On the day of his disappearance, Robert Wellfetch left a manuscript on his friend's front porch. That manuscript - reprinted here - tells an unsettling story in which the author is stalked by a mysterious stranger who seems intent on destroying his life. More
From the Editor's Note: The original manuscript of the story you are about to read was delivered to me on the day of its author’s disappearance. I found it on my front porch, damp from the rain and folded beneath my doormat. Taped to the manuscript was a note that read as follows: “My dear friend, please forgive me for burdening you with my troubles. I assure you that it will be the last time. As you will soon discover, my existence here has been compromised. The manuscript on your doorstep is all that remains of me. Please read it carefully, for it contains the truth. You are my last remaining ally, and given your position at the publishing house you may be able to assist me as no one else can. If possible, please publish what I’ve written, for it is my only defense, my only hope.” The note was signed by Robert Wellfetch, a man I’d met many years earlier at the university, where we were studying English literature. We hadn’t seen each other very often in recent years, but we’d remained on friendly terms. I’d run into him now and then at a bookstore or a coffee shop and we’d talk affectionately about the past. He was a kind man and a good teacher, and he certainly did not deserve the strange fate that befell him. Three weeks have passed since he disappeared, and still no one knows what has become of him. I’ve done my best to investigate the circumstances of his disappearance, but my efforts have been in vain. As Robert said in his note, the following text is all that remains of him. For this reason, I have chosen to publish it as he requested. Besides a few minor corrections in spelling and grammar, I have kept the text in its original form. I am unable to offer any further commentary on it, and I cannot explain its seemingly absurd conjectures. For the time being, I have decided to publish it as a work of fiction—not because its claims are necessarily false, but because I cannot yet determine their veracity.