This all started when my friend, Clair, and I wanted to create a game. A realistic game, like a simulation, except you can do whatever, and I mean whatever. With no mods allowed either. But that was four years ago when we were ten. Eventually Clair and I separated from each other’s lives.
I’m fourteen now, and we actually made the game in about a year, with the help of my father. He put everything that we wanted in it, but we never sold it. We just kept the game to ourselves and never showed anyone. It was really fun at first, and then it got boring.
But one day, the doorbell rang. Clair was standing there, not blinking, blue eyes wide, a scary smile, and her head was tilted a little. She looked as if she was going to kidnap me and kill me. But she just stood there, not saying anything. I was so happy to see her that I didn’t pay attention to her facial expression. I smiled happily and hugged her, without receiving one back. She handed me a CD case, and with the same expression as before, she reached inside the house and slammed the door. I opened the door, but she wasn’t there anymore. Strange, I thought. I went upstairs to my computer and shoved the disk into the disk-drive. I was happy to see that it was our game, and I wanted to play it again so I opened it.
The title screen was there, like usual. It showed people walking the streets, like we made it. The cars were zooming by. Then the title popped up. Our game was called LIFE. There was one button, when there were normally four.
It was the “Play” button. I just shrugged and pressed play. There were no save files when I remembered making one. The theme song was nice and peaceful, but then it got faster and faster, and then went in reverse for a bit, and then the music stopped completely. Then the loading screen started. The loading bar was black and glitchy when it was normally pale blue and quick.
The bar went back and forth, and then it stopped. Then it started again and turned back to normal. I can’t really describe how I felt at this point. I wasn’t scared, and I wasn’t completely calm. The first person view of the character was a little off, as if someone was recording it with shaky hands. I started off in my house, the peaceful music playing again. Then the screen went all static, but the music was still playing.
I hadn’t remembered the game to be this horrible in quality. At this point I had forgotten that I hadn’t made a save file, but I was on the game. I felt a little uneasy at what was happening. I made my character walk to the mirror, but there was nothing there, which was probably a result of not making a character. I wanted to stop the game and reboot it later, but I felt the need to push on. I pulled up the character page, where it would normally show my character, but it just showed a black silhouette. The name was not there either. It looked like someone scribbled on the screen in black marker. That was enough for me.
I rapidly pressed the off button on my computer, but it wouldn’t turn off. I ripped the CD out of the slot and placed it back in the case. I grabbed my phone and headed for the door. I locked the door behind me and rushed as fast as I could to Clair’s house. When I got there, I was about to ring the doorbell, but the door swung open. Her mother was standing in the doorway, her father peeking out of the kitchen.
“Where is Clair?” I demanded, pulling a look of frustration. Her mother’s eyes were red and swollen as if she’d been crying.
“Sorry, dear. She’s not living here anymore. She was found dead in her room, like a suicide, but no one knows why.” Her mother sobbed.
“But the suicide looked more like a murder to me.” Then she slammed the door.
I rushed back to my house, tears running down my cheeks. I couldn’t sleep that night. My former best friend committed suicide, leaving me a haunted game, and not saying anything. I had dreams about Clair, the game, and everything that went on that day.
A week passed and I felt like I had to figure out what went wrong with the game. I booted it up again. The title screen had changed. There were no cars, no people, no animals; the screen was grey with that same play button. The LIFE title slowly changed to DEATH, right before my eyes. The graphics were sketchy. I reluctantly pressed the play button and left off where I was. I made my character walk outside, and I saw the grey screen and the empty streets, except for one thing. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a boy standing beside a house. His eyes were messed up, the pupils were gone and the color in the eye was too. I walked towards him, confidently. But the close I got, the more uncomfortable and unconfident I got. I stood face to face with him and pressed “Talk”.
It zoomed in on his face and the screen panned up and down his body, twice, before coming back up. His face changed from blank, to the face that Clair was making when I last saw her. The face looked creepier on him. I left the talk screen with him, and tried to leave the area, but I couldn’t. The game was acting as if it would when you reached the out-of-bounds area. The screen turned black, which was not normal. Then a text box appeared. The letters slowly appeared, but they were jumbled up. The letters gradually made words that said:
“To leave, you must speak with me once more, please?”
And then it disappeared. I felt tears running down my face, but I had no clue why, or who the text was talking about. The screen turned back to how it was before. But when it did, the boy was standing in front of me. He looked the same as he did before, except there were strange creases in his forehead as if he were thinking hard. I pressed the talk button again. A text box appeared again.
“Talk to her again.”
Who was “her”? Then the game froze. The face stayed on, but everything else turned black. No matter how hard I tried, the face wouldn’t disappear. I grabbed my keyboard and slammed it into the computer. That’s how it ended. I went insane after that. Maybe it was the reason why Clair died. I don’t even know to this very day. I didn’t even know who the boy was. He looked as if it was a photograph because of how realistic he was. Nothing in the game was that realistic. What I didn’t notice though, was that in the corner of the screen, there was the horrible face of the boy that remained on the smashed screen.
One year later I was still curious about what happened with LIFE. I got a new computer and put the disk inside. I went to go check the coding to see if the game was modded. I was scrolling through the files and found nothing but a file called Clair.wav. It was a video. I clicked on it and watched it. It was in the game, same graphics and everything.
It showed Clair sitting on her bed. She stared at the screen blankly for a few seconds, and then she broke out in uncontrollable sobs. She murmurs “I can’t take this anymore.” And then she picked up something black beside her. It was a gun. Clair took the gun and placed it against her head and muttered, “Goodbye, Sadie.” And then she pulled the trigger. Blood and bits of brain stained her walls as her lifeless animated body slid down and rested gently on the bed.