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After which point I declared the thing genius and readily shared it with my friends at school, all of whom shared in my horrifying delight of the piece. We would reference it in jokes to each other, mention scarier parts as comparisons to how frightening something was, it was all great, great fun. And, as luck would have it, my out of state cousin, a dear friend of mine and a fellow horror lover, came across the series as well, and we were soon going back and forth about it over Facebook.
One morning in the summer break of my first year of college, I was walking out to my car to drive my younger brother to his driver’s education class when I saw something propped up against my car. My mouth went dry in as I stared in dark humored delight, at a statue leaning against my car.
It didn’t really look like BEN mind you. The statue was maybe four, four and a half feet tall, less than a few inches thick. It didn’t really have feet, its legs just disappeared into the base. A pair of blue jeans and a white shirt had been painted on, arms at its side in actually pretty close detail.
The head was bald and the mouth was just a little splotch of red, but the finest quality of the thing were its deep, penetrating looking blue eyes. My brother, not interested in these stories of shock and terror and always one to question why I continued to torture myself by reading them, had to wait while I brought the thing to my room (a simple task, it weighed maybe ten pounds).
I came home for lunch on my break from work and heard a ring at the doorbell. A few of my brother’s friends were there, asking if he was home. I told them no but couldn’t divert my attention from their older brother who had driven them there, a good friend of mine who was amongst those I shared the tale with, snickering behind the steering wheel.
I walked up and swiftly accused him of putting the statue next to my car, which he admitted to. We both had a good laugh and, in some bizarre twist, when I asked where he got it he said he just saw the thing lying in the street a few days before. It sounded very odd but I was sure he was just keeping something from me. As the statue was left against my car, I deemed that I was now its rightful owner, and that I would paint and remodel the thing to look like the actual statue. My friend laughed and laughed and wished me luck, I promising I would someday put it to use.
Spending about ten dollars on paint, I slowly began the process of going over the thing with the greens and browns. I’m not much of an artist, not with paints anyway, and though I was proud of my work when I finished, I knew it wasn’t that imposing to anyone else as was. I’m awful at getting down little details and the face seemed like it would be impossible.
Finally though, it came to me. I threw a quick search into Google and obtained a picture of the discomforting statue and began to resize the face, printing it many times over. It was a long process of trial and error but I finally matched the size of the printed sheet to the statue. Smearing glue to the face, I pressed the printed image on, wondering jokingly if it would try to scream like Jadusable as the Mask Children sewed the BEN mask to his face, but of course, no such thing happened.
Once more I smiled at my work. The colors weren’t really consistent and only the face fully evoked the image, but I was still proud of the thing. I covered it in a large sheet of felt I had in my room (coincidentally used to create a Link costume for Halloween I wore many years before) and turned it so it faced the opposite direction as my bed. In my worst nights, in the most horrid of my nightmares, I turned and looked at the thing to be sure it hadn’t somehow turned around. It never did. I tried by best those nights to shake it off, glad that, although Zelda posters decorated my walls (about six of them were included in a Nintendo Power I once opted to pick up) I didn’t have any Majora’s Mask posters.
Towards the end of that summer my chance to finally put the thing to use came. My out of state family arrived in town and would be staying at my family’s house for a few days. I had to cackle to myself, knowing I would have to bring it all out on my cousin.
One of my best friends would soon be subjected to one of the best pranks I could come up with. I waited until late into the night, my intention to let hell break loose at 2:43 AM in tradition of the story, but I found I couldn’t wait that long. My parents were out with my aunt and uncle that night and figured they’d stay out at the hotel with them rather than take a cab home. No one would be around to object to the screams I was hoping for except our younger brothers staying a few rooms over. I grabbed my camera and began to record my preparations.
My cousin knew I liked to have the TV on when I slept and he is a heavy sleeper, so he naturally did not move a muscle from his sleep when my work began. I first turned on my Wii. I have long since lost my N64 cartridge of Majora’s Mask, but I had a copy of Zelda Collector’s Edition which would do just fine.
I started Majora’s Mask, turning all the volume off and spelling out the word YOURTURN in the first file and JACOB (his name) in the second. For extra fun, I pressed at the buttons on the TV until the already eerie blue screen grew very, very bright.
Second, I opened my iPad and selected a ten minute loop of the Reverse Song of Healing. Internet connection is horrible in my bedroom, so this frustratingly took a while, but I decided five minutes would be enough and set it aside for the moment.
Finally, I pulled the statue out from my closet. Surely he didn’t notice it and I had never breathed a word. And there, in the dark, the light of the TV illuminating it, I could believe it. You couldn’t make out the mismatched color or see through the places where the paint was thinner, this was BEN, there could be no questioning it. I positioned it right next to his bed, close to his head.
Camera positioned on my desk next to my bed, I began recording and hit play on the video of the song, slipping back under my covers as fast as I could. It took about a minute for the song to reach full volume, but when it did, the screams were let loose. I held back my laughter as hard as I could, not even looking, just assuring myself I’d watch the footage the next morning.
Slipping my hand out of my bed so he couldn’t see (not like he’d be looking at me anyway), I grabbed at the cords connecting my TV to the outlet and began shaking them, causing the screen to flash between the bright bright blue and pitch black. He kept freaking out, swearing to himself and screaming, it was all perfect!
And then the screaming stopped.
I was laughing too hard then. It didn’t matter if I revealed myself anymore, I just laughed and laughed. My younger brother and other cousin rushed in, demanding what was going on as I hooted and hollered. I only settled a little when I heard a gargling sound across the room. I turned and looked at my cousin, now shaking violently and his hands spasming in such a way. Suddenly I was scared too.
I rushed over and yelled at him to calm down, that it was only a prank, but it looked like his eyes were rolling back as he just kept gargling. I started to shake him and yelled at him to snap out of it before he fell from me and smashed his head into the floor, right in front of the statue.
I screamed at the other two to call an ambulance. I was horrified, what in God’s name was going on?!
My cousin was epileptic.
I had heard mention of it once or twice before, but I guess that day I forgot. All of our parents were rushed into the emergency room that night, trying to get some grip on what was going on. Before all the confusion was settled, in even the most minor of ways, the doctors confirmed it for us: He’d swallowed his own tongue. He was gone.
I had to turn all the video footage over to the police and, after some talk, deemed that I was not guilty of murder. I was swift to move out of my parent’s house thereafter, retreating to the home of an aunt of mine on my father’s side, since none of them knew anything that had happened. I didn’t tell her why I chose to leave the house, only that everyone there had very good reason for hating me then.
I don’t know if I’ll ever be forgiven by my family for what I let happen, for what I was the cause of. I can only hope so… It’s not so funny when it happens, but now, maybe it kind of is… It is just kind of funny… How one little move, be it opening a file on a sketchy cartridge or just putting together a prank, how much despair you can really bring about.