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Dear Diary, They're All Dead

March 20th

Dear Diary,

They’re dead. They’re all dead.

And I can’t help but think that, had I not been prevented from joining them that night, I would be too.

This is my first diary entry since the accident and I have so much to tell you. I left the house late on Friday night as I was in no hurry to spend the evening messing around with a Ouija board. I’m not twelve.

I never made it. Five minutes from Caitlin’s house, feeling a bit annoyed and not paying attention, I stepped out into the road. Luckily, the driver of the car that hit me managed to swerve at the last minute. I had no broken bones, astonishingly, but I took a knock to the head that necessitated an overnight stay in the hospital, and picked up enough bruises to make moving around painful for a couple of days.

My friends visited me to offer commiseration, both for my accident and for missing what they assured me had been an amazingly fun night spent contacting the spirit world.

But they all seemed off somehow. A little nervous maybe? Their laughter a bit forced.

Then Patrick died.

We were told that there was an accident in his dorm room, an electrical mishap due to faulty wiring. I was stunned, and I grieved, but the others seemed… afraid.

The next day Caitlin fell from a bridge in town.

The day after that, Eddie was hit by a train.

And yesterday Heather choked to death in a restaurant, right in front of her parents.

I am not even slightly superstitious but I’m struggling with this. All four of my friends in four days, all of whom had conducted a séance only two days earlier.

I don’t know what to think.

April 11th

Dear Diary,

I haven’t written in a while but something strange happened today.

After everything with my friends, my Aunt Susan invited me up to the farm. I felt that it would be nice to get away for a couple of days, and to get out in the fresh air.

I decided to meet up with Callum and Hannah, some old mates of mine. I used to spend summers with them when we were kids and it was fun at first, hanging out and catching up. Then they asked me if I remembered the Witch’s House in the woods. I vaguely recalled stories about it, ones that had freaked us out when we were little.

They had found it, they said. And tonight they planned to break in and look around. They wanted me to go with them.

Considering that they knew what had brought me to town, I was astonished by this and told them no way. They tried to persuade me to change my mind, first by telling me how great it would be, and then calling me a wuss when I still refused. Eventually they got really forceful, and kept saying that I had to go, that it wouldn’t be any fun without me.

In the end, I got angry and left. I guess they’re not the guys I remember.

April 15th

Callum and Hannah have been missing for four days now.

The police searched the house in the wood but didn’t find anything.

Again? Has this happened again?

May 23rd

Dear Diary,

Do you remember David? He’s the boy that I had a crush on in the first year of Uni. He invited me to his birthday party at his house, just us and a few housemates.

I don’t think we’ve spoken to each other in over a year, so the invitation was surprising, but I decided to go anyway.

The evening was going nicely. A bit of music, a few drinks; they seemed a nice bunch. Then David asked if we’d heard about the haunted video. None of us had.

Some video online, he said. Supposedly it drives you mad if you watch it all the way to end. It’s already been removed from most sites.

But he had found a live link. Just a bit of fun. Did we fancy it?

Then something strange happened. I felt an odd sensation, as if the temperature in the room had dropped and I suddenly realised that everyone was looking at me. With the exception of David, no one was doing it directly, it was all side-long stares and quick glances.

But I was sure that they were all waiting for me, for my response.

I didn’t even hesitate. I stood up and walked straight out. I ignored David shouting to me and calling my phone and I went straight back to my house.

What is happening?

May 31st

David didn’t come to class this week.

June 20th

Dear Diary,

My old school friend, Kiran, called me out of the blue to ask if I fancied some urban exploration with a group from back home. They had their eye on an old abandoned hospital in town. It would be a blast, she’d promised.

I hung up without answering.

June 23rd

That hospital burned down. Five people died, including Kiran.

July 14th

Dear Diary,

The funfair came to town this week. Apparently they have the best haunted house ride that anyone has ever seen. My phone positively blew up with invitations. I should go, everyone said. It would be so exciting!

Anyway, I heard that the police are still trying to determine which of the ride’s animatronics are normal and which have human bodies inside. Another of my classmates, a lad called Dean, was still alive when they found him.

He’s not ok.

October 17th

Dear Diary,

It’s funny to come back and read these old entries, to see how and when this all started.

In August, my mother bought me a doll she’d found at a boot sale. It was so sweet, she said. It reminded her of when I was little and I would play with dolls for hours. She thought I’d enjoy it. I immediately smashed it to pieces with a sledgehammer and burned the remains. It screamed.

In September, my academic tutor said that it would be both useful and fun for us to visit the old sewers under the city for our architecture project. On the day of the trip I stayed home. Two tunnels collapsed, seven people died and it took three days to get the others out. They said they’d seen things down there.

Today I received a letter claiming that I’d won an all-expenses-paid trip to Japan, including a tour of some beautiful old temples. The holiday of a lifetime. I tore it up and threw it in the fire.

That one just seemed lazy, to be honest.

December 23rd

Dear Diary,

Why me? Why is it trying so hard to get me involved? How much longer will this go on?

And what does it have in store for me at Christmas?

December 24th

Aunt Jill just called me to say that little Stevie has been having nightmares about Krampus, and asked If I would come round to cheer him up? She promised I’d enjoy myself.

I told her to get fucked.

March 20th

Dear Diary,

It’s been a year now since this all began. It’s relentless and I know it’ll never give in, although some of the attempts have felt a little desperate. I’m on my guard at all times.

I don’t accept invitations to anything, no matter how innocent they seem. I don’t see any friends, and I don't watch films or play games. The internet is totally off-limits. Still, I don’t know how much longer my luck will hold.

I’ve had enough and I’m going to put a stop to it.

I’ll play its game but not in the way it wants. I’m not interested in being the terrified, victimised protagonist of a horror story.

Now, the antagonist on the other hand…

I’ve bought myself a nice sharp axe from the hardware shop, and there’s a campsite about twenty miles from here that’s very popular with teenagers. Seems a good place to start.

And who knows?

Maybe I will have some fun.

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