Shut in

I‘VE HAD IT WITH THIS WORLD. I’m sick of this place and all the idiots out there. At this point, I look forward to the day when death grants me the peace of oblivion. I will rest far beyond the reach of stupidity. No, I’m not giving up. You won’t be rid of me so easily. I wouldn’t give you the satisfaction of feeling sorry for me. You want someone to pity? Go look in a mirror, because you’re pathetic.

I wish you had listened to me. There’s so much I could tell you about things you can’t even conceive. I worked really hard in my studies. I unearthed some truths you wouldn’t believe. You had the chance to listen, as far as I’m concerned, it’s your loss.

I’m glad I own this house. This place is my fortress, its walls keep the world out. And that’s just the way I like it. No TV, no phone, no computer, I have everything I need, especially solitude.

I think I’m getting sick, though. I feel cold all the time and my appetite isn’t what it used to be. I haven’t eaten anything today. I don’t think my stomach can take it. After the last few days, especially…

I’ve never felt that kind of pain before. And I think…

I think there’s something wrong. Something is really, really wrong.

But I can’t go to the doctor. I can’t stand the thought of going outside, out into the world I despise, asking, no, begging for its help. And what if…

What if the doctor tells me I’m right?

Shouldn’t I face this with dignity? Haven’t I had a good, long life?

I’m probably making more out of it than I should.

It’s probably that smell, that sickening, unwashed, fetid, infected smell. It’s enough to turn a stomach of cast iron.

I’ve looked all over the house for what’s making that stink. I suspect it may be in the crawlspace beneath the floor. Or, oh God forbid, it’s in the ducts somewhere. That would explain it, why it smells so bad everywhere.

I’ll bet it would cost a pretty penny to have some “professional” come out and take care of that.

And how mortifying it would be to let them in here with all these gnats around. It’s not like I leave rotten food sitting around. They come from wherever that smell comes from. They’re almost as irritating as you are, buzzing in my face and ears all the time.

They’d cart me off to a home somewhere. I bet that would just make you smile, wouldn’t it? “That poor old man,” you’d say in that condescending, disingenuous way you have.

You want to see what’s really wretched, world? Like I said, you just go up to the mirror and you look in like this and…


Well, I guess that explains the smell.

There are worms under my skin, I can see them crawling around. It doesn’t hurt, it’s just itchy.

It didn’t hurt until I tried to use the shotgun. Now it won’t stop hurting. And my head…

Do I have to go on forever like this?

Oh, how stupid I’ve been. I’m sorry. I hope you understand how sorry I am…


story by Joe Stanley


The Ghostly World Fictional Ghost Stories

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