Life is fickle as the house-cat. One man it treats as a friend, another it toys with in cruel sport until he succumbs to his wounds and expires. It rewards those who demand little of it and escapes those who chase it. Life does as it pleases when it pleases, and all a man can do is to presume nothing of it.
I was that man once.
My name is Vethaniel Affencombe, and many years ago I was personally stricken by the vagaries of life. Much I lost to its inscrutable whims, but even more I learnt from its strange teachings. It all began with a letter in the postbox…
Before the troubles began, life was pleasantly stagnant and not much changed from day to day, save for the passing of seasons and the this-and-that’s of the War. I had lived for some time on Cleat Street. The estate of my grandfather (bless his soul), once divided among my family, had left me in possession of a quaint villa and some money for my hobbies. It was not much, but it was enough for a man of my temperament. I enjoyed the simple life. I tended my hortensias in morning and played the piano – or cello, if I was feeling particularly adventurous – in the evening. I enjoyed solitary lunches, and in the afternoon I would stroll into town to chat up some old friends from bucket school, or peruse some magazine in the café by Trilton square.
It had never occured to me that a sudden break from normalcy could take place on any such day, yet that is precisely what happened.
One Wednesday morning I found that my postbox had overfilled. This time of year, the postbox was exceedingly difficult to approach, as any day could be the day that spelled the arrival of the tax inquiries. Such cumbersome paperwork always gave me a headache, and as such I was, more often than not, happy to avoid the issue altogether. Eventually, when the accumulated bulk of mail would cause the postbox to overfill, I would have to handle the matter by necessity. So, this Wednesday, it was time for the matter to be handled.
I was intent on sorting my mail and filing my taxes first thing in the morning. And so, I carried the hefty heap of postcards and newspapers to my writing desk and got to work. As I searched the heap for the dreaded tax inquiries, I discovered a black envelope that sparked my curiosity. I did not recognize the handwriting that spelled out my address, and the numerous stamps suggested that it had traveled quite far. When I opened the envelope, I did not yet know that its contents would bring my life to ruin…
The letter inside was not very long, and seemed to have been written in quite some haste on a faulty typewriter: irregular dots of ink were scattered across the sheet and there were even some creases in the paper. Despite that, the first sentence immediately captured my total attention.
vethaniel.affencombe I need your total attention for the next Twenty-four hrs, or I will make sure that you live out of guilt for the rest of your life.
Was this from the Pastor? I kept reading.
Hi, you don’t know me. But I know a lot of things about you. Your current facebook contact list, mobile phone contacts along with all the online activity in your computer from previous 162 days.
I furrowed my brow in consternation. This was no congregational matter. Whoever sent it was a stranger, or claimed to be so at least.
Consisting of, your masturbation video, which brings me to the main motive why I ‘m writing this specific e-mail to you.
Well the last time you went to the porn material web sites, my malware ended up being triggered in your personal computer which ended up shooting a eye-catching video of your masturbation play simply by activating your cam.
(you got a unquestionably odd preference by the way haha)
Even though I was all alone by my writing desk, I blushed with chagrin. While I enjoyed my solitary activities in the privacy of my own home, I was nonetheless unhappy to learn that my indulgences were being monitored by some faceless stranger, let alone a stranger rude enough to record my vices in ink and deliver the testimony to my front door! The letter struck me as thoroughly lacking in etiquette. And what of this video?
I own the complete recording. If you feel I ‘m fooling around, just reply ‘proof’ and I will be forwarding the particular recording randomly to 10 people you know.
It may end up being your friend, co workers, boss, mother and father (I don’t know! My software program will randomly pick the contact details). Would you be capable to gaze into anyone’s eyes again after it? I doubt it…
As I kept reading the mysterious letter sent to me on the most inconspicious of days, my face reddened with fear rather than embarrassment. The letter had moved from delivering cryptic statements to asserting an outright threat! It was one thing that my unknown pen-pal spied on and recorded my most intimate pastime – if the letter had been penned with more kindness and attention to proper spelling, such information could have intrigued me, even. But who could possibly be intrigued by the idea of having such a record distributed amongst their peers? If that were to happen, I would be the laughingstock of the neighborhood, the bucket school gang, Bridge club… But this miscreant was not content to stop at that – they claimed to be prepared to send it to my very own parents! Who could even conceive of such maliciousness? I remembered the time my father sternly expressed his disappointment at the state of the hortensias in the front yard. What would he think of me if my secret vices were brought to his attention? And my dear old mother – the shock of it all would reduce her to ashes!
What, if anything, could I do to check this miscreant? Surely, some arrangement could be made?
Nonetheless, it does not need to be that route.
I would like to make you a one time, no negotiable offer.
Buy 0.5 (Around $3500 United states dollar) bitcoin and send it on the down below address:
(The stated address was a jumbled string of digits and letters that made no sense to me at all.)
Embarrassment and fear gave in to indignation. My face was as red as the time Mrs. Burdock in the house across the street forgot to attend to the mess her Pomeranian had left by my picket-fence. This stranger was trying to blackmail me for currency by portending to expose my most private activities to the world! I no longer withheld any judgment in regard to the character of my enigmatic pen-pal. He or she was without any doubt a most impish, most cunning, most ill-disposed and deleterious good-for-nothing!
(If you do not understand how, google how to purchase bitcoin. Do not waste my precious time)
If you send this particular ‘donation’ (let us call this that?). Right after that, I will go away a nd never get in touch with you again. I will delete everything I have in relation to you. You may keep on living your current regular day to day life with absolutely no fear.
I slammed my fist into the table. Anger assaulted my cognizance from every corner of my brain. My finances and my reputation were being toyed with by some foreigner, intent on making me, myself, choose one over the other. A fair choice indeed! Spare your reputation, and forfeit your very means of survival. Save your pocketbook, and doom yourself to a life trapped within the confines of your residence, the facades of which would surely be despoiled by uncouth writings of gossips and brats. The hortensias left to fend for themselves. How could the world let an honest, decent man fall victim to the plots of a capracious reprobate?
I placed both my arms over the letter – to be spared the sight – and sank my head into them. Despondent and overwhelmed, I remained like this for a long while before I could muster enough courage to read the final words of this misadventurous delivery.
You’ve got 1 day to do so. Your time begins as soon you check out this e mail. I have an o ne of a kind program code that will notify me once you read this e-mail therefore don’t try to play smart.
With bitterness seeping into my every vein, artery and capillary, I started weighing my options. Should I swallow my pride for the sake of my material comfort? Resign myself to a life of solitude – a life, perhaps ultimately befitting a man who had indulged… Or was it better to sack my savings, and live off the generosity of my friends? Should I pay the price my reputation now required? The choice was mine, but the spoils were hers. Or his.
What will our poor protagonist make of this dilemma? Tune in on November 31 to find out!