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The Long Face

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About a week ago I found a usb stick on the way to a pc repair business where I work part time. It looked really standard, just a small metal box. I only saw it because the sun reflected off the case. For a second I thought that the pavement had just erupted into light. Anyway, I decided to take it to the police station after work but of course, because I work with computers, the temptation to look at the contents was too much.

There were a few folders with incomprehensible names, and three others: "Case Notes", "Training", and "Emails". There were about 100 emails, mostly unconnected, but a few were really interesting. Usually, I wouldn't go snooping through such private information, but I felt such a strange urge. In the end, I kept it. I think I'm going to hand it in to the police still, sometime in the future. I'm going to share with you the more interesting emails, ordered and formatted (where appropriate) for easier reading, and maybe you can help me decide what to make of it.

~~

From: Matthew.Howard
12/04/2012
Subject: Rebecca

Hey Dan

How's it going? I know we haven't spoken lately, I've been busy with uni and there's some drama been going on in my family, and I've basically had no time. Sorry about that. I'm emailing because I need some advice (what's with the fucking hotmail account by the way?). It's about Becky of course. You helped me out so much going through all that shit with her. I still think about her practically everyday, but I've taken your advice. It's been difficult avoiding contact, but I've managed. Ok, I still have her number even though she deleted mine, but I blocked her on facebook and all that other stuff. Well, until she fucking emailed me yesterday. She needs help, it's about John, the new guy. I want to punch his head in. She seems really upset. Should I reply?

Thanks, Matt

~~

From: dantheman
12/04/2012
Subject: no

Matt

No lol, doesnt matter why, you dont talk to a bitch until at least a year after ok?

Good luck, Dan

~~

From: Becky123456789
11/04/2012
Subject: Hey Matt, we need to talk

Matt

I hope life is treating you well. It's been a while huh? Any girls in your life? The past week I've been thinking about you a lot. I remember the moment when you said that you never want to speak to me again so clearly. I didn't mean to hurt you like that. I know my old address is blocked, I made this one to contact you. If it's ok, can we talk?

John has been acting weird and I need some help. I'm asking you because... Well Matt, to tell you the truth, I'm getting scared of John and you are the last guy I've been close to other than him for a while, and I don't want to tell my friends because they might judge him. Am I becoming a stereotype? Ok, if you don't immediately want to delete this email, please keep reading and I'll explain, but if you want, continue to ignore me and I will understand, and I really will never to try and contact you again.

Last month John tidied up the bathroom. Sounds stupid I know, but he really went at it. I went in there and it was spotless. The surfaces gleamed, he'd put some sort of freshener down, and everything was exactly in its right place. You know how much stuff I have, we can't fit both our toothbrushes in the cupboards, so we lay them down by the sink? They were parallel to each other, completely straight, completely aligned. I was a bit freaked out, but I was also proud, you know? He just acted nonchalant, like it was nothing.

Soon the rest of the house is super tidy. All the books are ordered alphabetically, everything put away, the magazines on the coffee table stacked up in a square. I'm a bit weirded out, and I ask him what's up? He says that it doesn't matter. Why would he be doing so much for me? My first thought was that he was cheating on me. I have his facebook password, so I checked, and nothing. His phone? Nothing. At the time, I was still suspicious, but not anymore.

A week and a bit ago, I go into the kitchen, and he's rooting through the cutlery draw. He's picking up pieces of cutlery, examining them, and laying some on the counter and putting some back in the draw. The ones on the counter are perfectly aligned. I asked him what the fuck he was doing, and he responded with "we don't need all this cutlery Becky, I'm going to throw these out." I said "John, I know that's bullshit," and he got really angry, really defensive, so I left.

Last night I woke up at about 1, and John wasn't in bed. I heard him rummaging around downstairs. I snuck to the top of the stairs. Remember the coat hanger in the hall? We put a small bookcase next to it, and he was rifling through the books, taking some out. He was speaking to himself, whispering numbers and equations. I said "John..." and he looked up. I said "what are you doing?"

He said, "Honey... There are 75 books on this bookcase. That's 3 times 25, which is 5 times 5. It likes 5s."

I was shocked and said "What likes 5s?"

He said "The Long Face," and then started sorting books again, ignoring me. I guess his behaviour over the past month got to me and I snapped. I ran downstairs, shouted at him and tried to put some of the books back on the bookcase. He grabbed at me Matt, he fucking grabbed at me. I couldn't move he was so strong. He pulled his free hand back, and I thought he was going to hit me. He said very carefully, very slowly "This bookcase needs 49 books. 7 times 7. It doesn't like 7s. It likes 5. Ok? I'm going to have to train you up." I was so scared, I ran out of the house.

Wow, that was longer than I thought. I'm staying at Alex's right now. Can you come over? Even if you can't help sort this out, talking would be great.

Hope to see you soon, Becky.

~~

From: Matthew.Howard
13/04/2012
Subject: I don't care, I'm gonna do it.

Dan

I've thought it through, and I'm gonna talk to her. I don't care what you think.

Matt

~~

From: Matthew.Howard
13/04/2012
Subject: Holy shit, it's worse than I thought.

Dan

Sorry about being a dick in that last email Dan, but I think I still love her. But listen, shit has really hit the fan, and at this point I just need someone to tell.

I went round to Alex's (Becky is staying there), and as soon as I knock on the door she flies out and gives me the strongest hug I have ever felt. Her face was so red, I think she'd been crying non stop since she left her house. Shit, I forgot you didn't know. John was being weird and she felt she had to leave. So, I comforted her, and got her some hot chocolate. Alex had fucked off somewhere, she probably didn't want to deal with Becky. Once she had calmed down enough, she asked if I would escort her back to her house and maybe confront John. I was looking forward to that let me tell you.

When we got to her house she told me I should go in first. On the doorstep were 7 neat piles of books. I slowly pushed the door open, and called out to John. There was no answer. Becky had told me before that the house was tidy, but walking in there freaked me out a little. It was like the house had no inhabitants, had never had inhabitants.

We searched around, and I kept calling for John, but he didn't respond. Every room was so fucking tidy and put together, we were both on the edge of saying, let's just go. And then I checked the bathroom. There was a trail of blood leading from the sink to the bath. In the bath was John. He was so pale, his arms slit from palm to elbow. I almost threw up and tried to stop Becky from coming in. But she did. And then she threw up.

We called the police obviously, but while we were waiting I noticed something. John was holding a small book. It looked like a diary. You know those moleskin things? One of those. And I took it, I don't know why. Becky didn't notice. She was pretty shaken up. Still is of course. What should I do with this thing. I can't give it in now? Actually, when are you in town? I'd love to speak in person.

Matt

~~

From: dantheman
14/04/2012
Subject: Meeting up

Matt

Wow thats fucked up. I hope youre ok man. Listen, im still away for like a month. Two at the most. Dont do anything stupid ok? I hate not talking in person, im so bad at it. You'll be alright.

Dan

~~

From: Matthew.Howard
14/04/2012
Subject: The Diary

Dan

I read the fucking diary. I guess it was written by John, and it explains his behaviour. It's not really a diary, more an encyclopedia I guess. Apparently John believed in this entity called The Long Face. It doesn't really explain what it is, but lists loads of rules for dealing with this thing. It likes multiples of 5s and will seek them out, it hates 7s, stuff like that. Pile things in this arrangement etc. What a freak.

Matt

~~

From: Matthew.Howard
17/04/2012
Subject: I guess freakishness is contagious :P

Dan

The weirdest thing happened to me today. I was getting rid of some old dvds (holy shit remember four lions? Such a good movie), and I noticed there were 5 dvds on one of the shelves in front of me. It made me think of The Long Face. I laughed at myself, but as I went to put the dvd I was holding into the bag, I saw a face. On the bag I mean. The two clips looked like eyes, and the opening looked like the mouth. Yeah laugh if you must. I got 2 dvds out of the bag and put them on the shelf. The face was gone after that. I probably knocked the bag into a different position.

Becky is doing fine now. She wants to move out of her old house but the contract lasts until september, so she is going to try and find some replacement tenants. I know it's very soon but I think I'm going to ask her out again. We should get back together. What do you think?

Matt

~~

From: Matthew.Howard
21/04/2012
Subject: I think I'm losing my mind

Dan

Becky said yes! I took her to that italian place you love and we pretended it was out first ever date. It was great. But listen, this long face stuff is freaking me out.

I keep seeing it everywhere. I'll be walking along and a car will pass, and the front of it will look like a face. I keep seeing faces in the froth of my coffee, in the shapes that buildings make. I'm going to make a confession to you Dan. I've started counting things. The books and dvds first, then cutlery. I think it's because I heard that John counted this stuff too. Everything has to be in multiples of 7. If they aren't, or even worse, if I see a multiple of 5, I see more faces. And each face I see looks angrier and angrier. As I'm typing this I can see the speakers as eyes, the keyboard as a mouth.

I know this bullshit is all in my head, but I can't help it. I'm having problems sleeping.

Matt

~~

From: Matthew.Howard
24/04/2012
Subject: It's getting worse

Dan

You know that drawer that everyone has? Filled with all the shit in your house that doesn't have anywhere else to be? Well it's been driving me crazy. I can't know if it's safe if I don't TIDY IT UP.

Matt

~~

From: Matthew.Howard
24/04/2012
Subject: Becky :(

Hey Dan

Becky caught me putting all the screwdrivers from the drawer in size order. She left, Dan. She left.

Matt

~~

From: Matthew.Howard
26/04/2012
Subject: Why aren't you replying?

Hey Dan

I was walking to work to0day. I saw a car face and I was so sca4red. It was coming towards me and it looked like it wanted blood. I thought it was going to swerve and hit me, and that would be that. I figured out how to stop it though. It was red, so I started counting all the red cars. When I'm counting it seems to get confused. As I was walking into work I was at 20. I pretended I had counted 1 more, but it knew. Tomorrow I'm go7ing to do Blue.

Matt

~~

From: Matthew.Howard
28/04/2012
Subject:

i just want this to stop

~~

From: Matthew.Howard
2/05/2012
Subject:

y did i read the book? People need to be trained to repelu THE LONG FACE. They need to know. But why me? :(

~~

From: Matthew.Howard
2/05/2012
Subject:

I counted the pages in the diary. 125. 5 timess 5 ttimes 5. Mayb THE LONG FACE wants us to read it. Wat if I miscoutner? 126 is a multiple of 7. I'll do it again

~~

From: Matthew.Howard
2/05/2012
Subject: We had a good one

Dan

I'm going to burn the book Matt. If no one can read about this, maybe whatever fucking evil it is will just dissapate. Hopefully my emails haven't been enough to trigger it for you. Don't come over Dan. We are no longer friends.

Matt

~~

From: dantheman
3/05/2012
Subject: I'm coming over

Matt

I'm back in a week. I'm coming over. Why the fuck haven't you answered your phone?

Dan

~~

And that's it. There are no more emails by Dan, Matt or Becky. I've thought about it for a while, and I reckon something happened to Matt. I don't know whether he succeeded in burning that journal, or what might have happened to it if he didn't, but something must have got him. I keep thinking about that last email. Why wouldn't he answer the phone?

Edit: I trie4d to contact thhese people. It was a bad idea. Removed for your safety.



Credited to Fyve