The Abstergo Man
Written by CreepsMcPasta
I’m [typing] this more for me than anything else. Just…a place where I can document the details and try to see if there’s a missing link or something I may have missed.
It started about two months ago in the middle of a bleak winter. I was on my way home from the late shift at the local supermarket. I made my way down the side roads that led to my house, the vapors in my cold breath catching my attention every so often. I was nearing the last few turns when I saw a figure. He stood at a point between the streets where there weren’t any streetlights around. The only thing illuminating this section was the night’s moon and stars. I couldn’t make out any detail or anything noticeable other than that he was facing my direction and completely motionless. At the time I probably thought it wasn’t even a living thing, just some shades and shapes that happened to make out the silhouette of a person, which can happen in the misty dew of winter like this one. Even if it was a person, they were probably standing around, waiting for the bus or something remedial like that. Anyway, as you can tell, I didn’t think much of it at all, and carried on home.
The next day, I had another late shift at work, so I started my walk down the usual route in the late afternoon, the setting sun flaring just over the horizon past the thick blanket of clouds that covered the sky, the familiar old town streets blurring in my mind as any sight would that has been seen one too many times. I barely had any thought of the previous night’s experience, as nothing from that incident stood out to be anything of interest, and as I passed where I saw the person, I only just had a thought to check over the area to see if the person was here again or if there was any sign that it was even here at all. I didn’t look long, but nothing noticeable stood out, so I carried on to work where I’d be working until the late evening again.
After my shift ended, I made my way home with some simple shopping in hand. As usual, it was dire cold, so I made my pace brisk with the intention of making it home as soon as possible to settle down with a hot drink and sleep my tiring night away. I came across the same unlit section of road where I saw the shape before, not expecting anything to be out of the ordinary until I saw him again, except this time he was a little bit closer. I stared at him, not sure what I was hoping would happen. What unsettled me was the fact that he wasn’t just standing still, but pretty much almost unmoving. There wasn’t any sense of him breathing. He was static. Usually, when you see a dark figure, the last thing you want is for it to come toward you, let alone move, but I guess I was hoping it would move even just an inch in a human way, to be sure that what I was looking at was okay or even alive. It unsettled me too much to approach him, so I just briskly walked along the other side of the road home to avoid any confrontation.
The next day or two, things were pretty mellow. My shifts were during the day and my walk home was also during the day, which is what I was supposed to be contracted for at work. And during this brief period, I never saw any sign of the person, so I put the incident behind me once again and moved on. But as my luck would dictate, I was called in on more evening shifts. In the shop, things were always busier in the evening, as this was more and more becoming people’s preferred time for shopping. Also, due to economic reasons, a lot of the temporary staff had been let go recently, meaning they needed the remaining team to work on varied times.
After a particularly stressful evening shift, I made my usual walk home in a groggy manner. I was nearing the end of the journey when I crossed into the dark part of the road and saw him again. He wasn’t just off to the side anymore, but noticeably closer, and worst of all, standing in the middle of the road. This posed a problem for me, because that meant I would have to get within a few feet of this weirdo to get past him, and I couldn’t handle that thought. So I backtracked and went through and alternate, more well-lit route. It added about ten minutes to the journey, but it made me feel a lot safer, and it also meant I got to avoid the stranger. It was worth every extra second.
To avoid hassle, I used that route every evening shift from then on. It meant I would avoid the person and get some extra exercise, which I felt I needed anyway, so it wasn’t that much of a bother. It wasn’t until a few days later, when I was finally beginning to think that I wouldn’t see the person ever again, that the turning point happened.
I came home, late as usual due to the longer route home. I placed my bags in the kitchen and settled down. I didn’t feel like doing anything, so I immediately started getting ready to go to bed to sleep the tiredness right out of me. I changed out of my work clothes, brushed my teeth, and went around the house, turning off the lights. When I got to the last one in the dining room before I would head upstairs to bed, I flicked it off and as I turned around, I caught a glimpse of a figure down the end of my garden. It was very dark outside, but my garden is considerably small, so I knew the layout very well, and I definitely knew I saw something there that did not belong. My hand was still on the switch, so I instinctively turned it back on. Nothing. I stared for what seemed like a long time. In reality it was only minutes, but to me, it felt like hour due to the tension in the air. After I was satisfied, theorizing that he must have ran at the sight of me turning the light back on, I turned the light off again. He was there, this time closer. What was I to do? Someone [reading] will probably shout, “Call the police!” but really, what are they going to do? Arrest him for creeping me out? I’m pretty sure that’s not a crime, and technically there is a section in my garden that’s classed as a public path, so he’s by definition not trespassing. So I did what I could do. I made sure the back door and the front door were locked. I even barricaded my bedroom door just in case he tried to get in. Sleep didn’t meet me at all that night.
The day after was my day off, so took full advantage of this by sleeping through the whole day. I was exhausted, and who wouldn’t be? When I woke up, I didn’t have much daylight at all in order to do chores, and most places were either closed or just about to, so I stayed in and did the usual thing most people do at night: watched movies, played games, and generally browsed the Internet. After a while of this, I wanted something to cheer me up, so I went on Netflix and started watching random family sitcoms. Very instant humor and good, wholesome values were just what I needed at a stressful point like this. Halfway through the first series of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, I was thirsty and a bit hungry, so I went downstairs for a snack. I pulled out a can of Pepsi in the fridge and some old popcorn that I never got around to eating from my cupboard, and as I was about to ascend my stairs, I turned off the light. Curious after last night’s events, I humored myself. I walked up to the window facing the garden and peeked outside. There he was, just standing there, motionless as always. I couldn’t believe it. I was more dumbfounded than anything, simply confused as to why this person was stalking me. I rushed back to the light switch, turned it back on, and jolted back to the window in hopes of seeing who this person was, whether it was someone I know playing a prank or a well-known serial killer. It didn’t bother me at this point. I just wanted to know, but even while I was dashing toward the window, not too far away from the light switch, he was gone. I didn’t know how to feel, because what was always happening was not adding up. It wasn’t until I turned the light off in frustration that I made my first startling discovery: it was the lights. It was again there, and closer, only a few feet away from my window. Out of sheer fear, I turned the light back on and proceeded around the house, reaching my hand around dark corners and turning on the lights. I made sure never to turn them off from then on. And after that, things were fine. For a while.
The following week, I made sure only to travel along well-lit roads and never cross into any places of darkness. Doing this, I managed to revert partially back to normal life. My eating started to become more regular, and I was managing to actually sleep at night. Everything was incident-free until one evening, after another lazy day of Netflix and junk food, I went downstairs to refresh my soda supply in the kitchen. To keep out the cold from the kitchen to the rest of the house, I closed the door. I opened my fridge, grabbed a few cans, and just as I closed the fridge, the kitchen lightbulb blew. My head turned to the bulb by instinct, but looking at it, I knew what this meant. My attention was then immediately taken to the other end of the kitchen. There he was, only a few feet away. It was no longer lurking outside my house, but he appeared inside. I could actually see details now. He stood there, rigid as ever. His face bore the contours of age on his skin. His clothes were no different, being measly black rags tattered around his body. In the dark, I couldn’t see his eyes, but I knew they were focused purely on me. I noticed only one of his arms was down at his side. The other hand’s index finger was pushed against his lips like when one is trying to shush someone. Other than being able to see him more clearly, now that there weren’t any walls or windows between us, I could now hear him. Heavy breathing with deep grunts, like an animal excited for the kill. All this information sank in between the time that it took me to panic and open the fridge door for the meat bulb to barely illuminate the kitchen. The cold air from the freshly opened fridge brushed my face as I turned back to see him no longer there.
It took one more similar incident like this for me to go full-blown paranoid. I was walking through the dining room to the kitchen when the bulb went. This completely took away my trust of all my rooms except my bedroom. This time, he appeared so close I could feel his breath roll off my skin. The smell was so putrid when it hit my senses that it didn’t take me long to flinch backwards and throw up. I turned around and scattered toward the door, reaching in a panic and almost pulling the thing off its hinges to get it open. The luminescence from the other room soon filled most of the dining room, and with it, the apparition left.
I’ve done some research in the back end of the internet describing what’s been happening, as hypothetical situations, of course, and the only similarly related lore is the one of the Abstergo, or the Abstergo Man. A myth of a fallen angel that was condemned by the gods to wander the earth in search of the perfect person. If the person he chooses was perfect, then he would be free and allowed back into paradise. It seems he didn’t get a good deal, as to find a perfect person is not an easy task I can imagine. It is unknown what he does to anyone who doesn’t fit this criteria, but I have a feeling I might find out, as the last time he appeared was within breathing distance.
I’m currently in my room with the lights on, and as a precaution, a dozen lamps scattered around the place, all turned on. The TV is also on, and muted purely for the screenlight, and my computer monitor as well. It’s hot as hell in here, but it’s a small price to pay for the security it offers. The door is barricaded so nothing can get in and out of here. The only exception that I leave is around midday, when the sun is at its brightest to resupply food and water. I haven’t been to work in days, either, and I’ve ignored all calls coming through and people knocking on my door. What is there to tell? No one will believe me, and even if they did, they can’t help me. All I can do for now is survive while I research more into this legend. There are a lot of smart kids out there who know a lot about the old days. I’ve even found a subsection of a small forum dedicated to the Abstergo Man and have some pretty interesting context from there. I’ve sent some emails to them, and I’m awaiting reply, so until then, all I have to do is survi-