Benjamin Gray's latest update for The Wolf in the Woods

Oct 26, 2017

While window-shopping some shoes in a clothing store, a sad-looking and not-at-all-fit mannequin descends from its plinth and comes to stand next to you. It is wearing an unfashionable and worn red flannel shirt, dirty jeans, and water-stained loafers. Nobody else seems to notice what is happening, nor that the mannequin looks so out-of-place.

The mannequin sighs, then begins to speak. It sounds like it needs someone to talk to, so you let it.

"I didn’t write any of it.

Well, I did. I typed all the words. I just mean none of it was my idea. No, I’m still not being clear. I’m not saying I’m plagiarizing, I’m saying the stories were given to me.

Actually, it’s more like they were leaked to me.

Sometimes I’d dream them. Sometimes they would fall into my empty fireplace as files in manila folders. Sometimes they would beam onto my television. One time I found one as a VHS in a VCR that hadn’t been powered on in years.

I think somebody wants to sabotage The Wolf in the Woods. At first I just told myself that writing horror was making me paranoid, but the roadblocks keep escalating. So, I’m offering a reward for information on this "DOF." I have reason to believe that there is a secret messages hidden in my Inkshares About page. If you purchase the book between now and Halloween, you’ll be entered into a drawing for a $25 Amazon gift card. When you purchase, try to guess the secret message; if you guess right, you’ll get a second entry! And if you guess what "DOF" stands for, you get a third entry, regardless of whether you’re right or not. You can send your guesses to me on Twitter, or you can just post your guess as a comment on TWITW’s Inkshares page.

Sorry it’s just a $25 card. I’m a poor writer. Also, I don’t have a lot of money."

With this, the mannequin returns to its plinth. A store associate practically yells "who put this horrid thing here?" and takes it to a dumpster outside.