This post, as well as the next, will be slightly different than those I have presented before—both in scale and approach. These posts will contain little analysis and almost no background. In part, this is due to the fact that the authors are relatively unknown.
Each post will be written in praise of a “creepypasta.” A “creepypasta,” simply put, is a short horror tale, initially made available via the internet. And, when I mean “short,” I mean that the tale praised here is approximately 2,600-words. For comparison, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the subject of my previous post, is comprised of 191,836 words![i]
I know what you are. Bloodsucker, right? I seen the movies.
Get your head out the clouds, girl. Me and my buddy are just havin a talk.
Make me like you, I said.
Cowboy laughed. You wanna be like me? Suckin on dead meat in the dark like a mangy old dog?
I am a dog, a dog with its leg in a trap, and I want you to chew it off. My momma says this is just how it is, but I'm gonna run and run and look for somewhere's different.
Your momma's a smart woman. Who you wanna kill? Ain't no one wanna be like me less they got someone to kill.
It's always the daddies. Listen up, girl. This life ain't no fairy tale. It's a death rattle before every meal. It's railroad spike hunger, so heavy you can't think of nothin else. It's a forever night with no more sunrises, no more till the last one, the one that light you up like the Fourth of July.
I told you I seen the movies.
The provenance for the story in this blog-post is a little tricky. I say “tricky” because the tale as written is not the focus of this commentary. Rather, the heart of this post concerns the audio narration of this tale.
Real Hunger Can’t Be Fed is a short “creepypasta” tale written by H. K. Reyes, a noted creepypasta author. He has won awards for several of his horror tales. To the best of my knowledge, this tale originally appeared sometime in 2014 on the Reddit NoSleep webpage.[ii]
The NoSleep sub-reddit is an internet forum exclusively devoted to hosting creepypasta tales. Also, I do not know if this work was ever formally published.
The story is written very simply with minimal punctuation and grammar. Its simplicity in formatting and in structure hides its true depth—the awesome power of love. At its most basic, this is a vampire romance tale. Girl falls for bad-boy vampire; falls all the way. Also, while this story addresses the sexuality common within the vampire tradition, in no way is that the point of the tale; quite the opposite, actually.
The story written by Reyes is not the actual subject of this post. But, what will be praised here is the audio narration of Real Hunger Can’t Be Fed by Andrea Rose, featuring Jeff Clement and produced by Chilling Tales for Dark Nights. This production is more a performance than a straightforward narration. Once again, for comparison, the audio narration for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire ran to 20 ½ hours. While Real Hunger Can’t Be Fed is a little over 25 minutes! This audio narration was posted on YouTube on August 24, 2014.[iii] I came across it shortly thereafter.
I think that Chilling Tales for Dark Nights’ own words can best describe what they are about. Excerpted from the “About Us” page of their website:
Chilling Tales for Dark Nights is a horror-themed audio storytelling series and a popular YouTube channel of the same name. Chilling Tales for Dark Nights features a myriad of talented vocal performers and the work of dozens of independent and previously-published contributing authors. Chilling Tales for Dark Nights was created in 2012 by entrepreneur and author Craig Groshek, and since its inception has endeavored to bring audio theater “back from the dead.”
Specializing in the production of audio entertainment, short films and published works spanning a variety of fiction and non-fiction genres, the brand, known also as CTFDN, or simply as Chilling Tales – is perhaps most well known for its immersive high-quality audio productions, which feature full casts, professional voice acting, high-quality sound effects and customized musical scores.[iv]
I must say that Chilling Tales does not disappoint. But the production company, in this instance, should not receive all the credit.
Two individuals deserve the lion’s share of praise for Real Hunger Can’t Be Fed—the cast. Andrea Rose is a voice actor and narrator. Based on this performance and a few other narrations of hers that I have heard, she is extremely talented and versatile. Jeff Clement is a voice actor, musician and oft-times producer of these audio dramas; fantastically talented as well. The skill of their character development, especially Rose’s interpretation of the narrator, is superb. This, combined with the theme music accentuating the pain being felt, transforms this pretty good written story into a work of art.
Rarely moved by anything, when I experienced this narration for the first time, I sat in my chair, mouth open, with tears on my cheeks. I did not even realize I had been weeping. Even now, as I listen to it again, for the tenth…fifteenth…twentieth time, tears well-up in my eyes, still. I strongly recommend any and all of my blog readers to visit YouTube and listen to “Real Hunger Can’t Be Fed” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9KmyVd4zuE).
My first experience of this production of Real Hunger set me on a path. I don’t know where, when or even if, it will ever end.
I couldn’t be happier.
Chilling Tales for Dark Nights. “"Real Hunger Can't Be Fed" creepypasta by H.K. Reyes.” Online Video Clip. YouTube. YouTube, 24 August 2014. Web. 2014. < https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9KmyVd4zuE>
Reyes, H. K. “Real Hunger Can't Be Fed.” Reddit NoSleep. Reddit. 2014. Web. 2014. <https://www.reddit.com/r/nosleep/comments/1sdiva/real_hunger_cant_be_fed_i_know_that_now/>
“About Us.” Chilling Tales for Dark Nights. Chilling Entertainment, LLC. n. d. Web. 17 July 2018. <https://www.chillingtalesfordarknights.com/about/>
Aural Stimulation. Aural Stimulation. n. d. Web. 18 July 2018. <http://auralstimulation.net/>
Clement, Jeff. “Real Hunger Can’t Be Fed (Conclusion).” Aural Stimulation. Aural Stimulation. n. d. Web. 23 November 2017. <http://auralstimulation.net/audio/real-hunger-cant-be-fed-conclusion/>
“Harry Potter Word Count.” Novel Word Count.com. Wordpress.com. 11 April 2015. Web. 14 July 2018. <https://novelwordcount.com/2015/04/11/harry-potter-word-count/>
[i] “Harry Potter Word Count.” Novel Word Count.com. Wordpress.com. 11 April 2015.
[ii] Reyes, H. K. “Real Hunger Can’t Be Fed.” Reddit NoSleep. 2014.
[iii] Chilling Tales for Dark Nights. “’Real Hunger Can’t Be Fed’ creepypasta by H. K. Reyes.” Online Video Clip. YouTube. 24 August 2014.
[iv] “About Us.” Chilling Tales for Dark Nights. <https://www.chillingtalesfordarknights.com/about/>