Night Terrors Vol. 1-9: The Ultimate Nightmare Collection EXCLUSIVE OFFER
Night Terrors Vol. 1-9: The Ultimate Nightmare Collection EXCLUSIVE OFFER
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It's the golden hour for horror...
We’re all afraid of things that go bump in the night. Shadows in the graveyard, wind moaning through the trees, a creaking door in a sinister old house. There are things hiding in the darkness. And sometimes, what you can’t see can definitely hurt you....
Scare Street is proud to present Night Terrors: Volumes 1-9 in a single collection. A menagerie of macabre nightmares, featuring 123 tales and 65+ hours of supernatural horror for your reading and listening pleasure.
Prepare yourself for an onslaught of fear and terror unlike any other. Because, when this many nightmares come together to stalk you through the shadows, the light of day seems like a distant memory.
And the darkness of night may never end....
Search and Destroy
By Richard Beauchamp
Their eyes were all haunted. I could see it plainly on their stone faces as the swift boat ferried us up the Mekong, away from that terrible place, where I saw men, women, and children become something unspeakable.
Not even the occasional pang of a ricochet from the VC as they took potshots at us from the bank could stir my men from their internal traumas. I knew they were still back at Qui Nang, still trying to replay exactly what happened.
Trying to understand exactly what had caused them to snap like that. I was right there with them, replaying and ruminating the horrible night in my head. But I was the platoon leader. I had to show some semblance of integrity and sanity. Yet I could think of nothing to say.
It’s been three weeks since the massacre, the ones the newspapers got ahold of and ripped us apart for. It’s been one week since the other massacre, the one that’s currently being spun off by the media as an ambush on a firebase. An ambush where not a single shot was fired, but twenty men, those same men whose granite faces and broken souls I looked into on that fateful day, were killed in their sleep. I am the only witness to that night, I am the only one that saw what became of those men, which is why I am writing this. Soon, I will have to give a sworn deposition to the events that transpired as I saw them. My sanity and service to this country will fall under great speculation. I will be raked through the coals, as will the legacy of the men I led. I honestly do not know if I can get up on the stand and recall those strange and horrifying events without losing my composure.
So instead, I am here, in my lieutenant’s quarters, a glorified tent, at firebase bravo, under supervised watch by three privates until the airfield just north of us is cleared, so that I may be flown back home to stand trial. They say that in three days, the VC should be driven out, but I am not so sure I will survive that long. It seems great, esoteric forces are at work here, with death actively hunting me, seeking me out. The question now is whether dying in this jungle would be more of a mercy than returning home, to a land that has betrayed and forsaken me.
Let it be known that everything written here is the honest and coherent testimony of lieutenant Arnold Mattias, 102nd strike team division. Written on November 7th, 1969.
My men and I were part of the many elite covert ops units sent out into the deepest, most unforgiving parts of South Vietnam to conduct search and destroy missions on hidden Vietcong encampments. All of the men in my company were seasoned, at least six or seven raids under all their belts, body counts for each one going up in the dozens. We were an old platoon, with a new route. After the Tet offensive, everything changed, and there was a new, fervent push by Westmoreland and the other orchestrators to “break the enemies’ resolve.” Which is where we came in.
By the time we reached Qui Nang, we were exhausted, men operating on hair-trigger nerves, many of them either high or coming down from the momentary bliss of opium, which was cheap and in plentiful supply along our patrol routes. It was a three-day, rain-soaked hell march through some of the thickest jungles I’d ever encountered in this campaign. It was the height of monsoon season, and we were all soaking wet from the time we got off the boat and into the woods. We had gotten lost, our intel bad, and on top of it, we had land mines to look out for, somehow without a sweeper. We were not in any shape to do patrols, but we didn’t have any choice. Brass wanted intel that would lead to the vast destruction of enemy matériel and a much bigger body count, no matter the cost. Which is why when we entered the small, isolated village, where we encountered the hysterical woman ranting about nonsense. We were all immediately on guard, paranoid, our judgment ill from days in the bush without rest.
My interpreter, a south Vietnamese soldier named Lu Hong, listened raptly to the frightened woman as she rambled on, while the twenty or so dog-tired husks of men and I scanned the small village with shrewd, tired eyes, looking for any and all signs of VC occupation or activity. Villagers peeked their heads out to look at these strange, pale, wraith-like men in fear and confusion, as the few children caught playing in the rain were immediately yanked back into their homes and hushed firmly. It was clear they didn’t want us here, and the feeling was mutual. But we had a job to do, and I was going to do it to the best of my abilities.
“She says… she says that there is no Vietcong occupation here, but that, well… there’s something else. Something about a VC general who is part of some kind of… sect religion. I am not even sure what exact word to use. This general sent a shaman down and placed a curse on the village. They do not have the manpower to occupy all the far eastern villages. She says there are spirits in the trees, put there by the shaman as sentries, watching us as we speak. The land here is cursed, the spirits are part of it. Any sign of betrayal by the villagers and the shaman’s curse will kill everyone. Something about… demons? Or monsters. She’s begging us to leave, lieutenant. She says our presence here upsets them greatly… The demon spirits, I mean,” Lu said quietly, not wanting the other soldiers to overhear.
I vividly remembered my reaction, how I laughed out loud, a horrible, unhinged sound. I couldn’t believe it.
“You gotta be fuckin’ kidding me. I thought I had heard it all until now.” I announced and then instructed Lu to go through the usual “flip script,” in my naivete. I thought perhaps the old methods of persuasion would work up in this high, forbidding place, where the pervasive onslaught of modern Westernism was staunchly kept at bay.
My usual area of operations for most of the campaign was down south, toward Saigon, where the people were more modernized and sympathetic to the US occupation. There, things were easier. It was clear when a village had VC in it, or that the VC was vetting the area for operations. Villagers were scared, timid. But they still believed we would beat back their enemies and help them. Usually plying the village elders with promises of food security and constant patrols to keep them safe was enough for one of them to point a gnarled finger or flip up a trapdoor or point on a map. It also didn’t hurt that the VC down there were clumsy, uncoordinated new recruits who had not quite perfected the “shoot and poof” guerrilla tactics that would later plague us like locusts. A quick call and a few napalm baths later, a contested area would be secured, body count taken, be back to base before sundown for filet mignon and half-melted M&Ms.
It was very different in Qui Nang province however, our insertion point ten miles east of the Cambodian border, our patrol route some hundred miles from the nearest firebase. We were way out in the bush, the farthest up the Mekong any S&D teams ever dared venture. Our goal was to sniff out one of the main transport hubs along the Ho Chi Minh trail and paint those sites for bombers to come in, as the generals were eager to finally shut down at least one of the routes. Unlike in the southern regions, where the civilians learned to trust us, up here in the mountainous villages, in the enemy’s backyard, the white men in green uniforms were usually a harbinger of death. The rules were different in this part of the country, where the VC had many loyal followers. Trying to identify friend from foe up here was very hard because traitors were dealt with very, very harshly. So, when the flip script didn’t work, I had to improvise, to strategize, which, given my fatigued and nearly delirious mind, was not easy.
Although I had achieved my rank as lieutenant through sheer integrity, wit, and seeing through the red in times of chaos, I am only a man, and as such I am not infallible, and my decisions are not always the correct ones. All I knew at that moment was that my men and I were walking corpses, dead tired. We had stayed in the bush for three days, sleep a foreign concept as we blundered our way through the hostile hillside, through unforgiving terrain and flooded marshes, operating on sheer faith that we didn’t walk right into an ambush or VC nest. Although drug use is totally forbidden in the US army and I myself have never touched the stuff, I did not reprimand the soldiers I saw puffing on the cannabis and opium joints. It was pure misery and hell I was asking those boys to go through, with none of the usual back-up or support we were used to, and I wasn’t going to take away the small escapes the narcotics granted them.
By the time we reached Qui Nang, it was approaching dark. I had to have a report wired through the radio in 48 hours confirming our position if we wanted to be able to call in airstrikes or have any kind of air support. I had to get my men out of the elements soon. They were tough as premium leather, but every mortal man has a breaking point, and rain, heat, hordes of biting insects, and the constant threat of death can make cracks appear in the hardiest of men. It looked like we were going to have to set up shop in the village, which I was sure no one, including my own men, wanted. I ordered three teams to sweep the area, checking huts and nearby crops for any sign of insurgent activity and for a possible place to set up a temporary camp. I had Lu go around canvassing the village for signs of a hierarchy, a village elder we could bargain with. But it soon became apparent that no one was going to talk, or trade.
After a tense four hours of reconnaissance and exploring, Mayberry, our medic, a wiry Bostonian with nerves of steel and ginger complexion, reported to me about the farmhouse. I was situated underneath one of the abandoned squatters’ huts on the outer limits of the village, doing my best to stay dry and make myself scarce with Mercer and Ashton, two of my most trusted infantrymen posted with me for security detail. He said there was a large hut down the hill, a half-click east of the village.
“I think there’s a place for us to dig in at, sir. It’s a storage hut or something, about the size of one of the mobile mess halls. And it’s filled with enough rice to feed a fuckin army… and it’s got some kind of weird symbols and shit on it… sir.” I remember him saying, and it got a laugh out of everyone, the way he said it, no one knowing just how literal he was being. In fact, that was one of the last things he told me.
Although none of those men deserved to die, David Mayberry was a damn saint compared to some of those men. He never blew off steam in the miscreant ways some of the other privates did. He didn’t reduce the enemy to numbers or mistreat the prisoners we took. He always wore his cross and prayed every morning before slops. He didn’t get the privilege of dying quickly in his sleep as the others did a week later. The hut was definitely some kind of grain storage facility, with enough rice to feed an actual platoon. This immediately sent up red flags in my mind, as all the huts we cleared appeared rather well stocked for such an isolated mountain village, which told me they were supplying VC troops with food. Those damn symbols too... Christ.
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