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I have no name, not anymore and not that it matters. Just call me ‘the lonely writer’. One of many, and to be truthful, it is better for me to be referred to as such. This is my last story. A cautionary tale that I write to all those who share my pain, the lonely writers desperate to make it like I did. I now give you my warning: Do not go too far for a good story, do not cheat for a good story, such as I did.

The choices I made that led me to my current fate, started with a single decision: I wanted to become a full-time novelist.

My parents, they weren’t what you’d call supportive of this life choice I made. Their only child, a disappointment, and my parents hid that with reassuring smiles. However, their eyes said all I needed to know, and it wasn’t to reassure me. They had wanted me to become a household name in the scientific or medical field. A Ph.D. or two, perhaps a Nobel Prize, and start a family of my own. Things I did not want. Even with my enthusiasm, they still weren’t convinced I possessed any talent for writing, but eventually, I stopped listening.

My father simply said, “You’re young, so you’re allowed your fun I guess.”

My mother’s words complimented his, “We’ll always be here for you, even if it doesn’t work out.”

When I’m done with my hobby and find no success I can crawl back to them. I could read between the lines. I hadn’t said that to them, I just nodded and assured them with, “I know.”

Despite all that was said, I felt empty. A chasm formed between my parents and I, and it grew like a virus, growing from the lack of support from them and the lack of attention from me.

Writing was all I could think about, but soon necessity forced me to take a job. I had taken a position as night security for a local museum. It was small, certainly not as prestigious as the Museum of Natural History in New York, and out of the way for tourists. It was a job, and with so little to do, it gave me more time to write between my walkthroughs. It paid well, enough to maintain rent on the single-bedroom half-bath apartment I had lived in.

Even with my passion for writing, the road to success in this field was littered with failures for me. Talent could only take you so far, only practice and subsequent experience would eventually get you where you wanted. That was the keyword it seemed... eventually. I wrote quite a bit, in fact, all my time was spent writing. The consistent routine was no issue for me but after four years of it? All I got was the same I had when I began, and I was waiting for this ‘eventual success’ I felt I deserved. In humanity, a lifespan of four years isn’t too long, but it is long enough when an invested project is failing to reap success. Wouldn’t that be frustrating for a young person, who everyone told to be realistic? My determination was starting to leave me, and the fuel and passion for novel writing slowly bled from my body. One night, I remembered looking at a particular spot on my bookshelf. It had been one of the many nights I felt overly restless, and my existence as a night-owl started to feel like a curse weighing in on me. On the shelf were several manuscripts of varying thicknesses, my novels, each one of different genres and every rejection letter I had received for them.

Each time I wrote something new, something to dazzle, all for the publishers I had been soliciting myself to for nearly four years, but the rejection continued to pile on and depression had set in for me.

It was not to the point of suicide, but it was enough to retreat from everything: the world, people, writing, and even myself. That ‘chasm’ between my family and I became what some would call a proper estrangement, which stemmed from my stubbornness in refusing to give up writing. I still believed that I would write the story that would immortalize my name in history. I still had faith in my name, set on a pedestal next to those of J.R.R. Tolkien, H.P. Lovecraft, and Frank Herbert.

This hope lasted for another year.

More printed manuscripts joined the ones already on that bookshelf. It hurt to see that shelf start to overflow. New rejection letters found their way into the trash bin next to that bookshelf. At least the initial hurt of those had dulled, now only faint recognition remained and the automatic habit of tossing them into the trash bin. An observer of my behavior would amount it to simple apathy caused by my depression, due to a lack of positive stimuli in my day to day life. Even though I had been writing, people were not reading. What they couldn’t see, couldn’t observe, was the turmoil within my active mind in its desperation for that successful story.

Plots. Characters. Worlds. Archetypes. Tropes. Dialogue. Genres. Sub-genres. Summaries. Outlines. Drafts.

A lot of thinking, and there was plenty to keep me thinking. My sleepless nights added up to staring at the blank paper set up on my Underwood typewriter. The desk light was not exactly good for my eyesight and the cause of many headaches, but on those nights, I simply could not type anything. It was on one of these nights that my life changed. I had stopped looking at the newest blank sheet on my typewriter, my face deep in the open palms of my hands in that physical expression of stress and frustration.

“Are these your stories?” a voice spoke behind me. It was hoarse but also had an odd, faint quality to it.

The hairs on the back of my neck stood up as I felt chills, and my head shot up. I looked to where my bookshelf was, the direction in which the voice came from.

My bookshelf stood at six feet, and the man standing next to it was a few inches taller. What first came to mind was that he looked like he’d been through a war. From working in the museum, he seemed like he had just left the first World War. A tattered tan trench coat and darker tan pants, which were tucked into scuffed knee-high black boots. On his hands were black fingerless gloves and underneath his trench coat I noticed the equally black turtleneck as well, both looking like they were made of the same thick material. A rust-colored leather messenger bag was slung over his shoulder, in pristine condition and that alone was a stark contrast to all the rest.

Looking up at his face finally I saw a young man that might have just reached his twenties. He had brown eyes, and his black hair was matted to his scalp, clinging together in clumps and barely reaching the ends of his ears. There were also odd silver streaks in his hair that suggested he was older. I brushed it off as premature aging, as I’d seen it before with a distant cousin.

He raised a thick eyebrow, reminding me that he had asked a question and I nodded faintly.

“Y-yeah,” I managed to say, frowning as I continued, “They’re mine. I wrote all of them.

He then smiled, showing his yellowed teeth, and for a moment it blurred the features around his mouth. I blinked and it was gone, and there was a glint in his eyes that I assumed was him being impressed.

“You’re quite the avid writer, you must be successful."

“Just because I write a lot doesn’t mean I’m successful,” I replied, “But thank you.” I then rubbed my temples and closed my eyes, sighing heavily before saying to myself, “What’s going on right now? What time is it even?”

“It is currently three in the morning, according to your clock.”

I laughed to myself. “Another sleepless night, no progress made on my new story… I’m finally losing it."

“You haven’t been published? All of this and no recognition?”

I shook my head, opening my eyes and finally looking at the young man again. The man blinked, and for a few moments, his eyes were like molten silver. This effect faded away quickly and I was left stunned.

“What are you?” I breathed out, and he gave me a shrug. The movement was slow, however, and the edges of his shoulders were blurred when he did move. It made him look more transparent as well, able to see the plain wallpaper and the bookshelf behind the man.

“As you can see, I’m not all here.”  He paused, then said. “I never got the chance to write like you, so avidly. I had so many stories in my mind that never got to see the light of day. Drafted in the war, I never made it home. I was more of a dreamer than a fighter. What am I? I am you. A lonely writer.”

This had to be a sleep-deprived hallucination, I started thinking to myself, nothing else made sense. Sleep deprivation, and working at that museum. Even though I was sure it was that I couldn’t help but say, “Okay, for the moment let’s assume you’re actually here… and I’m not crazy. What are you doing here?”

At that moment, I noticed a pause in his reaction, as if he had been thinking carefully about what to say next. But his eyes showed something, though I couldn’t say entirely what it was… maybe excitement? Then he frowned, blurring the edges of his mouth again, and said, “You seem to be giving up on writing.”

“I’m not giving up.”

“It seems to me you are.”

I glanced at the trash bin, then exhaled before saying, “Five years and all I have to show are those,” I then gestured to the bin. He glanced down at it.

“Rejection?”

“Yes,” I admitted, “I’ve been banging my head against a brick wall. I’m starting to lose faith in my ability to write a story that people would want to read, that I want to.”

“What if,” He paused, the flash of molten silver appearing again as he continued, “What if I gave you one of my stories?”

My eyes widened slightly not really knowing what to say to a statement like that. “Give me one of your stories?” I repeated back to him. “Like a ghostwriting deal?” I had felt a little ridiculous for saying it, sure he was some ghostly delusion, but he slowly nodded. This caused his entire face to blur, almost making his head vanish from sight.

“Exactly like that,” he said. “I’m willing to give you any one of my stories, any genre you wish, belonging to you entirely, with the guarantee of success.”

“So, you’re just going to give me one of them, no strings attached? I don’t think money means much to a dead man.”

This garnered a good-natured chuckle from the ghostly man.

“You are quite right, material things don’t matter as much as they did when I was alive. What I want from you is to dedicate the book to me. I’d like a little piece of acknowledgment as a fellow lover of stories.”

“Really?” I said. “Just acknowledgment?”

“You act like that is such a crazy thing to ask, you’ve been reading too many horror stories.” He then spoke like he was reading from a script and sounded incredibly tired doing so. “All I want, all I ever wanted was to get my stories out there, just like you. I’ve been looking for a person to do that,” Then he grew a little quiet, and his tone was almost desperate. “It has to be you. No one else. Only you.”

I blinked at his words, taken aback by the sudden changes but shrugged it off. My own thoughts had been that desperate before. “You do realize I’ve never achieved anything? I’ve never published anything, and my trash bin is overflowing with rejection. Don’t you think haunting me is the worse choice?”

He smirked, “How many ghosts have actually haunted you? I’m offering you a story, not making your walls bleed or flickering your lights.”

“Thanks for that.” I then realized that I had thanked a dead person for not haunting me.

“So,” he asked, “Will you do it?”

I quickly snatched a stray notepad and a pen, looking back up at him after I did so. A dedication was a small price to pay for certain success, plus I was having fun with this little hallucination. Or maybe my desperation was gaining a louder voice, I could never decide which it was.

“So, to whom should I dedicate this story?”

His smile widened further, blurring his features, the silver flash in his eyes appearing again, and then he told me.

“I have no name, not anymore and not that it matters. This is my last story. But, if you must know,” His voice turned wistful, like he was remembering something better. “My name was Edward Adelbourne.”

I wrote his name on the notepad quickly, keeping it legible. When I set the notepad aside on my desk I then asked him, “So, how’s this going to work?”

My ghostly hallucination kept his smile as he unlatched his messenger bag and reached into it. Most of his body faded during those movements, solidifying that assumption of ghostliness. His gloved hand paused and he asked me in turn, “What genre do you want it to be?”

I thought for a moment. “Let’s do a horror story,” I then replied, finalizing my decision. “It looks like I’m in the mood for one apparently.”

That was the second choice I had made in which decided my fate.

He then pulled out a thick novel from his bag, bound in black leather. His hand quickly held it out to me and I reached out for it. Once it was firmly in my grasp, my world had blackened.

I startled myself awake, and it took me a minute or so to calm my racing heart. I saw a few drops of drool resting on my desk, feeling it from the corners of my mouth, and wiping it away, I surmised I had fallen asleep at my desk again. I looked over at my typewriter, that feeling of desperation was gone, and instead of feeling grogginess, I felt excited. Looking to the right of my typewriter, I saw my notepad. Reaching out I dragged it close to me and looking it over and I became both confused and relieved. There was nothing written on it, not even one of those accidental pencil marks you sometimes make. I stared at the blank notepad for several minutes, sure that I had written something there, trying to remember what I had written, but the evidence showed otherwise.

I sighed, this time feeling more relief and I put the notepad away. It had definitely been some sort of desperate, depression-induced hallucinatory dream, but for the first time this past year, I was feeling well and truly inspired. Over the next year, writing came easily to me, and every time I picked up the pencil or typed on my typewriter the words just flowed out of me. I fell into this sort of trance. It almost completely consumed me to write, losing myself in it, but that trance felt right. The story itself was a writing style I had thought of doing before but just couldn’t get right, having difficulty with all the nuances of it. It was also on a scale I hadn’t dared to attempt before, with so many locations, characters and multiple subplots related and further adding to the main one.

Every spare moment I had I was in that trance, the only exceptions being necessities like using the bathroom, eating, sleeping, and work. Even at work, I would get into this trance between my rounds of the museum. I was making progress with a story for the first time in months, and I was feeling confident with this one. There was one thing though... I kept seeing that young man dressed in soldier’s clothes. Every time I made significant progress, like a character death or reaching an important plot point, he was always there in the corner of my eye. Always in my peripheral vision, never seeing him directly or clearly. When this happened, he would give me a nod of approval and when I turned to get a better look at him, he’d vanish. I always ended up looking at a wall or an empty hallway.

After the first two months of this, I started ignoring him, noticing him less and less. He still appeared though, and I couldn’t do anything to stop that when I did notice him, whether in my room or down the hall in the museum. Always standing there almost out of sight, giving a sign of approval and then vanish. I became more paranoid in empty places, my anxiety levels rising whenever I drove back to my apartment after my shift. That stretch of road seemed to get longer sometimes, and it wasn’t just the appearances. I recall more than a few nights when I laid in bed, just about to fall asleep and then hearing my typewriter. The first time I had run out of my room and to my desk, and while my typewriter was where I always had it when I was home, none of the keys were moving and then the sound slowly faded away into silence. I stared at my typewriter for several minutes, standing there in the darkened room until I gave up and went back to bed.

At the end of that year, I had another completed manuscript for a horror novel. I had finished it during my shift at the museum, and I had felt incredibly happy that it was finished and holding the papers in my hands. This feeling ended quickly when I heard a slow clapping echo in the emptiness of the museum. Down the hall that led to the World War I exhibit was the young man, just barely within my sight. I could see a smile on his face as he clapped before he turned and vanished into the wall behind him.

I started taking over the counter anti-anxiety medication.

The next day, I made a call to an agent who had been mildly interested in my work before. She had never taken me on as a client though, said my stories were missing something though she couldn’t quite pinpoint what it was exactly. She answered, we talked, and I managed to convince her to at least take a look at it. I mailed her the copy of the manuscript immediately, trying very hard to not let my hopes get up too high. Disappointment had a crushing feeling to it as I’d found out over the years, but I would shake my head and put a smile on my face. I was confident with this story, having a very good feeling about it. A few days later she called me. Her tone was animated as she told me how she was going to talk to a few publishing houses. ‘Testing the waters,’ was how she put it, and she would get back to me the moment someone picked up the manuscript.

That night I had a strange nightmare.

I was on a battlefield, running in one of those trenches you see pictures of in history books. It was raining, the dirt walls slick with mud and the wooden boards on the ground no better. I was running on those boards, running through the trenches as I heard distant shouting, the firing of rifles and the tat-tat-tat of machine guns. Every few minutes I heard whistling and then there would be an explosion of dirt, machinery, and sometimes people. I never experienced this before, and the smells… they made me want to puke. The smell of the dirt almost overpowered everything else, but the stench of guts and blood still reached my nose.

All I could do was run, and I didn’t really understand why. I had to get to someone, I had something important, but I couldn’t find who it was I was looking for.

In fact, I hadn’t seen anyone else in the trenches as I ran.

The shouting always remained far away, never getting any closer.

Eventually, I saw someone several yards down the way, but I couldn’t pick up my pace to get to that person faster. As the distance closed, the sounds of gunfire got closer, as did the whistling and the explosions. I wanted to run faster, but my body wasn’t listening. Closer and closer, and soon I saw a more defined outline. It was a man, wearing a trench coat and a cap but I couldn’t see anything more than that as his back was turned to me.

I heard the whistling again, but it was much closer and my head turned to see an artillery shell coming right at me. My body attempted to dodge, but I was too slow and an agonizing pain erupted from my jaw. I collapsed to the ground, sliding in the mud and the rain pounded on my back. The person I was trying to reach slowly turned around, but darkness quickly took over my vision before I could try and focus on the man.

I had woken up in a cold sweat, breathing heavily, and then I had run to the bathroom, flicking on the light and checking my reflection in the mirror. I checked my jaw, turning it each way, making sure it worked properly before I sighed in relief. It had been a bad dream. A really vivid bad dream. I was okay. I had to be okay.

A month passed, and my literary agent called in occasionally to update me on who currently had a copy of the manuscript, which prospects looked best, and what kind of deals we were currently looking at. Royalties and things like that. During those weeks, I hadn’t seen the ghost of the young soldier which relieved me, but I still heard the tapping at my typewriter just before the point of falling asleep most days of the week. I stopped bothering to check, knowing that my typewriter wasn’t actually moving and that the sound would go away… eventually.

After those nearly three weeks of waiting, she called me with the very welcome news that a publisher wanted their hands on my story and wanted to work out the details in person. A time and date were agreed on for the end of that week, and I left that meeting with a deal I could only have dreamed about during the course of the previous five years of utter frustration. But it seemed now was the time for dreams to become reality, and I was taking advantage of every benefit given to me. Finally, after five years I would become not just a writer, but a published author!

But even the excitement of achieving my dream didn’t stop the nightmare from happening again and again.

They always began the same: the trenches, the mud and rain, the distant yelling, the noise of gunfire, the whistling, it was always the same. The way it ended too didn’t change. An artillery shell always caught me in the jaw and I would be sent to the ground. The only thing that did change, however, was how close I got to the person I was searching for. Each night I had that nightmare I was a few feet closer before I failed to reach the man.

The whole publishing process was smoothed out for me, my editor friendly and when we looked over every detail and, to my surprise, there was little he could fault. In his words, “There’s a beginning, middle, end, and it consists of all the things that make horror great.” During the time the cover was made and the inside formatting being decided upon, I was in a meeting with my editor when he asked me, “I meant to ask you this earlier, but I noticed that you don’t have a dedication for the book. Would you like to add one?”

I immediately shook my head. “There’s no need for one,” I told him, “It’s not important.” My editor raised an eyebrow at me, noticing that I was gripping the ends of the chair I was sitting in rather tightly, but he didn’t say anything about it. Two weeks later, pre-release copies were sent out to various reviewers and they came back with glowing reviews.

The nightmare started to occur more frequently, at least three times a week, and I would always wake up in a cold sweat. Always the same, the distance shortening between myself and the man, and the agony of the artillery shell. That pain started to follow me into my waking hours too, my jaw aching from the moment I woke up and lasting for hours after. Painkillers didn’t help at all.

And the typewriter at night, I still kept hearing that.

Despite this, I was getting more and more excited the closer the book’s release date came, until my editor called me.

“Hey, are you sure there is no one you wanted to dedicate the book to? It’s not too late to name a dedication.”

I immediately became very still in my chair.

“What I want from you is to dedicate the book to me. I’d like a little piece of acknowledgment as a fellow lover of stories.” The voice of the ghostly young man echoed in my ears. It still sounded fresh, like having only recently been spoken, but I shook my head to clear it. I’ve heard of author’s dedicating books to dead loved ones, but to hallucinations born of desperate times? No one did that. 

“There’s not going to be a dedication,” I told my editor again. “There’s no need for one.” 

And that was what sealed my fate, much to my ignorance. 

Soon enough, it was the night before the official release of my debut novel in bookstores across the nation. I had been sleeping soundly for an hour or so until I started dreaming, and the nightmare returned. 

Running, always running in those trenches. Mud coating my boots with every step I took, my ears deafened by the sounds of the battle that was around me but could barely see. Whistling, and then dirt bursting into the air and bodies along with it. The horrible smells of death. It was all more real this time around, the air getting colder and colder as I ran. Once I caught sight of the man I was desperately searching for, I knew what was to happen next but I could not stop the feeling of dread at knowing. 

Like the past times I experienced this nightmare, I got closer to the only other person in the trenches, but this time I was almost able to touch him. I tried, I tried with all the willpower I could come up with. It didn’t happen though, as I heard the all too familiar whistle of the artillery shell and then I was on the ground. That’s when things changed. The darkness didn’t come for me at that moment like it had before. This nightmare was continuing, and I felt the pit in my stomach as I felt the agony in my lower face. I was sure I was crying, my eyes were hot, but the rain made it difficult to really tell. 

Dirt and pieces of wood settled around me, the air thick from it, and slowly I raised my head to get a better awareness of my surroundings. My eyes widened, as I quickly saw the man in the trench coat. He was on the ground too, his back to me still. I watched him for a few moments and then he started to move. He slowly turned onto his stomach, and after a few more moments pushed up from the ground with his hands. I could hear him wheezing, the noise painful to my ears, and suddenly his right hand went to his mouth. His breathing became erratic, the wheezing louder and suddenly he snapped his head to where I was. Silver eyes stared into mine, wide and filled with fear. 

My eyes shot open, my lungs heaving and a cold sweat all over my body. It took a few minutes to calm myself down, and I waited until my breathing evened out before sitting up in my bed. I swung my legs over the side, feet planted on the ground before I placed my face in my hands, elbows on my knees. After a few moments, I used a hand to wipe the sweat from my face, then used it to rub the soreness from my jaw. I paused when my hand was at my jaw, rubbing into it. There was no soreness, which I would have found a welcome change in the recent months, but there was no feeling in my jaw. It didn’t feel like my jaw there at all. 

Both of my hands now worked on my jaw, massaging it and thankfully after a few minutes feeling came back to it. It tingled, but that was better than not feeling anything. I sighed, my heart-rate calming down again after that experience. Sitting there in the darkness, my ears finally registered the rainstorm outside. The rain drummed against the windowpane, something that was usually calming but this time sent my senses into overdrive. I became too aware of my surroundings, and I had to note just where everything was, where I was, before I could start to calm down again. 

This was promptly ruined by the thunder. 

I could’ve sworn that the deep boom of it rattled my window, and it sent me to the ground cowering from it. My arms covered my head as I crouched on the ground, my eyes wide and my body shaking. The room then suddenly dropped in temperature, at least by ten degrees. This brought me out of my panicked state, my rational mind slowly returning to the fore. After a series of shivers, I stood with the intention to grab a jacket. I meant to check and see if maybe the thermostat broke and if I needed to alert management, but after looking around for my jacket I noticed something and my face promptly turned pale. I knew that management wouldn’t be able to do anything about my problem with the temperature of my apartment. There before me stood the ghostly young man, wearing his war-worn attire and a very unhappy expression on his face. 

“You didn’t dedicate the book to me.”

His voice was deceptively calm, but his underlying tone hinted at something dangerous. A pit grew in my stomach as I shakily replied to him, “You… you are a hallucination from a bad time in my life. You shouldn’t be here.”

His brown eyes narrowed, causing them to vanish a little and flash that molten silver color.

“Why would I be anywhere else? You and I had a deal, remember? You get a successful work of horror, and I get a dedication as payment.”

“Hallucinations aren’t real,” I told him, gaining some more confidence as I spoke. “Hallucinations only torment and then go away when things get better. You don’t exist!”

The ghostly man raised an eyebrow, then chuckled deeply before saying, “I don’t exist?” Then he said in a darker tone, darker than anything I had heard from anyone, “I am more real than all those pieces of fiction on your bookshelf!”

The sheer force of the anger he put behind his words took me aback, but then I shouted back at him with equal force, “You are not real! Things that don’t exist don’t have any power!”

The temperature of the room dropped further. There wasn’t a moment or two that I could spare to think about warmth though, as then in the span of a minute the ghostly man started to change. Wet spots started forming all over him, growing rapidly and soon his clothes and his skin were drenched with water. Whatever claim he had to being at least decently clean was gone as mud appeared and spread. It caked his boots, stained most of his trench coat and it became darker shades of brown because of it. His black hair had mud in it too, and blood spread from a wound I couldn’t see. The young man then began to violently cough, doubling over a little and his right hand immediately covered his mouth.

This series of motions severely blurred his form and almost caused him to completely vanish, but once it mostly stopped, only leaving his edges blurred as he was still shaking, my eyes looked to his face and his eyes were now cold. They reminded me of icicles if they were to be made from dripping silver instead of water. My own eyes widening, I took a step back as the realization hit me and I wanted to cry out, to tell him to stop, but I couldn’t form the words as the hand that covered his mouth dropped… but it hadn’t been covering his mouth. There was no mouth. There was no tongue. There was no lower jaw entirely. Only torn flesh hung from his upper jaw, the yellowed teeth there intact. Blood flowed and dripped from the wound, quickly staining the collar of his turtleneck and the front of his trench coat as well.

The only sound coming from it was that awful wheezing sound.

“You wanted a horror story?”

I heard his voice among my own thoughts, no longer able to speak on his own. His features that remained twisted into anger, and his silver irises starting to glow but that light brought no reassurances.

“Now you have one!”

I kept backing away from the ghost soldier, but in my panic, I misjudged where my door was and my back hit a wall instead. “Why are you doing this?” I had to ask him, I had to know why, even as my hand fumbled for a doorknob that wasn’t there. This made him pause, but only long enough to answer.

“You broke our deal. This is what happens to those who break ghostwriting deals.”

My book still released that morning, and it wasn’t until my agent decided to check in on me after hours of not responding to calls that they found me against the wall, sitting on the ground and covering my head with my arms. I had been crying and muttering to myself about the first World War, describing my nightmare over and over. Long story short, I did not go willingly to the hospital and had to be sedated.

My novel sold like crazy, however, during the next few months. Crazy… a funny word choice, considering where I am now. People loved a writer who had lost their sanity it seemed, especially right before the release of their debut novel. In fact, I’m sure my publisher has been going through all those past manuscripts I wrote, hoping to ride the wave of popularity that novel and my incarceration into a mental institution created.

A fame that I would never be able to enjoy because I didn’t believe that a desperate hallucination could make a deal with me, give me that fame, and take it all away when the deal was broken. Making sure that the deal was broken. I was certain he was the source of my memory loss concerning his name. This couldn’t have happened otherwise. None of this was my stress or my depression, it was that man.

Despite my apparent break in sanity, they let me keep my Underwood typewriter with me. I wasn’t a suicide risk, just seeing hallucinations and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder because of a war that happened long before I was born. My doctor believed that letting me write would help me cope and respond better to the treatments. Some nights I think it still types on its own. I decided to write about this experience so others could be warned about the ghost of a young soldier who offered desperate and lonely writers deals of fame and fortune. Knowing my doctor, I’m sure he’ll read this and prescribe me something else and keep me here longer.

Something about lack of sleep again, maybe officially classify me as an insomniac. I can’t sleep though. They keep banging the door and I keep remembering the trenches… My jaw still hurts.

Don’t take the quick way to fame as a published author, just keep working hard at it and don’t give up. Should this ghost writer make your acquaintance, don’t say yes.

Please, just say no to his offer of a ghostwriting deal.

Say no.

Say no.

Say no.

Say no.

“Yes.”



Written by FateMagician
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