I found your e-mail adress thru a mailing list your profile said you are interested in smiledog. I have saw it it is not as bad as every one says I have sent it to you here. Just spreading the word.
The final line chilled me to the bone.
According to my email client there was one file attachment called, naturally, smile.jpg. I considered downloading it for some time. It was mostly likely a fake, I imagined, and even if it weren’t I was never wholly convinced of smile.jpg’s peculiar powers. Mary E.’s account had shaken me, yes, but she was probably mentally unbalanced anyway. After all, how could a simple image do what smile.jpg was said to accomplish? What sort of creature was it that could break one’s mind with only the power of the eye?
And if such things were patently absurd, then why did the legend exist at all?
If I downloaded the image, if I looked at it, and if Mary turned out to be correct, if Smile.dog came to me in my dreams demanding I spread the word, what would I do? Would I live my life as Mary had, fighting against the urge to give in until I died? Or would I simply spread the word, eager to be put to rest? And if I chose the latter route, how could I do it? Whom would I burden in turn?
If I went through with my earlier intention to write a short article about smile.jpg, I decided, I could attach it as evidence. And anyone who read the article, anyone who took interest, would be affected. And even assuming the smile.jpg attached to the email was genuine, would I be capricious enough to save myself in that manner?
Can I spread the word?
It pleased me to see what happened to the gunman who killed my friend. The images of him choking on his own blood set my teeth on edge. Everyone I knew who died… I suppose I should be angry at the monster with the dog head for killing Margaret as well. I honestly didn’t know how to feel anymore, though. I was alone, wandering then basement floor, just waiting to be finished off, like the inspector, like Margaret, like Kyle. I contemplated just killing myself, like Spencer. But I didn’t have anything to do that with. And I was still sane enough to prefer a bullet to the head over ripping my own guts out. I began to wish that the car accident had killed me…
And then it struck me. Fear had kept it out of my mind for so long, but I occurred to me that Stacy was still somewhere here, on the bottom floor, lying unconscious in bed. Stacy… before I died, I wanted to know what happened to her. I had to. Was she still alive? And if so… would she be the same person? Or a different one, like the doctor said?
I dragged my feet faster down the dark hallway. I stopped at the closest door and looked inside. Just an empty room. Then I did the same for the next door, and the next door, and every door down the hallway until every door in the hallway was open. Then I turned into the next hallway.
A voice found my ears. Its faint mumblings sounded familiar. I had heard the words before. “… must… stay… awake…” I followed the voice to a door. It had handprints of blood and scratches all over it. Someone had wanted to come inside.
Slowly, I opened the door. Inside, lying on a bed, gripping the edges was a young woman, not much older than me, with long, messy, redish-brown hair just like mine.
She turned her head and looked at me. “You. Have you seen it? The picture? The one that gives you nightmares? The one that won’t let you sleep?”
I stared at her. She almost looked crazy.
“Have you?” she repeated.
I felt compelled to answer. I gave her a slow nod. Her eyes turned sad and sympathetic.
“Oh… you poor thing…” she pulled the covers off of her body and put her legs on the ground. “Don’t worry, we’ll make it. Together. You and me. We can beat this!”
I could see the death flag flying above her head already. She was going to die like me, that I was sure of. We left the room, her body jittering behind me, nervous, and afraid, just like I was. She must have been inside that room the entire time. If she had been out here, she would accept death much more easily.