Ever heard of the popular British nursery rhyme There was a Crooked Man? It goes like this.
There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile.
He found a crooked sixpence against a crooked stile.
He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse.
And they all lived together in a crooked little house.
Isn’t that creepy? There’s a popular pixel horror game out inspired by the rhyme. I thought I’d write a short story to go along with the creepy essence of this rhyme. Please enjoy.
THE CROOKED MAN
It was August. A calm, cool night. I was on my way to New Jersey, my home, from a road trip to North Carolina. But before I could get out of Delaware, my engine died. I managed to get the car to a parking lot at a hotel called “The End of the Road Inn.” I liked the name, and I was in the parking lot. I checked in, got my room (Number 615), and was about to step into the elevator to get up to my room, when the lady at the front desk called me over. She said:
“Oh, I almost forgot,” she said in a New York accent, “If you hear anything from outside your room or from near 613, just stay in the room, okay sweets?”
“What do you mean?” I replied.
“Oh, there was a small accident there a few weeks ago, and people have said they heard strange things. One crazy guy even said he saw-never mind. Just stay in the room, okay?”
“Good. Have a good night.”
I walked into the elevator. What the heck did that lady mean? I thought I would check anything out, because I was a curious guy. And I knew I wasn’t in danger because of a guy I met on my way to 615.
“Hey, buddy, I heard you’re living in 615,” He said.
“You heard correct,” I replied.
“I’m in 614. Name’s Joe Fennel, what’s yours?”
“Kyle, Kyle Waterson.”
“615 isn’t bad. Right near 613, huh?”
“Uh…yeah, I think so.”
“I’m gonna try and get a glimpse of him tonight. You wanna join me?”
“Oh, you’re not from here, are you?”
I shook my head.
“Alright, I guess I can tell. A few weeks ago, there was a guy called Robert who lived in 613. One night, there was an accident, and Rob was killed. No one knows how, but he was found with a stretched neck, dead in a pool of blood. He was to be buried, but his body…disappeared. And people have been seeing him. HERE. IN THIS HOTEL.”
“But he’s dead…?”
“Yes, but no.”
Joe looked at his watch. I looked at mine.
“It’s 11:53, he’ll be here soon. We’ll see him soon. Go into your room and come out at 12:00.”
“Nervous? Don’t be.”
“Thanks, Joe. Hey, wait. How did you know I was in 615?”
“I was at the vending machine near you, didn’t you see me?”
“Oh yeah, I did. See you at 12:00.”
“See you, Kyle.”
11:59. Come on, one more minute…
What was THAT? It sounds like some sort of ani-
WHAT WAS THAT? The lady at the front desk was right, I don’t want to step out the door….But wait, that voice sounded familiar. Was it…..JOE!
Without thinking, you peek out the door. A pool of blood lay on the ground and all over the wall. And what’s that on the floor?
The thing was an arm, a human arm.
“Kyyyyyllleeeee…” Says a voice. It’s Joe!
“Joe! Joe? Jo-”
Joe was lying, armless, on the floor, his head bent. He looked injured, and gravely injured, at that. His clothes were ripped.
“Kyyyyylllleeeee…ruuuuuuuuuunnn…” Joe’s head fell to the floor. I felt his pulse……nothing. Joe was killed. But by what?
The noise…you hear it again. Louder. Closer. But that’s not the only thing you hear. You hear footsteps…long dragged footsteps. Around a corner comes a blurry figure. And as he walks closer you see him. He’s pale, clothes covered in blood, and his neck…his neck is stretched around to the back of his body. You’re frightened to look at his face. He turns around, slowly, and you see-