Estimated reading time — 4 minutes
I don’t have much time left. I’m hoping the blood will drain out of my wrists before they can get to me again, but I can’t be certain. Oh god, it’s so cold. I’m losing a lot of blood. But I have to finish. You have to read this. Maybe you can stop them.
It all started about a month ago. I was frantically trying to finish a writing assignment for Social Studies that was due next period, writing so fast I thought I’d snap my pen in two. I think the paper was on World War II. Amazing that I can remember things like that, through all of this, isn’t it? Nevermind. It doesn’t matter. As I wrote this paper, I began to notice something odd. I was making a lot of mistakes. You’ll have to excuse my digression for a moment, but I need to explain something: I never make mistakes when I write. Teachers use words like “impeccable” and “exceptional” to describe my conventions. That’s why I was finding this odd. And what’s more, they were all errors in capitalization, which served only to confuse me more. I hadn’t capitalized the beginnings of sentences, proper nouns anything. But, capitals were cropping up sporadically throughout my writing. I had words like “gErmans” or “alliaNce”, without the faintest clue why. At the time, I didn’t think much of it. I quickly corrected my mistakes and finished the paper.
In fact, I didn’t even think of the incident when it happened again. I was commenting my friend’s new MySpace picture. In the middle of typing up some inside joke, I noticed that my capitalization was once again awry. Scanning through it, I noticed something else odd: The word “hello” had been capitalized entirely. Figuring I’d just go back and finish it when I was done typing, I started again. And again, my finger would hit the “shift” key unbidden. When I checked my typing again, I looked closer. My mind began to subconsciously piece together the capital letters. Imagine my surprise when I realized that it formed a message. It read, “GLAD WE HAVE YOUR ATTENTION”. What I did then could only be described as a double-take whilst being completely still. Not knowing what had begun then, I signed off and promptly went to sleep, chalking it up to an overactive imagination.
The third time was during Language Arts. I was writing an analysis of “The Iliad”, when it happened. A message spelled itself out once again: “YOU WILL HELP US”. Now I was nervous. My hand shook slightly as I tried to erase the mistakes. As soon as my eraser touched the page, indescribable pain lanced through my hand. It was as if someone was excising all the nerves in my fingers, and impaling my hand on a railroad spike. It was over before I had time to scream. My hand shaking even more, I continued writing. “DO NOT DISOBEY”, my mistakes spelled out. I think that’s when I sealed my fate. I wrote faster. Whatever happened, no matter what I had to do, I never wanted to feel that pain again. It must sound cowardly to you, but I assure you that you would have done the same in my place. That’s why you have to stop them.
At home, I continued the paper. They spoke to me again. “GET A CERAMIC BOWL”. Confused, I hastily got up and retrieved one. I continued writing. They continued their instructions. “PLACE A BOOK IN THE BOWL”. Trying to move quickly in order to avoid the pain, I tossed The Iliad in. “BURN IT”. I looked around my house quickly. Hurriedly, I grabbed a match, and lit the book aflame. The next directive was more ambiguous. “FEED IT”. I didn’t know what they meant. In the middle of my paper, I wrote “With what?” and continued writing. The answer unnerved me. “BLOOD”. I stared at the paper for a second. Then, before I knew what I was doing, I’d scored a long cut over the tip of my finger with my pen. I held it over the burning book, and a sick-looking mixture of ink and blood dripped slowly down. After about 5 minutes, a hum began to emanate from the book’s bloody funeral pyre. It started softly, and increased in volume until my whole body vibrated. I felt as if my entrails were turning to liquid, and I shut my eyes and covered my ears. I lost track of time then, but after what seemed like an eternity it ended. I opened my eyes to be greeted with a disturbing sight. The book had stopped burning, but it was no longer a book. The pages had formed into a blackened, papery tendril that had embedded itself into the floor. That wasn’t all that had changed, though. The tree outside the window of my bedroom had lost its leaves. The wood floor around the bowl was rotten. And finally, I realized to my horror that I my skin had wrinkles.
The next month continued in their demands. Every week, they instructed me to burn a book in the bowl, and add an offering. Once it was a fingernail. Then a tooth. They wanted a piece of steel. And every time I completed an iteration of the ritual, another tendril was growing from the bowl and into the ground. The tree by my house died. My floor grew soggy and completely rotten. And I- I’m covered in liver spots, and my hair has turned gray. I’ve grown old. I sit in my room all day, writing randomly, no longer forming words, just following their demands. But even through my servitude, some part of me rebelled. Whatever I’m creating in that bowl, whatever they’re forcing me to engender, it’s going to unmake reality. Its very presence is killing me. kIlling everyThing living around it. i have to Stop it. it might already be ToO late. i’m lOsing a lot of bLood, and i’m getting dizzy. hopefully i’ll be deAd before They gEt to me again. oh god, they’re in mY writing again. oh my gOd, it’s cold. i can feel my life Unraveling-consider this a wARning. my dEath will Only slow them down. they want to Undo cReation. don’t ever read their meSsages. if you do, theN you’ll be fOrced to finish what i started. and no matter What, there is no escape.
Credited to Ed D.
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