The Letter is a scary story about a boy who received a creepy chain letter that contained a grotesque and disturbing tale.
40 years ago, when my father was just a boy, there was no Twitter, no Facebook, no e-mail and no mobile phones. However, there were still ways for spammers and trolls to frighten unsuspecting kids… Chain letters. My father received a chain letter and, at the time, he took it very seriously. Unfortunately, the letter has not survived, but he read it over and over so many times that it was imprinted in his memory and he could recite it off by heart:
“Hello, dear stranger.
I am writing to you out of despair and loneliness. I am writing because I want someone to know the terrible story of my life.
It all started 11 years ago. I was quite young, barely 20 years old. That unfortunate summer, for some reason, I was restless and unable to stay at home. Instead, I decided to go out into the wilderness, searching for adventure.
If I knew then what I know now, I would never have hopped on the bus to that godforsaken village, but what’s done is done.
It was a small, lonely village, surrounded by dense grey forest. It was one of those places where the bus never usually stops. I had only planned to spend a week there and I found somewhere to live. it was a boarding house run by an old woman. She told me she needed an extra pair of hands around the place, so in return for bed and board, I did odd jobs for her.
I spent a lot of time in the forest surrounding the village and, out there in the wilds, I came across an old, abandoned shack with an old well beside it. From talking to one of the old women in the village, I found out that the shack had once been owned by a terrible sinner. This wretched lost soul was a murderer who worshipped the devil, and the well beside his house was rumoured to be cursed and possessed by a dark magical power.
I did not believe in the supernatural, but I was intrigued by the talk of black magic. Asking around, I found out that there was an urban legend about the old well. They said that it demanded the sacrifice of a human life, and in return it would grant unearthly powers.
I decided to test this legend. Not long afterwards, I found the old woman who owned the boarding house alone one day. I strangled her with my bare hands and, under cover of darkness, I dragged her corpse into the woods. I planned to bring her to the well as a sacrifice.
Halfway there, I was shocked and frightened to hear heavy footsteps behind me. I was worried that someone had seen me murder the old woman and that my crime had been discovered. But, when I turned around, I saw for myself that there was no one there. The footsteps also ceased. I continued dragging the old lady’s corpse through the trees, all the while keeping one eye over my shoulder.
Finally, I came to the well. I peered into it and what I saw filled me with horror and revulsion.
A hideous creature was staring back at me from the water. Its face, if you could call it a face, was as pale and as grey as the mummies in the Museum. It had no ears and its huge, crooked teeth were sticking out at odd angles. Instead of eyes and a nose, there were just three gaping holes. As soon as I laid eyes on it, I recoiled in horror.
That was when I realized the truly terrible thing: There was no creature in the well. It was my own face, reflected in the water…
Now I live in this lonely, desolate shack, shunned and reviled by the word and I never set foot outside in the sunlight. Fortunately, there are no mirrors here…
If you don’t want this to happen to you, share my story with 5 of your friends before midnight tonight…”