I was wondering if anyone could be able to help me with this. I’ve been asking for quite a while and haven’t gotten any responses other than people telling me that this is fake, or that this is a good short story. It’s not a short story. I need help with this, people’s lives are at stake. Possibly mine. I don’t know yet.
I live out in the country, basically in the middle of nowhere. I tend to a small farm, nothing much, but enough to live comfortably off of. I rely wholly upon my car to get to the city for groceries, and to go to farmer’s markets and meet wholesalers who would want to buy a portion of my crop.
That is, until it vanished.
One day, I woke up, got dressed, prepared to go into town to set up at the farmer’s market, and I found that my car was missing. I didn’t know if it had been stolen or if it just disappeared, but I went to go call the police.
That’s when I found out the phone lines don’t work either.
I’ve tried to call the police, call my family, hell, I think I called for a pizza one time, but every time I do, I hear noises on the other end instead of whoever I should be talking to, or at least their voicemail. Not screams, or latin chants like I’m sure you expect from one of these “stories”, but peaceful noises. Birds chirping, running water, stuff like that. One time I heard a woman’s voice say something in what I think was Italian. She sounded happy, not excited, but at peace. I tried to look up what she said on the internet but I can’t transcribe a language; I don’t know.
Speaking of the internet, I suppose you’re wondering why I haven’t contacted someone that way, tried to tell one of my clients of my situation in hopes they’d bring a car or something that I could use to get out of here. Every time I go to email someone I know, I get some bullshit response that I’m very very sure is not being sent directly by them. For example, I sent this message to a friend of mine, Dave, in hope he could help me out.
"Yo, Dave. Someone stole my car. Can you give me a lift to the police station? TY in advance.
This was the response I got.
Be at peace. God is with you now. You do not need to leave your little Garden of Eden. Or rather, farm of Eden. I would visit you, but the walls are too thick right now. They’ll wear down eventually. All things do.
I don’t know anyone called Ezekiel. I never get any responses that are signed by the people that supposedly sent them to me. I’ve gotten emails from lots of other people though. People with old, old names that make me think of Amish farmers or pilgrims navigating the Oregon trail. Ezekiel, Hekeziah, Jonah, Deborah, Eunice… the list goes on. I don’t think I’ve ever heard any of these names applied to anyone I’ve ever known, or even people I’ve heard of in the last century. They sound Amish. Maybe a bunch of Amish people are just fucking with me or something.
They’re all nice but very insistent on one thing: that I can’t - or as they put it, ‘don’t need to’ - leave. Well, they’re all nice, but with one exception. Whenever I try to message one person in particular, one of my clients, Mr. Drake, I get messages from someone calling themselves Isaac. Where all of the other people I get messages from are relatively kind and peaceful, Isaac is cruel. Here’s an example.
I’m sorry I couldn’t come to our arranged meeting. I’m currently stranded without a car. Would you mind coming to pick me up so I can report the theft of my car to the police? Thanks.
This is that I got back:
"Foolish heathen, thinkst thou that thou art too good for the gift thou hast received? Thou hast been blessed, and thou art as blessed as thou art ungrateful. Thou wilt burn in the fires of Satan, surely, for refusing to let God into thine black heart!
I don’t understand who any of these people are or what they want from me - although with Isaac, it’s probably a minute to tell me “the good news” - or why they’re messaging me. I don’t know why Isaac is the only one using old English. If this was all that was happening, I’d think it was a bizarre prank by a deranged cult.
I know it isn’t though, because at the same time as these occurances started happening, HE showed up.
The person, or perhaps thing, I am referring to is an entity I have dubbed the Faceless Mourner. It, or he, is the thing I need help with. He is the reason there are lives in danger.
He’s about five feet and ten inches tall. He is always wearing the same thing when I see him. A black suit and tie, something that looks like it would be worn at a funeral, white silk gloves, and a ski mask with no holes in it. At least, I think it’s a ski mask. He might not be wearing gloves either. He’s either wearing a ski mask and gloves or his skin is made of cloth.
Either way, I’m confident he does not have a face. Every time I’m close enough to see him clearly, I can see that he has no facial features beneath his “mask”. You know how you see the sloping slants of a person’s visage under their mask? This guy I swear has almost rounded facial features. He has a pointed chin, a high brow, and that’s it. I can’t identify any eyes, mouth, or nose-like bumps under his cloth exterior. It’s odd, I can’t tell whether his face is a flat surface, or almost rounded.
He also is carrying an opened pink umbrella every time I see him. It’s reddish pink, with a white floral design. The handle is plain and wooden. It is either open or closed, depending on the weather, but he will have it open on either days where it is raining, snowing, or in excess sunshine. He never shows any discomfort about the weather, despite how harsh the conditions here have become. He doesn’t normally move, but when he does, he either does it in quick and short increments, or slowly and gradually, like a flower turning towards the sun. One last thing.
Every time he appears, he brings a corpse with him.
Now you see why I said lives were in danger.
I’m not sure whether it’s him killing them. I’m not even sure how they get here, as I never see them appear during my stakeouts, and he can’t be carrying them, as his frame is quite diminutive. They appear differently depending on what season it is. That’s right, I said SEASON. This has been happening for what I can only seem to measure in years. The first time the Faceless Mourner came, I noticed a small calendar on my nightstand, a little thing you’d see on someone’s desk rather than their wall. Nothing was remarkable about it, other than a week’s worth of days had passed since I fell asleep. Time passes faster here. Seasons change in the span of weeks. One year here lasts fifty-two days.
Back to the corpses. I always find him standing over them, as if silently contemplating the loss of a friend. The conditions are the same every time, and they change depending on the season. For convienence, I will describe these events as “Burials”. The seasons won’t change correctly, and the day won’t end until I either bury the corpse, or burn it. I’ve taken to burning them as this has been happening so long I’m running out of space in my yard - although I’ve noticed the makeshift grave markers I prepared for them disappearing and the ground levelling after a while.
In winter, the Burial takes place in a blizzard. The Faceless Mourner stands stock-still against the raging winds and tearing snow. His umbrella seems to shield him adequately, as I’ve never seen him get wet in either a spring or winter Burial. The corpse is always frozen solid, under a foot of snow. This is probably the hardest Burial for me, as I not only have to dig the corpse up, I also have to find enough dry wood to get a proper fire going. It always stops snowing after I have enough firewood, so I can dig a proper fire pit and burn the corpse. The Faceless Mourner, often, not always, pulls out a notepad at this point, scribbles something down on it, and tears the page away, handing it to me. He always writes things like “Bundle up, Jeremiah. You’ll catch cold.”, or “I’m making cocoa. Do you want some?”. I was going to accept on the cocoa, but whenever I look up from reading these, he’s gone.
In spring, the Burial takes place in a light rain. The Faceless Mourner stands above a corpse floating face-down in a puddle of rainwater. About these corpses, the winter and spring ones don’t seem to have any wounds betraying their cause of death. If I had to guess, I’d say they froze or drowned, but why would they be under a foot of snow or lying down in a puddle? Anyway, this Burial is the easiest, because I can just dig a hole in the wet dirt and lay the poor soul to rest there. I usually put together a few boards or something like that as a grave marker. When I do make grave markers, the Faceless Mourner walks over to them and pins a note from his notepad to them. The things he writes are really odd. It seems he makes up his own causes of death. Here are some examples:
“Here lies Uriel. Died of sadness.”
“Here lies Meredith. I tried to help her. He didn’t.”
And, oddly enough, “Here lies Ben. I’m not quite sure where he went. I’ll find him eventually.” I’m not sure whether he means spiritually or physically, but after pinning the note there, he nods at it, and just sort of stands there until I look away. When I do, he disappears.
The fall Burials are probably my second-to-least favourite. The Mourner knocks on my door. If I open it, he walks away and motions to follow. If I don’t, he won’t go away. When I follow him, he leads me to a grove of trees that is never there except in the fall. The corpse is always hanging from a tree. There’s always a sticky note pinned to it. It always says “Do you feel guilt?”
I always do. I don’t know why, because these are people I don’t really know. I vaguely remember some of them being mean to me a while ago, maybe a few years at the latest, but I never wished Mrs. Rosetti, my third-grade math teacher, dead. I certainly never hoped I’d find her here, hanging from a tree. The corpses are always on the higher branches and I have to cut them down to bury them. The soil is still good, so I can usually bury them. I normally just bury them in the forest, but one time I did that and found the corpse in the tree again so I took it into the yard. The person was obviously killed by hanging, and there was a wound around their neck to indicate so. The thing is, how do the corpses get up there? The taller trees are around twenty feet, and the Mourner doesn’t seem like the tree-climbing-with-a-corpse type. A more obvious question would be “Where does the forest come from or go?”, but I can’t even begin to get into that one.
The summer Burials are the worst. Easily the worst. I retch thinking of them in May. I can’t sleep more than a few minutes of the last night/week before June. During the summer Burials, the ground is cracked like it would be in a desert. All the grass is gone, and the few trees that are left are dead. The sun is so strong, I actually have to put on sunblock, or I will get burned so badly I won’t be able to walk the next day. The Mourner stands over a decomposing corpse that has been gruesomely murdered. The wounds range from bullets to the head to having had their stomach ripped open and all their organs stuffed down their throat. The mourner writes a note pre-emptively, pinning it to the corpses. They always have an accusatory tone, saying things like “Monster”, “Unforgiven” and “Repent”. I don’t understand what he means by this. I’ve never hurt anyone in my life, and now this motherfucker starts bringing corpses onto my property and blames me for their deaths. The third time this happened, I tried to punch him in the face, but, with reflexes that would put a cat to shame, he batted my hand out of the way with his umbrella, striking so fast that he almost broke my wrist.
I can’t bury the corpse in the summer. The ground is too hard. Thankfully, the trees are all dead so I can use them for easy firewood. The bad part is the smell. It smells like every dead thing in the world combined into one big dead thing and decided I needed to vomit right then. I always did. The first time it took me four tries to stop. When I finally did, I looked up and noticed the Mourner offering me a flask. I knew whatever he had in there wasn’t water. I didn’t care. I just needed to get the smell of corpse out of my nose and the taste of bile out of my mouth.
I grabbed it and took a long swig. It’s hard to describe the taste. It tasted not so much like apples as it did apple peels. It hardly tasted like anything, with a crisp aftertaste. Right then, it could have been ditchwater and I still would have drank the whole thing. I handed the flask back to him. He put it in his suit and left in the way he is accustomed, by not leaving until I don’t watch him leave.
The Burials come about once a “month”, although I’ve had two before. I’ve never had two in summer, fortunately. I never recognize any of the corpses, excepting some from the fall Burials. This has been going on for what I’ve faultily counted out to be about two years. I’ve buried or burned almost a hundred people now I think.
This is all I have. I know it sounds fake, but please, I need help. Does anyone know if I’ve been cursed, or if I’m being haunted? I know there’s no logical explanation for this. If you know anything that could help me, please contact me immediately. I’ll leave you with this letter I got back from Isaac about the summer Burials:
Please, just tell me something. I need to know about what I’m dealing with. Why is summer so fucked up? Please, just help me.
Summer is a painful time for us all. The ground heats up, and we can feel His anger and hatred from the deep below. Thou may not remember now, but thou buried me. I wish greatly that thou had not. The ground wouldst not be such a terrible place, were it not for the song he doth sing. The song is one of hatred and black malice. It hath no words I can recognize save one, Jeremiah, and it bodes not well for thou.
The word is thine own name Jeremiah.
I will pray for you, but it will do nothing now.