The Long Face is a scary story about obsessive compulsive behavior and the dangers associated with the numbers 5 and 7. It is based on a story by a user named Fyve.
Yesterday, I received an e-mail from my ex-girlfriend, Becky. She got married last year. She said she needed help and I was the only one she could turn to. There was something wrong with her husband, John.
He tidies everything up and arranges things in piles. It sounds stupid, I know, but he has become obsessed. The house is spotless. He cleans and disinfects everything. He has to arrange every single thing so that it is perfectly aligned.
He put all the books in the bookcase in alphabetical order and stacked the magazines on the coffee table so that they’re perfectly aligned with the edge of the table. Whenever I ask him why he is doing all this, he avoids the question.
One day, I found him rummaging through the kitchen drawers, cleaning them out and making sure the cutlery was all perfectly aligned. He was also counting the cutlery obsessively and putting a certain number in each section of each drawer. When I demanded to know why he was doing all this, he flew into a rage.
Last night, I woke up and John wasn’t in bed. I heard him rummaging around downstairs. He was rifling through the bookcase, furiously pulling books out, rearranging them, counting them, stacking them in piles. He was also whispering to himself, repeating numbers over and over. It was as if he had gone out of his mind.
“What are you doing?” I shouted at him.
“There are exactly 75 books on this bookcase,” he replied. “That’s 3 times 25, which is 3 times 5 times 5. It likes 5s. 5s are what attracts it…”
I was shocked. “What likes 5s?” I demanded.
“The Long Face,” he hissed as he started sorting through the books again, ignoring me.
I tried to stop him and calm him down, but he pushed me away and knocked me to the floor.
“This bookcase needs 49 books,” he whispered, very slowly and carefully. “Exactly 49. No more, no less. That’s 7 times 7. It doesn’t like 7s. It likes 5s. Ok? I’m going to have to teach you.”
I was so scared, I ran out of the house. I’m scared to go back. I’m staying with a friend right now. Can you come over? I need to talk to you. Hope to see you soon.
When I went to see Becky, she threw her arms around me and hugged me tightly. Her eyes were red from crying. I comforted her as best i could and once she had calmed down, she asked if I would escort her back to her house. She wanted to check on her husband.
When we got there, we found 7 neat piles of books stacked on the doorstep. I told her maybe I should go in first. I pushed the door open slowly and called out John’s name, but there was no answer. The house was extremely tidy. Not a thing was out of place. There was something disturbing about it. It was as if nobody had ever lived there.
We searched the house from top to bottom, but there was no sign of John. When I checked the bathroom, I found a trail of blood leading to the bath. John was lying in the tub in a pool of blood. He looked like he had committed suicide. His wrists were slit. I almost threw up and I had to stop Becky from coming in. I didn’t want her to see him like that.
We called the police and while we were waiting, I noticed something. John was clutching a small notebook in his hand. It looked like a diary. I don’t know why, but when Becky wasn’t looking, I took it.
I read John’s diary and it reads like the ravings of a lunatic. However, it does explain all of his strange behavior. The pages are filled with scrawled writing, all about something he calls “The Long Face”. He doesn’t really explain what it is, but there are lists of rules for dealing with it. He says it likes multiples of 5 and will seek them out. It hates 7s. Everything must be arranged, sorted and piled to correspond with these numbers and multiples of these numbers. It sounds insane.
I’m beginning to think the insanity is contagious. Something very strange happened to me today. I was looking at my bookcase and I happened to notice that there were 5 books on one of the shelves. It made me extremely uncomfortable and I thought of “The Long Face”. I couldn’t get it out of my head. I laughed at myself, but as I turned to leave, I saw a face.
On a bag in the corner, I saw a face. The two handles looked like wild, staring eyes and the zippered opening looked like a leering mouth. It may sound silly, but I rearranged the books so that there 7 on each shelf. When I looked back at the bag, the face was gone.
Becky is doing fine now. For the past couple of days, she has been staying with a friend. She doesn’t wants to go back to her own house. Too many bad memories.
I think I’m losing my mind. All this stuff about The Long Face is freaking me out. Everywhere I go, I keep seeing faces. I was walking down the street and a car was coming towards me. The headlights looked like eyes and the front grille looked like a mouth. When I look down at my cup of coffee, I can somehow make out little faces in the froth. I see them in buildings, in objects and even when I stare up at the clouds.
I’ve also started counting things. At first it was books, then it was DVDs, cutlery, pens and pencils, even spare change sitting on the dresser. The things I read in that diary are seeping into my mind and I can’t stop thinking about them.
Everything has to be in multiples of 7. If they aren’t, or even worse, if I see a multiple of 5, the faces start appearing and each new face I see looks more angry than the last. Even as I type this, I can see a face in my computer. The speakers form the eyes and the keyboard is the mouth. I know it’s all in my head, but I can’t help it. I’m becoming obsessed.
It’s getting worse. The house is too dirty. Everything is all over the place. I need to tidy up. Everything needs to be cleaned and disinfected. How can I be safe if I don’t TIDY UP?
When I was go7ing to work to7day, I saw a face in the trees. It gave me such a sca7re. The branches were moving and it seemed as if the face was com7ing towards me. I almost lost control of the car and swerved off the road. I figured out how to stop it, though. I started counting things. When I’m counting it seems to get confused. I just have to keep counting things. It’s the only way I’m go7ing to keep it at bay.
Why did I read that wretched dia7ry? The Long Face is everywhere. People can’t see it because they don’t know about it, but it’s there. They need to be trained to rep7el The Long Face. They need to know ab7out it. I can’t be the only one!
I counted the pages in the di7ary. The7re are exactly 125. That’s 5 ti7mes 5 tim7es 5. May7be tha7t’s what is attracting The Long Face. But what if I miscounted? What if there were 126? 126 is a multiple of 7. That wou7ld be good. But then, I’ve already counted it 5 tim7es. I’ll coun7t it se7ven times to make sure. May7be I should coun7t it 77 tim7es to really make sure. Yeah, that mak7es sen7se.
All of th7is nee7ds to end he7re. I’m going to bu7rn the dia7ry. If no one can re7ad ab7out it, may7be th7is can all be contained. May7be if nobody el7se fin7ds out ab7out whatever ev7il for7ce is causing all th7is, it will co7me to an end. Forget you ev7er re7ad ab7out any of th7is. Forget you ev7er hea7rd ab7out The Lo7ng Fa7ce. But before you st7op reading, let me gi7ve you one la7st pie7ce of advice…
I thi7nk it’s attracted by another number as we7ll…