The Letter of William Milton

If you have found this letter: run. If you are still reading this: I am William Milton. Male. thirty-six years of age. I worked in the shipyards. What I write to you is true, whether you believe it or not. Now, where shall I start from? Oh yes, the perfect place.

When the full moon peaks, I… I cease to be man—yes, that—and revert to the lowest primal state, worse than any animal. The transformation is detrimental to our claim of supremacy. Why wherefore does such a creature exist? Thereby, why doest exist in me? I often thought this. I also thought: where is God when that thing stalks the lands, trying to satiate its eternal hunger? Doeth God, therefrom the Heavens, watch what He created out of punishment or simply a part of the grand design? I do not know. I know I call upon His name when throes of pain assault me. No man should experience the anguish of turning into the unholy. Forgive me, dear reader. You shall read my experience.

Horribly, the teeth are the first to go. All thirty-two fall out, and blood floods out of the gums. The first night, I thought death came for me. I wish. The pain is horrid. Imagine a knife is ripping through your gums; now make it forty-two growing at once. You cannot imagine, can you? I am flat on the floor crying; in pain. After the teeth, a cacophony of bones breaks, and ligaments tear. Reshaping me into the Beast—excruciating pain. Eventually, consciousness fades. My only respite; is sweet brevity. Too soon, an unbearable itch awakes me. They feel like thin worms sprouting all over me. I learned how the claws leave skin mangled. It happen while unconscious. Blood from the gum, blood from its fingers and toes. There are no mirrors in my house to reveal my monstrous appearance. Thank God I have that solace.

Of all the horrid devolution, the worst is the loss of my intelligence. Whereby I lose sensible speech. My words become snarls. I fight it, repeating: I am William Milton till it's a mantra, the only words I know. As always, therewith I've died.

Yes, you've read right. The transformation is my death, or at least how I view it.

Every full moon, I die. Every sunrise, I am home naked and painted crimson; the stench of flesh and blood a reminder of reality. I sit there void of wishing for relief from this curse. I do not wake bloody. It seems the unholy thing grooms itself clean. Devilishly, I smile, knowing the process of my rebirth. My only silver lining.

I miss people. The Beast exiled me. I've forgotten what being touched feels like, the warmth of another body. Raw meat makes me hungry. Thereof human contact, I once had a lady to fancy. Sweet Lydia Noble. When thoughts drift to her, I cry… Oh, sweet Lydia. The first victim… Cheerier stuff, my father left me his house. When it got too dire, I became a homebody. Friends of mine tried to coerce me to step out of the house, telling me I am being a fool. If only they knew! Fool. They called me… If only they knew what I deal with! No, they don't know. They know not what it's like to… Ah, forgive me… Emotions are hard to contain… I've done well so far.

It is not all bad. I read more these days. Thankfully the Beast has no interest in books. My father amassed a sizable library, enough books to pass the time until time, I able to go home.

The Good Book is what I read these days, trying to comprehend His mysterious ways. The book of Job is what I read often.

How the Devil tried to coerce him to curse the name of God for all that transpired. In spite of his plights, he proved to be a servant of the Lord. I can only have hope, this may be a test, and the Good Lord will reward my piety.

I am no Job, never was, or will be. Regardless of who I am, the story comforts me.

If you have read this far, I thank you. I know not what I did to incur God's wrath. I have prayed for forgiveness. The welts on my back are proof. The same practice they did centuries ago. Therein two years ago, early into the curse, I thought perhaps it would help. There is a good omen; Henry has told me several good men and their eldest sons search for it with guns.

If: you know him, give Henry my thanks for remaining a true friend and keeping me abreast of things. Pray, this will be the first and last letter of William Milton. A full moon is nigh, and the Beast hungers.


William Milton.

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