49 comments

Submitted on 05/14/2020

Categories: Horror

Beware, beware the creature’s eye

She feeds from fear deep in your mind

 

 The words carved into the cover of the disfigured leather journal. Remnants of arson gnawed on the edges of its half-burnt spine, and traces of murder stained the once freshly cut birch pages; to the stench of rotting flesh. The inspector closely examined the warning on the cover under fading light of his candle. Too hard to be penetrated by quill, yet the engraving lacked the precision of a blade. The madman had dug his own nails into the book, as if the warning was for himself.

 

The inspector paced uneasily across his office; his thoughts overshadowed by the thundering storm raging outside, and the demonic wails from the jailcell. The cries belonging to the once brilliant zoologist Doctor Hal – who now was held charge for the murder of his colleagues and the destruction his own blown-up laboratory. The inspector had involved himself with the most horrific killers and arsonists on the streets of his crime infested city. Yet, there was just something about this case that haunted him. As if his investigation was shadowed by a sinister omen.

 

 His grip held tightly on the journal found in the mad doctor’s possession upon his arrest. If the doctor kept his sanity long enough to maintain his conducts as a scientist, he would have recorded all his findings and observations. And his journal would be the key to unravelling the mystery. The inspector considered himself a logical man. His logical mindset was a powerful and reliable tool he utilised to uncover his previous cases. Yet he could not explain why he shuddered at the thought of the dark secrets he would uncover on the doctor’s findings.

 

 “Tea?” his assistant offered, with an anxious gaze.

“Please”, he replied, as his fingers slowly slid under the front cover to reveal the first page. “I sense this night has much to offer” …

 

10th Aug 1889

 Upon my expedition in the Sub-Saharan deserts, I happened to come across an archaeological discovery. I found myself in what seemed like a burial chamber, surrounded by strange symbols and drawings. Possibly hieroglyphics from the language of an ancient kingdom. At the centre of it all was what appeared to be the most curious statue I’d ever seen.

 I initially thought it to be a deity of an old civilisation – a mythological goddess. A human-like body. 6 arms positioned as if ready to pounce onto a prey, with its spear-tipped claws. The body swarming with what appears to be eyelids, mapped out like blood vessels. All eyes shut.

 All but one, the giant eye that envelops its entire face; from the right corner of its forehead to the left centre of its chin. Stretched open as if it were a python swallowing its prey whole. Within the eye, a set of 3 pupils and 3 irises, streaking across like claw marks. 3 precise pinholes in the pupils jabbed through the head. 

Archaeology is beyond my field of studies. Statues and discoveries of such would be nothing worth recording in my reports. Yet something about this figure seems almost organic. As if it were once a living being. Or rather, still IS. I simply cannot rule out the possibility that I’ve discovered a new prehistoric species.

 As faint as the possibility may be, I must be certain. It will be taken back to my lab for further analysis.         

 

17th Sep 1889

 The subject is truly fascinating.

 We’ve been working tirelessly, running numerous tests. The stones show properties of both fossilised carbon and decomposed tissue. Yet it still seems too intricately preserved to not be a man-made structure. 

These may be the thoughts of a man showing first signs of becoming senile, but I could have sworn the statue was broken into more and smaller fragments when we first discovered it. A self-joining material perhaps? If that were the case, my discovery could truly revolutionise the future of the modern world

 

 The inspector’s noticed the end of each following entry appeared to contain a tally; 53 he counted beneath the first, second and third entries. The number at first seemed to remain a constant pattern. Until a following entry ended with 52, then 49 a few entries later, until slowly reduced to 45. 

 

7th Oct 1889

 My suspicions were correct.

 There are fewer and fewer fragments on the stone, and the remaining pieces appear to be growing. The subject is self-healing.

  The material it consists of is indeed a self-repairing one. It appears to have a memory of its own to return to its original form. If anything, this further supports my theory that this was indeed once a living being.

Or perhaps, still IS… 

 

The archaeologist’s letters were folded between the between the bloodstained pages, the bleeding ink blended among the red. The inspector closely observed each mark on the page, reading carefully between the fragments that remained intact, decrypting as much of the message as he could make out.

 

My dearest friend...

 

… hope this letter reaches you well. I'm writing to inform you that I've deciphered the inscriptions at the site of your discovery...

   ... the language is in fact Aramaic, and I must say, they're of a rather sinister nature...

 ... I as much as you, am not one to believe in ancient curses or the paranormal of sort, but if your theory stands correct, and it is indeed a fossil or a mummy, then I'd advise to heed these warnings with great caution…

 … inscriptions you found at the burial site speak of a most terrible creature who lingers in the shadows, and feeds off fear and insanity…

… legend goes, these creatures are the reason we fear the dark. They are the reason why we turn our heads towards the strange flicker in the corner of our eye, the reason why we hold our breath at the sound of creaks nearby. They are the reason why we search the corners of our homes for monsters, why we glance back at the empty corridor, waiting for something to appear.

 Humankind never needed such instincts to survive in the natural world. But we evolved to protect ourselves from creatures of her kind…

…they called these creatures ‘Terufakhlan’, or loosely translated…

 

… “insanity eater” … mouthed the inspector.

 

 A sudden gust barraged through the window without warning, extinguishing the flames of the dying candles. The inspector shielded the notes with his body from the onslaught of rain pelleting though, and heaved the lever shut. The storm outside raging stronger, as if cowering in fear at the words that left his mouth. If he believed them to be true, then this would mark the sign of a sinister omen. He continued through the journal under the fading traces of moonlight through the window.

 

 

10th Oct 1889

 I’ve identified the material, and my first guess was correct. The subject appears to be an exoskeleton of some sort.

 Perhaps I've spent too much time with the subject, or my friend’s message has my mind playing tricks on me. But it's the most peculiar thing, if I stand close, my breaths seem to echo back to me from within the subject. And if I listen carefully, it's almost as if I can hear it calling my name...

 

"Inspector..." He froze at the ghostly whisper in his office. He could sense it; it wasn't merely the murmur of the wind. Something had entered the room. He held his breath and slowly shifted his gaze onto the figure before him.

 

"Your tea, sir. Made you a strong cuppa to plough through the night"

 "You gave me a quite a fright”, he chuckled, “Didn't hear you come in".

"Well, you left the door open sir. Thought you’d be expecting me".

He raised an eyebrow at his assistant, gesturing his confusion. He hadn't left his desk since he began reading. "Thank you”, he said firmly, “now I must continue without further disturbance, so please, don't forget to close the door on your way this time".

"Didn't forget sir, I know how hacked off you get about it".

The inspector immediately dismissed the thought of an unearthly phenomenon at play. He couldn't let his assistance's carelessness compromise his logical mentality. He took a few deep breaths to regain his focus and continued through the journal.

 

 

2nd Nov 1889

 I’ve named the subject Eve.

 Though I regard myself and my methods rigorously logical, my reasoning on this instance simply do not concur. Just as the periodic table fell into place in Mendeleev’s sleep, this name simply appeared in a vivid dream; one I cannot recall having.  

Eve – the mother of all mankind. Whatever this creature once was, I may be the first to have discovered her kind. I only await my good friend’s word of confirmation.

 One thing I failed to notice before, it seems to have a second eye open on the lower back of her neck. I’m not sure how I missed it after many thorough inspections

 I ridicule the thought, yet cannot help but wonder if somehow the subject’s Eve’s eye was in fact closed from the beginning and had only just opened now.

 

Silence. The unearthly cries from the jailcell came to a sudden halt. Had he grown tired of the screaming? No. Something felt wrong. Disturbed by the lingering suspense, the inspector beckoned his assistant to check upon the mad doctor, before he continued deciphering the archaeologist’s second message.

 

 My dearest friend,

… letter reaches you in good health… I myself, have not been… I’ve remained awake for many days now, unable to sleep, haunted by…

 

 …we’ve studied the sample you kindly sent us, and we can confirm your theory correct. It is indeed the remnants of a once living creature…

 

… deciphered more of the messages left by the ancient tribe and bring information on the nature of your creature. …

…few have seen its true form and live to tell the tale. What you see before you, is merely a vessel, a human it last occupied - undergoing metamorphosis to change into the creature’s true form…

…I’ve had my artists recreate the images we found at the burial which I have enclosed within this letter. I must warn you – the image haunts me even in sleep…

 

The inspector clutched his grip on the archaeologist’s letter, trembling violently, staring wide-eyed at the horror before him. A swarm of eyes wrapped around like blood vessels over its which twisted and tangled body; wrapped by its six arms clawing out like the branches of a dead tree. It stood its four ravelling tentacles, spread like splatted blood across all corners of the page. But its most horrifying feature – the eye that fissured its face in two halves like an open jaw. Its lashes spiked out like the teeth of a great white, with the three distinct pupils and irises streaked across like claw marks.  

 

 

12th Nov 1889

Another eye has opened.

I now realise the subject is neither mummified nor a fossil.

She’s alive

 

   His mug shattered on the ground as the inspector was thrown back, mortified by the horror of the next entry

 

SHE'S IN MY DREAMS

SHE'S IN MY DREAMS

SHE'S IN MY DREAMS

SHE'S IN MY DREAMS

SHE'S IN MY DREAMS

SHE'S IN MY DREAMSHE'S IN MY DREAMSHE'S INMY DREAMSHE'SIN MYDREAMSHE'SINMYDREA

MSSHESINMYDREAMSSHESINMYDREAMSDREAMSHE

'SINMYDREAMSSHESINMYDREAMSSHESINMYDREAMS

DREAMSHE'SINMYDREAMSSHESINMYDREAMSSHESIN

MYDREAMSSHESINMYDREAMSSHESINMYDREAMSSH

ESINMYDREAMSSHESINMYDREAMSSHESINMYDREA

MSSHESINMYDREAMS...


The same words repeated page after page, forming lines, then spirals, then spiralled in the form of an eye. His frenzy then drew other strange symbols and shapes, as the letters all clumped over one another. Each page reflecting his increasing insanity. As the ink ran dry, the doctor began to carve the letters into the book. Until finally, his frenzy ended on a double page with words that rendered the inspector's blood cold.



... AND

SHE        IS

BEAU   TIFUL...

  


21st Nov 1889

I write this war…

 

  

  The entry was missing - torn off by the doctor in his frenzy. The inspector shuddered at twisted thoughts the madman must have recorded, as he read the final entry on the doctor’s journal

 

1st Dec 1889

 More of her eyes have opened.

She is breaking from her slumber and will roam the shadows once more. I cannot allow anyone to disturb her as she recovers her true form.

She tells me I am blessed to become her new vessel

She will awaken

And she will feast on mankind’s insanity forever more

 

“He’s dead!” cried his assistant as she slammed open his office door. Her face carrying petrified dread, her arms rigid, shaking in uncontrollable spasm. “He ain’t breathing his heart ain’t beating I dunno what to do I dunno what to do HELP HIM!” The inspector reached for his lantern and keys and darted after his assistant.

 He stopped at the door of his office. He looked back at his desk; his vision focused on the hardback journal that lay ominously still, as if it were beckoning him. He grabbed the book and sprinted after assistant.    

 

Holding the lantern in his cowering grip, he fixed his eyes on the inert body of the doctor, waiting for him to make his move. But he continued to lie catatonic. “Call the paramedics!” he commanded, as his assistant raced down the hallway. He watched as she was consumed by the darkness, her scurrying footsteps fading to silence. He was alone now.

  Eyes transfixed on the doctor, he cautiously turned the lock on the cell door, his hands as cold as the steel that held the madman within. Lest the doctor suddenly attacked, he left the door inched open, only wide enough to make his escape. For the inspector however, it would be his gravest and final mistake.

  He gently turned the man on his back, slowly crouching down to shine the flickering, fading light on doctor's face. Holding his gaze on the tined blue, dead expression on the face before him. He reached for the doctor’s clenched fist to feel for his pulse.

 No pulse, only a note. The inspector reached into the doctor’s fist for the crumpled ball of paper. He noticed the torn corner as he unfurled the note. The shape of the tear matched the missing entry in the notebook. The inspector held the missing pieces against each other, dreading the dark secrets he would unravel…

 

21st Nov 1889

I write this warning while able to hold the final fragments of my sanity.


She has taken my mind hostage. She lives within the depths of my fear, my insanity; feeding. For now she only exists as fragments in the minds of those who have gazed through her eyes. She cannot be allowed to recover to her true form. 


 So long as she continues to repair her former vessel, she will grow stronger as each eye opens the more she feeds.


Forgive me. It is too late to save them; I must sever her connections to all who have fallen prey to her gaze. I must take drastic actions to prevent her invading our world once again - any means necessary.


My final warning


DO NOT GAZE THROUGH HER EYES.


It uses its eyes to trap its prey and latch onto their minds. Once her eye is embedded into its host, she hooks herself in the victim’s brain, and projects herself in the shadows, triggering fear and paranoia within her victim, feeding off the insanity.   

Those who gaze through the holes pierced through her eyes, fall mercy to her grasp. She’s taken control of my mind, and she’s had me draw her image in the book.


DO NOT LOOK THROUGH THE IMAGE


 Even that which holds the image of her eye, too falls under her gaze

 

The final words echoed in the inspector. Overwhelmed by dread, he frantically flicked back page after page. Back to where the insanity took its clutching grip on the doctor. “Beware, beware the creature’s eye…” The warning droned repeatedly in his mind. 

 

 It was there. Hands quaking with tremors of fear through his veins as he fixed his wide-eyed gaze at the ink bombed pages. 

 

NMYDREAMSSHESINMYDREAMSSHESINMYDREAMSSH

ESINMYDREAMSSHESINMYDREAMSSHESINMYDREAM

SSHESINMYDREAMSSHESINMYDREAMSSHESINMYDR

EAMS

 “Even that which holds the image of her eye, too falls under her gaze…”

Three holes pierced through the dead centre. The letters shaping to three distinct irises and three pupils, all slashed across from the right corner of the double page down to the left, taking the form an eye. HER eye.


The inspector tore the pages of the journal, clawing away in frantic spasm. He dug his nails deep into the bloodstained pages and slashed his way through the book. He slammed down his foot repeatedly, fracturing its spine, crushing the clawed, hardback leather. With a final bloodcurdling bellow, he smashed his lantern over the shredded remnants and set ablaze the cursed notebook. Gasping desperately for air, having escaped from drowning under waves of terror. His eyes flickered with the flames that engulfed the cursed ink and blood-painted pages of the journal.


"Too late…inspector…", whispered the voice from within him

The doctor's body flung upwards, stretching and twisting into knots. Cracks appeared throughout, tearing his fibres open to reveal a swarm of eyes blinking furiously, rolling corner to corner in unison. His pale blue strained skin blackened into an abyss of shadow, and his face fissured its jaws open to reveal its eye. Its lashes spiked out like the teeth of a great white, with the three distinct pupils and irises streaked inside like claw marks.


 “You’ve fallen prey to my piercing gaze, and now I forever remain within the depths of your mind. I am free again. I will be every shadow, every whisper of the wind, every sudden movement in the corner of your eye, every monster in every corner you look. In every empty corridor waiting to appear, and your every nightmare.”


 A flash of lightning illuminated the room, and the wind howled through the barred window of the jailcell, extinguishing the flames. As the hungry darkness consumed the final flickering traces of light. 

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49 comments

Ray Van horn
20:27 May 14, 2020

Intriguing, Lovecraftian at times. I dig the journal entries keeping the narrative going. I can tell you submerged yourself in this story.

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A. y. R
22:43 May 14, 2020

So much so that it scared me to write it, I've lost sleep over it!

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Ray Van horn
12:49 May 15, 2020

I can totally relate having writing sessions so intense I've been wracked all night. Your muse obviously demanded much from you. Embrace it.

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Hope Everlasting
16:13 May 21, 2020

As someone who is easily scared I am insanely impressed by this story it was so scary I couldn't stop. It was so captivating I found myself counting how many days had passed between each entry. I didn't expect a creature from this theme to be so realistic. A fantastic read.

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A. y. R
23:26 May 21, 2020

Haha well hopefully this hasn't kept you up scared at night like it did for me!

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Aqsa Malik
13:23 May 16, 2020

I LOVE the gothic theme of this, you took us right back to good thriller/horror. I adore how invested you were in this story-you didn't leave out a single detail and it made for an extremely interesting read. The monster you created was so unique and the way it got into it's victims was so original, I really admire how you came up with that. Your imagination is truly a force to be reckoned with. Your writing style is brilliant as always. I was engaged the whole way through, which says a lot as I get put off by longer stories. Hones...

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A. y. R
07:10 May 17, 2020

Wow thank you so much!! Glad you enjoyed it and that I managed to keep your attention!

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Harken Void
11:10 May 15, 2020

Wow, I wish I wrote that haha! I loved everything you did there, couldn't find anything I'd want to change or improve. Simply briliant. Loved the setting (some hundred years ago, I pressume, using candles and lanterns for light). The story started with a mystery and it slowly unraveled its complexity and depth. Each clue was placed perfectly, to keep me reading and wanting to know more. The atmosphere was both omnious and giving you that sense of 'something wicked is coming'. And omg those eyes... where you wrote in all caps and described...

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Harken Void
11:15 May 15, 2020

Also, that moment when the inspector reads 'insanity eater' outloud was very epic. I'm fanboying right now.

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A. y. R
13:45 May 15, 2020

Haha thank you so much my fellow sir ! Funnily enough this is also a short draft of mine for a full novel for another writing competition I'm hoping to enter (60,000 words - REALLY dreading it!) But I'm glad you enjoyed it and hope it doesn't creep you out too much to keep you up at night (like it unfortunately did for me!)

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Harken Void
15:20 May 15, 2020

You're welcome! Ah, that's awesome! I wish you the best of luck and a good kick at the Resistance's butt ;) Hmm, actually I think it's already too late. I mean, I've read the diary. The insanity eater has already entered my mind by now, right? For the safety of others you might want to pull this story down haha

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A. y. R
17:16 May 15, 2020

I'm afraid I SHE won't let me do that... she must feed...

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Kathleen March
17:33 May 27, 2020

Hate to say this, but you’re working on more than a story here haha. It moves along so nicely, but almost is bursting out of its seams. Are you planning to expand?

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A. y. R
11:53 May 28, 2020

Shh! She must feed... But yes I'm hoping to mabye turn this into a full story some day!

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Kathleen March
14:30 May 28, 2020

I am using prompts in that way. It really works for pulling out the various threads of a longer story. Good luck.

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Rhondalise Mitza
15:42 May 27, 2020

Stay double gold this time, Ponyboy! Love the new format. It was a little scarier than your other stories but everyone can tell it came from the heart. :)

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Sadia Faisal
06:08 May 23, 2020

nice story, pleae like my story if you like it and follow me

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Yageen Faiz
16:56 May 21, 2020

i like the beginning. its great! can you read my story and give me feedback if you have time? thank you!

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A. y. R
20:07 May 21, 2020

Sure! It would be my pleasure!

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Jack Fitzgerald
14:34 May 21, 2020

I believe this is the first time I've gotten goosebumps while reading a book. It was so visual, and I was hooked.

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Shanedra Smith
07:18 May 21, 2020

THIS WAS SO GOOD. OH NY GOODNESS. I was on my toes THE WHOLE TIME. You are an AWESOME writer!!! I wish I could like this 100 times!

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Iris Koga
21:01 May 20, 2020

Love how the tension rises slowly as the story progresses to one terrifying end! The inspector’s thought are very well articulated. Way to keep the reader enthralled!

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Bella Smith
19:44 May 20, 2020

Whoah. I couldn't stop reading. The way you described the mad doctor slowly growing closer to insanity was really well described! I also liked the format you wrote in, not fully relying on the inspectors view but also adding in the mad doctors journal. I am not a frequenter of suspense stories but this one drew me in. All in all, well done and I can't wait to read more of your writing!

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Janet Inglis
01:46 May 20, 2020

This is terrific. A wonderful tale so well told. The device of the diary to tell the mad doctor's story was very well done and the creeping dread of the detective was brilliantly realised. The only thing I could suggest is to re-read your story with a forensic eye for the occasional error which can interrupt the readers attention. Something you really don't want in a story as riveting as this one. Well done and good luck.

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A. y. R
17:03 May 20, 2020

Thank you so much! Yeah a lot of mistakes I struggled to spot since I've been to creeped out to reread it myself!

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Chloe-ly Grimont
07:51 May 18, 2020

Great story, a unique interpretation of the prompt :) Loved the comparisons you put in, they brought everything to life!

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Ruth Porritt
04:17 May 18, 2020

Dear A. y. R., LOL, you had me at Aramaic. (Seriously, I would be a linguist--like Ransom in C.S. Lewis' space trilogy--if I could.) I enjoyed this story so much that I am going to re-read it. I just read that you lost sleep over this story (in the comments) and I appreciate your sacrifice. (Really.) Can't wait to read the other stories that you've written, and many thanks, Ruth

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A. y. R
17:05 May 20, 2020

Thank you so much! And I look forward to reading more of yours too!

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Nyema James
00:20 May 18, 2020

Very well crafted with suspense and intrigue. Great story

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Khadija S.
22:21 May 17, 2020

Amazing!

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Kathryn El-assal
17:26 May 16, 2020

Horror and fantasy aren’t my genres, but your story had evocative descriptions and a pace that kept me reading. Since you hope to develop this into a novel, I’ll offer a few suggestions and edits. Sub Saharan “deserts” rather than “desserts” (yum), and storm “raging” not “ranging.” Also, a true Sub Saharan desert would be the Kalahari where you wouldn’t find an Aramaic text (ancient Syria). Even in Egypt, the ancient language would have been the precursor to Coptic. A few other edits: “between the between” and “over its which twisted.” Good...

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A. y. R
20:50 May 16, 2020

Oh wow! It's amazing your know so much about that! Thank you so much for your feedback and support! Really REALLY appreciate it!!!

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10:36 May 16, 2020

Wow! This is the best!! I love your story, so interesting! It got me from the beginning:)

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A. y. R
07:11 May 17, 2020

Thank you! Hope you weren't too creeped out haha

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21:13 May 15, 2020

I really love this story. It was really good. I love the mystery and the suspense in it... So amazingl! The plot is a really good one and it shows you put a lot of thought and effort into your story. Keep it up! Also, good luck in your competition

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A. y. R
08:38 May 16, 2020

Thank you so much!!! Really appreciate it!!! And thanks, going to need all the luck I can get!

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