In Response to 'I regret it'
An interview with the person who wrote 'I regret it'
My name is Daniel Montoya, born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida, currently attending University of Southern California, in Los Angeles. This is my initial response to the short statement done by an anonymous source called "I regret it". Over the course of this response, I will offer my opinion and review of the statement. I have also reached out to the anonymous source and have secured a time to interview him. Our conversation will be the second part of this. At the end, I will give my conclusion to what I have discovered and learned from this source.
For context, on August 1st, 2022, a person posted a short statement or story titled "I regret it". Over the course of this statement, the person expressed they had decided to "explore other worlds" (anonymous, 1st par.). Through out the statement, the individual neglects describe any specific means as to how they planned to achieve such an action, but goes deep into what sound like a psychological rant about science. It is unclear whether the individual was on the side of science or not, however, made it quite clear that what they planned to do had no reference to science itself. It was akin to the beginning of a science-fiction novel.
The individual then when on to express the many possibilities that might ensue from doing such an act. They described different realities where there were large changes in the modern world, along with the possibility that the only difference that was had was the death of a man named "Roger Finnegan" (anonymous, 4th par.). They went on to offer possibilities of other types of realities in which everything was different in terms of lack of humanity.
The individual doesn't appear to divulge in their feelings of what would happen if they accomplished their tasks, but the feeling we do get to hear about are feelings they seem to have about the current world that we live in. It is used as an excuse to force this individual to search for another more peaceful fantastical world.
We are then given an interesting warning, informing that had the individual completed the task and returned, they would describe their experience. Had they not returned, the statement would never be finished and assuredly never be seen by anyone, resulting in the chance that they found that paradise-like reality.
The only description that is given to the individual's plan is toward the end of the statement where they note that they "will fall asleep and wake up somewhere new"(anonymous, 10th par.). After this, the anonymous individual asks the reader to "Wish me luck" (anonymous, 11th par.), before ending the statement with a long winded paragraph of a single phrase, "I regret it"(anonymous, 12th par.). The statement could have ended with a single sentence, rather than a whole paragraph, but instead of a description of the events that transpired after the first part of the statement was made, it was a jumbled, almost incoherent repeat of the same phrase.
It's hard to tell whether this was done purposely. Whether the individual achieve, or believed they achieved such an act, could it have been done to scare people or as a true response to an experience? We will soon find out when I interview the individual. Before the interview, I will express my opinion on the piece.
I believe it is a hoax. At the very least, I believe it's a story to frighten people, and not very well. It is a good thought, but bad execution, giving off the clear attempt to use the reader's mind as a tool to scare them rather than doing it themselves with actual writing. It is notable, however, that it doesn't appear to be a copy and past of the phrase. The "mistakes" that the individual makes in the final paragraph are all unique versions of the phrase, either on purpose or typed mistakenly and left to add to the immersion. It's lazy, in my opinion. Too many stories use this trope of a brief sentence, phrase or description to allow a reader to come up with the worst possibilities imaginable in their mind. It is clear from the beginning that the individual did not care about the piece, starting it with such a blunt, non-serious sentence. Immediately, the story loses any credibility it has to be considered real and then forces the reader down a ridiculous rant that offers nothing substantial to the end result.
To no surprise, the author has asked to remain anonymous, so for the duration of the interview, I will refer to the individual as Any. Upon meeting the individual at their house, I noticed they lived in a fairly normal house, one story, light yellow, flowers in a small garden out front, slightly unkempt lawn, but not aggressively. The blinds were closed, but it was midday and the sun was shining brightly toward the windows. Nothing specifically was out of the ordinary, though the neighborhood wasn't exactly middle class. Maybe upper lower class. When Any answered the door, I noticed that they were just as average as the look of their residency. They answered, I introduced myself, and they graciously greeted me, welcoming me into their home. Typical host behavior followed, they asked if I wanted something to drink, coffee, water, then they showed me their living room, or day room, it was hard to tell. They told me to make myself comfortable as they made them self a cup of coffee. There was no television, just a coffee table with a couple of coasters strewn about. The carpet was fluffy looking, more maintained on than their lawn. They had a small couch, almost a love seat, and two chairs all facing the coffee table. Behind the couch was the window to the front of the house and behind the chairs was a large cabinet that was filled with books. As I expected, Any was an avid reader, probably just trying to participate in making something that resembled what they loved doing, reading. More of a surprise to me, however, was that at the top shelf of the cabinet was a line of books all naming Any as the author. They had written several books. It made sense that they'd want to stay anonymous, but the discovery nearly had me throw every question I had prepared out the window immediately. I took a seat in one of the chairs, hoping that the individual would sit on the couch. I personally liked an interview set up where the person in question would be relaxed in order to answer more truthfully. After about five minute, Any walked into the room, sat two cups of coffee on a coaster each on the coffee table, though I did not ask for one. I began the interview and this is what I recorded:
Dan: So, as you know, I'm interviewing you because I am writing a paper on a piece that you posted online on August 1st, 2022, is that correct?
Any: Yes, I did write that.
Dan: What is the title of the piece?
Any: I regret it.
Dan: I'm very curious, as I'm sure anyone who read it is, is it real to you?
Any: Um... well, I think it's a complicated question. When I wrote it, I was going through some life crisis of sorts and basically wanted to escape life. Nothing too dramatic, just the sudden urge to feel like I was somewhere else. So, I'm sorry, I guess to answer your question, no. It is not real. I was simply writing out my feelings.
Dan: I know a lot of people, including myself, thought your goal was to write some cheap horror short story. Something small and not all too scary, but an attempt at writing in general. What were you trying to accomplish with the story?
Any: I wanted it to be interpreted in any way the reader felt it meant. I wasn't trying to write some crazy fiction story that was supposed to end in some weird vague answer as a result of a clearly impossible task.
Dan: I actually was completely unaware, but I saw this cupboard behind me when I walked in and noticed a whole section dedicated to the novels that you've written. So you seem to be a professional author, why did you write this outlandish short story?
Any: Like I said before, I wasn't in a great place. I wasn't trying to accomplish anything, I think I was just trying to write something and get it out there.
Dan: What is it that you claim to regret?
Any: Mostly the feelings I had, what drove me to that place in the first place. I regretted letting myself get to a point where I wasn't focusing on what life here could be if I put in effort. I wrote that last part long after the first part.
Dan: How long apart?
Any: Um... maybe a year.
Dan: And then you just came back to it, wrote that last part, and posted it?
Any: Sometimes people out there need to see that others are or have struggled too to know that they aren't alone. Life is hard and can be depressing at times. Sometimes it's so lonely, you'd do anything to be in a different world. I wanted people to know that I regret feeling that way, I regret writing it all, and I regret a lot in general. It's not enough to just tell someone not to regret anything, you have to learn to live with regret as if it's a part of your development and path that led you to that point.
Dan: Did you have an idea as to what you would've actually experienced had it occurred?
(At this point, I could tell that Any did not want to talk much about what they were thinking about when they wrote the story. Their eye looked heavier and their cheeks relaxed.)
Any: I don't know if I should say.
Dan: Please, it would help a lot to understand what you had in mind for that next part.
Any: It was fire. Bright red oppressive fire that smelled like hot blood. I wasn't aware it was a smell I could distinguish with a description but it was burning blood. Underneath me were charred bodies, bodies of everyone who ever lived and everyone who would live, I was standing on their rotting burning corpses. A choir of guttural screams echoed the plains of burning bodies. Creatures that looked like ethereal lions emerged from the hills of bodies and roared a sound so deep and cracked that if I heard it now, I wouldn't be able to recognize I was hearing it. The lion creatures had eyes that rounded their heads, continuously spinning. Their mane were children corpses hanging to their head and neck. Their teeth were white jagged knives, exchanging their positions up and down every other tooth. Inside their mouths housed four other sets of jaws and teeth doing similar motions. Their body was a bloody rib cage with flesh hanging from their spine. They were vicious creatures who, above all else, had the most fear inducing movements. They would stand to two legs, whip their head around and toward me, leaning and stepping, falling to their front paws. They did a very slow spin, keeping their circular set of eyes on me at all times. They whole time I could hear whispers next to me describing how my insides tasted. As the lion creatures approached, a fleshy thin spider-like creature with fingers for legs and a palm for a body followed them. The spider creatures had the head of a goat with human eyes. It's teeth were also human, showing them the whole time they advanced. The spider creatures rushed themselves forward and past the lions. Once the spiders approached me, one of the fingers poked me with a needle, causing me to fall to my back. I turned my head to see agony filled faces screaming at me. As I looked up the creatures surrounded me and began tearing at my body, ripping my flesh from my body and my limbs apart. I wouldn't die. I felt every agonizing rip of my skin. It shred like a rubbery piece of paper, my blood spit up to my face. The spiders used their snake-like tongues to lick the blood from my face. I felt my jaw open as I began screaming. Someone began to crawl out of my mouth, first with fingers then hands reached out, grabbing my chin to pull themselves out. My jaw began ripping as I saw my own face emerge from my mouth. I stood above my own body and watched as the creatures began to devour that version of me. But then I woke up.
(I admit, my mouth was agape, but upon realizing he said he woke up, I remembered it was all just fiction.)
Dan: Oh, so the protagonist was just dreaming?
Any: (an uncomfortable silence) Yes.
Dan: Can I ask why that wasn't included as part of the story?
Any: I regretted writing it. It was not something I wanted to think about. Nor did I want anyone else thinking about it. Somehow, thinking about something too much makes it start to feel real. Almost like when you feel like someone's watching you, despite looking around and seeing no one. The more you think about someone hidden, spying on every move you make, the more fearful you are that some one is indeed nearby.
Dan: So it was for the reader's sake?
Any: (Sigh) I guess so.
Dan: Well, thank you for the interview...
In conclusion, I believe this was just a lazy attempt at a horror story. Rather than describing anything such as the individual getting to this other world, or what they did to come back, they decided to treat it similarly as a journal. They then left out everything they told me, but knowing they were being interviewed, they suspected their description might be released as an addition to their story. I still believe it was a pointless story that could've been dived into deeper, especially for a professional author.
I regret it (Anonymous, 2022)
About the Creator
Writing has been a passion of mine since before I was 8 years old. I’ve evolved my stories in various ways since, and I only want to write for people to enjoy my stories. I don’t like to typically stay within a specific genre.
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