Sam Clarke was a varsity athlete, well dressed, and good looking. These traits allegedly caused him to be cocky, mean, and self-obsessed. He found pleasure in picking on those below him and consistently cheated on his girlfriends. Unfortunately, he would get away with all of it and enjoyed every moment of manipulating, taunting, and causing conflict between others.
After football practice, he would head home to his mansion, which was like a warehouse of all the items that spoiled Sam as he grew up. His parents were oblivious to him being a total wrench at school, and were fully proud and supportive of him. They ignored his effortless grades because they knew he’d get into a good college off of a football scholarship.
He’d tell stories at dinnertime of how he was dating someone new or of a ‘Big Game’ on Saturday. His parents listened, full of happiness and pride.
One day, at the beginning of his senior year, Sam went a little too far with five other of his football friends when they ganged up on a gay kid named Ethan in the gym locker rooms after class and began to call him ‘faggot’ while constantly whipping him with towels.
Ethan, who was too small and skinny to do anything, cried for mercy, which angered Sam even more because he found it to be a ‘pussy’ move. Eventually, the football coach rushed in and put a stop to the horrible beating that left several red lashes on the innocent kid’s bare body.
The football coach didn’t want Sam to get in trouble with the principal since he was the team’s star player and would be excluded from the championship game the next day, so Sam and his football pals received no justice whatsoever and got away with it.
This made Sam believe he was invincible, and he consistently began to wail on others during gym period. He enjoyed every moment of it.
However, this brief happiness of his ended a few weeks into his senior year. Sam began to catch a glimpse of a man in a black robe staring at him from a distance a few times everyday. At times, the man would be behind a tree, peeking from behind it at him but giving no effort to hide himself.
Other times, he would see him in his bedroom window while observing his house from his bus stop in the morning. The man was an enigma, and whenever Sam walked to where he was, he’d suddenly vanish into thin air.
Sam assumed he was going crazy, because the whole situation sounded so far fetched. He didn’t dare to tell any of his friends because they’d laugh at him and would just tell him he was going crazy.
As the days progressed and Sam saw more of the man, his features began to perceptibly change along with the time. The man seemed normal at first, but the more Sam saw him, the paler the man became.
Over the course of a week, Sam would see another facial feature go absent from the man’s face every weekday. On Monday, his nose just happened to be gone from his face unlike the day before when it had been there, clear as day. There was just a flat surface of pale skin between his fox like eyes and rotting mouth.
The next day, one of his ears seemingly dissolved from his body. The next day it was his other ear. The day after that it was his right eye. It was just an empty unattended red socket, crimson red flowing down the pale cheek from it. The blood seemed to be the paint, and the pale cheek was the canvas. His left eye was missing the next day.
After that, Sam would shriek in terror whenever he’d see the horrifying monstrosity peeking out at him. Eyeless, ear less, nose less, and paler than an albino, Sam dreaded waking up every day, knowing that he’d see it again in the course of his daily routine.
Sam's eyes became bloodshot, his skin becoming paler and paler everyday, he could hardly carry on. He was alone with the abnormality, because no one else seemed to be able to comprehend the sight of it. Sam knew he wasn’t going crazy. He knew some ancient, unexplainable being was there.
Later that year, after weeks of being spied on and taunted by the enigma, the man seemed to poof out of existence and hadn’t been seen by Sam at all for a week.
Tears of relief flowed from Sam every night that week, because it was another completed day of him not seeing it’s horrifying face, which consisted of empty bleeding eye sockets, unnaturally dark eyebrows, and a mouth.
On Halloween afternoon the next day, a school wide assembly was being held to inform the senior class of school events yet to come. Sam was going to speak on the behalf of the football team, and wrote his speech comfortably the night before.
Sam walked up to the podium, his fear of public speaking absent. Several of his football pals hooted and hollered as he took his place on stage, while the others who he looked down upon and constantly insulted reluctantly clapped.
As he began to speak with clarity and confidence, his heart dropped and he let out a high whimper when he saw the man in a black cloak standing in the row between the sections of seats. With his facial features gone, the man’s hair, which had been black before was burnt up along with his now charcoal black scalp.
Seniors in the audience seemed to actually be able to see the being this time, and immediately screamed in terror but still sat in their seats, for whatever reason. All of the audience noticed him at this point, and tried desperately to rush out of their seats, but all seemed to be glued down by an invisible force. The other students on stage were stuck in place, screaming in terror.
Sam watched at the sight before him in terror and tried to rush off the stage but couldn’t get himself to move. He could move his arms, but it was almost as if his feet were implanted into wet cement and stayed there until it dried over them.
The man seemed to float down the row, his arms outstretched towards Sam. The seniors in the audience screamed in terror and tears as they tried to rush from their seats, but to no avail.
Sam watched in utter horror as the man floated up the steps. His legs were gone as he levitated in the air. A sinister grin spread across the man’s face, his teeth black and incredibly tainted from god only knows what.
Sam dreaded whatever fate was about to befall him, knowing it’d either be death or something much, much worse.
The man’s mouth began to move and a scratchy, bass tone of a voice began to emit from it, directed at a terrified Sam. “Choose five,” he said in a monosyllabic tone, his bony finger pointing into the audience.
Sam was surprised and confused. “W-what?” he cautiously asked.
Suddenly, everyone except for the man and Sam seemed to completely freeze in time. Their expressions and movements froze in place. Sam looked around in terror. His whole body was trembling and tears were streaming down his withered face.
The man stared at Sam with empty eye sockets impatiently. “Everyone in here is going to die, with the exception of you and five others you choose. However, you can save them all but offer your own life,” the deep, scratchy voice repeated in greater context.
Sam began to grimly understand the situation. He began to sob as the man looked at him eyeless without a trace of pity.
“Choose,” he repeated once more.
“Why are you doing this?” Sam managed to choke out as he wiped some more streaming tears from his face.
“I’m the energy that human beings call karma. I’m what it is in visible form. I’m here, because you’ve been a manipulative, spoiled brat all your life, and now you pay the price. You’ve caused others pain and depression, and did nothing but laugh about it. This is the kismet you deserve,” the man, or Karma, sneered. “Now, choose.”
Sam couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He began to sob louder as he looked out into the crowd. He didn’t want to die. He didn’t want to take the plunge into whatever lied on the other side.
He looked back to Karma in horror. “Please,” he uttered in tears.
Karma screamed at him in a loud and demanding voice. “Choose! You either die for them, or you choose a small sum to survive with you.”
That’s when Sam knew there was no way out of this. He knew he wasn’t going to have himself killed for his fellow seniors. He didn’t want that. He wanted to live.
His watery eyes began to frantically dart from friend to friend, not knowing who to choose. He didn’t even consider anyone else besides those on his football team. He looked to his beautiful cheer captain girlfriend, but knew he wasn’t going to pick her. He didn’t love her, and only used her for sex.
“Choose,” Karma impatiently said one last time. Sam knew he wasn’t going to ask again.
Sam, wiping tears from his face, began to slowly point to five of his best friends, who were just as bad as he was when it came to manipulation. “Them,” Sam silently said, knowing that that would be his final decision.
Karma followed Sam’s finger, somehow able to see with the crimson red empty eye sockets. After Sam was done, he turned to him once more and asked, “You choose to survive instead of die?”.
Sam began to sob even more and nodded, feeling even more guilty. “Y-yes. B-but how will everyone’s death be explained to the public, once I get out of here?” Sam asked in a stuttering manner.
Karma smiled the awful and nefarious smile. “Oh, let me take care of that.”
And, with a poof, Karma disappeared, but not before Sam heard him utter one last thing so softly that he hardly heard.
“You could’ve at least been remembered honorably if you chose to die.”
“W-what?” Sam asked. No response followed as Sam was suddenly standing back at the podium, his limbs free to move.
When he looked out into the audience, everyone’s face was still frozen into a shocked and terrified expression. Sam at first confusingly thought they were still frozen in place, but that thought abruptly ended once he heard a scream followed by several others, each sounding more shocked than the other.
Sam looked around confused but stopped once he looked ahead of him. His stomach did a flip and he felt he was going to throw up when he saw himself holding out a handgun in his outstretched right arm.
Smoke was slithering from the barrel and it still felt hot from being fired. And, out in the audience, his five best friends were all shot and killed, blood dripping down from their fresh bullet wounds.
The last thing Sam saw before everyone sprinted out of their seats and to the exits in a frenzy, was Ethan smiling with joy among the shocked faces.
He mouthed one word that Sam easily comprehended. “Karma.”