Happy Friday y’all! I’m looking to improve my writing , so I’ll be posting a little story every Friday, while every Monday I’ll be doing a little book review/opinion post. All feedback is appreciated in the comments!
There’s just something unsettling about chain mails. Sure, the Nigerian prince ones and the ones which begin with “HELLO OWNER OF EMAIL ID” are only good for laughs, but I’m talking about the ones that try to spook you into sharing them. Telling tales of how some boy was found mutilated in the shower because he didn’t send a piece of text to 20 people and how you’ll be next… Creepy stuff.
Yeah, I don’t know about you all, but there’s just something unsettling about that. Which is why I was reluctant to open this.
“OPEN THIS EMAIL NOW OR DIE TONIGHT AT 1”
All-caps. The most classic way to make an impact, right? I absolutely cannot endure unread e-mails, an untidy inbox is my biggest pet peeve, so much so that I even read the spam ones. It’s like a printer with paper eternally stuck in it. What was the harm in opening it, anyway?
My mouse hovered over the title for a few seconds, and I heard myself click.
“If you have started reading this, you have been cursed. DO NOT STOP READING. I am Amanda. I am 16 years old. When I was alive, my parents gouged out my eyes with a rusty fork and chopped off my head as the clock struck 1. Send this to 20 other people in 20 minutes or you will find me at the foot of your bed at 1 AM tonight and you will meet with the same fate.”
That wasn’t too bad. I didn’t want to make my friends think of me as a gullible little scaredy-cat, so I closed the tab and went back to my work. I was up till 3 in the morning writing projects and essays for the last term of school. Finally, at 3 AM, I left my desk and flopped into bed, exhausted.
“Oh, thank goodness, I was thinking you would sleep on that desk!”
The words startled me, but I was too damn exhausted to be scared. I sat up in bed to be greeted by the sight of a creature pale to almost to the point of translucence. It had long greasy hair and non-existent pupils in its almond eyes. As it stretched its freakishly thin arms, I could hear a sound as of paper tearing.
“I’m sorry, my sister is on vacation these days… and I have to work on her behalf.” The creature scratched its check and I wondered how the pointed nails didn’t tear its skin. “So, uh… Shall we begin?” Saying this, the creature brandished a rusted looking fork and steak knife.
My heart started thumping like a thousand newborn kittens mewling at once. I stared at the creature, my mouth agape. It seemed confused.
“I’m Amy. Let’s make this quick, shall we? I don’t like this work all that much.”
As I still sat motionless, Amy scratched her head and looked around the room. Her eyes wandered over to the half-eaten piece of chocolate cake on my bedside table. I followed her gaze, then looked back at her and made a slight nodding motion. I could sacrifice my cake to save my life. Her face lit up and she grabbed at the plate.
“Thanks! I did always like chocolate when I was alive!”
I looked at her carefully as she used the fork meant to claw my eyes out to eat cake, wincing as the metal cut into it, and I noticed the slightest hint of grey in the whites of her eyes. She had high cheekbones, sharp features, almond eyes… I’m sure if she looked a bit more human-like, she would almost be beautiful. If I was going to die, I was determined to prolong my life as much as I could.
“Hey… Amy? Would you let me do makeup for you? You would look less gha – I mean, very pretty.”
She stared at me for a long while, chocolate dripping down the corners of her mouth. Suddenly, she was sat at my dressing table with such speed, I could barely even see her walk to it.
Now, I don’t know much about makeup, but anything would help her face. I dabbed foundation, smeared moisturiser, lightly brushed her cheeks with rouge, did the best eyeshadow job I could. I messed up the eyeliner but she didn’t seem to mind – she just appeared to be mystified by her reflection in the mirror. To apply lipstick, I had to ask her to close her mouth which had been hanging open in awe of her own beauty.
At last, running her hands across her face, feeling the unfamiliar smoothness, admiring the once familiar warm skin tone, she looked almost human. She stood like that for so long I was afraid mirrors make ghosts freeze in time, but she finally spoke to me after a long silence.
“Hey, thanks… I don’t really like what my sister does, I just want to enjoy afterlife. Perhaps I’ll get a chance to take part in the next ghoul pageant!”
She looked around shiftily like a shy model. “Do you mind if I take the makeup? I’ll tell my sister I killed you and stole it from you.”
“Sure,” I said, getting her a bottle of shampoo as well.
“Oh my,” she sighed, my cheap dollar store makeup supplies filling her arms, “When you die, we’ll be the most beautiful ghoul friends! Isn’t that great?”
I smiled a crooked smile. Even if the prospect of my death delighted her, at least it would not be tonight. With that, she jumped out of my window, but I didn’t hear a ‘thud’ below. She was gone.
I’ve kept my eyes from wandering to any chain mail since then, but I suppose they’re not that bad after all. A couple of my friends have asked why I keep two bottles of every lotion and moisturiser I have, but… Sarcastic comments are better than death, you know?