The Chain Letter of Doom: Part Zero: The Chain Prologue of Beginning


Rika knew her time was running out. The email had been unambiguous: forward this to 14 people by the 14th of this month to receive 14 free puddings. If you don’t, your dog will explode.

She loved her dog, Cookie, and would not take any chances with the letter’s warning, no matter how unbelievable, ’cause what if?

So she chose her 14 most trusted schoolmates and clicked the ‘forward’ button.

Jell-O brand chocolate pudding

Nothing unusual happened after that.

Rika knew she should have known it was just superstition to believe a chain letter, but there were two things that stood out about this one. First, the number 14. Her 14th birthday was on the 16th of that month. The final day to forward the email was not quite on her birthday, but it was close enough to make her shiver on a warm night in March. Why was March so warm this year? She didn’t know, but she did notice that March was the third month and the number 14 was used three times in the letter, which made it even creepier.

The second weird feature of the email was the promised reward. Pudding was Rika’s favorite food. Her parents only let her eat pudding as a reward for good grades in school and she was usually a poor student, so she had been pudding-deprived for what felt like years. Of course, there were other pudding-sources, but those were harder to find and sometimes hazardous, so she usually avoided them.

Her sweet, spoon-filling daydream faded to the horrible question at the back of her mind: How could the writer of the email know all these things about her?


Why I am not feeling myself today



A puppy drank my brain last night
a puppy drank my brain


I tried to give it a thing to bite
I tried to give it grain


I still don’t think it makes much sense
but it happened just the same


I had planned to be much smarter today
but a puppy drank my brain.




The Journal of Stenward “Sten” Grootsman, Hermit Fisherman


Today was a somewhat abnormal day for me. I woke up at dawn as usual and gathered my supplies for the morning’s catch.
Outside my driftwood shack, the air was pleasant. In fact, it was the exact same air that flowed freely inside the shack, which was fortunate because I might already be ill if it was unpleasant.
My tiny island home of Stensland was just as

English: Sagisi Island Beach

Image via Wikipedia

alive with birdsong and lapping waves as it normally is this time of year. I looked at my dog, Zebi, and smiled. We both knew the fishing ahead of us would be successful.  So much so that if there other people in Stensland, there would likely be enough for them too. Oh well. Being a professional hermit has its advantages as well, I thought to myself as I put on my ancient and thoroughly begrotted cap.
Zebi and I headed down to the beach. The shore was only three meters from my shack, but we traveled very slowly so reaching the end would feel like more of an accomplishment. We had walked almost two feet when Zebi began barking and dashed ahead. I followed her increased pace to see what she had found. It was like nothing I had ever seen before.
Lying on the sand in front of me was an emaciated, but otherwise completely vital young man, fast asleep.  His head was completely covered by what appeared to be a sort of jellyfish, though his chest rose and fell with the indications of normal breathing. His clothing, as well as being understandably soaked, was overgrown with algae and patches of seaweed. Looking back, I’m not sure why I wasn’t more afraid, especially since he was the first other human being I had seen in four years. Curiosity, maybe.
Anyway, I dragged the man up to a point where the waves could not reach him, put a blanket over him (the one I wasn’t using as clothing), and went on with my day.
Against my expectations, I caught only one fish. Oddly enough, it was a freshwater salmon, which are not native to the middle of the ocean. I sat down and puzzled over this for some time, but was interrupted. The man who had washed ashore that morning was standing right behind me and screaming unintelligible gibberish.

In the Deep Deep Woods

Great Northern Diver or Common Loon (G. immer)...

Image via Wikipedia

in the deep deep woods
is a deep deep hole
full of deep deep thoughts
of a deep deep troll
with a fat fat dog
in a fat fat cage
chewing fat fat logs
in its fat fat rage
the hole had been dug
by the troll with his spoon
which he’d carved for himself
from the beak of a loon
the dog ate the loon
and wanted some more
but the deep deep hole
didn’t have a loon store
so the troll climbed above
and another bird sniffed
this loon had been sleeping
and was now rather miffed
‘you will give me your self
for my fat fat dog’
‘for it barks and it begs
and it stinks like a bog’
‘you will not take my self’
the incensed loon replied
‘I don’t care for your dog;
I wouldn’t mind if it died’
this was a revelation
for the troll who was deep
‘loons don’t wish to be eaten
and they think me a creep!’
he returned to his dog
in the deep deep hole
shared the deep deep news
and fed it some coal
plus another log.