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Redemption from the Man in Black

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I am a freshman majoring in programming. School had started two weeks ago, and I was still getting used to living on my own. My story starts when I became acquainted with two people in my computer class.

On campus, these guys were known as the Duo. Just the Duo. They were known for the destruction of multitudes of school property. They were rumored to have scorched pentagrams into the football field, with the words "We Are Always Here" at the bottom. People claimed they had their professors fired by planting any number of drugs on them, just because they didn't feel like going to class that day. Lastly, they were known to have planted an infected computer file in the main server, just to watch the chaos erupt through the school.

Well, sadly, the rumors were all true. I know, because I was with them every step of the way. For the first two crimes, they needed someone with computer capabilities to erase the footage from the school's network. The footage was from an unregistered computer, running from a temporary WiFi signal we could burn to cover our tracks.

Why did I do it? I was scared. When they first asked me to help them, you could imagine I said no. But Jonathan, the larger one said one thing to me:

"I'll give you until tomorrow to change your mind. After that, you'll regret saying no."

I looked up his full name. He was tried in court, accused of murder. However, he was let out free on the grounds of the evidence being circumstantial.

When he came back to me the next day, I changed my mind. I was terrified for my own life. I never enjoyed the things I did for them. It was evil to the core, but I was too selfish on my part.

The first deed had been done three days after school started. A week later was the second. Now it had only been four days when Timothy, the other of the pair, called me on my phone. He told me they had something huge planned.

My mouth had run dry just hearing the way he said it. I was doesn't even cover how I felt. Now that I think about it, terrified doesn't cover it either. He told me, "Meet us at the seniors' housing tonight at ten."

I purposely wore a white shirt and coat that night. It was a distress call for anyone paying attention that night. Luckily for me, Jonathan and Timothy weren't smart enough to figure out what I was doing.

"Did you bring your computer today?" Jonathan asked.

I smiled, as if I liked working with these two, "Yeah, I have all my stuff."

"Good, I need you to hack Villa 4's security, after that, you'll be free to go."

I stepped forward once and stopped, "After that, I can head back to my dorm?"

Timothy laughed, apparently he saw through my acting, "Still not convinced about working with us, all the way, Isaiah?"

He started walking towards me, but Jonathan grabbed his arm. "Leave him alone. We just need him to disarm the alarm. I don't care what he does then. As long as he keeps to our deal."

I let out a breath I had been holding since I asked my question. I was relieved that I didn't have to play any further role.

That's when I noticed him. He was watching us from across the parking lot the whole time. A guy whose face I couldn't see. He was wearing an unbelievably thick coat, despite the fact it was still summer, and a black fedora.

I was hoping he was watching this and he would tell someone, or get his phone out and dial the Resident Advisers on duty, or something. But no... He continued to stand there, as if nothing was happening.

"Isaiah, what are you looking at?"

I didn't notice I was staring at the guy for as long as I had been. Jonathan looked where I was, but he didn't seem to notice the guy in black across the parking lot. I couldn't blame him. It was so late, I was surprised I could see him.

Timothy and Jonathan walked me to the fourth Villa, where I noticed the construction paper on the door with the names of the residents. One of them -- Megan Smalls -- was a friend of mine from my Calculus class.

When I noticed the bag they hid behind the hedge that surrounded the Villa, I knew immediately what they had planned. I froze once more, unsure if I could actually go through with helping them any more.

Timothy spoke up while my hand remained hovering above my computer bag.

"Problem, Izzy?"

I didn't answer him, and I looked back over at the guy in black across the parking lot.

I inhaled sharply at the realization that he was at the next villa over, Villa 5. I could see his face now. It wasn't deformed, like many would believe, but his eyes...his eyes stared at me, unblinking.

What was he thinking? Was he going to stop them himself? He didn't stand a chance!

Jonathan lifted me off the ground and threw me into the hedge.

"Isaiah, no more distractions! You know what we want you to do, so do it!"

I was trying to stand up from the hedge, but he pushed me back.

"Or maybe Jeff will turn into more than a story on Creepypasta."

I couldn't breathe for some reason, as if the gravity had been multiplied by ten. So I pointed to the guy, who I realized wasn't much older than me. "Him..." I managed to get out.

"Forget it, Izzy," Timothy said to me, "No more distractions."

The boy was right behind the two bullies now, taller than Jonathan, but shorter than Timothy. One look at him and I knew I had to escape. His eyes were "glowing" black. Almost like they weren't even there. But the look.... it was looking at me.

I kicked Jonathan where it hurt and rolled off the hedge, running with all my might when I hit the ground. They were cussing behind me, trying to catch up to me, but I was running for my life. I couldn't go to the campus police, their office was closed after seven.

I went north, towards the cafeteria. It had been closed for three hours, but there had to be someone there, there just had to be...

I looked back when I had gotten closer, and they were trailing far behind, but they were determined.

My heart was about the pump right out of my chest, and it was becoming harder and harder to breathe. I silently cursed the man who designed the campus to be all uphill. Once at the building, I tried the door, finding it locked, as I should have expected.

I was about to faint, and I knew it, but I persevered. I went around where I would find the Humanities and Arts Center. I saw the lights were on in some of the rooms, and I knew the police hadn't locked the door yet.

Once at the front, I threw the door open and collapsed on the floor.

"Isaiah! Are you okay?!"

I looked up, happy to see the face of my English 101 professor, Dr. Bryan. She looked horrified at my condition. "Dr...Bryan... It's Jon...and..."

I couldn't even get the words out in one piece anymore. I looked back and saw they hadn't come over the last hill yet.

"Isaiah, what do you want me to do?"

I took a couple deep breaths. "Call...Campus...PD..."

She nodded and pulled out her phone. "Isaiah, can you go to my classroom? I'll have the police here soon."

I nodded slowly, and pulled myself to my feet. Around the corner was the elevator, where it opened right when I pressed the button. I pressed the two on the wall and waited for the doors to open again.

What I saw next made me scream.

The boy in black was looking at me right in my eyes. Except now, he appeared to be crying blood. His coat was now torn and filthy, as if he had been buried in it. His breathing was now audible, as a broken wheezing.

I backed into the elevator, my heart felt like it had stopped beating. I just knew I was going to die. He stepped into the elevator with me, and the doors closed behind him. The blood from his eyes started pouring onto the floor.

I tried to look him in the eyes, finding it hard because his eyes were still the "glowing" black they were earlier.

"Who are you?"

The only response I got back was his hoarse breathing.

I couldn't take it anymore. I screamed at him, "WHAT DO YOU WANT WITH ME??"

The blood stopped flowing from his empty eyes.

"I want...them to stop..."


"She's screaming... Do you know...what it's like to hear...the call for Death?"

I didn't even have time to respond. His mouth unhinged at the jaw, showing a mouth of earthworms and releasing a scream that made me wish for Death to come down on me, and I felt as if that was just about to happen. The lights in the elevator flickered and I feared they were going to go out, leaving me alone with the monster in the dark.

"Please! Stop!"

His jaw popped back into place and his scream of pain came to a halt. "Three jobs."


"That's what I did for them... Three jobs. Then they got rid of me."


His arm, filthy and reeking of decay, grabbed my throat, choking off blood circulation and my airway. Blood leaked from his eyes again, spilling onto the arm I instinctively lifted to grab his hand. He breathed in once in his wheezing way, "You brought them to a new level... They need you... What will they do...with you dead with me?"

The elevator started to move again, as someone on the first floor had pressed the button. The monster of a man released me, then he backed away, towards the door.

"She's going to join us, soon enough... Welcome to Death Row."

The door opened, and I blinked. The man was gone without a trace. Dr. Bryan smiled, hiding the horror in her face from what she experienced tonight. The campus police stood behind her. "Isaiah, please come with us. We need to talk about what happened to you tonight."

"Oh, God, Isaiah, what happened to your arm??" Dr. Bryan asked, noticing the blood that came from the dead man.

I gasped and pushed my way past the cops and out the door, hoping I wasn't too late to stop them. For once, I was happy about the way the campus was built. The way to the Villas was all downhill. All I had to do was keep from tripping over myself, which was easier said than done.

I passed the dead man again, who moved to follow me. I couldn't let him catch me, and I had to get to the Villas before anyone got hurt.

I noticed my computer stuff was still where I left it, and the window had been smashed. I leapt through the window, accidentally cutting my hand on the broken glass, and followed the trail of supplies to Megan's room. I found her tied to the headboard of her bed, duct tape covering her mouth.

Jonathan noticed me almost immediately. "Izzy. I figured you'd leave campus. Decided to join us today?"

I cracked. I punched him in the face, and shoved him into the wall by his neck, just like the man did to me. "Izzy... What're you doing..." he barely managed to make out.

I started laughing uncontrollably, "I saw him! I saw him, Jonathan!"

I heard Timothy move behind me. I reached for the pocket knife clipped to Jonathan's back pocket. I turned to look at Timothy as I held the knife to Jonathan's neck.

He laughed, "You wouldn't dare."

My eyes went wide with insanity.

"Try me, boy. I saw him! I saw him! He told me what you did!"

"Who are you talking about??" Jonathan screamed when my grip loosened.

I looked back at him and no longer felt in control of my actions. At that point, he started screaming. Terror was the only thing in his eyes. He had become a toddler when waking from a nightmare.

Timothy yelled at him, "Jonathan! What's going on?!"

"It's Rodney! He's alive! He's right here!"

I didn't feel confused for some odd reason. All I felt was hatred for the two arrogant monsters.

"Dude! Rodney is dead! You're freaking me out, man!"

I started laughing again, hoarsely and with no more concern for Megan, who was crying over the situation. Timothy couldn't take anymore of this. He ran out, trying to run away from me, and leaving his partner behind.

"Rodney...Isaiah...whoever you are... For the love of God, please let me go..."

My grip increased. When I spoke next, they weren't my words, and I just knew what was going on now. I knew the man in black was with me now when I said, "You have no God. He has abandoned you, Jonathan Cooper."

"Rodney... I'm sorry..."

When I gained a little sense, I looked into his eyes, and saw nothing more than Rodney's reflection. Where I should have been. Rodney spoke through me again, "Two people here are going to pay for their sins."

Jonathan looked deeper into my -- Rodney's -- eyes and I could literally see the life drain completely from his body. I knew I would be next. I could hear the police coming down the road. Rodney now stood in front of me again. I almost cried because I knew it was over. "I'm sorry, Rodney."

He didn't reach for me, and I could feel his empty eyes look away from me, though his head was turned my way. I could feel the police get out of their cars.

Rodney drew my attention back with his finger. "There's a reason I wore these thick coats in the summer, Isaiah. I was always expecting a storm."

That was two weeks ago, and it had been the driest two weeks of the summer. Since then, Jonathan's funeral placed him in the same graveyard as Rodney. Not more than twenty feet apart from him, actually. Megan's testimony allowed me to get off without ever having to serve time. But that meant nothing to me. Timothy confessed everything to the police when they found him running out of the Villa, to keep from facing me.

As for me, I spent my time praying. I wanted to live, but that wasn't what I prayed for. I prayed for forgiveness. I knew what I was doing and I didn't even do anything to get help. I assisted someone who murdered someone, and he was going to do the same to me in the end.

I wore all white today when I went to see Rodney's grave. I tossed a bouquet of daisies at the foot of his gravestone, and I heard lightning as it landed. I didn't even bother to turn around. I knew what was coming. Taking a deep breath, I stood still as the cold grip of death pulled me away from the world.

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