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Origin

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My best friend died recently. When his house was searched for evidence to discover the cause of his demise, they found a will. That's odd, considering how young he was. Why would he have written a will unless he had expected to die? Anyways, his will said he wanted me to have a large majority of his book collection, and his computer. I thought the last one was a bit odd, but I didn't question it, because I felt that if he had the wisdom to know he was going to die, he may have entrusted his laptop to me for a reason.

The only problem was, his laptop was locked. And the never told anyone the password. It sat there on the desk in my room for a while, until on a whim, I opened up one of the books he left me. One I hadn't seen or heard about. Inside the book, between the first page and the cover, was a slip of paper. Written on it was the following:

tora84

DESTROY IT.

Needless to say, I thought this was odd. I recognized the first phrase as some sort of password, so I thought I'd try to see if it was the password to the computer. I opened the laptop and entered "tora84" and sure enough, the computer unlocked, and I then had access to all of his files. Despite it being weeks after my friend's death, the police couldn't figure out its cause. I thought maybe examining the files would give me some leads. I always knew him to be crafty, and he was obviously leaving a trail for me to follow. While searching his files, I found a document titled "12-4." I opened it, and found a series of what appeared to be logs. Entries of some accounts. As I read further, I became more concerned. While I respect my friend's privacy, I feel as though these logs need to be shared with the world. I have copied them onto here:

11-4

I've always been one for a good book. I've read all the more popular series, and moved on to the more obscure. I was recently scouring my local bookstore for a book that caught my interest, and I found one titled "Origin". It is a thick hardcover greyish book with the title neatly printed on the front, accompanied by some decorations framing the title. It doesn't appear to have an author stated. I hadn't heard of it before, and I was getting good vibes from it, so I bought it.

When I got home, I cracked right into it. I've enjoyed it so far. The plot is rather original, and the characters so far have interested me. It made me wonder why it isn't more popular. But if everything went perfectly, I wouldn't be making logs of this, would I? I'm not one to keep diaries of mundane events that happen in my life. But what happened today, I think, is far from mundane. The book itself is fine, it's a bit tattered, but it seems to be quite old and well-preserved. It's what occurred after I put it down that worries me. I figured I'd read enough for the day, and put the book down to take a shower. It was then I noticed a large black gash on my right arm. It wasn't there before, I'm certain. To make the situation stranger, it seems the injury was sustained a long time ago. I would've noticed a wound like that. I may have considered the book and the wound unrelated, were it not for the fact that a very similar injury was mentioned in the book. The cut doesn't hurt, but it is certainly unsettling. I have yet been unable to determine what's causing the black coloration.

I'm still going to read the book. It may not be the best idea, but there's no solid evidence that my injury was somehow related to the book, and if in some way it is, I want to see if I can learn more. I'll record any other strange occurrences.

11-5

Another unnatural event happened today. I was reading Origin again, and I had reached a point in which people's heads were inexplicably exploding. It's a pretty violent book, but that's one of the genres I like. Either way, I began to get what I thought at the time was a headache, but it grew worse. I tried to ignore it at first, but the pounding in my head slowly became more insufferable. Eventually, I couldn't stand it anymore. I closed the book, hoping it would somehow do something to remedy the situation. Luckily, it seemed to make it die down.

The pulsing is still playing in my brain as I type this, but to a much more bearable degree. After the initial shock wore down, I got up to splash water on my face to bring me back to reality. I thought I saw something in the mirror out of the corner of my eye, but when I looked, everything was in its usual place. I think I have enough probable cause to make the assumption that the book has a physical effect on me, though I'm not sure how or why. I'm unsure whether I should read the book more. I want to learn more about these effects, and the book itself is pretty interesting, but I'm worried it may pose a threat to my physical and mental health.

11-12

It's been a week since I last read Origin. The black gash hasn't gotten any better. It might just be me, but I think it's getting bigger. I still hear a faint rhythm in my head. Constantly. I'd come to the conclusion that the book's effects would only become more severe, yet I was compelled to read it again. I tried to fight the impulses, but I just... couldn't. I stopped fighting it. When I started reading again, I was almost relieved. I do like the book itself, the way I assume it's supposed to be. Without all the... altercations. Nothing happened for a while. I read the book in blissful silence.

Then I began to feel a shortness of breath. It was as if unseen hands were wrapped tightly around my neck. I blacked out.

When I awoke, the book was shut. I'm unsure if I had closed it during my struggle, or if it was the supernatural forces responsible for my injuries's doing. It doesn't really matter. There's no way I can read the book again.

11-17

The scar is definitely getting bigger. I need to wear jackets whenever I'm going out to cover up the dark marks spreading from it down the length of my arm. The throbbing is making it hard to sleep.

11-

I know they're there. The things I saw... I see in the corner of my eye. In my reflection. I'm unsure what they want. I move in rhythm to the pounding. It dictates my movements. The dark areas are growing ever larger.

11-

They stopped appearing in only my peripherals. They revealed themselves to me directly today. They proposed a deal. They said they can make the pounding stop. They said they can stop the scar from spreading. I said I would consider.

11-

They say all they need me to do is finish the book. I said I would consider.

11-

The book lays on my desk, beckoning. The throbbing is unbearable, and the blackness is now crawling up my neck.

11-

I tried to pick up the book to read it, but it's hot to the touch. They are nowhere to be found.

11-

Are my fingers touching the keys? I can't feel anything with my hands. The book seared them black when I was trying to finish it. It was excruciating at first, but I don't feel anything anymore.

11-

I looked at myself in the mirror today for the first time in.... I'm not sure how long. The dark markings scrape across my entire arm, and up my neck onto my face. It's almost at my right eye. I worry what will happen when the dark reaches it.

11-

Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump.

11-

There's a knocking on my door. It's resonating with the thumping. Make it stop.

11-

The dark reached my eye this morning. I don't have to look in the mirror. I can tell. I can't see with it anymore.

11-

I'm trying to finish the book. Hopefully if I finish it, I can reverse its effects, or at least prevent them from worsening. That's what they said, wasn't it? The pain the book brings me is commonplace now.

11-

I should've guessed it. I'm mad I didn't. There's always a stipulation. I can't finish the book. The rest of the pages are blank. I flipped through the pale sheets, laughing while black tears fell out of my infected eye. Every single one, empty. They cracked a grim smile, revealing their perfect teeth. I didn't think it was possible, but the pounding's getting louder. I'm spending what I'm imagining to be my last sane moments writing this. I don't think I have much time left. Percy, if you ever read this, I'm trusting you to destroy this book.

I just looked in the mirror. The blackness is reaching across my face, heading towards my other eye. I estimate I'll be blind by tomorrow, if I'm still alive.

11-

I;m trypinf fron nemory here. I was right. I can;t see anythinf anymore, it was a striggle just to get to my compiyrt. I donr knoe if you can destroy the vook. I truoed butning it, bit ot didntl burn. Just ger eid of it somehoe. Biry it. Thst moght work. I gidss tjat;s all.

Goodbte,

s

That's all. It ends there. Of course, I buried the book. I wish I knew exactly how he died, or who "they" were. Although I'm shocked by my friend's story, I'm also concerned for myself. I found a cut on my fingertip. It's - you guessed it - black. If it's related to the book, and if it progresses like it did with my friend, the cut being further down the arm should give me more time than he had. Hopefully I can figure out the forces behind this, and best case scenario: stop them.

Wish me luck.

-Percy

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