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I've had a few strange incidents in my life involving televisions. A lot of people always asked me why I don't have a television in my room, or ask why I'm so uninterested in TV shows. I often like to say that I don’t like getting too absorbed in shows, but perhaps some of you would like to know the REAL reason. I'll start from the earliest event that I can recall involving a TV.
I remember something from when I was very small. I liked to wake up late at night and sneak around the house, just for the thrill of it. I always did it just to see if my parents would catch me. Just the possibility of getting in trouble and my developing ability to evade the scolding and spankings was very fun to me.
I don’t remember how old I was, but I think it was when I was about five or six… I decided to tiptoe out of my room because I wanted to get some chocolate milk at one in the morning. My bedroom was at the end of the hallway, and past that hallway, there was the living room. The living room had my bean bag, a love seat, and a large couch in it, and near the huge picture window, we had a television. It was very old. It had been in our possession for as long as I could recall. It had that wooden paneling look that much of my dad’s old random crap did.
Nonetheless, I completely lost interest in the chocolate milk I was going to run to fetch. I saw a semblance of a green face forming in the screen. I could clearly see high cheekbones and a disapproving scowl and furrowed eyebrows. I couldn’t see the eyes very well, as at the time, I needed glasses and didn’t know, but I was too frightened to stick around any longer. To the young child I was, it was terrifying to know that what I usually watched so mindlessly was watching me, as well. If I wasn’t thirsty, I’m pretty sure I would’ve felt urine trickling down my leg. I remember I darted back to the hallway and took a swift left, right into my father’s room. I crawled under the covers with him and clung to him for dear life. I stammered something about a “scary green face” and he just comforted me until I fell asleep, assuming I had a nightmare.
Needless to say, I didn’t creep around like that again for a good long while, however, after a few years, that became a distant memory that I almost never reflected on. I thought of it as nothing more than a dream.
By then we had moved again, even though it was just up the street. That old TV was thrown out after it quit working. My parents bought a new one and gave me the one my mother used to keep in her room. I set it up and would watch cartoons on Saturday mornings. I think I even remember some show called Monkey Magic coming on? I do clearly remember tuning in to catch Sailor Moon and Dragonball Z. Yet again, things couldn’t stay calm.
I was falling asleep one night, and I heard that little resonant buzz of the TV turning on. My eyes snapped open. Nothing was on the screen except that familiar black and white fuzz. Annoyed, I snagged the remote off my nightstand and shut the power back off. It was okay for another few days. However, one Saturday night, when I was checking out the late night programming, the channels were changing on their own. I just kept “battling” the television set with my trusty weapon, the remote control. My efforts were futile. Eventually, I just gave up and turned it off and unplugged it before it could further frustrate me. It wouldn’t be long until I plugged it in again to watch some things after school.
I don’t remember what night it was, but I was doing the usual bit of dodging my homework. I’d usually just do it on the bus, during lunch, or between class breaks. My thought was that if I was going to school, I should be doing work in school, not doing work at home where I should be having free time.
So I plugged the TV back in and stared into the screen like any lazy pre-teen would. The colorful images were soon replaced by the garbled black and white snow of static, as the channel had changed. Green digital numbers appeared in the upper right corner of the screen. “02”. We didn’t have a channel 2, so of course all I got was black and white speckles and an abrasive sound. I changed the channel back to what I was watching, only for it to instantly switch back to “02”. I grumbled and tried again, but this time, my remote didn’t even respond. Instead, the mild buzz that I heard grew to an intense volume, louder and louder. My heart started pounding and I felt like I was going to panic. I don’t know why I was so scared. I yanked the cord from the wall and carried that TV to the driveway, setting it with the garbage.
“What’s wrong, sweetie?” My mother asked.
“It’s broken,” I answered. She didn’t ask any questions.
“Do you want us to get you a new one, honey?” She asked, looking a little concerned. I might’ve looked upset, and at the time, I was rather spoiled. I was usually just given anything I asked for.
“No, Mom. It’s okay. I wasn’t really studying well enough with it in there. It was pretty distracting.”
Once more, I moved. This time, I moved in with another family, as my parents knew and trusted them to take care of me in my questionable teenage years. For a long time, I once more forgot about the strange incidents involving the televisions. While I was a teenager, I recall their old TV started taking on an eerie green tint until they eventually had to get rid of it.
After that, I used to joke that every TV I came into contact with became cursed. My brother, far from superstitious, just laughed at me for saying such a thing, however, recently, I wonder if that’s true or not.
As I sit at my computer, typing, I find myself pausing. The voices I heard on the television upstairs have stopped. Now I hear the faint hissing of static and it’s slowly growing louder and louder…
Written by Shinigami.Eyes.