that the events had multiple witnesses makes this unlikely.

It started as far back as I can remember.

Some of my first memories were of being terrorized by surreal beings and animated everyday objects. But we'll save those tales for another time. This story is about the basement in our old house. Of all the places, the basement was the worst. The events down there seem so absurdly Hollywood-ish that I'm unsure how to describe them without sounding like a lunatic.

The basement was typical of that of a two family job. Simply huge. It was so large during the winter we would ride our big wheel bikes around down there. It was like it came and went. You could be down there having a ball and then the most horrible feeling of dread would come over you. Usually we would just leave at that point. But once curiosity overcame fear and I decided to tough it out to see what would happen. After several minutes I convinced myself that I was being silly. No ghosts, just my imagination. That’s about the time that 'thing' jumped out from behind the furnace landed in front of me. It only was there for a second before vanishing, but that was one of the longest seconds I've ever had. I got a real good look at this thing and it was about as unpleasant a thing as any kid never wants to see.

In a nutshell it was a distorted charred skeleton. Size wise it was about my height at the time. I'd say four feet tall. I can still see its eye sockets and teeth... Its mouth opened up and though it made no sound, I could tell it was roaring at me. All of its motions were 'speeded up'. Yes, it seemed like that 'flutter' effect that modern B movies use. After it vanished I dropped my big wheel and ran up the stairs out of the basement screaming bloody murder.

Though years passed and my sister had sworn she'd seen the same thing, I became an adult with no time for delving into memories of it. After all, this had to just be the result of an overactive imagination, right?

I'd moved years ago and the place was a strip mall now. This whole nice adult reality came to a crashing halt one Halloween.

I was in a car with my sister and stepbrother. He had been talking about haunted places he'd visited. This shocked me because he was about as big a skeptic as they come. He told me that after an event with his friends at a famous haunted site he had become a believer. That and he commented that he wished our house had been still standing so he could see the ghost again. I got rather nervous, but I played dumb. "What are you talking about?" I asked him. After all he'd only been to that house once in his life for about a half an hour. "You know, that THING in your basement." Now I even more disturbed. I'd never told him about my little encounter. "What thing?" I asked. "The Cinderman." He calmly replied... He went on to tell me he was in the basement playing with my big wheel when he looked up to see what he described as 'a badly burned creature or kid' staring at him from the other side of the basement. This time it didn't disappear but after it did its 'flutter' thing he'd had enough and broke the sound barrier running up the stairs. We have no idea what the HELL that thing was, but now I realize that was no trick of the mind...

"Cinderman"

Submitted by Daniel Innis