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The light of my laptop screen is blinding, as it always is at night, in the darkness of my room. My parents are dozing, their snores erupting from their bedroom, sounding like wild boars taking part it a ruthless fight. Luckily my earphones are enough to shield my ears from most of the snores.
It's Saturday, and since 10 AM this morning, I've spent my day scouring every corner of the internet, watching endless and pointless YouTube videos, and taking part in various social media sites, just as I had intended to. Now, though, I've grown bored with the internet. I've resorted to going through my laptop folders, personalizing my laptop, just for the hell of it.
I've clicked my way to my Documents folder, expecting it to be empty. Instead, I'm greeted by a single file. "Babie." I chuckle to myself at the odd name. What the hell is this doing here? I have no idea what this is, I have no idea what it's doing on my Documents folder, and I have no idea if I should click on it or not. A hundred thoughts surface in my mind, some stupid and some reasonable. Is it a virus? It's probably nothing. Just click on it. Just delete it. Maybe it's some new feature Windows added. After contemplating for at least ten seconds, I just decided to click on it.
My eyes nearly bulge out of my sockets, my stomach churns, and the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. There are no words on this page, just simple pictures.
The first is what appears to be a young girl, slim, with shoulder-length brown hair. She's standing in a wooded area. Her tongue is hanging out of her mouth, unusually long, like a dog's tongue. Her eyeballs are dangling out of their sockets by their nerves. Wrapped around her shoulders is the arm of what appears to be a man dressed in a deer costume.
The next is unsettling, and just, if not more, gruesome than the first. The deer man is sitting on the belly of an obese man. The deer man's legs are crossed, his head cocked slightly to the side, staring directly at the camera. The obese man's eyes are planted on the camera as well, fear dressing his facial expression. Two long, thick sticks appear to be jammed in his head, blood running from the wounds. They appear to be in a poorly lit subway station.
My palms are sweating, and my heart is racing. My dinner is warming my esophagus, threatening to make an impromptu and unwanted arrival. But, due to the curse of curiosity that plagues so many humans, I continue to scroll.
The third and final picture is the deer man standing in front of what I can only assume is an elementary school. I can only form the conclusion by the fact that, behind the deer man, is a sign that reads, "Gettysburg Elementary School". Gripped tightly in one hand of the deer man is a bloody knife. In the hand of his other outstretched arm, dangling, are the laces of two small, bloody, and tattered tennis shoes.
Then, it hits me like a ton of bricks. I was too terrified to realize it before, but Gettysburg was the school I attended so many years ago...
I slam my laptop shut. Then, I am presented another fear. The light of my laptop was my only source of light, and now, the pictures still plaguing my mind, I am engulfed by unpredictable darkness. Reluctantly, I open my laptop screen again. Instead of coming across the grisly photos again, I am presented with just one photo.
The background is sheer darkness. I can make myself out, illuminated only by the glow of my laptop. My eyes are glued to the screen, a look of pure terror and disgust plaguing my face. I focus more into the picture, and with the strain of my eyes, can make out, faintly but surely, a pair of antlers over my shoulder.