Before I begin my account of this story, you must know that I cannot be held accountable. My mind doesn’t work right, and I black-out. I don’t know what happens when I black-out, and sometimes I don’t even know that I’ve done it. I’ll just suddenly realize that I don’t know how I got to the other side of the room, or in the next room over, or sometimes in a completely new place.
As an example, I’ll tell you that one day, I was driving. I was just driving for hours on end until I suddenly realized that I had no recollection of me entering the car. I didn’t even remember where I intended to go. When I checked the navigation system, I discovered that I was hours from my home and in a place I’ve never even been before. But when I had the itch in my brain telling me to look behind me, I found that in the backseat of my car was a shocking amount of blood. In a panic, I pulled over, hauled the seats out of my car, and dragged them about a mile into the desert where I had found myself driving. And there is where I left them.
The question of why keeps me up at night. Why did those seats have blood on them? Why can’t I remember? Why is this happening to me? And then the what. What have I done?
When one asks themselves, “What have I done?” it is usually a rhetorical question. One simply asked out of disbelief that they could have done something so terrible. But that means that they know that they have done that thing. When I ask myself that same question, it is seldom rhetorical. On many occasions, I have asked this in genuine search of an answer. But no matter how deep I search into my memories, I simply cannot come up with one.
Now that you surely know it’s not my fault, I will tell you my story.
There has been a sizable black barrel that has sat in my basement for some time. Like many things in my unusual life, I cannot remember how it came to be there. Most people may just go and open it to ease their curiosity, but my fear greatly overrules my interest. I know that I should go down and check, but I fear that I may not be able to live with myself if I knew the barrel’s contents. In complete honesty, some naïve part of me still believes that I won’t be responsible for whatever may be in the barrel if I don’t know what’s in it. Of course, my mind still runs wild with all of the possibilities. Maybe more things like the bloody seats, just suspicious items that I wouldn’t want anyone uncovering. But shoved deep to the back of my mind is the worst, seemingly most apparent option. At night, images of decomposing organs and flesh haunt my dreams, hinting at what I don’t know—hinting at what could’ve happened when I don’t remember.
But to my knowledge, there is no person that I dislike enough to harm them like this. I get along well with all my co-workers; I have no outlandishly painful past relationships. I have had very few past relationships. I have always been a fairly lonely man. There have been a couple of signs that I have had more than I remember due to the black-outs, but I haven’t ever blacked out for very long. I doubt my… My other side could keep up much more than a fling.
Now, as I recount these things, it is a cold December night. I hear the wind howling, snaking, and whipping through tree limbs and over rooftops. Snowfall, which should be peaceful and calm, is being slanted and pushed to the ground. I keep it warm in my home, but just looking outside makes me shiver. I can’t sleep. My back aches, my side hurts, my mattress is too hard, and my bed is too soft. No, that’s not it. I can feel that black barrel. I now feel the distinct kind of dread I get when I go down to the basement and see it in the corner of my vision. The feeling usually stays contained downstairs, but tonight I can feel it. Like it’s at the foot of my bed. Suddenly I get chills, my arms tense, my chest tightens, and my head throbs.
Something out of my control possesses me to swing my legs off my bed onto the cool wood floor and stand up. At this point, I could stop. I know I can, and I probably should, but I don’t want to. I am going to settle this feud with that blasted barrel once and for all. It doesn’t matter what’s in there; what can be worse than what my head has concocted? If it’s a body, then it’s a body. There’s nothing to be done.
I reach the door and do not hesitate to open it. To the basement stairs, and I step right on down. But I stop- I need something to open it with. I climb back up the six steps I had taken.
Opening the junk drawer, I snatch two flathead screwdrivers and sprint down the basement stairs, beginning to fear that my adrenaline is wearing off. By the time I’ve reached the bottom step, the tightening in my chest has become almost unbearable. I can feel the barrel almost like a heartbeat, beating once more and once more violent with every step closer I take. Finally, I reach the barrel, tucked into a corner of an unfinished room. The pounding in my ears is so profound that I can only compare it to thunder from a lightning strike just yards away; it cracks and burns in my ears.
Slowly, gingerly, I place my hands on the rim of the barrel. With one screwdriver in each hand, I shove them underneath the lip of the lid. The thought of the tip of the screwdrivers inside the ominous black barrel nearly drives me mad, and I work quickly. It takes several minutes, while intense winds howl in my ears even from the outside and the pounding still in my head, but I finally feel the lid pop up from the hole in the top of the barrel.
The tightening is now so significant that I have to clutch my stomach and breathe deeply before lifting the lid slowly. So slowly. I open the top until I am hit with a thick wall of the indescribable yet unmistakable stench of decomposition. Now I am sure of what is inside, and I toss the lid on the concrete floor with a loud ringing smash. Surely enough, there is a half decomposed corpse of a woman in the barrel. But there is something else. I reach past the woman’s rotting torso to retrieve a piece of laminated paper. I turn the note over to the written side and read:
I knew that you would cave. I am you, after all.
And she, after all, was your wife; whether you knew her or not.
This story was inspired by a true story! No, I am not kidding. Yes, you should be creeped out.
To be fair, only the concept of the barrel was real. There was this guy, Ronald Cohen, who owned a house that he sold to a man named Hamid Tafaghodi. Hamid asked Ronald to get rid of this big 55-gallon drum in the crawlspace. Ronald never even opened this barrel for the entire time he lived there, because there were some toxic/chemical warnings on it. When he removed the drum from the house, he opened it and found the body of 9 month pregnant Reyna Marroquin. She was in that drum for 3 decades, and was actually mummified because she was stored in the barrel.
Anyways, you're welcome for my true crime story of the day. you can read more about the horrible event that inspired this story here: