The Relic Short Story sample essay
“Come here child…” the old man said to me. It was getting late and I had to go home, but there was something in his voice that beckoned me to take notice. I stopped in my tracks. There in the middle of the empty sidewalk where I was walking along.
“Come.. come… I have something important for you to see.” The old man had messy long hair that have all turned gray and he wore clothes that seemed like rags. His face was wrinkled and dirty but his eyes glimmered of a certain youth that seemed so out of place. I walked towards him, without clear idea of why I was doing so.
I was about to ask him what he wanted when he answered my question for me. It seemed like he knew what I was thinking. This added both to my wonder and terror of what I was experiencing.
“I have something for you..” the old man began, “It is a relic of sorts and it tells of a great story that happened a long time ago”
He reached behind him and produced a book, thick with dust and visibly out of shape. From my point of view, it seemed to be hardbound, but at that time I could not make out the title. He stretched his hand with the book clasped between his fingers. I tried to reach it but when as my hand was closing upon it, the old man suddenly pulled the book back.
“This book has a terrible, terrible secret!” he gasped, “It has been passed on from one owner to the next and on every owner, the book imparts its terrible secret when you’ve read till the end.”
“W-what’s at the end?” I managed to ask.
“What’s at the end?!?” the old man chuckled, I could see that his teeth were rotting and the putrid smell of his breath reached my nostrils, “Child, you must find that out for yourself, but I warn you… you must never, NEVER skip the pages. You have to read the entire book page after page. Learn its contents thoroughly before you arrive at the end.”
“Y-yes I underst-and.” I stuttered again, probably due to all the confusion that the experience created.
“How much do you have on you?” the old man suddenly asked.
“What?” I answered with my own startled question.
“How much do you have on you, child?” the old man raised his voice and I cringed at its sound, “Do you think that this book is free? Hah!”
“W-well, how much is it?” I asked.
“Just answer my question!” came the old man’s response.
“I surveyed my pockets and was surprised to see a hundred dollar bill. Then I remembered that the money was my salary for 4 weeks of doing odd jobs for our neighbors. I thought for a while and then reluctantly handed him my money. The old man snatched it from my hand and then pushed the book to my face.
“Take it!” he ordered, “Take it and begone!!!”
And so I took the book and went home bewildered at what had happened. The days followed and I began reading what I have acquired. The story within it was interesting to say the least and I was eager to find out its ending. However, I was mindful about the old man’s warning and so I did not skip to the last page. I read the book whenever I had the chance and after roughly a week, I was almost at its end.
When the time came for me to turn the last page, I prepared myself well and made sure that I could handle whatever it was. I turned the last page, hoping that the book would be merciful, a hope that was shattered to a million pieces by what I saw.
It was terrible… terrible….
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