There was a story that my uncle used to tell my cousins and I growing up. It was a horror story. Excuse me, it was THE horror story. This story included everything that nightmares are made of.
This story was usually told in Estes Park. You see Estes Park was also the location of this story.
We stayed at a cabin there in the summer sometimes. At night when we were about to go to bed, the story would start.
It was often told when we kids were cuddled up in bed, brave, obviously because we were together. The story included a flashlight on my uncles face with the lights out and usually ended in one of our legs being snatched or grabbed at. Or the flashlight battery “running” out. There were a few times that this story was told closer to the actual location of the story. An old abandoned cabin. The scene of the crime. Or part of it. The last act anyway.
This story starts like all stories do, on a dark cold stormy night. There was an engineer working on some machinery after hours at a factory. The company that he worked for was all about safety and the first rule was, never be alone while working on the equipment. The story is fuzzy after all these years, but I believe the equipment may have required two people. One to press the emergency shut off if needed. This man was of course above the rules, and was working alone that night. The machine that he was working on was a special kind of press that compressed things into cubes. Unfortunately for this man, he got stuck into the machine. Being dragged in and his head being pressed into a cube.
When they found him the next morning, he was alive, but unfortunately had a cube for a head. He was terrifying to look at- they screamed as they saw what was left of his features. One big gaping hole where his mouth used to be. The company knew that this could not get out. And this man was too terrifying to look at, so they devised a plan. They found an old abandoned cabin and chained him to the top floor. If you enter the cabin and listen very carefully, you can hear the chain dragging on the floor upstairs. This was how Cubie came to be.
This story was best told on the drive where we had to pass by his cabin. My uncle would start the story a mile or two away from the cabin and we knew what was coming. We were terrified but also exhilarated with the fear of it all. He would start slowly and calmly, like any old story, but as the story progressed, so did his voice. His timing was impecccable really because we would end up right in front of Cubies Cabin right at the part where he would tell us how he was chained up on the top floor. At this time, the car would all of a sudden stop working. The headlights off. The engine killed. Screams filled the car as my aunt protested telling him to stop scaring us. In the light of the day, we would see the cabin and sometimes even go inside of it. We couldn’t see Cubie though becuase the stairs to the top floor were boarded off.
This story was the ultimate thrill. My Goosebumps books had nothing on Cubie.
When my two oldest cousins and I were early teens, we were on a camping trip for our church. We three shared the tent with three other girls. When it was late and we were telling ghost stories to freak each other out, my cousins and I pulled out our Cubie story. Telling it as masterfully as we could, we were shocked to not see them trembling in fear. They were not horrified, they were not afraid. They just started at us blankly. Maybe they went into a catatonic state based on the pure terror of it? ‘So,’ one of said ‘what did you think?’ One of the girls answered, ‘Wait… so I don’t get it it. Is his head just a cube then?’
It was in that disappointing moment that we realized not everybody is sophisticated enough to understand the true horror of Cubie. That day I learned that the world is divided into two types of people. People that understand the complexity and horror of Cubie, (my cousins and I) and the rest of the world.