1. A Quick Word:
Hey everyone, sorry this took longer than expected, but I was a little freaked out that first week. The smartest really do break hardest. My game was over; do you get that?
Not losing my soul was already miraculous, but I was still dead; the only reason I’m alive is a multitude of freak occurrences; I played absolutely no part in my survival! For all my cocky plans – I went in there with the ignorance of a toddler!
Sorry again… let me start over.
Hey guys, thanks for your concern; I’m doing much better now. Originally, I intended to go back before posting, but I’ve discovered so much it’s probably best to leave a record before round two. If you’re disappointed – don’t be; your time isn’t wasted. Among these chapters you’ll find “Derick’s Infinity Game” – it can be followed easily as a stand-alone without aid of the informative sections. The name speaks for itself, and while it wasn’t listed on the reading materials – the journal was delivered with another purchase I’ll discuss shortly. There’s no doubt the author visited Mirward; he may be the only true winner… if you can ignore the fact he still lost his soul…
It was short enough to type in its entirety, and if I live long enough – I’ll transcribe the others books. They’re very old; the pages are brittle and crumbling. Laying in bed with my tablet would be a vast improvement. I wanted to scan them, but they came out black; I tried different books until my scanner stopped working completely. Through family contacts I met a special librarian who says it’s an ancient spell; something about ‘chaotic consequences’ if the masses were aware. These posts are probably not okay, but a hive-mind is invaluable. Even if you weren’t participating – the process of organizing my thoughts is extremely helpful. Besides, this is just a silly CreepyPasta, so… no harm, no foul, right?
Only two books were originally in English – I found those and a translated copy of another on eBay; the rest are in a special library. I have even less patience than all of you; with expedited shipping the wait was still eternal. Jess stayed mad for a few days, but eventually, her curiosity prevailed; she officially acknowledges she’s on the team! That’s a huge win, you’ll see.
These are the kinds of books that require several reads before understanding their message, but I’ll do my best to condense what I’ve learned. Obviously, this summary doesn’t convey a fraction of the actual texts, but today’s goal is to share information and answer the most common questions.
The best solution for simple updates seemed to be a subreddit. Unfortunately, ‘InfinityGame’ was already in use, so I ended up with ‘HauntedUniverse’. I’m stretched for time while finishing this entry, but I’ll Google how to use it as soon as possible. Alright, if I missed anything we can explain as we go; if you want a snack, smoke, or drink – get it now.
2. Mirward History:
Over the centuries, Mirward was given many names across many cultures, but the most commonly used translate to “Opposite World” or “Backwards Place”. Flection chick was right about one thing – I wouldn’t have found any of this without her. Also, to avoid saying “Flection chick” more than I already have – she will henceforth be referred to as Casey… because that’s my middle name and apparently what she prefers.
Mirward’s existence was originally discovered through dreams, leaving each culture to create their own explanations for it. The resulting theories varied, but ‘gateway to hell’ is unsurprisingly the most popular. In case you’re asking, “but how does one dream such a specific ritual?” I’ll answer that here instead of sticking it into the conclusions where I found it. Asking why Mirward exists is like asking why the universe exists. Speculate all you want, but no one’s getting a definitive answer.
Much like our ancestors discovered fire, the supernatural creatures of Mirward made their own discoveries. At some point, the strong learned to communicate with our side; from there, it became a “manipulative dream entity” trope. Slowly but surely, people learned the rules, and went a little farther with each attempt.
The chapter titled Travel Alone is particularly important; it details attempts at group entries, and they’re frighteningly close to my original plan. I mistakenly believed the right team would make things easier; more eyes, weapons, and brains – all the strategic advantages of any co-op. Instead, it sounds like the game’s difficulty increases in correlation to the number of participants.
The Romans sent eight men; after one soldier entered, no more could follow – the door was closed. The first soldier was recalled, and all were tied together. This allowed everyone to enter, but the expedition was a total failure. After five hours, only one returned; his report resulted in the termination of group efforts. They walked for hours before eight doors simultaneously flew open, and they were surrounded. These were not the type of guys to use their words; they were Romans! The survivor claimed they fought in self defense, but the author theorizes the men became disoriented and cut each other down; I have to agree it’s the likelier scenario.
After the seven were lost, only elite warriors were chosen for solo expeditions. Each took aggressive action when their reflections appeared; at least… it’s assumed they did – though technically, we’ll never know what happened to those who didn’t return.
Of the two who did return – both claimed to feel ill upon killing their reflections; though… in reality, only the first man murdered his double. For the remainder of his short life, that soldier was a shadow of his former self. A week later, he was discovered hanging from a tree. Clearly, we can officially add “don’t harm reflection” to the list of rules.
The second man was captured and sentenced to death after murdering eleven people; the soldier who entered Mirward never came home. Instead, his bitter reflection emerged to wreak havoc. In total, he killed seven women, three children and one man before finally being discovered.
Side note: Many believe this is where Doppelgängers come from, but – while, one certainly can’t be faulted for the conclusion – it’s incorrect. We don’t have time to delve into their actual origins, but this isn’t it.
In the 1800’s, four soldiers played in Italy. Two entered while the others stood guard, but when their reflections emerged from different doors, they were forced to make a decision. Choosing poorly, they proceeded through the door opposite of the senior officer’s double.
When that same man died moments later, the mirror through which they entered broke apart. The guards thought both men were dead but soon heard the second soldier screaming for help, calling from the broken remnants. He was able to report what transpired, but there was no way out. His family was brought to the site, and it seemed the poor man was doomed to slowly waste away in the darkness… but that was not so.
Suddenly, he stopped speaking and began to whimper; loud, heavy footsteps were heard by all. Each thud landed closer until the vibrations were also felt in our world. At the sound of the soldier’s dying screams – the commander kicked the candles clear of the pentagram, ending the game. All fell instantly still and silent, even the grieving widow.
Eventually, most cultures followed the Roman’s example and let Mirward fade into legend, but there’s a few exceptions where people were driven to learn more. Those with a preference for the dark or strange will always be fascinated by its mysteries – as any of you can surely attest. Now, let’s put a pin in history and talk about my conversation with Casey.
3. Reflection Conversing:
This is how I learned to talk with Casey. Don’t worry, I’m not blindly trusting her… but things have definitely gotten complicated. Plus, I read this book several times and it’s accuracy has been heavily vouched for. Let me explain the how first – then there’s a transcript of our actual conversation.
Technically, I started talking to her the moment I came home; there’s no doubt she’s listening. There’s reflective surfaces everywhere. Wherever you are right now, look around; I bet you’re surrounded. You’ll never play the Infinity Game with a pair of shades or windows, but your reflection is there, right? Wave hello; I’m sure they’ll wave back!
I was already in the habit of talking to myself, but knowing someone’s actually there has me halfway to certifiable. If my posts stop suddenly – someone may have to help me escape a psych ward; you guys should know the risks before digging deeper because this shit isn’t getting any safer. If I’m being completely honest – I think something is stalking me, but I don’t have time to get into that today.
The prospect of an actual conversation with Casey was intriguing, but I didn’t get cocky. I’m embracing the fact I can’t be the smartest person in the room anymore. Apparently, it’s safe to speak to them when we occupy our own dimensions but never when visiting the other. This can be complicated but hang in there; I think I’ve got an easier way to explain it than the book.
We can’t talk to them because we don’t belong in Mirward; to do so would be forfeiting pieces of our soul to our reflections. Think of the energy we use to interact with others as “life force” or “essence” – as we use it on a daily basis, it’s constantly regenerating. The younger and healthier – those full of ‘life’ – replenish quickly while the sick and elderly recover at a slower pace. This process doesn’t happen outside our own dimension; eventually, we’d wither away.
The same is true for our doubles; the consequences are equally dire if they speak or move independently when appearing in our world. That’s why no angry reflections are screaming at us each time we look into a mirror. It’s only when we open a singular – let’s say ‘window’ – that we may freely converse.
I’ll say one thing though – I have a much higher appreciation for how bad their lives are. I barely survived hours of a silent existence. Can you imagine living in a shit-hole and spending your entire life modeling for some jerk who looks just like you? Although… what about poor people? Wouldn’t their reflections be living large? I’ll have to ask Casey later, I don’t know how I didn’t think of that until now. See – this is the hive-mind in action; best tool ever!
The ritual isn’t too different from the one used to enter Mirward; you need one standing mirror, two white candles, a small knife, and chalk. In a dark room – and only when alone – place the mirror against a wall. With the chalk, trace around its edges ensuring there are no gaps; both participant’s essence would leak out. It’s unclear what – if any – the consequences of that are, but there’s no reason to learn. Next, align the lit candles with the edges of your chalk-line, but please don’t start a house fire. See how liberally I used bold words in these instructions? It’s for a reason, I’m begging you – exercise common sense.
There’s no incantation; once everything’s in place, you’ll need a drop of blood on each dominant hand’s fingertip. I understand most people’s first instinct is to prick their fingers, but I don’t have words strong enough to convey how much that wasn’t happening. Walking around with cut fingers for a week would be akin to torture; instead, I cut a moderate incision into my arm. Touching each finger to the bloody wound, I placed my hand flat against the mirror’s cold surface as Casey did the same.
When we pulled our hands away, five bloody fingerprints remained; Breath held, I watched for any signs to indicate the ritual succeeded. Just when I thought it didn’t work, Casey laughed; working with someone who possesses my sense of humor has proven… educational. Once past the witty banter – which I won – much was learned. Casey shares my need to understand things.
While she knows more of our world than we do of hers, certain aspects elude her comprehension. We agreed to trade question for question; I know it sounds naive to automatically believe her answers, but we genuinely are alike at our cores; it’s absolutely unthinkable to cheat during a quest for knowledge. The karma risk alone is mortifying!
Remember how I wanted to use a tape recorder last time? Well, there was no reason not to here! There was a horrible moment where I thought it would be dead air or only my side of the conversation, but there was nothing to worry about. As evidence, the audio is worthless – it sounds like I’m having a batty conversation with myself – but as an aid, it’s glorious!
Below is a transcript for your convenience. The following conversation began at midnight on Sunday, February 13, 2022. It begins with the first question asked; Casey’s responses are indicated with a “C” and mine, a with “P”.
P: Are we allowed to talk to the other… “people” on your side?
C: You could; humans shouldn’t. They won’t waste as much essence as if their reflection were sucking it up, but the ship’s still leaking.
P: Hold on, what—
C: Why do you all require caretakers for the first 18 years of existence?
P: We mature at a depressingly slow rate and would otherwise die; even with these safeguards, it’s sometimes not enough. Why did you categorize me as… not human?
C: Because we’re half-breeds… how did you not realize that? Wait! That’s not my question! Only your mother was human, happy? Why do mortals consume mind-altering substances?
P: Life hurts; different drugs help different aches, and whether mental or physical – there’s a flavor for everything. What… species is my dad?
C: Clarify; biological or caretaker?
P: They’re the same person! [extended silence] Biological, please.
C: You would use the word demon – an otherworldly creature with supernatural abilities – but technically he is an Infitialis. Regardless, his existence began on my side. That means you’re – rather we’re – half-breeds. Now tell me, this Politics thing—
P: No, don’t waste your breath; I know what you’re trying to ask but I have no clue how to explain that ridiculous shit.
C: Fair enough; why are so many people obsessed with food? I understand the need for sustenance – it’s one of the universal constants – but I’m curious why some dedicate their lives to it.
P: Oh… um… I guess it’s the same answer as the drug question. Unless, you’re talking about chefs and cooking shows – some people just enjoy the hobby. Who knows why?
C: Your answers are disappointing.
P: Sorry… but for someone who’s always looking over my shoulder, I expected you to understand more of the basics…
C: Yea, your shoulder; I’m well versed in anime, Star Trek, and Minecraft; not economics, sociology, or congress!
P: Okay, I see your point, but even you just admitted I can’t accurately answer those questions. Besides, if we’re so much alike – how are you interested in that junk?
C: It is not dull, common-knowledge on this side!
P: Oh, right. Damn. Ok, how about this – you answer my questions and I’ll trade each answer for a Netflix documentary.
P: So, your people are called Infitialis?
C: [sigh] No, that’s our word for Demon; pay attention, we don’t have much time left.
P: Wait, we’re being timed with this, too?!
C: You can be terribly naive.
P: Um, ok… ok, ok, ok… how did Mom… I mean – did she go back to Mirward again?!
C: No, your father was the one to cross over. Elle met him only once and had no reason to doubt his species.
P: Oh no… was Mom…?
C: He was a one-night-stand if that’s what you mean.
P: That’s totally what I meant… wait, is that why Boss dude couldn’t take my soul?!
C: Correct. Why is sex is a taboo subject in your culture; it’s ironic for an act in which all indulge.
P: People are sensitive about activities performed in the nude; it’s honestly not worth half the trouble it causes.
C: Is your lack of sexual activity a choice? I thought it was the inability to find a suitable mate.
P: You’re hilarious; I suppose you guys don’t exactly pair off and have fam—
C: Time’s up, blow the candles out.
P: What happens when— [thud]
C: Now! Move! [thud, thud]
I reached for the candle in a panic, knocking it over; hot wax covered my fingers as I rushed to extinguish the small flame. Instantly, the room fell silent, and an immense pressure evaporated. It’s hard not to connect those loud thuds with the ones heard by the Italians in the 1800’s.
We were able to talk roughly fifteen minutes, but the book didn’t warn of a time limit – only not to do it more than once in a 24-hour period; I would have prioritized questions differently. After a twinge of fear and guilt toward my probably salty reflection, I started a documentary on capitalism before studying my notes; fair is fair. For the record – everything Casey said has checked out. I want to learn more about the ‘Infitialis’ word, but right now all I can tell you is it’s Latin for negative; so yea, I’m confused too.
4.Derick’s Infinity Game:
This was mailed with the history book and probably why you’re here. Please understand this is all the information. I couldn’t find any public records of this man or his descendants; we’d need a private investigator or historian to track that stuff down, and my hands are kinda full. I can’t tell what type of boat he’s on anymore than you can. It sounds like he was employed on a ship and expected to be gone roughly six months; anything more is speculation.
On the last page Derick sketched some of what he saw in Mirward, but I haven’t witnessed these particular… creatures. Jess did amazing work with the enhancement, and if you’re reading the blog post you’ll see the picture below; those on different sites can view it with the Imgur link, but it’s not vital to the story. Although… on the left appears to be the severed head of Oogie Boogie; it’s definitive proof Tim Burton played the Infinity Game, and it’s pretty clear what he wished for.
Disclaimer: I know I said ‘transcribe’ but this is dated in 1832, and the author was… unaccustomed to writing. Most of you probably wouldn’t enjoy the old-timey phrasing so, with the exception of using modern language, spelling corrections, and enough grammar to make it legible – this chapter is the journal of a man named Derick Price.
May 3, 1832
Beverly bought this damn book as something to do on the boat! I left it behind on purpose, planning to swear it forgotten six from now. As long as there’s a few souvenirs to distract her – she’d forgive me quick enough. Of course she stuffed it into my pack! Crafty woman, I just might fill these pages to spite her! God knows I’ll miss the nag, especially at night!
I wonder how many card players are aboard. If I talk my way into the right games, I could double – maybe triple – my salary! Though, if I go home with too much… Bev’s liable to get suspicious… but shore-leave should resolve that! Guess I’ll need to lose this journal before then, too; the only reason she wants me to write is so she can snoop the second my back’s turned!
May 5, 1832
Those bastards cheated; that’s the only explanation! I knew Carl was a scumbag the moment I laid eyes on his pointy rat-face! He and Dalton are probably splitting the pot this second – laughing their asses off at the chump!
Tomorrow night there’ll be a proper game in the kitchen, and this time I’ll catch the crooks red-handed; however they’re doing it – I’ll have my revenge and my money! The pissers are lucky Mr Sims came when he did; ten more seconds and they’d be licking the bottom of my boots!
Maybe I shouldn’t wait… maybe I should sneak into their rooms tonight. The longer they have my money, the more they’re liable to spend! If I play it smart, I could get rid of Carl completely… throw his body overboard and make it look like Dalton double-crossed him…
But first it’s time to burn this journal to ashes! Sorry, Bev!
[unspecified amount of time later]
I’m dreaming; this ain’t real, it ain’t real. Maybe if I write it down I can figure out how the scam worked. This is a con, it’s gotta be. I just need to think a minute. I don’t know where I am; I don’t know how they did that trick with the mirror or where they found a man who looks like me… or how he knew all those things… damnit!
Ok, I waited a few hours to make sure everyone was asleep. After leaving my bunk… I was walking up the ladder… but fell— no, I was pulled! Someone grabbed my leg… and hit me in the head; that’s why my skull is pounding! Then they must have put me on a different boat while I was unconscious!
I woke in a long hallway; it stretched farther than I could see. The door was rigged to look like a mirror somehow… except I couldn’t see myself; instead, it was Dalton and Carl. They had guns and said to walk until my twin came inside; this twin would supposedly kill me if I spoke for any reason… it made no sense! Then I was to exit through the door opposite from where he entered… ‘course I didn’t intend to do it… not until I saw him.
Next is the strangest part of all. They said I can’t be released until I find a man called the Owner; if “asked politely” he’ll give me a million dollars. Can such a sum even be carried by one person – surely they don’t expect me to return with a banknote? Even if the claim is true, they wouldn’t let me live! Regardless, my only option was to walk away.
Once out of those bastards’ sight I tried every door, but they were locked. It was almost thirty minutes before the creak of hinges made me scream like a girl… it was me standing there! Not a look-a-like, not even a twin; me – down to every mole, wrinkle, and scar! The only difference was a dirty rag tied to his left arm; that’s when I noticed an identical rag sewn to my own right sleeve. I don’t understand why it’s there but it was difficult to focus on anything besides the man… there’s a… wrongness to him – beyond his appearance.
When he spoke, it was with my voice. At first, my silence was the result of shock, but as he grew angry – I grew terrified; eventually, he left – walking in the direction of Carl and Dalton. I stood between the two doors knowing it pointless to continue down the hall; I don’t remember inching closer to his door, yet suddenly, my hand was reaching for it!
Something wasn’t right about that room… I could feel it before my fingers touched the door’s wooden surface. It’s already cold here, but the air from that room was like being naked in a blizzard; I jerked my hand away from the darkness. Nothing was visible beyond its border, not even the ground. I crossed the hallway and dove through the opposite door just to get away from that horrible void.
The room I entered is where I sit now, and what I saw is the reason for these words. I’ll likely die here and wish to leave a record. I can’t imagine where my body will be found or if this will find Beverly, but if it does – I’m truly sorry, my dear. Others will discount these claims as those of a madman, but you’ll know my sincerity. I’m a man of many faults, darling, but superstition ain’t one of them.
I’ve been a terrible fool; there are – without a doubt – sinister creatures on our Earth. My love, do you remember the summer I worked in the mines? And how I once described finding a small, malformed skeleton in the old tunnels? That’s the closest comparison for what I saw upon entering this room. It stood upright and was only a few inches shorter than myself, but it looked every bit of that damned skeleton! It wore a horrifyingly wide smile – you wouldn’t think the expression possible without skin – and the damn thing was holding the head of… something – but it’s covered by a white hood; I’ve no urge to peer inside. I suspect the body is contained within the bulging, dirty sack lying in the corner.
Well, my dear, as you probably suspect, the creature wished to add my head to its collection; it dropped its trophy and lunged. A wild chase ensued, but eventually, the devil leapt onto my back; its fingers found purchase in my scalp, temporarily blinding me as blood streamed down my face. It struggled to maintain its hold in the midst of my chaotic flails, and I reached back desperately – securing a grip on one frail arm; it snapped easily, but the remaining hand dug its claws deeper. Slightly calmer, I reached back once more and was able to grab its head. With two fingers hooked in an eye socket, I ripped the skull free.
As the bones fell and scattered across the floor, I finally took notice of my surroundings; that doorway led me to a living area – a large, nicely furnished one with tables, chairs, and shelves… yet there are no windows. There’s only one other door, but I’ve been too afraid to peer outside; instead, I sat to write this entry. Now, unfortunately, I must go.
May 15, 1832
I simply cannot believe my life contained such good fortune; more than the existence of supernatural beings and worlds – it’s truly a marvel what money can accomplish! I’m writing this from the finest hotel in Louisiana, and have a reservation through the week. My first instinct was to return home, but then I realized the uniqueness of my position. Just once, it would be nice to do things the smart way. I plan to write everything that’s happened and carefully consider every option.
After the last entry, I paced in front of that exit for nearly twenty minutes before loud, violent knocks shook the door. I planned to retreat into the hall when my legs resumed working, but the door broke long before that could happen. Monsters – skeletons of all shapes and sizes – were coming to tear me apart! Seconds before reaching their goal – a deep, gruff voice shouted, “Stop! Be gone!”
I wept with relief as the creatures fled, yet remained frozen as the voice continued in a less hostile tone, “Please don’t shit yourself, the smell is disgusting, and we have much to discuss.”
My paralysis was cured as I finally laid eyes on the newcomer – my long-deceased father. Previous fears forgotten, I leapt to my feet – hurrying to embrace him, but was rudely halted midway.
“No! I am not who you think! You traveled far beyond the Earthly limitations of which you are accustomed; it is the unusual circumstances of that travel which bring me here. This game has a complex set of rules; accidental participation is exceedingly rare but possible. Until now, those instances were direct results of the player’s own nefarious – or simply moronic – actions, but your case warranted special consideration.”
I failed to find my voice; those words left me in more confusion than ever. His penetrating gaze burned into my soul, but I don’t believe the intimidation was intentional. After a few silent moments, the man sighed with exasperation and motioned to the smaller table. He claimed his true appearance is unsettling – and I’ve no doubt it’s true – but once seated I was able to speak.
I told him everything, including my intentions for Carl and Dalton; my fear was too great to lie. After a moment’s consideration, the man reached into his coat and removed two pre-filled pipes. I eagerly accepted; it wasn’t unusual in light of everything else, and the tobacco smelled wonderful. I was still breathing, but far from safe. No part of me expected the mysterious man’s help – especially not the million dollars, but I’ll never forget a word he said.
“Listen Price, I’m gonna do things differently with you – and I hope you’ll see it for the lucky break it is – but first, let me explain what you stumbled into; it would be extremely unfortunate to misunderstand the gravity of your situation. See, we are not currently in your world; we’re in my world. Normally, people come to play my game; if they win – they choose a prize; if they lose – they die. High stakes for high rewards – a fair and wonderful challenge that has served me well for thousands of years!”
The man began pacing and waving his arms in exaggerated gestures. “Tradition is undervalued these days, but it instills values and structure. Do you understand why this situation is particularly irksome to me? Two greedy, idiotic thieves are trying to cheat my game, interrupt my time-honored traditions! I’ll admit, this particular idea is a first, and it had potential; had they the foresight to choose their target wisely and communicate the actual rules – who knows.”
I let the thinly veiled insult pass without comment; there was no time for distractions. “One of those men carried your unconscious body in and left before you woke; personally, I would have selected a target based on skill-set, kidnapped his family, and given a thorough account of the rules to avoid the mishaps you encountered. Even then, it would ultimately fail during contract negotiations, but a damn fine plan nonetheless.”
The man paused his pacing and took several puffs from his pipe in quick succession as he pondered the thought in earnest; with nothing more than a shrug to signal the end of his internal debate, he resumed pacing. “I’m not going to sugarcoat it; this is a business – and souls are the currency – but payment isn’t due until after death. Normally, even people who know the rules find it difficult to complete the game, but that’s by necessity. If everyone could sit and chat, I would never have a break! Hordes of people would come, and not a fraction would sign the dotted line, no sir; in fact, most would come just for a story to tell friends!” He chuckled, but our eyes met, and Father’s stern expression returned instantly.
“The point is – you, my friend, stumbled upon an extremely fortunate combination of spite and hunger. Normally, I would leave you to perish, but it is a slow month. That is why I am breaking my own rules by offering you the deal of a lifetime with no hidden strings!” The man grinned ear to ear, exactly as a parent does when presenting their child with the perfect Christmas present.
Trying to hide the skepticism in my voice, I chose my words carefully. “It sounds like a very generous offer, and I thank you kindly for your willingness to spare my life… but I don’t quite understand.”
“I am not willing to negotiate price; as I stated – business is slow, but you have two options. You can trade your soul for anything you desire – perhaps revenge and wealth for example – or you can refuse and take your chances. Do think carefully as all decisions are final.” His smile revealed the tips of sharp, pointed teeth – definitely not a feature copied from Father’s appearance.
“I didn’t believe in souls before today, and I got no use for the damn thing; I want revenge on those assholes more than anything, but even if I had weapons, how could we get both before they ran or killed me? How long have I been here? What if they aren’t there anymore?” The ‘wealth’ comment erased any doubts regarding the worth of my soul, but the rest presented a genuine obstacle.
“Oh, my dear man, you’re still underestimating my abilities. There will be no difficulties in fulfilling the contract, we need only agree to the terms. You already know what I expect; tell me your greatest desires.” With this the man sat across from me and waited.
I was already imagining the house we would buy. “I want Carl and Dalton dead… but I want them to know what’s happening and why…”
The man nodded in agreement, his wicked smile returning. “Yes, excellent start! Come now, what else?”
“I want to be rich… really rich… like the kind of rich where I live off the interest alone. I want my family to stay healthy and have everything they need no matter what hard times come through this messed up country!” It was hard to imagine having any of these things; as I spoke, I realized the magnitude of my request.
“Agreed.” The man stated simply.
My doubts were plain on my face. “I understand it is a difficult concept for a skeptic, but rest assured your desires are basic. Yes, there are a few things you’ll need to do on your end to maintain the stipulations, but nothing outlandish. For instance, you will need to choose a profession – otherwise your wealth may derive from somewhere… unsavory. How do you feel about farming? It’s particularly profitable in the South.” He raised a questioning eyebrow.
Farming sounded fine; I could think of nothing else and his use of the word ‘unsavory’ instilled new paranoia. “Yes, farming would be great… but how will I get off the boat?”
“Shortly after your arrival, the ship was forced to dock for repairs; you should disembark immediately – do not collect your belongings. I have helped where possible, but my influence over your world is limited. Regardless, once you are finished with our friends, no one will notice your departure.” This is when he reached beneath the table to retrieve a black, leather bag.
“As for the best part – once you see them – show those fools this bag of money; they will instinctively look around to ensure they are still alone, and that is when you will open fire. Your bullets will pass through the doorway, but not theirs. As an added bonus, your shots will be silent to those on the other side. Don’t worry about their dying too quickly, either; aim for the torso, and I promise, that gun will provide the desired effects! There’s only one more thing to remember; that gun is not for your world; it belongs here. When finished – place it on the ground and leave; I want you to enjoy a long, fruitful life, but our deal is negated if you forget that final step.”
At times the man was almost friendly, but there was nothing but malice in his final statement; it was enough to make me question our entire arrangement, but if I failed to comply – I’d die anyway. Heart heavy with doubts, I agreed. With the snap of his fingers, the longest paper I’ve ever seen appeared. The contract was written in tiny, barely legible writing; it began on the small table, but extended into a heaping pile on the floor. Knowing resistance was futile, I reached for the quill. The signature was not in ink but blood; the quill was not for writing but stabbing. Once my finger bled onto the paper, the contract was “signed” and I was free to leave.
The man borrowing Father’s face said one more thing before disappearing. “That money will be enough to start a farm anywhere you choose, and your crops will always thrive. Derick, I truly hope we don’t see each other again; never forget, this was a once-in-a-lifetime circumstance.” Then, with a wink, he was gone.
He was true to his word; Carl and Dalton’s jaws dropped and their eyes immediately confirmed we were still alone. I gut-shot both – they never even tried to return fire… maybe the shock was too much. Once they were dead, I escaped onto dry land minutes before the ship departed. They likely didn’t discover the bodies until morning, and though I removed the candles in hopes no one could repeat the ritual – I do wonder what was thought of the scene.
In the short time since, I’ve eaten like a king and slept in beds for royalty. I yearn to share the news of our wealth with Beverly, but how will I ever explain myself? How can I expect anyone to believe that which I could not? What terrible things will she suspect if I return with a fortune? That is why I felt the need to organize my thoughts here, but a solution still evades me. The hour grows late, perhaps sleep will lend better clarity.
Sadly, that was Derick’s last entry; whatever he decided to do, he didn’t write about it in this journal. Maybe we’ll find more one day, but for now this update is turning into a book so let’s cover this last section and call it a day.
5. Game Genie:
It’s finally time to explain the Library and cheat codes – the main reason I haven’t returned to Mirward yet; it would be reckless to go without more study. For starters, it’s not a library; it’s The Library – get it? You won’t find it on a map or Google, either. Think of it like Hogwarts – muggles aren’t getting in. Honestly if I ever get a chance to be the Librarian, you’ll likely never hear from me again; I’m pretty certain that place is Paradise.
It’s too large to explore in one visit, but it’s unquestionably the greatest library in history. When the Librarian boasted to possess a copy of every text ever written – I didn’t doubt her claim. It would be harder to believe any were missing; the sheer volume is indescribable. Each floor has shelves twelve feet tall, and all are overflowing with books. Each time I reached the end of an aisle, a new one began around the corner.
The current Librarian can be a little tricky to deal with, but we’re super tight now; she’s letting me come back tomorrow, and I’m sure I’ll have plenty to write about afterwards. This is where I found the really rare books; the one-of-a-kinds aren’t allowed to be removed or reproduced – meaning I can’t finish the other books until I go back. The best part is my cuddly research assistant, Romulus.
If I was allowed to take my phone inside, you guys would have tons of adorable pictures for this part! He’s a dark tabby cat, very dapper, and understands people language; every time I spoke, he always responded! When I asked him to direct me to the 16th century books, he said, “Meow” and led the way! When I asked if he wanted to come home with me, he said, “Meh” and licked his booty! I can’t wait to give him the presents I bought! And oh my gods – his toe beans!
Oh, shit, I was talking about books, sorry; the one I’m most interested in is called “Game Genie” and anyone familiar with that term will be intrigued. For those who aren’t familiar – and I’m sure better versions exist now – they were devices used to facilitate cheating. I had one for Super Nintendo; it was a cartridge you inserted into the machine, and your game was then inserted to the Genie. When powered on, you’re prompted to enter codes for the desired buffs. These usually prevent death or provide unlimited funds pending the game, but you get the point.
If it’s possible to open a backdoor into Mirward, a whole new world of possibilities will open. I wish there was time to tell you everything about the Library now, but I’ve been at this since 4am; I could write through the day and still not tell you everything. I’m sorry, but this will be an ongoing effort; there simply isn’t enough time in the day, and now that Jess is fully involved she’s enforced a rather strict schedule. It’s for the best; but patience has always been my kryptonite.
The biggest hurdle is funding; unfortunately, I must maintain a day job to continue my investigation, but I’m fully committed to solving the mystery of the Infinity Game. Tomorrow, I’ll spend the entire day at the Library, and our next actions will be determined by how well that visit goes. I’ll also need to speak with Casey afterwards, but with our time being so limited – I feel it’s better to do that at the end of a research session.
I know this is a lot to take in, but hopefully you understand why I felt the need to do this “educational update”. When this is published, I have a few normie issues to deal with – such as the disgusting state my home has fallen into while I’ve been buried in research – but then I’ll Google how to use that subreddit I mentioned; hopefully it’ll make regular updates more feasible. Alright, wow; I guess that’s finally it for now – until next time!
Credit: Page Turner
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