Everyone knows they’re going to die one day. That’s a fact.
That being said, none of you reading this were thinking about that before now and I assume it isn’t something that takes up a lot of your time. Of course that’s because death is absolutely terrifying and if all we did all day was worry about it we’d go insane. There’s that philosophical question that crops up all the time, you know the one: If you could find out exactly when you are going to die ahead of time, would you want to? Think about it for a second. Then ask yourself if you’d like to have a reminder of that deadline ticking away in front of you at every waking second, counting down the hours until you pack your bags and stroll off to the ether so to speak. I bet you’d go fucking mental. I know for a fact I would.
I should tell you a little about myself before I continue but I’ll keep it brief; I’m not a particularly special person as far as I’m concerned. I’ve always been quite level headed and logical which I suppose is why I ended up studying computer sciences at a university. Since graduating, I’ve just kept my head down and got to work. I wanted to really get my shit together before I hit my mid-twenties because I figured if I had a decent foundation down at that age then I’d have plenty of time to do all the crazy things everyone dreams of doing when they’re a kid and I’d still be young enough to pull it off.
I had major plans actually! I was going to get my own place, meet some beautiful girl and travel the world with her. I was going to go white-water rafting in New Zealand and have a go at surviving in the wild for a month or so. I was going to work on a rusty piece-of-shit mustang and restore it to its former glory. I wanted to see what humanity could achieve in the next fifty years and I wanted to be a part of something that makes people remember my name for generations after I die. Most of all I really wanted to have kids of my own someday: a real tight-knit family who loved each other so much we just did everything together. I don’t think that’s too much to ask is it?
I never has that growing up; my household had always been pretty cold and tense and as a result I’m very introverted. Once in school I actually broke two of my fingers and didn’t mention it for a couple of weeks because I didn’t want to cause anyone any bother. I’m still like that now actually. I just really don’t like putting anyone else at an inconvenience because of my own troubles. In fact, you guys reading this are probably the first people I’ve had the courage to talk to truthfully since it all began… maybe I wouldn’t need to be posting this now if I’d told someone earlier.
I assume every one of you also has some plan about where they want to be and what they want to do for the rest of their life. As it currently stands, however, I can honestly say that I have achieved nothing whatsoever that I wanted to. For the average person that is pretty understandable: I’m still young and, like a lot of people my age, I shouldn’t need to consider my own mortality yet because theoretically I have my whole life ahead of me. (Of course, everybody has their whole fucking life ahead of them regardless, that’s how it works.) That doesn’t apply to me though; death plagues my every waking thought.
You see I have actually died before. It was a about a year back, mid-winter; I won’t go into specific detail but suffice to say I was lit up like a fucking Christmas tree by a power socket whilst messing about with some DIY in my flat. I was brought back of course! Don’t think I’m writing this from beyond the grave or anything, I’m just sitting here at my computer so I’m not going to be jumping out at you any time soon.
You would probably think I’d be grateful to that paramedic that bought me back to life and to an extent I suppose I am; it’s not his fault what happened afterwards. I guess I’m dancing around the point here and I apologise for that. I’m just trying to distract myself at the moment and I’m pretty fucking stressed out, hence the poor language. It’s probably best I explain just exactly what the hell is going on here chronologically or else it’s not really going to make any sense. Also, don’t worry guys, I’m not going to be telling you anything about your own mortality! Jesus Christ I wouldn’t do that to my worst enemy.
I didn’t really notice anything abnormal about myself when I first came round properly after the shock (which took a fair fucking while I’m told) because I was cooped up in my own little private room whilst I recovered. I’m not going to lie, it was actually a pretty decent time for me. I had been mostly solitary for a good while leading up to the accident but after coming back from my brush with death I found my room was never empty of friends and family etc. so I was pretty damn happy just to be alive at that point. (I was only twenty-one at the time after all.) It was only when I was discharged that shit took a real dark turn. That was when I first came face-to-face with it.
This thing I saw isn’t easy to describe, but I know I’m not the first person ever to see it. It seems to be known by every single one of us as some sort of ancestral memory. You see, all these cultures worldwide who had fuck all to do with each other for centuries all have some sort of manifestation of it; the physical form of death itself. In all the legends it’s described as a floating skeletal figure in a torn black robe with a grinning skull and soulless eyes. Only in person it’s so much worse. It constantly reaches out for me with its bony hands, fingers elongated to the point where they look like a twisted bastardisation of my own. The face isn’t some cartoonish grinning skull at all, it’s a grotesque mimic of a human’s with paper-thin skin stretched across the whole visage. Its pallor is a disturbing shade of grey-white, the kind you see on someone that’s just starting to rot. Its face though. That's where the true horror lies: the eyes are little more than white spheres sitting in deeply sunken sockets, its mouth is a contorted black abyss that constantly gapes as if this thing is struggling against suffocation. If I even glance at it I am overcome with nausea and fear.
At first though, I figured it was nothing; I live near one of those comic-con things and assumed it was just some guy in an especially creepy costume or something until it started following me. At this stage of course it was far enough away that I couldn’t get a good look at it. But the first weird thing I noticed was that it managed to stay an exact distance from me at all times. When I walked towards it it would move back, matching my pace. I discovered that whatever it was wasn’t solid, as it would go through barriers and walls to maintain its exact distance from me. Of course I thought it was just me being a bit mental, you know PTSD from the accident or something. I don’t think that anymore.
You see, as time went by it gradually started to get closer to me, and I mean really fucking gradually, like, less than a metre a day so I didn’t notice for a fair while. I just tried my best to ignore it at all times and convinced myself I was still recovering, that my brain must be slightly damaged and causing a hallucination and it would soon pass. I’d like to say at this point that I’m really amazed at the level of denial the human mind can achieve because, after a while, I just went about my normal day going back and forth from work and not even thinking about the literal fucking monster that followed me around wherever I went. I just didn’t ever look at it when I was outside and I couldn’t see it when I was indoors at all. There were of course times when I’d forget myself and accidently glance at it, feeling that exact same all-consuming dread that I felt the first time I saw it, but for the most part I just went about my day. I did this for nearly six whole months. Those were the easy days.
Then I heard the whispering.
The fucking thing had been talking to me the whole time and at first I couldn’t hear it, it was too far away. That was when I finally realised it was closing in on me the whole time. I first noticed it when I woke up in the middle of the night. I felt it more than heard it; I honestly felt like there was a stream of insects burrowing into my ear canal. It still whispers now, but it doesn’t need to, it just says the same thing over and over and over and fucking over but I can’t understand the words. It’s angry at me though, I can tell. Angry that I was brought back to life and it isn’t going to let that happen again. When it catches me I am going to be punished, I can tell by the way it looks at me. I’m going to suffer for a long time when it touches me. It wants me to suffer, that’s its purpose. I entered its domain and left without permission. There’s so much that I just know about it but I can’t explain why, on some level I must be able to comprehend what it’s saying. Perhaps I’m simply meant to know by instinct, maybe we’re designed to fear this creature. Those eyes became inescapable at that point, I’m compelled to look at it by the whispers unless I distract myself.
I know I should have stayed dead.
I’ve been so alone since then. I stay indoors so I can’t see it through the walls but I can still hear it every day. Sometimes I forget myself and look at it and the fear comes back stronger than ever. I had to punish myself when I did and my arms and legs are now covered in the cuts I leave as reminders that I should never go out in the open; to stop me forgetting, see. I haven’t left my bedroom for days and the whispering has been getting closer and closer. I feel it in my head even when I try not to listen. It scratches my eardrum like a wasp has dug into my brain. I’m trying not to focus on that right now but I’m too exhausted to concentrate on anything else for long. I’m powerless to do anything except think about the fact I’m going to die and there is absolutely nothing I can do to stop it.
It’s in the room with me now.
It’s so close.
I can’t turn away from this screen. I don’t want the last thing I see to be that horrible, horrible face. I can see its hand in the corner of my eye, I couldn’t before. I can feel its breath behind me and it chills me to the bone. I can’t fight it and I was so wrong to try and escape it before.
This is a warning. If you see this creeping death you cannot escape no matter how hard you try. You can run as fast as you can for as long as you can and it will still be there. I’ve been plagued by this monster for an entire year. All you can do is wait. Wait and count the seconds until it finally reaches you. My advice?
When you die, if you get the choice; don’t come back.
Written by Robzy