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Impacto

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It all started with what was supposed to be a simple family vacation. My mom, my dad, my brother, and myself. Just the four of us going on a road trip to Nevada to cruise the Strip, gander at the occasional jackpot, drunk, or street performer, and an assortment of other attractions. Just a leisurely little family adventure. One of the highlights of the trip for us was to pay a visit to the Las Vegas Pinball Hall of Fame. My brother, father, and I were especially looking forward to this, as we are all avid gamers of both old and new frontiers.

The place was everything you could wish for and more—the flashing lights and delightful sounds of games from across the decades were enough to beckon forth anybody's inner child! Among these games were, of course, pinball machines, many of which were vintage. The people who own the place even had little notes on the games that gave brief little histories and other cool trivia pertaining to the games. I waltzed over to the change machine, popped in a five dollar bill, and blissfully helped myself to whatever game I pleased. It was when my dad and my brother went off to play a game of air hockey that I found it.

“Impacto.”

I have no idea what attracted me to this game. It looked as though it couldn't have been made any later than 1980... the trivia card had little information, other than that it originated from Spain and that its presumed release date was around 1975, proving my initial guess to be correct. The back glass featured two ladies dressed like what looked like trapeze artists and the name, Impacto—but that was it. I walked up to it and got a better look. I couldn't tell you what company manufactured it. Impacto looked like... well, a Franken-machine. It had some parts that looked like Bally, some Gottlieb... I couldn't tell. To be in front of such a mysterious game gave me chills... it was reminiscent of those Creepypasta experiences you can read about online, ridiculous as some of them can be... but this...

I was about to walk away when I heard the ping chiming a new game.

Hesitantly, I went up to play. Oh, how I wish I could have just kept walking...

The game. It even felt strange playing it. The bumpers were still working and the playfield was surprisingly smooth for a game of its age, sending the ball across at a good speed. Even the flippers worked as well as some of the more modern games.

I had five rounds, and I was doing okay for a free game up until the fourth ball. At one point, the ball came rolling back down and the flippers just froze, letting the ball go down the drain. My score at the time was 1258. (Yeah, I know, nothing special, but it wasn't one of those machines that give you scores of 100,000 with two hits on a bumper, either). I reached down to the plunger to send out my last ball when all of a sudden, the lights in the machine went out with a loud bang and a screeching sound. I ran to the nearest trashcan to throw up, shivering and becoming less and less aware of my surroundings. All I remember is my dad running over to get me, and myself yelling, “Ahora es momento!!!”

I don't even speak Spanish.

I woke up in a cold sweat in our hotel room sometime later with a washcloth on my forehead. The curtains were drawn, and the lights were out. I was alone... my parents were probably out on the casino floor. My brother was probably out getting some food. Judging by the time, it was probably a midnight snack, as the neon alarm clock declared it was 12:58 AM. I rolled over, about to go back to sleep when I heard a soft ping, ping—just like a pinball machine. I reluctantly brushed it off as nighttime nonsense and paranoia, and tried to close my eyes but first I heard what sounded like two women crying... then groaning in pain. It's just noisy neighbors... they had too much to drink, I tried to tell myself before closing my uneasy eyes. I was about to drift off again when I heard, right above me, a loud ping and a piercing shriek.

Needless to say, I almost flew to the bathroom, locking the door behind me. I paced back and forth, my mind racing... the two voices now whispering... getting closer... that damned ping, ping still there too. I looked under the crack below the door and saw dim lights flashing like—you guessed it. Looking around, I noticed one of those phones by the toilets. I had always laughed and wondered what was their purpose for being there, but I was grateful now that they were. I debated calling for help... and then it was quiet. The whispers got louder... and louder... I squeezed my eyes shut, clutching the toilet phone for dear life, and that's when the door flew open. I let out a terrified scream.

“Holly?! What's going on?!?” It was my mom... nobody else was there.

I eventually told her it was just a bad dream. She didn't buy it, but she accepted it. She's my mom, after all. What mom doesn't worry for their children? Eventually, all of us came together, and went back to sleep. We woke up and set out for another day of sightseeing. I casually glanced at our room number to remember it so I could come back up later on, if I felt like it. What I saw sent chills down my spine.

Room 1258... merely an insane coincidence. Right...?

That afternoon, we went out to an IHOP for lunch as a family. Nothing really out of the ordinary... except the two ladies sitting across from us. They looked normal enough, but there was still something very odd about them. The fact that they were staring right at me didn't help much, either.

“Are you okay? You've hardly touched your food,” my brother said. I jumped, causing my family to flinch... and I know those women were laughing. I know it...

“You just haven't been yourself, Holly. We're worried about you,” said my dad as he drove me to the doctor sometime later. It could have been a week... it could have been years... it had been so long since I was able to sleep without them coming around... and even if I did manage to get some sleep, they would be there... and that God awful chiming... I looked out the window and saw some people with picket signs that screamed messages like, “Repent!” “Jesus muere para ti!” “Ahora es momento!” Geez... we're in that part of town again... wait a minute... those two women carrying that last one... oh God.

”Dad...? What time was that appointment again?” I asked in a voice barely above a whisper.

“1:30, babe. We'll be there in about a half hour.” I made myself look at the clock. It said 12:57. And that was before we saw the truck coming straight at us. That was the last thing we saw... before the impact.



Credited to ImpavidusMenteCaptus 

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