Cover Photo By Ben Allie Antonio
Cover Photo By Ben Allie Antonio.

The Package

Something’s at the door.

By Marianne de Leon, and Francis Gatuslao | Thursday, 6 May 2021

research notes.txt


I did it. I finally figured it out. It was so clear but I just... I’m not sure where to begin. An introduction seems appropriate, my name is Matthew Gonzales, and a week ago, a mysterious package was delivered to my doorstep.


Nothing was particularly strange about it, other than the fact that the return address was blotted out. The package was neatly sealed with a thick tape covering the whole surface. I took the box inside and carefully placed it on the counter. 


My gaze was fixed on an image of an eye on the corner of the label. Taking a closer look, I realized it was frantically drawn with incredible detail. I turn the box over and see big red bold letters that read “FRAGILE.” 


I quickly grabbed the box cutter, making sure not to damage anything inside the box as the blade slid cleanly through the tape. I pushed open the flaps and pulled away the bubble wrap, revealing a charcoal-black metal container. Inside the container were six red vials, each labeled. I immediately noticed one of the vials had broken open during transport, I grabbed the shattered vial, bringing it closer to read the numbers on its label, 1031. As I was setting it down, my finger slipped and I cut my thumb on the sharp edge of the glass. I carefully placed the vial back in the container before rinsing my fingers in water. 


Afterward, I spent time thinking to myself. Who sent me these? What did they want? I didn’t understand what I was supposed to do. Upon closer inspection, I could see that each label had a set of strange numbers with rectangular black patterns above them. 1031, 0430, 0623, 0801, 0202, 1221.


Underneath the container were sets of documents. Most of the pages were stained red, making the writing almost illegible. I caught a whiff of the paper, a somewhat metallic smell, and it was unpleasant, to say at least. Blood, of course, it must be blood.


I spent most of the night pondering on this query, but instead of sleeping, I used the early morning trying to figure out what was going on. After hours of searching, I ended up as empty-handed as when I first began. I was on the brink of giving up until I noticed a pattern on my news feed.


Lunar days are near! Find out your horoscopes with Mr. Chua.

Iris research centers close in on cure for new viral disease.

Another attack linked to “Oculus cult” reported.

Repetitive lifestyle? Change your life today in five easy steps.


It was presented so clearly in front of me but I didn’t notice it until now. I quickly pulled up the numbers from the vials once more, 1031, 0430, 0623, 0801, 0202, 1221. That’s when it hit me, these are not just random numbers, they’re dates. October 31, April 30, and so on... Those dates lead me to the next piece of the puzzle. The Oculus cult, in the past few months, has been terrorizing people in and around the city. They knock on their doors, wear the big scary masks, murder people, you get the picture. One thing that bothered me was the symbol they were fond of; the most basic image of an eye, drawn almost the same way as the symbol on the package, except this one, was half-opened—as if just about to awaken something bigger.


Maybe it was a crazy coincidence, maybe I was just seeing things that weren’t there, I had briefly considered digging myself out of this rabbit hole. But the reason that made this “coincidence” too improbable to ignore were the numbers, the dates from the vials, they had confirmed for me that the cult was behind this, because every single date was linked to rituals of the Witches’ sabbath. I knew I had to learn more, I had to understand why I was chosen.


I spent the next few days immersed in my research, I was on sabbatical from work anyway, so I didn’t think they would mind a few missed calls and emails here and there. I had learned so much about the occult and their rituals, it was slowly beginning to make sense to me. But eventually, I realized they were on to me. I began hearing things, muffled steps around the apartment as I continued my research. Shadows and figures twisting in the corner of my eye. Sometimes, when I’d press my ear to the door, I'd even hear whispers. They were watching me but didn’t stop me. What did they want me to find? 


One particular recurring nightmare had been terrorizing my sleep. A goat-headed figure sat in the corner of my room as I slept. But this only served as a reminder—a reminder of what had to be done.


It was quite bizarre when I finally realized what needed to happen. They were not coming after me. The whispers, the footsteps, the dreams—they were all signs. I grabbed the remaining vials, admiring their flawless perfection. Before a quick bite and a crunch. One by one, gulp by gulp—I finally began to understand my purpose. And as I write this statement with the last of my strength, I shall transcend into a God among men.



The document above was written by Dr. Matthew Roa Gonzales, Former Lead Researcher at Iris Medical Solutions.


Dr. Gonzales was sent blood samples containing the Cheshire virus to his home residence from the Iris Research Lab, before contracting the virus from a cut on his right thumb.


He experienced symptoms of extreme paranoia, delusions of grandeur, insomnia, vivid dreams, hallucinations, and high blood pressure. His account is the first documented case from the perspective of an infected. 




Last updated: Friday, 7 May 2021
Tags: Literary