The Purist

To whoever finds this, please, spread this letter as far as you can. The more people that know about this, the better. If I knew about this I wouldn't of done what I did, but I guess it's too late for that kind of thinking now. I better get on with it.

My name is Daniel, I'm twenty-one and I live in a rural area of Canada, I won't tell you exactly where because I don't want anyone to come here, it's not safe. I'm a normal guy I guess. I have, well, had a fiancé; Amelia, the most beautiful woman I've ever met, she deserves so much better than me. I live alone with her. We live a very routine life. We both get up, eat breakfast, go to work, come home in the evening, get some food, watch TV, and then go to sleep, and that's about it. The thing is though, the thing that makes me regret what I did the most is, I was happy, she was happy, and that should have been enough.

I guess my story starts on June 6th, It was a day just like any other, me and Amelia woke up together, we ate breakfast together, we went to work, but this time there was a break in the routine. I was asked by a couple of friends to come out for a drink after work. I knew this was a bad idea but my friend Steve wouldn't stop nagging me, “Come on man! You never do anything with us any more now you have the old ball and chain. Anyway, Katy is coming.” he taunted, “Hey man, you know that's not cool!” I replied. I always had a crush on Katy since I first met her, but whenever I was single she'd have a boyfriend, and whenever she was single I'd be with a girl, It just wasn't meant to be I guess. Anyway, after Steve's incessant nagging I gave in and decided I'd go out for once. This was my first mistake.

I was wrapping up for the end of the day, when Steve, reliable as ever, bursts into my office shouting “PARTY TIME! Ha,” when I look back on it he must've known I wasn't comfortable with this situation and I didn't want to 'party', but the day Steve starts caring is the day pigs fly. So we headed to the bar. There was quite a few of us; Me, Steve, a few of our colleagues, some I knew, some I didn't, and of course, Katy. She walked on here own behind us, shy and reserved, that's one of the many things I always loved about her.

We arrived at the bar, and in record time, obviously everyone was in a rush to get intoxicated, no surprise there from the degenerates I work with, but hey, you know what they say, If you can't beat them, join them. I finally found out why Steve was so eager today, “Right, I'm buying you all drinks! Why you ask? Because tonight we celebrate, I've been promoted! I'm moving up to head office!”

My first thought? “You've got to be fucking kidding me!” obviously I didn't say that out loud but that’s sure as hell what I was thinking. Steve was the lazy good-for-nothing stoner who only worked to fuel his addiction to intoxicants and had no intention of bettering himself or the company, and HE gets the promotion!? What about me? I work hard every single day! What about Katy? She... and as I thought that I realized that in my suppressed angry state, three beers, six shots, and three double whiskeys had passed. I was more than drunk at this point.

Whilst drinking I hadn't talked to Katy much but she'd been there the whole time. I know because she caught my eye every few minutes. “Fuck, she's so beautiful.”

I couldn't contain my thoughts any longer; and just as I put my thoughts together enough to understand what exactly it was I just thought; “Hey, Daniel”, there she was, Katy, her beautiful blue eyes staring directly into mine, such anticipation for my response, the twinkle in her left eye almost spat anxiety at me, such fragility, such vulnerability. I couldn't help myself. Before I knew it we were falling through a motel door, kissing, biting, touching... and I think you can guess how that ended. I woke up the next morning to an incredibly powerful hangover, and a note lying on the pillow next to me, “I didn't want to wake you, I had to go to work, don't worry I've told them you have food poisoning from the take-out we ate after we left the bar. Thank you for last night, it was amazing, and... well... you were my first. I can't wait to see you again. Katy.”

“What have I done?” I thought; the phrase repeated in my head until I couldn't even make out the words any more, just the sheer panic it induced that shook me to my core.

It was 12 p.m., so Amelia would still be at work for a few hours, so I rushed home as fast as I could, ate some food, and set out the house to look like I'd been to work, all the time feeling so nauseous at my actions that I felt like I could pass out at any moment. The only thing I had left to do was clean myself up, so I decided to take a shower. As I was about to get in my phone started ringing, “Hello?” I answered, “Hey handsome! It's Katy! Just wanted to call to see how you were? I miss you already!” I couldn't even bring myself to reply. “Daniel?” she asked, which in return was answered with more silence, eventually she hung up. I turned off my phone and tried to ignore what just happened and got in the shower. It was the hottest shower I've ever taken, I felt unclean no matter what I did. As I stood there, the water smashing against my face while thoughts of pure regret flooded my mind, I realised I could hear banging outside. It was strange, it didn't sound normal, but then again I can't really hear well over the sound of the shower so it could be anything, it's probably just the pipes. Even with my rationalization there was a kind of alarm that went off in my head, something just didn't seem right; but I had bigger things to worry about.

That night Amelia came home, the first thing she did was ask me where I was last night; without even thinking about it, I lied, I told her I went to watch the game at Steve's house and we drank too much and ended up falling asleep on the sofa's, and that he drove me to work in the morning. “Okay!” she chirped, not an ounce of suspicion in her voice. This utterly killed me, she's so trusting, so loving, there was no thought in her mind that I could have betrayed her like I have, but what can I do? I can't tell her! That would end our relationship in an instant! My only choice is to just ignore this until it goes away.

The next morning I woke up feeling slightly better, every day that passes is another day closer to forgetting. None-the-less I decided to take the day off today, I thought it best not to see Katy yet and let it all die down a bit, especially considering I woke up to a text from her asking me to meet up with her outside of work again soon, which would not be a good idea. So Amelia went to work and I stayed behind. I went upstairs to take my morning shower, I always feel better after a shower. I got in, and closed the door behind me, turned the water on, and for a while just stood there. I often did this when I needed to relax but for some reason the longer I stood there the more uneasy I felt today, I had no idea why but I thought it best to just get it over and done with. I began to wash my hair, and something, just didn't feel right. I got, that, feeling. You know the one, where you're standing in the shower with your eyes closed, and you can't help but feel like there's someone watching you, almost like someone is standing right in front of you; but it couldn't be, could it? No, of course not, how ridiculous.

So I carried on until “WHAT THE FUCK?”, I yelled, “Something touched me!” I tried to open my eyes but I had soap in them and every time I tried I would recoil them closed again, so I quickly splashed my face so I could open them at least slightly. Then I opened my eyes, and right in front of my face, staring directly into my eyes, was what I can only described is an incredibly deformed human face, the skin was charred, the facial structure looked almost melted, and the eyes, the piercing eyes, I have no idea how they were still intact with such bad burns but they definitely didn't look normal. The shock of seeing this hideous sight in front of my face caused me to fall back with incredible force, straight out of shower and onto my bathroom floor. I looked back up at the shower, but there was nothing there. Words cannot describe the amount of panic I felt in that moment. It was so real, It didn't feel like my imagination, surely I would've known if it was, but it couldn't of been real could it? There's no way.

After that I dried myself off and went out for a while. I had no intention of going anywhere in particular I just felt like I needed to get out of the house. As I walked through the city I grew up in, the city I once felt so at home, I now felt nervous, unwelcome, watched. As I walked past a shop I saw a newspaper stand lit up strangely bright, almost as if it was there purposely to catch my attention. As I looked over to it I saw the headline, "Young man found burnt alive in family home." This is the kind of thing you see quite often in the news but for some reason this time I felt shocked, truly shocked.

So I grabbed the news paper and opened it to read more, "Twenty-four year, old Adam Rhodes was found dead in his home on June 4th, his body was found naked and severely burnt on his bathroom floor by his wife. Investigators on the scene also found that the victims eye's had been pushed into the back of his sockets and crushed. When in the process of post-homicide investigation investigators found that a week prior to the victims murder an affair had started between him and a work colleague. She is currently in questioning." “W-what does this mean?” I asked myself, the similarities were too accurate to be ignored, there was something not right about this, first the shower incident, now this? What is going on!? I rushed home after this, I just wanted to see Amelia, fall asleep with her in my arms, maybe this would all just go away.

I got home and she was there, as she always was. We had a nice night, she made me a steak dinner, we watched a romantic film together, and then we went up to bed. That night we slept together, I tried to enjoy it, but all I could think about is my betrayal with Katy, but I kept my act up and carried on. As I stared up at her on top of me, her beautiful face glowing with pleasure, I began to enjoy myself again. I closed my eyes as I tried my best to show her a good time. It got intense, we were writhing in ecstasy, building and building up to a mutual climax, I opened my eyes to see her beautiful face once more and there it was, that vile burnt face staring directly into my eyes; I froze in terror. Until, the mouth on this horrifying face opened up and let out the most piercing screech I've ever experienced, along with a liquid that could only be compared with a repulsive smelling tar that poured onto my face and into my mouth.

I threw it off me and jumped out of bed and balanced myself against the wall to keep myself standing. I went to wipe off the disgusting bile type liquid from my face, but my face was completely clean, except for a layer of fear induced sweat. I looked over to where I had threw this, thing, but it wasn't there, what was there was my fiancé. I've never seen her look so shocked and scared in my life. “Daniel! What? Why!?” she screamed, she could barely breathe let alone formulate audible sentences due to the shock.

“I... I'm so sorry Amelia! I just, I thought...”

“ENOUGH DANIEL!” she interrupted, “GET OUT, GET AWAY FROM ME NOW!” the look in her eyes was so powerful I couldn't argue, I just left the room. I spent that night attempting to sleep on the sofa. I left the TV on to help settle me to sleep.

As I was drifting into a state of sleep the sound of talking on the TV descended into static. I tried to ignore it and hope the TV would regain signal soon, but in that time the talking mixed with the static turned into another, muffled voice. It sounded like no voice I'd ever heard before, it was a voice that sounded like it was produced by something inhuman, but not electronic. The very sound of this voice echoed through my bones, I couldn't hear everything that was said but I could make out a few words, “Bastard... traitor... disgusting... betrayal... impure.” I couldn't bare to turn around to look at the screen. I closed my eyes as tight as I could, gripped my covers and curled up into a ball, the panic was overwhelming. I couldn't move, I was frozen in fear. It sounded like chaos in my brain, my thoughts were racing, I couldn't comprehend everything that I was thinking; and then something happened that brought all that to silence, the sharpest silence I've ever experienced. What felt like four rough stones touched my face and dragged across my cheek, as they did they burnt trails wherever they touched, they were so hot it was as if they had just been put out of being completely immersed in flames. That's when the true horror hit me. Was it? Could it be? Was that... a hand? The noise in my head came back louder than before, and it grew louder and louder until I could no longer handle it, and I passed out.

I woke up in the morning feeling like my brain had been used as a ball in an NBA game. I couldn't comprehend what had happened the night before. I remembered the hand burning my face and went to look in the mirror, there were four long burn marks across my cheek, clear as day, I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Amelia had already left for work so In panic I called my Mother, that was all I could think to do, but all I got from her was that I must have had a nightmare and scratched myself. I wanted to believe her that badly that I think I kinda convinced myself that was true. I felt disgusting from that night, being covered in sweat, so I went for a shower, forgetting what happened last time I did that.

I opened the door, and got in, turned the water on, and stood there. I tried again to forget everything and relax while the water hits me, but as I did, the panic kicked in again. I felt myself heating up, and then I felt the water heat up, even hotter than me. I tried to turn the temperature down but it just kept getting hotter, It was burning my face, burning my body, I couldn't turn it off. I tried to open the shower door but It wouldn't budge. I threw my whole body weight at the door multiple times but nothing. The entire cubicle had steamed up by this point but where the water splashed against the shower door I could see through, I could see, a figure. “No, It can't be, not again!” I thought. I wiped away the steam from in front of me to look out and there it was, it's face almost touching the glass of the shower door. I was so scared I couldn't bare to look at him so my body forced me to turn around. “NO!” I screamed, it was there, in front of me, IN the shower with me. Again the panic got too much and I blacked out. I awoke on the bathroom floor, my skin was red, raw, and painful. As I came around I noticed Amelia standing there with a phone in her hand “Please send an ambulance! It's my fiancé, he's burnt, something has happened! Please come quick!” she yelped down the line. At that moment the pain got too overwhelming and again, I was out cold.

I woke up in a hospital bed, bandaged up and hooked up to monitors and whatever else they hook you up to in these situations, I don't really know. There was a doctor in the room, and a nurse. When I was able to speak coherently the doctor asked me what had happened, so I told him everything. As I finished the story I could tell he didn't think it was anything out of the ordinary, everything about his reaction screamed patronizing, especially the “Interesting.” he replied at the end. He wrote down a few notes on his clipboard and left the room.

I was exhausted so I let the weight on my eyelids win and drifted off to sleep. I suffered the most horrific nightmares in that sleep and I have no idea how long I slept for but it seemed like an eternity. I awoke to the young nurse shaking me. “What do you want?” I asked.

“I heard what you told the Doctor,” she replied, “my Mother told me a story not long ago, she works for the police. She said that a year ago, around this area, there was a murder. Not like other murders. There was a man and woman who lived close to this hospital. They were married, happily, or so everyone thought. It was found out that the wife was cheating on the husband with their house maintenance worker.”

“What has this got to do with me?” I snapped.

The nurse looked at me with a kind of pitiful stare, and carried on, “The affair went on for quite a while behind the husbands back, and the more it did, the more the wife and the worker longed for the husband to be out of the picture. So they planned. They planned to get rid of the husband. The maintenance worker rigged the shower and the plumbing systems joined to it so that when the husband went in for a shower, instead of water dousing him, it would be replaced with sulphuric acid; and once he shuts the shower door, it will lock and he won't be able to get out. So they waited. The worker was over to fix a 'plumbing problem' and the wife and husband went about their normal routine. As the husband proclaimed he was going to take a shower the worker replied with “Have a good one!” and the wife displayed an eerily smug grin, nonetheless, he proceeded. The worker and wife then headed to the bedroom and started to undress each other. As the shower started up and the screams begun the worker and the wife indulged in sexual intercourse. They laughed as they rocked back and forth to the rhythm of the screams.”

“What the fuck? Why are you telling me all of this? I don't understand!” I shouted, again.

She carried on “Then, something happened that they didn't intend on. The bedroom door flung open with incredible force. The husband stood there, still smoking from intense acid burns, his skin was completely charred black, his eyes had melted and his entire body was deformed, he no longer looked human. In a last rush of strength he dashed over to the worker, threw him against the wall and plunged his thumbs into his eyes. He then curved his thumb round to bring the eyes forward and pulled them out. He then took the eyes and forced them into his burnt eye sockets. The wife let out a scream of terror at what she had just witnessed. This caused the husband to turn to her, without sparing a second he dived across the room and grabbed her by her hair. He began to drag her across the room as she pleaded with him to stop. Her cries fell on deaf ears as he dragged her all the way to the bathroom and threw her into the shower. He turned on the power and tore off the handle so it could not be turned off. Holding the door shut as he watched his wife scream and burn to death in front of him.”

By this point I was beyond asking questions, I was trembling, I almost knew exactly what was coming before she even said it. “A few hours later the police arrived to find the three bodies. They put the bodies in ambulances and took them to the hospital to see if there was anything that could be done to save them, but it was far too late. When they opened the ambulances though, they found the bodies of the wife and the worker, but the body of the husband was gone, and the paramedic who was riding in the back with the husbands body was lying dead, with his eyes gouged out, and what looked like the insides of his eye sockets burnt. They never did find the body of the husband. What they did find however is that the paramedic that was killed was having an affair prior to the incident. After the incident, many similar cases emerged, it started only in the local area but the deaths are spreading. All with the victims having previously committed adultery. That is where the rumours started.”

“What rumours!?” I screamed at her, I needed to know what was going on.

“I'm sorry, I've already said too much,” she replied timidly, and left.

I haven't slept since that moment, I don't know how long it's been. What I do know however is that he is here. The doctors say my burns don't seem to be healing. That's because every night he's there, taunting me, stroking my burns with his burning, rotting skin. I've been watching the time though, and that's why I'm writing this. They're taking me to the shower rooms soon. They need to clean the wounds now before they get infected. I won't be coming back. So this is my story, my warning. If you have betrayed your love the way I and many others did, you will, pay for it. The doctors are preparing for my shower now, and I can see him there. Sitting in the corner, his face distorting into that unspeakable smile, staring directly into my eyes, it's time. Amelia, I'm sorry.