Tell A Tale — Gothic Fiction

The Forget Man By Grant Hulbert

‘I’m sorry.’ I feel the tears trickle down my face. I plead with the darkness, ‘Please free me from my wretched curse, I can do your bidding no longer!’ But the deafening silence from the cold, unrelenting darkness is the only answer I need. I have no choice, but to continue my wicked life.

How did I end up here? One night my wife and our child were killed on the unforgiving streets of London! A horse and cart trundled through the fog when something startled the horse. It panicked, veered in their direction and ploughed into them. People told me it was a quick death. Was that meant to give me solace? It didn’t then, it doesn’t now!

I made a desperate deal with the Lord of Darkness himself. He said that as my family died in the dark, it is only fitting that I travel to the darkest realms to get them back! Every night, at the stroke of midnight, I transform into an otherworldly being, with dank grey skin, eyes that glow an ominous hue and a thirst for peoples’ memories. An overwhelming confidence burns inside me, I am free from my sickening guilt. With no respect for others I harvest their minds, their souls, for every possible memory. I then, present those precious moments to the Darkness. It ravenously feasts on them and drains their very essence. I leave my victims paralysed, unable to speak. A fate worse than death!

The regret. It eats away at me. I must steal the memories of 666 people. I am yet to reach 100, and already the guilt is unbearable! ‘Please let this stop!’ I can’t do this anymore, yet I sealed my own fate, this is my penance for thinking the darkness could bring my family back. I convince myself, I do this for love. The love of the finest woman I have ever known, and my darling child. Every night I transform I fear losing more of what made me the man I once was. I stand in my empty room looking out of the window. I glimpse the moonlight across the rooftops. It’s nearly time. I ask myself, ‘Will I forget the man I was before the darkness, when I see my wife again?’

I hear the hideous gut wrenching sound of the clock striking twelve. I fight it. I will not do it again. I claw at my writhing skin. My vision is blurring. ‘No, demon leave me!’ I shout as I struggle against my demonic instincts. I lose my footing and stumble back towards the window. SMASH!

There I lay. A crumpled heap on the cobbled street surround by broken glass. I look up at the shattered window I crashed through. My crushing guilt retreats, is the curse broken? I find a young woman standing before me. My grey hands clamp around her head. My eyes ominously glow. A blood curdling scream erupts from her as she falls to the ground.

‘100’ I smirk.

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