's 2013 Horror Write-off:

" The Pen "

Submitted by Sharadin Richter

Okay, so-so I’ve always been a kinda messed up dude. I was, uh, I was that kid who flunked every class cuz all I ever handed in was the original worksheet, or, um, just a blank sheet, covered in doodles. Weird doodles. Shit like, uh, maggot birds and... soulless decaying mermaids and uh, meaty jawbones... long since removed from their respective craniums. I was actually pretty proud of those drawings. My teachers and parents were…uh… less impressed.

Well, um, either way I spent the majority of my time drawing, so when my friend handed me a pen he’d found, I was more than willing to try it out. Uh, the first thing I noticed was that the ink was, like, totally rad. I mean, well, I’m no pen connoisseur or any shit, but that ink was like, creamy but smooth, and didn’t skip over spots in the paper, but like it also didn’t uh, pool up when you rested your pen for a moment. It quickly became my favorite pen. Yeah, I know, that sounds stupid. Who has favorite pens, right? Well... live with it. It was a freaking sweet pen! I just kinda kept it in my pocket all the time.

At night I put it on my dresser so I wouldn’t forget it in yesterday’s pants. I tend to do that. Well, see, one day when I woke up, my pen wasn’t alone. there was, um, a note stuck to it that said, uh, “you have one week to snap the pen in half.” my obvious reaction was, of course, “fuck that shit I’m keeping my pen.” duh I didn’t snap it!

Well, see, the next morning, I got another note. “You have six days to snap the pen.” and the next, five days. Yesterday was day one. This morning, uh, I woke up to find that my note said “you should have snapped the pen.” well, I looked up and the drawings I had done with the pen were… god, moving? Like what? They were like, climbing off the papers and shit! And like I said, I draw messed up stuff. So, long story short I’m holed up in the bathroom. Uh, yeah. That’s it. The drawings are going to break down the door soon, so I’m going to put this recording in this soap box with my pen and chuck it out the window. Be careful with my pen, okay? . . . The sound coming from the tape ceases. I figured out a long time ago that this is where the poor guy stopped recording the tale of his demise. As he said he would it appears he put this tape in a soap box, along with the pen I’ve heard so much about. I found it in a bush below the window of my second story bathroom. Upon hearing this, I did some simple research on my address. I wasn’t told when I moved here that the previous owners of the house had all been found dead, covered in inexplicable tattoos of inexplicable origin and exquisite, if not gruesome quality.

As I listened to the youth’s last words, I used the included pen to draw some idle images. Bunnies, flowers, happy little children, the kind of things moms draw. After finishing the tape, of course I tried to hide it, but my twin boys get into everything, and they drew at least 20 pictures with it before I confiscated the item. I threw it out. What a horrible mistake that was though, because just today, I found a note attached to my mirror. I have three kids, and no clue where the blasted thing ended up, but there’s nothing I can do now, I fear, because that note said, “You have one week to snap the pen in half”