To whom it may concern:
I have put together my journal entries from the last few weeks. Please turn these in to the authorities as soon as possible. All will be explained within.
September 5th, 2012:
Today is a sad day. Since I've been back from school, I've been living with my brother. Today, I returned home to find our house ablaze. Most of my personal effects have been destroyed by the fire. Thankfully, no one was hurt, but I have no home now. For the next few weeks, I will have to stay somwhere else, while our house is repaired. Thankfully, the integriity of the house has not been compromised too much, so it can be salvaged, the contractor told me. Until then, I don't know where I'll stay. My brother is staying with his girlfriend, but they have no room in their studio apartment for me. My parents are on the other side of the country, so I have no options.
September 6th, 2012:
I've been saved! Last night I stayed in a cheap hotel, wondering what to do. When I returned to the burned shell of my home, I was greeted by the mailman, who had just arrived with a letter from my grandma. It read:
My dearest Jeffrey,
I was saddened to hear the news of your house fire. If you have no place to stay, I would be more than happy to accommodate you until your house is safe to live in again. No need to reply. If you need a place to stay, I'm only a short drive away. Love,
Your Grandmother Gertrude
Upon reading this, I packed what few things I had into my car and drove. About an hour and a half later, in the woods of rural New York, I was greeted by a familiar site. My Grandmother's country house. We had not heard from her for several years, and I had not seen her in nearly a decade, but the house remained as I remembered it. Pulling up, I felt a sudden apprehension. Something felt odd, but I dismissed it, thinking I was nervous to see her after so many years. I was reassured, when I saw her open the door to her house, and walk out onto the deck, with a smile on her face. I pulled up the long gravel driveway and jumped out of my car. I ran up the stairs onto the deck and gave my grandma a hug. I instantly smelled something foul, like rotting meat, or death. I dismissed this as well, thinking it to be just an 'old lady smell.' For now, the world made sense. "Hello dear," she said to me in a rough, broken voice. I remembered her voice being sweeter, but then it had been ten years ago. Much had changed about her, but it was just the normal signs of aging. She was ninety-seven after all. In fact, I was surprised at how good her health was, considering her age. Being tired from the drive, I asked her to show me to the guest room. I laid on the bed and fell into a deep sleep.
It's been a few days since I made an entry in my journal, so I thought I should make one today. I have mostly been doing work around the house. I cut the lawn (which was a large job, considering the property is nearly an acre and a half), I trimmed the bushes, helped clean the house and do other things which my aging grandmother is incapable of doing herself. I have noticed a few odd things around here that are worth noting. After I woke up in the guest room after my drive here, I noticed that there were flies in the house. This house was absolutley infested. I called the exterminator, and he got rid of the flies yesterday. I also noticed a that there was man's suit in the laundry room, which was odd. My grandma has lived alone since my grandpa died fifteen years ago. She got rid of all his things, and even stranger was that the suit was dirty, which means it was worn recently. Maybe it belongs to a friend of my grandmother, but there are no neighbors for miles, so I don't know whose it is. Besides these few mysteries, my stay here has been quiet, and peaceful. I work outside most of the day, then I come in and the two of us watch television until I am tired enough to sleep. Speaking of sleep, I am tired enough I think to get some shut-eye now, so I will end this entry.
Strange things are happening. This house no longer feels like a home, but a prison. Last night, I woke to see a silhouette in my doorway. My first instinct was to curl up into a fetal position. It was utterly dark, and I could see very little of the room around me. I felt pin-pricks of fear on my skin as my arm hairs stood on end. I called out into the darkness, "Grandma? Is that you?" The silhouette turned and slowly shuffled away. I did not sleep the rest of the night. Every creak and groan of the house, every rustle outside my window made me tremble with fear.
The next day, I did not see my grandma at all. I went outside early in the morning to do some yard work. I assumed my grandma was still sleeping. At noon I came in for lunch. I did not see my grandma, so I assumed she went into town, to get supplies from the store. I continued working until night, then I came back in, but I had no appetite for dinner, nor any wish to watch television, so I went to bed early, and fell into a restless sleep. I awoke to a loud thunderclap. I looked at my clock, still groggy and half asleep. It read: 3:13 AM. I looked out my window. I saw rain coming down in thick sheets across the lawn, and beyond, the vast darkness of the forest. I felt a sudden fear. The forest was no longer scenery but a natural prison, encircling the house for miles around. I reluctantly fell asleep. In the morning, I woke up and went to the kitchen. I did not see my grandma. Now I began to worry. Had she been caught in the storm? Did she lose her way? Where was she? I walked to my car and put the keys in the ignition. As the engine turned over, I heard an angry voice call out, "where do you think you're going!" I jumped out of my seat. My grandma was standing outside the passenger window. The voice that came from her mouth was not hers. It was too angry, too rough. "Where have you been?" I asked her gently.
"I've been out," she said simply. Then she turned and began walking towards the house without any explanation. I was puzzled. I said, "I'm going into town, to get some things" She suddenly turned and shouted, "No, you can't!" in a voice that was not hers. I was very confused and a little afraid at this point. "Why not?" She replied, "You just can't," and went inside. Upon entering the house, I stopped at the door and saw a newspaper from last week. We were too far in the woods to get the newspaper delivered, but I assumed my grandmother had gone into town and picked it up a few days before I arrived. I read the headline: New Developments in Grizly Murder of Local Woman. The picture under the headline was of my grandmother. I dropped the newspaper on the floor. After a moment, I picked it back up and began reading the article.
Gertrude Murphey, aged ninety-seven, was found dead in her home in July. Police found only partial remains, but were able to identify the body with DNA testing. The investigators discovered that the murderer entered the house through a broken window, and then struck the victim with a blunt object, most likely a crowbar, causing internal bleeding and death. He then skinned the victim and left the remains. The police were unable to find any relatives of the elderly victim and abandoned the crimescene on the fourth of September.
I did not read the rest. I put the newspaper down. I heard a noise and looked up, seeing my grandma standing in the hall, watching me. "What are you reading about, sweety?" The last word was stressed, almost as if it was said with a mocking contempt. "Oh, just stocks and boring things like that. You know what? I'm rather tired, I think I'll go to bed now." I quickly walked up the stairs to my room. I felt my grandma's gaze follow me. I lay in bed quite a while. How could she be dead? Am I insane? She was murdered, yet here she is? Eventually, sleep overtook me, and I woke up in chains.
My hands and feet were chained to the posts of the bed. I tried to slide my hands out, in a panic. I could not believe this was happening. I spit on my wrist, to lubricate it. I had almost slipped it through the cuff when I heard footsteps. Not the weak, frail footsteps of an elderly woman, but the thudding footsteps of a determined man. I was surprised then, when it was my grandma who entered my room. She did not move like an elderly woman now, though. She moved like she was fifty years younger. There was something masculine and ungraceful about her movements, too. She put her hands on her head and tugged on her short, white hair. To my surprise, it lifted off her head, revealing short black hair underneath. She turned around, revealing a line of messy stitches down the back of her neck. She pulled on a loose end of the string, and it came unraveled. She peeled the two flaps of skin away, revealing skin beneath. She removed her entire face and held it in her hands. I was now panicking, trying desperately to get out of my chains, but to no avail. She turned back to me to reveal a man's face where her's had been. I saw the mask of human skin that was my grandmother's face, clutched in his hands. His face was ugly; pock-marked, scarred and angry. There was nothing kind or caring about it. It was the face of a man who had sunken to such depravity, he no longer had any feeling for fellow humans whatsoever. His only pleasure was pain, and I instantly knew that a grizly fate awaited me. He smiled and I saw his vile, yellow teeth. This was the man who had murdered my grandmother and worn her face as a mask. I had not only believed his lie, but I had lived with him, for a week, not suspecting that he was a murderous psychopath. Not when he watched me sleeping, not when he embraced me, not when I smelled the rotting smell of death. Never once did I suspect this.
This will be my final entry. I have no way of escaping. I am in the trunk of a car. I suspect I will be killed when we reach our destination, but I have these entries, and I hope they will fall into the right hands after my impending doom. I hope it is quick, but I know in my heart that he will grant me no such mercy. I am ready for whatever horrors await me, only I hope I am the last of his victims.
Written by Kingoctavius