This is a creepypasta inspired by, of all things, the "Inauguration Station" character creation demo for Saints Row IV. An unlikely source, I know, but one of the masks looked like it belonged to a creepypasta monster. So, I made it so.
You can listen to me reading this creepypasta here.
I was in my early thirties when I moved into a small farming town in Arkansas. As a tailor, I was looking to start a small business while getting away from some complications of my past life. Suffice it to say, it’s not usually a good idea to get married while you’re young to the first person you fall in love with. I didn’t have a whole lot of money, but I lucked out in finding empty store space and living quarters in one for a reasonable price.
I began by moving all my stuff in, though there wasn’t much: just an old sewing machine, a few boxes of thread, and a larger box with my own clothes in it. I was used to packing light and living modestly. I didn’t even have a business sign until I’d been there for a couple of weeks. I’d get occasional business here and there, mostly from passersby who could see my sewing machine from the window. For the most part, it was just fixing torn seams or the occasional holey sock.
One day, a local farmer named Tom came in with a unique job for me. He said he would pay me $5,000 if I could design and build for him an imposing scarecrow to keep his crops safe for the next season. I hadn’t been in town long, but I knew that farming pulled in a decent amount of income, so I figured he would be good for it and I accepted.
I set about looking for materials I could use. I wanted this to be a masterpiece that would frighten off all predators and rightfully earn Tom’s big paycheck. I didn’t have to look far for his clothing, as I had an old tattered pair of jeans that I had been meaning to repair as well as a brown jacket that been ripped to shreds by a defective washing machine. I began stuffing them with bales of hay that were practically ubiquitous in town.
At the end of the sleeves, I placed two grey gloves, which I affixed with thin metal pieces from discarded belt buckles that stuck out like claws. Finally, it was time to make the scarecrow’s head. This would not be easy as it would have to be the most intimidating part. If it looked like a clown, Tom probably wouldn’t consider it worth $5,000. But, if I could reach into the darkest recesses of my mind and create a masterpiece that could horrify even him, I would have earned the money in both our eyes.
For a basis, I used some material from an old potato sack, tan and almost skin-colored. I sewed it around some stuffing with a cross-stitch that I decided would be at the back of the head. On the forehead, I ended up having to sew two diagonal tears moving from about where the temples would be, up towards the back of the head. A third tear occurred during this process running down the middle, to about where the nose would be.
I was frustrated, but the stitching was adding to the effectiveness of creating a face for it. At this point, I intentionally cut a diagonal smirking mouth hole into it, only to sew it shut with the same red thread I had been using. When it came time to add the eyes, I decided on two large decorative buttons that had been given to me as a gift from my ex. I was looking for an excuse to get rid of them, so I sewed them on, making big red X’s across their black soulless appearance.
Farmer Tom came by the next day after I had called him and told him it was ready. He was impressed and asked me where I had acquired such big buttons. I mumbled out something about trade secrets and he started writing me a check. When I looked at it, it was for $5,500. I was surprised at the extra money, but Tom insisted that I earned every penny of it. I was too poor to question a payday like this, but perhaps in retrospect, I should have.
Business returned to normal, and I began getting bigger jobs. People came in looking for some custom-made formal wear, which I was much more able to provide after the scarecrow job. It also helped that in a small town, there weren’t any snobby rich customers looking for designer brands. Everything seemed to be going so well that I barely even noticed when the morning paper began reporting of cattle mutilations taking place in nearby farms. After all, I had human matters to attend to.
When I went out of the shop one day to buy groceries, I started to notice something strange. While walking, I came across several dead birds, most of which were black, and almost no living ones. I usually would see flocks of them in the trees or on a power line and would think nothing of it. But on this day, there were hardly any, and the weather wasn’t any different than usual. It was a warm sunny autumn day. Yet, the only birds in sight were corpses.
I shrugged this off, thinking that maybe a storm was coming and it was about time for most birds to start migrating south for the winter anyway. But after people started turning up dead, I started to fear that someone or something was killing every living thing it came across. Perhaps it was for territorial reasons, or for food, or maybe even for pure unadulterated evil. One way or another, I was staying inside my shop and locking the doors as soon as the sun went down.
There’s something inherently eerie about darkness. I found this out one night when the power went out. I had been in the habit of keeping a light on even when I slept but now, there was nothing but pitch black. In my tiny room upon my bed, I lied trying to fall asleep. There was complete silence except for the steady trickle of the rain and the occasional thunder bolt from the storm that knocked out the power in the first place. Before each one was a flash of lightning that would illuminate the room for a fraction of a second through the window.
As I was lying there, I tried not to think of the murders that the police couldn’t explain or the fact that for all I knew, I was the next victim. Instead, I thought about how silly it was to be afraid of the dark and that just because you can’t see, doesn’t mean there’s something scary hiding just beyond your hindered vision. It worked for but a few fleeting moments. Before long, I was once again panicked and in fear for my life.
Unrest turned to sheer terror when a figure appeared outside my window during one of the lightning flashes. I was frozen in shock, fearing that I would soon become the next victim of this unknown serial killer. I heard a faint creaking sound and hoped to God it wasn’t the door to my shop being opened. I had locked it, but the next time the lightning flashed, I could see it as clear as day standing above my bed.
I couldn’t believe what I saw. I couldn’t even process rational thought as I was still petrified that these would be my last moments alive. It stared at me and I recognized it. It was a tall, bulky figure with torn-up clothes and sharp red claws emerging from its stone grey hands. But most of all, I recognized its face, the long dark lines, the one-sided smirking mouth, and the big black buttons for eyes.
It was impossible, but somehow my scarecrow was standing over me as if it was a living being. It spoke in a deep demonic voice, saying “Master… creator… You are safe.” Then it just disappeared. The lights came back on and the storm died down. I didn’t sleep that night, but after the next day returned to normal, I managed to get some rest.
Everything seemed fine, until the murders continued. But this time, a strange pattern started emerging in who the victims were. Most of them were competitors of Tom’s farm, which made sense given that his was the only livestock not mutilated.
The rest were the few people in town who had given me a hard time. There was a customer who demanded his money back after tearing his jeans twice in the same spot while skateboarding. Another was a DMV employee who made the process of getting a new license a living hell. The last was a vain woman who freaked out at me because the dress I made for her “made her look fat”.
I didn’t know what to think. Was Tom behind all of this? It was possible he wanted to boost his business, and maybe even punish people who mistreated me. Perhaps he wanted to show appreciation for my work, be my friend, or more. I can’t be sure about anything at this point.
About a week after the thunder storm, I called my sister to check up on her and she gave me some shocking news. My ex had been found murdered with several deep gashes to the face and body. I was taken aback because I hadn’t told Tom or anyone in town my real name. I’d been using an alias since I moved in. If Tom really was the killer, could he have found out who I was without knowing my real name?
I reported my suspicions to the police, and they said they’d send someone over to talk to Tom about it. I found out a few days later that when they did, he was nowhere to be found. The scarecrow was missing too, but it wasn’t the last I saw of it. Every night when I go to sleep, I hear that demonic voice speaking to me. And all I can see staring back at me are those big… black… buttons.