H C T I W
(This Book Will Kill You)
When I was a kid, I used to dream about a witch…
It’s one of my earliest memories. It would always happen just as I was waking up. I’d feel her calling me, and I’d be picked up by invisible hands and dragged breathless above the roads and roofs, pulled towards a high rise building. She would drag me through the window into a bare room, and through a door opposite I would see a kitchen, a wooden table covered in meat.
I’d feel the witch on the other side of the wall, I’d feel her moving towards me, and I knew that if I didn’t make it out of that room before I saw her then I’d be dead, I’d never leave the dream. So I fought and I fought and I kicked and I screamed until I was free. It’s one of my most vivid childhood memories, and for a long time I thought it was just a dream.
I was wrong…
H C T I W is the story of Tommi Bright, a young woman who also dreamed about a witch, a room, and a table full of meat. This is her story. This is about what happens when the witch comes back to finish what she started. But be warned, because this book just might kill you.
This book will kill you.
This book has already killed you.
You were a deadthing the moment you read these words. You were a deadthing when you opened the first page. You were deadthing when you saw the cover. You were deadthing the very instant you discovered this story even existed, the very instant you heard somebody whisper its name.
Because if you know about the book, then she knows about you. If you know about the book, then she sees you. She’s watching you right now, can you feel her there? She’s sitting right behind you. You started to read, and her eyes peeled open and her lips peeled open and she saw you and she’s grinning her moon-yellow grin because she knows there’s nothing you can do to stop her. She’s already killed you.
This book has already killed you.
So it doesn’t matter if you read on or not. There’s nothing you can do to change things now. One day very soon she’ll let you see her. You’ll turn your head and she’ll be there, sitting beside you. Or she’ll open her mouth and let you hear her dusty voice, and you won’t be able to unhear her, you won’t be able to make it stop. One day soon she’ll reach out and scratch her crackboned finger down your cheek, or you’ll wake to find her birdnest body pressed against yours, her fingers worrying themselves beneath your skin.
There’s nothing you can do to stop her, not now, not ever. But if you want to keep reading then who am I to stop you? Maybe you’ll find something I didn’t. Maybe you’ll find a way to make her unsee you.
She’s closer now, I think you must have felt that? She’s right there, her forehead is almost touching the back of your head, her bulging eyes are almost touching the back of your neck. She wants you to turn around, she wants you to see her. Don’t. Not yet. You’re dead. She’s already killed you. This book has killed you. But don’t turn around yet. You might have a few hours left—days maybe, if somebody else starts to read this book as well, weeks if the whole world starts reading. But if you see her now, the rot and the horror will eat you up fast.
She sees you. She is on her way.
Don’t turn around, deadthing. Don’t stop now, deadthing.
I was listening to a lot of atmospheric movie soundtracks when I was writing H C T I W, and one of the most terrifying soundtracks was this. If you’re writing scary stories, this is an awesome album for inspiration!!