A Mouth Where a Face Should Be

When Siru, my Finnish flat mate, ran into my room my first thought was that she was pulling one of her pranks.

“Mouth.” She screamed. “Just a mouth.”

I didn’t get more than a “What?” out before she pulled me from my chair and towards the door.

I stumbled forwards, but Siru held me back when we got to her room.

“Look.” She whispered.

I glanced around the corner. The lights in her room were on, the curtains drawn back and her laptop was lying on her bed.

“At the window.” She whispered.

There was nothing but darkness; the streetlight on the other side of the road seemed broken.

“Nothing there.” I whispered back.

“You sure?” She asked.

“Yeah.”

I tried to get up. Siru held my arm for another moment; then she let go. I stepped inside her room, walked past the heap of laundry towards her window, and looked outside.

Empty cars, a few lit windows on the other side of the road, in the distance a couple strolling away. I saw nothing that I wouldn’t have expected.

“You don’t see them?” Siru asked.

“Uhh, who?”

“There were two people outside my window.” She said.

I pulled her to the window, and pointed at the couple in the distance.

“Those?” I asked.

“Yes.” She said.

“What about them?”

“They didn’t have faces.” Siru said. “They were standing outside my window and it felt as if they were staring at me – but there were just large mouths where their faces should have been.”

“Very funny.” I said.

I turned back towards the door.

“I wasn’t joking.” Siru said.

I stopped for just a moment, thought about her words, and wondered whether her denial was part of the prank.

“Okay.” I said. “Goodnight.”

Siru didn’t protest. But when I stepped out of the door she carefully closed her curtain and placed pillows against it.

I sat back at my desk to let the internet fry the rest of my brain with cat pictures and articles about outrageous world events.

Later I heard Siru move furniture; I figured she moved her bed away from the window.

Usually she would have played her prank longer. She would have come again, with scary drawings or other stories of more strange events. I was happy that she didn’t.

I went to bed about two hours later; Siru was long quiet.

I don’t know what woke me up. All I remember is that I felt uneasy and my t-shirt was drenched in sweat.

I sat up. For a moment I had the impression that there was movement in the window. I looked over – but there was nothing except the familiar darkness.

My throat felt dry and, after changing my shirt, I decided to get a glass of water. I walked out of my room, past the bathroom, past the open door to Siru’s room – and froze.

The curtains were moving.

She always had her door locked. And she never slept with the window open.

I walked inside and looked at her bed and looked at the heap of coiled blankets.

“Psst!”

I couldn’t make out where the sound came from. Did she climb out?

I walked to the window and looked outside. The street seemed as before, empty, only that now even the last windows were dark.

“Psst!”

The sound was louder than before. I leaned further outside.

“Siru?” I called out the window.

“Hide!” Whispered Siru’s voice from behind me.

I whirled around.

There were two people standing in the doorway. One with a feminine body and a long purple coat and one with a male body and a long black coat.

I screamed when I saw them.

Then I screamed louder when I saw their mouths: No nose; no eyes. There was only a mouth where a face should have been; Two large lips with equally large teeth.

The man was grinning. The woman was licking her lips with a thick tongue.

The man started walking towards me. I walked backwards; grabbed a plastic bottle from Siru’s desk.

The woman followed the man through the door. They both, slowly, walked towards me.

The man’s lips and teeth were opening wide; his whole head became just one gaping hole.

“Go away.” I screamed.

They walked closer.

“I’ll hit you.” I said.

The woman grinned; the man raised his arms; they both took another step.

“Fuck off.” I screamed when my legs hit against Siru’s bed.

The man leapt forward, his teeth wide ajar and moving towards my neck.

I fell backwards on the bed; within a moment he was over me. I kicked at him, but he grabbed my legs and pushed them forcefully down with his hands. His mouth moved towards me and the woman appeared to my right. I saw the glistening moisture reflect at the top of her mouth.

I rammed the plastic bottle in the man’s mouth; he bit straight through it. I screamed, my other hand punched towards his face, but he turned his open mouth straight towards my hand. My hand swung right towards his mouth; only in the last second I managed to pull it away, just when his teeth crunched shut.

I tried to punch his chest with the rest of the bottle. He moved slightly backwards. The woman appeared to my right on the bed; her mouth was wide open and she bent forward, her head closing rapidly in on mine.

A loud, screeching scream pierced the air.

They turned, but they were too slow.

The wardrobe flew open and something hit his head.

He jerked back; but he was too slow when Siru whipped a belt in his direction.

The belt hit straight between the man’s lips; he moaned. The woman jumped backwards.

“Run!” Screamed Siru.

The man fell to the side. I pushed myself off the bed. Siru tried to whip the belt another time but missed.

The woman screamed, jumped forward, her teeth even wider open than before; Siru threw a book at her.

The book startled the woman, but she didn’t fall. The man was scrambling to his feet. Siru ran; I followed her and pulled the door shut behind me.

I heard them pull Siru’s door open while we ran towards the front entrance.

Siru turned the key; I grabbed shoes and an umbrella.

A loud, throaty scream came from behind us; Siru pulled the front door open and ran out. I was right behind her.

I saw him turn around the corner with his large lips pulled back and the heavy teeth exposed. There was blood on his lips.

Then the door fell shut behind me.

We ran out of the front and to the right. I heard the front door open again.

While running I felt as if somebody was following us, but I couldn’t see or hear anything behind us; Siru ran several steps ahead of me without looking back.

We reached the train station, I had the shoes still in my hand.

The police didn’t believe us a word. They lectured us on alcohol abuse – but they offered to accompany us home.

Our apartment looked normal, empty, except for the broken door handle in Siru’s room and the broken vase on her floor. The belt she had used was gone.

That night all the meat from our freezer went missing.

And so did our neighbor’s cat.


This is my story, originally I published it on Reddit.

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