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The Reader that Got Away (Friday the 13th prompt)

For this week’s horror prompt!

by Ionia and Bradley

I smacked the damn alarm three times before I managed to actually hit the snooze button and shut the bloody thing up. I peeled one eye open first and then the other. The room was still somewhat dark, the heavy drapes blocking out most of the annoying, early morning sunshine. I’d had a few drinks the night before, but not enough that my head should still feel so disconnected. I fumbled around my headboard for my phone. Pushing the button I blinked as I tried to focus on the screen.

Friday the 13th. Hey…wait, it was Friday. That meant thanks to the change in my schedule, I had the day off. I thought of going back to sleep immediately, but the lure of checking my email was too strong for me to resist. I looked in my inbox first. A couple of junk emails that slipped through, a couple of work emails I didn’t feel like looking in. I then made the worst mistake of my life. I checked the folder labeled “WordPress.”

1,132 new emails. “Shite!” I thought. I was never going to get through all of these, and I promised myself that I wouldn’t mass delete them all. What better could I have to do today than read everyone’s Friday the thirteenth posts? I checked a few, left a couple of comments and then went to take a much needed shower.

Standing in the bathroom with my towel around my waist, I heard the land line ring. I raced out to answer it, hoping it was the girl from the bar last night. No such luck. “Hey Steve,” I said, hearing the familiar voice of my brother.

“Who posted that? Okay, I will have a look after I get out of the shower.”
During the shower I heard what sounded like the telly but that was impossible. I hadn’t turned it on.

I hurried to finish so I could find out what was going on. What the hell?” I asked when I noticed the TV on an running and a programme about learning to blog on wordpress blaring to no audience. I clicked it off and then heard my mobile buzz. I lit the screen up. 1,000+ new emails. All blog posts.

Getting upset, I deleted the posts. All of them. I didn’t need this crap today. I walked back to the bathroom and pulled out my shaving kit. The mirror was streaked with steam, in the exact shape of—the WordPress Logo. Someone was messing with me. That was the only explanation….

I took a hand towel and cleared off the mirror. I lathered my face and turned on the hot water in the sink faucet. I began to shave. Steam drifted up recoating the mirror again. My blade slipped and a red gash appeared on my cheek. I should really go back to bed but I was determined to carry on. I pressed the wash cloth next to my cut cheek and grabbed the towel to clear off the mirror. Before I could wipe off the mirror a marking appeared, like someone was pressing their finger up to it. Someone who wasn’t me. In slow deliberate strokes I watched as the words, “Read me,” appear on the mirror. I dropped the towel and ran out of the bathroom! What the hell was going on?

The TV turned on behind me and I could hear a voice coming from the TV talking about best blogging practices. My phone buzzed. Two thousand unread messages, all blog posts. My twitter feed had over a thousand at messages for me. I scrolled down the list they all said two words, “Read me!” with a short URL link.

My refrigerator doors began to bang open and shut. Then the cupboard drawers began banging open and shut. My computer popped on, instead of the Windows logo on the boot up screen it was the WordPress logo followed by flashing text of “Read me!”

The hairs on the back of my neck raised, I could feel a presence behind me. I turned around and watched as blood began to drip down the wall and pooled into the words, “Read me!” followed by the WordPress logo.

~~~

The man followed the doctor through the halls. He didn’t care much for doctors but he had to find out what happened to his brother. The doctor took me to a secure door and opened the little viewing slot. I looked inside and my brother was sitting there on the padded floor. On his cheek was a small gash and I had to listen carefully but it sounded like my brother was uttering, “read me,” repeated over and over again in a catatonic tone. The doctor slammed the viewing slot closed.

“Yes, that’s my brother.” The man said.

“He was found a few blocks from his apartment completely naked and a can of spray paint. Scattered on random locations the police discovered the words, ‘No more reading’ painted on various walls. He shows no sign of recognizing the world around him. He is currently in a state where his brain is trying to cope with a serious trauma that he must have recently experienced.” The doctor explained.

The brother shook his head and finally said, “I am going to have to go home and let our blogging friends know. Thank you doctor.”

At the mention of blogging a terrible laugh erupted from within the room.

About Ionia Froment

book blogger and reviewer, mother of four boys, classical pianist and amateur photographer. I love reading, writing, music and learning to cook new and unusual dishes. You can usually find me with my nose buried in a book unless I have the opportunity to be walking on the beach collecting seashells:)

10 comments on “The Reader that Got Away (Friday the 13th prompt)

  1. That explains where so many bloggers vanished too this summer. Do you think they have wifi in the asylum?

  2. Reblogged this on Green Embers and commented:

    Co-written by Ionia and myself, hope you enjoy! 🙂

  3. OMG … This is my waking nightmare! Really, this is a perfect horror story for bloggers :). Well done!

  4. I wonder if they have a DSM-V category or an ICD9 code for insurance purposes assigned to WordPress Overload. I know they have them now for Video Game Addiction. I’ll have to look that up next time I feel like checking myself in.

  5. 🙂 love it! (shudder) worst nightmare.

  6. This is brilliant. It does sometimes feel like you are being stalked by WordPress, doesn’t it.

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