I Unwittingly Summoned A Creature From Ancient Lore, And I Must Warn You Before It Comes For You.

I guess I’ll have to start at the beginning. I have always been an avid horror fan. Reading, watching, writing.

I always dreamed of giving something back to the horror world. I dreamed of crafting something that would invade people’s minds and not let go. Something that would instill a lingering chill in their psyche that would magnify every creak in their house, give life to the shadows, make them doubt their solitude when they were alone.

My dream was to haunt your nightmares.

Except, for the past few years, I’ve had stubborn writer’s block. It always seemed to be there, my urge to create, but I could never get it out. It was like an elusive thought at the tip of your tongue. You want to grasp it so badly, and yet it’s always evading you, no matter how hard you try.

And then, it happened. My path to inspiration. Finally.

A couple of weeks ago, I became ill and confined to my bed. I spent most of the day listlessly browsing the Internet and trying to summon up the energy to fix some dinner. My older brother, Eric – God bless him – came over as soon as he heard I was ill, with sandwiches to last me the next few days, and chicken soup in a thermos. And, best of all, before he left he thumped a large book down on top of my duvet.

“I spotted this at a yard sale,” he said. “Thought you might like it. It’ll keep you busy while you’re stuck in bed.”

Terrible Creatures of Lore and Myth from Around The World.

It was an old leather-bound, hefty book with yellowing pages. I felt a thrill as soon as I opened it. I flicked through, and was engrossed even before my brother made it to the door. I was feeling slightly sick, but the book gripped me such that I forgot about my illness.

The author had, apparently, traveled the world and made a record of all the unsettling things he came across. I’ve been a huge horror fan all my life, but even I hadn’t come across most of the creatures of legend mentioned here. They were all obscure creatures of tales from remote regions, and it was fascinating.

The last chapter, though. You know that thrill you feel when you come across a gripping horror story? Of course you do. That’s why you’re here. There’s nothing quite like that feeling. You feel the dread but you can’t look away, you let the story pull you – you tumble gladly into the world built up by the words. You’re terrified, but deliciously so. That’s how I felt, reading that chapter. I don’t have the book with me now, so I’ll paraphrase what it said. I’ve read it enough times to almost know it by heart.

It described one particular creature that is said to roam the land. It has no place of origin, no place to call its own, nowhere to stay. It is always waiting for attention, waiting to be acknowledged. As soon as anyone mentions its name, it takes that as an expression of interest, as an invitation. It latches on to that person, it takes this acknowledgement of its existence as an invitation into the victim’s home, a gateway into the victim’s life.

The book described multiple, corresponding accounts of victims that the author had come across. Well, accounts from the victim’s families. The victims themselves were long dead, died of undetermined causes. The author came across multiple stories of this nature, even spanning villages and towns and they all had something in common. The families refused to name the creature. It was a well-known creature in these communities and there was a knowledge of its name, but it was accompanied by a resolute silence. Instances of this creature latching on to people occurred when someone mentioned the thing’s name for others to hear.

When others can hear its name, this means it can also hear its name. And it takes this to mean that it is being called.

This had happened in these villages, the author was told, upon instances when someone had spoken of the creature either through forgetfulness (uttered the name out loud by mistake), ignorance, bravado or disbelief. Since the demise of the victims had occurred within living memory, the inhabitants of the village had now resolved to keep the name a secret. Not only for their own safety (they didn’t want to invite the evil into their own lives, after all) but they also hoped that this would have the added benefit so that knowledge of the creature’s name would never be passed down to their children. The name would die with them, and so would these attacks of evil.

The author, though, was equally resolute to get a name he could specify for his book. He was fascinated by the topic, his actual belief in this particular creature was lukewarm. While he believed in many of the strange and terrible tales described in his book, this particular creature, he felt, had been invented to attach hype and hysteria to cases of mental illness. He thought it was an interesting legend, though, and one he wanted to fully catalogue in his book. He narrated how he had traveled from village to village, trying to bribe someone to whisper the name to him, or write it down. He was getting nowhere.

Finally, he described, his fortune turned. He arranged an interview with the father of a boy who had fallen victim to the creature, and invited this man to his private lodgings. The man got extremely drunk during the course of this (I personally suspect the author may have plied the poor man with drinks), and, his reason gone, finally uttered the creature’s name. The author wrote it down instantly in a notebook, and took it to the villagers to confirm if this indeed was the name he’d been seeking. Their reactions of horror were all he needed as confirmation. He described that the locals begged him not to put the name in his book for others to read. That would be exactly what the creature wanted, for its name to be heard and propagated. It would fuel the creature. It would create endless victims in corners of the world where its name had never before entered.

Suddenly, the tables had turned, and now these villagers were trying to persuade him, begging him and bribing him to change his mind. First they tried to entice him with food and feasts, and later with money and jewels.

The man who had told him of the creature’s name was found burned alive in his house. An act of vengeance from the rest of the villagers for telling their closely-guarded secret to a stranger, and allowing the evil of the name to be set loose upon the world. This made the author even more bent upon writing his book in full – he was disgusted by the villagers. The villagers insisted they hadn’t done anything; this was the Unnamed Creature’s doing.

However, this made the author even more firm on his belief that this story had been founded merely by hype and superstition. They used this legend to add hysteria around mental illness, and to excuse their own wrong-doings. This story was unlike the others he had come across. The described victims’ terrors were so entirely subjective. He became resolute that it was time to end this childish terror of uttering a few simple syllables.

When he remained undeterred in his conviction to include the name in his book, they chased him out of the village. He was a tool of the evil creature, they now said. The creature had been growing desperate to be acknowledged once more. It was determined not have its name fade into oblivion. Now, its name would be spoken abroad, with endless carnage and countless more victims. The author, too, would be a victim, because he was propagating the name. It didn’t only have to be spoken aloud for the creature to be summoned. If he propagated the name to others even though writing, it could be taken as an invitation, they said. Resolute, he left the village and finished his book.

That chapter was the final chapter in the book. There was an epilogue from a guest writer, who said that the author had been struck down with a fever and malady of the mind shortly after completing the book. Ironically, on his deathbed, he begged for the book not to be published, and revoked his publishing agreement before he died. Those in charge of his affairs after his death, however, deemed this to be a moment of illness-induced insanity. The book was something he had devoted such a large portion of his life and energy upon, and if he been in his right mind, he would have wanted it to be taken to publication. They saw it as an exercise in anthropology. The publishing agreement was cancelled, but they took it to a small press and published a handful of books, so his legacy might live on, and his years of hard work and intellectual pursuit not go to waste.

I finished the last page, breathless. I was glad I had read it, but also mentally cursing myself, because reading something like that doesn’t do well for a fever-addled brain, as mine was at the time. I had jumbled and disturbing dreams whenever I drifted into sleep. I sympathized for the poor author who had died in the midst of a fever, back when medical treatments were still in relative infancy. There were times when I fancied that I might be dying myself, because in my dreams, I became the author and the book became my work and it was all incredibly confusing. You know – typical crazy, muddled, tired-and-ill brain stuff.

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Over the next few days, the fever passed, and I was back to full mental and bodily strength. I re-read the last chapter in the book a few more times, and it was as though it lit a fire in my mind. A thrill of excitement. It was a relatively unknown piece of folklore, and would make for excellent horror-story material. It was time that the Internet was introduced to this creature and the mythos surrounding it.

The story and the way the book ended was… well, a little unsettling, admittedly, but it did make rational sense – he had just returned home after traveling foreign exotic lands. All sorts of diseases he could catch while there. Anticipating the anxious reader’s interpretation, the epilogue had even included the official note from the doctor, who had described a swelling of the arm from a foreign insect bite.

But still, perhaps it wasn’t a disease…

I shook my head and tried to shake the thoughts away. I went onto the laptop, and it was as though my recent illness had somehow rejuvenated my mind. The words flowed easily, and I typed and typed, my mind alit with the excitement of this new world I was creating for my readers to explore. I didn’t stop to eat or drink, I didn’t even stop to draw the curtains when the sun went down. I was sitting in a darkened room with the only source of light being the glow from my laptop screen, illuminating my face, and a mild glow coming in from the streetlights outside. Utter silence except for the steady clatter of my fingers of the keyboard. I was lost to the world.

Finally, I was done. I had written my first complete story for years. I stared at the words on the screen, feeling jubilant and cautiously optimistic. It was a fictional account of a man whose wife had been affected by the creature. It detailed the legend behind the creature, and all the horror it left in its wake. The title of my short story was the name of the creature. It was pretty good, I thought. I re-read the story aloud as I always do after writing anything, to make sure my words flowed and made sense. Then I copy-pasted those precious words of mine into the website’s submission box.

As soon as I did, I felt a twinge of hesitance.

I only was afraid of being attacked, I reasoned, by disgruntled people online. I was afraid of being disparaged. Of having spent time on something, of having invested sincere energy into something, and not getting any acknowledgement for it. What if no one read it? Worse still, what if they read it but they didn’t like it? Doubt gnawed at me. Don’t submit it. But then again, nothing ventured, nothing gained. I ignored my gut instinct and I hit the submit button. My eyes instantly flicked to the comments. It’s natural, isn’t it?

Oh, what a blessed and simple time that was, when my only fear was that of online mockery. How naive I was then!

After staring at my submission and monitoring how it had been received, I finally decided that I had been sitting in the same place for too long, and that perhaps it was time to draw the curtains. What provoked me into finally moving was the sound of meowing and barking coming from next-door. Cat-and-dog fight. The sound was irritating, and I wanted to close the window as well as curtain, to mute it.

I got up from my desk, and walked to the window, blinking. There was the after-image of my laptop screen still in the middle of my vision, a glowing rectangle burned into my retina, after having stared at it in the dark for so long. I blinked a few times and waited for it to fade. The street outside was deserted.

It seemed like a contradiction, because it was so empty, and yet so noisy. There was more than one dog barking, more had joined in now. And more cats, too. Meowing, barking, howling, and morosely wailing. You could hear a few owners shouting at their pets to get them to pipe down, but to no avail. And yet, the street was lifeless and still. I sighed. It took just one animal to start some noise, and it would spook the others and they would all join in.

The street itself was entirely deserted, except for a tall, lanky figure standing on the pavement a few houses down, motionless. It was standing underneath a lamppost that was unlit, so I couldn’t see it. I almost dismissed it…except, just as I was about draw the curtains, a car passed by. Its headlights illuminated the road and pavements for the few seconds it took to pass by.

The light was coming towards me, but the figure was backlit, so it was only visible as a black outline. In that moment, though, I could see that the shape didn’t seem quite right. I squinted, and although this person was facing me, it seemed that he didn’t have a face. Just a blank piece of skin where the facial features should be.

I couldn’t look away. And then the car passed, and everything was plunged into darkness again. I could see its silhouette still, but without light, couldn’t make out any details. But as the moments elapsed, I grew less certain of what I had seen. A sudden trick of perspective, I reasoned. Must be some rational explanation. I hadn’t seen clearly, I wasn’t thinking clearly. I decided to ignore it, and draw the curtains. I closed and locked the window, too, so as to mute that the terrible noise the animals were making. Out of sight, out of earshot, out of mind. Trying to be a rational, sensible human.

Twice that night, ignoring my innate fear instinct.

I grabbed a sandwich, showered, and then went to bed. I was tired, I’d worked hard all day, and sleep came quickly. My sleep was not restful, however. Strange visions plagued me all night. I can’t remember anything, except for a strange screaming voice that scared me awake:

“He’s coming for you! He’s outside your window!”

The scream was so loud, it seemed to reverberate inside my head, like a sound that had exploded physically inside my brain. I jolted awake and upright, and I was sure someone had screamed in real life. It took me a few heart-pounding moments to reason that it had been inside my dream.

I was doused in sweat now, and too uncomfortable to lie back down, and too cold and shivery to get out of bed. Part of me wanted to check outside, certain something was outside my window.

So I did, but only to assuage my fears. To be rational. I looked out of the window, shivering. Was I shaking because I was drenched in sweat, or was it because I was afraid? I glanced around the empty street. No strange figure anywhere. No figures or anything anywhere at all, in fact. I sighed in relief.

I went to take another shower to relax, and change into fresh clothes. I thought about checking up on my story. And somehow, the line popped up in my head:

“It takes interest in itself as an invitation into your home and into your life.”

I shook the thoughts from my head.

I went back to bed, and somehow drifted back to an uneasy sleep. I didn’t turn off the light.

beetlejuice

I awoke late the next morning ,yesterday that is, and the morning sun, as it so often does, seemed to expel the previous night’s terrors. It made me feel silly for yesterday’s irrational unease. I went into the kitchen to make a quick breakfast, only to realize that most of the cupboards were bare, as I’d spent the past few days quarantined my bed. I made a list of groceries I’d need, and got in my car. I checked the rear-view mirror to back out of my drive.

There was a figure standing in the garden behind me. Tall and gaunt. Just blank skin where the face should be.

I slammed on the breaks and looked over my shoulder in panic.

A tall tree. That’s all it was.

I laughed, nervously, and backed out, telling myself to keep it under control. This was absolutely ridiculous.

I made it to the supermarket without any further mishaps. It was fairly early in the morning, so there weren’t many people around. A handful of mothers, housewives probably, accompanied by their small children. This would have been fine, usually, especially as the lack of significant crowds meant I could complete my shopping relatively quickly.

But even though there were only a small number children there, children are often noisy and whiny, and my head was aching and feeling leaden by now. Probably because I’d gotten so little sleep the night before, I figured. Crying, screeching, annoying babies and toddlers at every turn. I’d grabbed all the things I needed to, and got in line at the checkout. A screaming, bawling fat baby was sitting in the trolley-seat ahead of me.

“Shhh,” said the mother, rocking the trolley back and forth.

I clutched my head. It was too much. I felt like my head was going to explode, it was just so abrasive. I bit my lip and just tried to wait it out. To make matters worse, another mother got into the queue next to ours, with a small toddler in tow. He, too, was screaming. Brilliant.

Just my luck to have all the annoying children in the locale converge in the store this morning. Perhaps my fever wasn’t all gone, because my head was pounding. Tension headache, though, probably. I tried my best to hide my irritation as the red-faced, screaming child adjacent to me stared as he bawled. Just wait it out. Just a few minutes to go.

I wanted to stick my tongue out at the child and tell him it was rude to stare, but unfortunately his mother was right there. I tried to avert my gaze but he kept staring. Chubby baby in front was staring at me too, as he cried. I crossed my arms and looked again at the toddler adjacent to us.

“Mommy,” he said, his voice whiny and loud enough to hear. “Mommy, scary man…”

And he pointed right at me. Charming.

His mother snatched his arm and pushed it down, tutting, and shooting me an embarrassed look when she saw that I’d noticed.

“Charlie, don’t be so rude,” she said. I turned my head, and the baby in front of me lifted up his little arm and pointed, crying.

All of the children had been crying today as I passed. All of them had been staring at me.

At me, or behind me?

Everything seemed to freeze as it clicked in place. Slowly, I turned my head. The tall, gaunt faceless figure, standing behind me. I blinked, and it was gone.

But, the children were still staring. They were still terrified.

I just stood there, rooted to the spot. My heart was pounding, beating in my chest so hard that it was making breathing difficult, but it seemed the only part of my body capable of movement. Everything else was frozen.

“Sir?”

I snapped out of my thoughts. The baby and his mother in front had gone. The checkout girl was staring at me expectantly.

“Sorry,” I said. Numbly, automatically, I paid up for my shopping, and headed for home. What else can you do in a situation like that?

I got home. It was just my imagination. The infants were crying because I was just looking particularly horrendous that day. I was hollow-eyed, and I’d gotten little sleep, and it was my first time out of the house after a particularly bad case of the flu. It was me they were starting at. My over-active mind was imposing my own recent obsession onto the situation, and for a moment my mind had made me see the figure from last night. Just for a second, a trick of the tired mind, and it was gone. I felt much calmer as I sorted my groceries into the cabinets. I’d written a stupid story and started believing it too much. Getting too engrossed in it. I smiled. Well, time to see if others were as enchanted by the lore.

I fixed myself a coffee and went back to my bedroom, switching on the laptop at my desk. I couldn’t login to that account for some reason, so I just tried to find the story. I couldn’t find it anywhere. The disappointment was like a punch in the gut. Enduring all this, and for nothing? The website admins must have deleted it! I made a throwaway sent a quick, polite but tersely-worded message asking why the story had been taken down, and why I couldn’t login. Had my account been banned altogether?

I received a reply surprisingly quickly.

“Hi there – Thanks for your message. That submission hasn’t been removed. Perhaps there was an error with your page loading? I checked, it’s definitely still there, we haven’t taken it down.”

How odd. Perhaps it was just an error. I went to the search bar and started typing the story’s title (named after the creature). I was about to press enter to search…

There was a juddering banging. Thud, thud, thud, thud! It was on the door to my bedroom. It was so loud, I let out a shriek. The banging was so forceful, it seemed to have shaken everything in the room, like a localized earthquake. My laptop monitor had gone black. I looked at my desk and realised that my coffee mug had jolted and fallen sideways with the impact, spilling my coffee. I made no move to correct it. The liquid had seeped and gone into my laptop. I just sat there and stared. I turned and looked at the door, praying it wouldn’t open.

THUD THUD THUD THUD THUD

I screamed again and clutched my head in my hands.

“Go away!” I screamed. “Go away, get out of my house!”

Silence. And then, a terrible, screeching:

“YOU INVITED ME! I HEARD YOU SAY MY NAME! YOU CALLED ME HERE!”

“STOP IT!” I don’t know how I had the nerve, the bravery, the presence of mind to answer that thing, to talk back, but somehow, the words came out, fueled by fear and bewilderment and adrenaline.

Silence again.

Then, the terrible, terrible laughter. God, I can’t even describe it. A screeching, high pitched, manic laughter. Evil. Pure evil compacted into that sound. I thought I would go crazy if I listened to it too long. Like it was burrowing into my mind and hijacking my thoughts, making them revolt – my mind, not under my command, but just spinning out of control, my thoughts rebelling without sense. Utterly terrifying, nauseating.

I blacked out.

<!—nextpage—>

And then I somehow, I was in my bed. I was so confused, and inclined to believe that the whole previous few hours had been a dream. A nightmare. I sat up in bed.

There was someone sitting on my chair, beside my desk. The figure, again.

I scrambled out of bed. “Get out of my house, get out, get out of my house!”

“Whoah! Whoah!” The figure leapt to its feet and I saw then, that this time, it was only my brother, Eric.

We both stared at each other for a moment and then my brother started laughing, out of relief. Normally, both of us would have laughed together. You know, that moment of shared ease, after tension, when you laugh with another person? I couldn’t laugh, though. When Eric noticed that he was just laughing on his own, it made his own laughter dry up quickly. He trailed off and cleared his throat, looking awkward.

I feel so bad now, thinking about that expression. I should have laughed with him just to make him feel more at ease. I wasn’t thinking, at the time.

“Sorry to frighten you, bud,” he said, finally. “I tried calling you earlier but didn’t get any answer for hours. Figured something might be wrong so I came over to check; I was right. You knocked yourself out cold there. I got a doctor to make a house call. You have mild concussion.”

“Right,” I said. “Right, thanks for checking up on me.”

“What happened?”

I’m being haunted by a malicious entity because I uttered and propagated its name to thousands all over the world through the power of the Internet, and this creature took it as an invitation to infect my life and leech out my energy and I’m utterly terrified and I don’t know what to do.

“I must have tired myself out,” I said. “Fainted.”

“You knocked over your coffee cup,” he said, pointing at my desk. “Wrecked your laptop.”

I nodded. Eric looked puzzled at my lack of remorse or surprise.

“Are you sure you’re ok?” he said.

“I’m fine,” I replied, trying to summon a smile. “Just – y’know. Feeling out-of-sorts. I’ll be fine, though. I have the desktop computer I can use downstairs, just need to wire it up again. I was just thinking about the logistics of it, and all.”

“Already done it,” he said, with a wide smile. “Got it all set up for you on the table downstairs. Want to come see?”

I obliged. I was grateful, of course. Eric was always going above and beyond the line of duty when it came to looking out for me, his little brother. But I just wanted Eric to leave. I didn’t want my awesome, caring big brother getting involved in this mess. After a few more concerned questions, he did leave, finally.

“Look after yourself. Eat a good dinner tonight, ok?”

I nodded. I was used to following directions from Eric. It gave me sense of comfort. He was older than me by seven years, and when our parents had died when I was ten, he had become big brother as well as mom and dad to me. Sometimes, he forgot I was a grown man, and still wanted to fuss over me. Sometimes, I still let him.

He had left. I realised that I would be the polite thing to do to wave goodbye, to reassure him that I was ok. I went to the window and peered out. Eric was backing out from the driveway. I waved at him and smiled. He waved back.

And behind him, sat a tall, faceless figure, waving its long, claw-like hand at me.

By the time I managed to get my body working again, I ran out of my front door to stop Eric, to warn him that he was somehow in danger – but he’d already eased out of the driveway and disappeared down the road. I tried calling his cellphone. No answer. He never did answer when he drove. I wrung my hands in desperation. There was no one else I could call. He lived alone.

I could go after him, though. I got into my car, and it wouldn’t start. I slammed my hands on the wheel in frustration. I went inside and just started calling his mobile, and then calling his home, every five minutes. So he would pick up when he reached his destination. So I could speak to him. So I could warn him.

Finally, finally, there was an answer on his phone.

“Eric? Eric, listen to me, you’re in danger…”

I was interrupted by loud static, and a screeching, screaming sound that made me feel physically terrified and nauseous.

“I’m never going to leave, you invited me.”

And the phone went dead.

I put my shoes on, got out of the house, and I just started running. I ran the hour it takes to get to Eric’s house in 40 minutes. His car was on the driveway.

The lights were on. He was home!

I banged on the door. No reply. I tried phoning him again. No signal. I yelled his name, pacing up and down in front of his house. Perhaps he was in the bathroom? I knocked and screamed and yelled, with no reply from him. I could think of nothing to do except just pacing up and down aimlessly, worry chewing my nerves and fraying my thoughts, leaving me incoherent.

Then, the door opened.

“Oh, Eric, thank –”

I went to the door, but the doorway was empty.

“Eric?” I called inside. No reply. Perhaps he was injured, inside. I had no idea how the door had opened, and yes, it was freaking me out, but I swallowed my fear because I had to help Eric. His car was in front of his house, so he must be inside.

I went into the living room. The light was on, but he wasn’t there. Not in the kitchen, either. I was calling his name, repeatedly, but getting no reply. My voice was getting hoarse. I checked each of the bedrooms.

Nothing.

I tried the bathroom, and there he was – my heart leapt with joy for just a split second, until my happiness turned into heart-breaking disappointment and then utter terror and revulsion.

It was standing there, in front of me. The tall figure without a face. It started to bend. It bent at the waist. As the crown of its head bent parallel to the floor – I saw then, that it wasn’t faceless. Its face was on the very top of its head. On the crown of its head. Large, round black eyes. No nostrils. A huge mouth, filled with rotting teeth. Grinning at me. It was on all fours, staring up at me with its terrible face on top of its head that was now towards me.

This was too much. I broke out of my paralysis. Ready to run. I took a breath and took a step.

Suddenly, it lunged towards me. It had a long, claw-like arm. It was on all-fours, and it only touched me on the leg. I was wearing shorts, and it had brushed its hand against the bare skin on my calf. I screamed and jerked away. It was no longer touching me, but it was as though it had burned my skin. The pain was like nothing else I have ever felt in my life. I sour, stinging pain, like someone was injecting me with bleach and vinegar and setting my pain nerves on fire. I couldn’t move. My vision seemed to be slipping away.

And then, all at once, it was gone. My vision cleared, and the figure wasn’t there. My leg – I bent and reached for my leg, ran my fingers down my skin. I was expecting blood, or a wound, because that’s what it had felt like. Like it had torn my skin, or caused a burn, or something. I ran my hand up and down my skin. Nothing. Not a mark. No pain anymore.

beetlejuice

I must have passed out, because when I woke up, I was still on Eric’s bathroom floor, but it was daytime. I got to my feet and I was crying, yelling Eric’s name, and I frantically repeated last night’s search. Ran through all the rooms. His car was still on the driveway, but he was gone.

That’s the most sickening part of this. Where is he? My poor brother, what’s become of him? Why, why has he been dragged into all of this? Because he is an important part of my life? I feel absolutely wretched. What have I brought upon him? In desperation, I sat down on his sofa and I called everyone I could think of, in the vain hope that he may have left his car home and traveled afoot somewhere. Except, I knew the hopeless truth. That thing, that creature had done something to him. And it was all my fault.

I tried to get up to do something. I almost collapsed back onto the seat. My leg, it felt so weak. I looked at it. It had turned ashen grey. The skin looked thin where the creature had touched me.

It brought it all home. This creature is real. Its effects are real. And then I realized. I realized what a terrible thing I have done, putting the thing’s name online. I had spread its evil name, the doorway to its invitation, its summoning to insert itself and its evil into other people’s lives. I needed to delete it, the story and its name before it could spread any further. If I couldn’t save my brother, perhaps I could save others. My leg was like a dead-weight now, and I had to limp, dragging it to Eric’s computer.

On the website, I couldn’t see the post anywhere. I couldn’t even log in to my old account. It’s there, but I can’t access it. And now I see it’s not a glitch, it’s by its evil design –so that its name would be left there, for everyone to read. So I can’t delete my account or the story. I can’t message the mods of that sub telling them to delete a story on an account I don’t have access to. And besides, would they believe me when I tell them why?

In the time it has taken for me to type all this, my leg has turned sickly grey, and when I press it, it’s like nothing is there underneath the skin. My lower leg seems to have turned hollow. It feels…I can’t describe it. Like it has rotted away from the inside. Now it’s spreading to my thigh.

I don’t think there is anything can do for myself. But there’s only one thing that I can do, to minimize the damage. I need to warn you all. But I can’t tell you what the submission was, because that would involve typing the name out again. It would involve you reading the name. I’m stuck. Just having the name out there puts you in danger – but what can I do? Please, be careful what you get into. Be careful what you read.

Because sometimes, the things you read online are real, even when you think they’re not. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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