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The Recording from a Friend

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The stout old man sits in the elegant armchair in the center of the room, his thin white hair smoothed back in a comb over. His pale, round face is wrinkled and bears a pink scar that stands out against his skin. He wears an elegant maroon robe and white dress shirt that is stretched against his large stomach. A tape is in his lap, his dainty hands stroking it. A thin leg is crossed over the other, his brown pants hanging loosely off of his ankle. A fancy pair of leather shoes cover his large feet.

A large C-shaped wooden library circles around him; many books are placed upon the simple shelves. A large pair of windowless metal doors that look out of place in the library are placed at the end of the room. The old man faces these doors.

He wonders when they would come.

An old, but well taken care of, portable cassette player sits on a small stool, next to the old man. He picks it up. The old man plops the tape inside, hits the play button, and places it back on the stool. He leans back in his chair as the tape starts to play. At first, the old man can hear only pages turning and deep breathing. Then, a raspy voice fills the room.

“We both know that you will listen to this when they are coming for you,” the voice started, “At least, I have good faith that you will.” The voice chuckled which led into a long fit of coughing. After a few moments of this fit, he resumed his message.

“I shall have to make this quite quick. They have been hunting me for weeks now, and I have had to hide in the old mines,” he said, “Not very good for the lungs, you see.” The old man thinks back to all the moments he had spent with his dear, long dead friend.

“But, sadly, they have tracked me down,” the man speaking through the record player continued in a grim tone of voice, “By the time Theodore gets to you, I will be long dead. I just hope that you will outlive me by many, many years.” And the old man had. And now that he knew that his time was up, it was time to finally hear what his friend had to say.

“I can hear them coming down the halls,” the man said, his grim voice replaced with that of fear. Then, a slightly muffled screech rang out. The man started muttering a quick prayer to the gods. The old man could barely make out the jumbled words. There was a large crashing noise, and the same screeching that the old man heard a few moments ago was suddenly much more clear.

“This is my final goodbye, Henry! I shall see you on the banks of the riv-” the man started to shriek. He was cut off by a large slashing noise. Then, the room is eerily silent. Henry picks up the cassette player. He examines the player for a second before he throws it across the room.It brakes, and with it the tape. He leans back in his chair.

Then, he hears the same muffled screech come from the hall.

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