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People usually associate the term “technical difficulties” with a technological problem interrupting a normal broadcast on a camera or television respectively. However, what if this problem was not just minor little interruption, but an event that could result in a complete deconstruction of a person's life?
In early February, my small town of Alzmen (a cover-name for the real town) in Kansas was holding an Awards Show similar to the Oscars. For the past couple years, residents of the town would vote on nominees chosen for different categories (such as “Best Picture”) to be read in front of an audience sometime in February, free of charge. However, this year, the person who ran the show decided to see if he could air the show on local television for everyone to watch in the comfort of their own home. He rid of the live audience and the actual show and instead put up posters of the date and time of the awards.
Being a semi-involved resident of the town, I was curious to see the results of the show, as well as intrigued on how the show would be run this year. My wife was not interested at all, but she agreed to watch at least the start of it with me. The days passed by rather quickly, and it was finally almost time for the show. I settled on one of the old rocking chairs in my living room with my wife, and we stared at the small television sitting on the table in front of me.
After a couple minutes, a title appeared, stating, “Welcome to the Annual Alzmen Movie Award’s Show!” However, something was off right from the start. There was absolutely no sound. I turned up the volume quite a bit, and neither my wife nor I heard anything. The title faded away, and I dismissed the events as I saw a well-dressed man in front of a background that read, “Alzmen Movie Awards.”
The sound came back in at that moment, and the man began to speak. However, mere seconds after the man began welcoming us to the awards, the screen went to static and a loud buzzing noise flooded from the TV. It pierced through my ears for a couple seconds before it stopped and an image returned to the TV. I sighed in relief, but then I looked to my wife, who had a complete look of confusion on her face. I focused on the image and realized something very odd was occurring.
There was a single person in the room, with a very visible state of pure happiness on his face. He was a man wearing very torn-up clothes with no shoes. His face had little cuts all over it, and his hands looked as though they had been burned. The room was empty except for a small little lamp in the corner. Any indication of some sort of event or celebration was completely absent from this scene. The sound was not gone, but it was very faint at this moment.
I looked for a few more seconds before my wife got up from her chair nervously and began to walk into the kitchen. However, before she could leave the proximity of the television, the man turned to face her and the buzzing started again for another few seconds. My wife turned to face the television and looked in horror as the man stared directly at her.
The man stared at her and slowly got closer to the camera recording the whole scene. My wife wanted to walk away, but every time she tried, the loud noise would come back, and no matter what button I pressed to change the volume, the sound would never get any more quiet. It came to the point that if my wife or even I moved more than an inch, the noise would start. I wasn’t even able to grab the phone in my pocket to contact the police without the noise ringing through my ears and startling me.
The man eventually came close enough to have his entire face fill up the screen. The scars on his face were much more prominent, and we could see the horrendous way his skin looked and all the damage done to his face. At that moment, the man stopped advancing toward the camera. He turned his head to look directly at me. He opened his mouth and whispered in a terrible, raspy voice:
“Sorry. Technical difficulties.”
With that, the camera toppled over to the ground, breaking it and sending the TV screen into static. My wife and I were shaking with fear. We started to get up, and realized that we could finally walk without the noise interrupting. Immediately, we both reached for the phone to call the police and report what we had just seen. I dialed the number and waited.
Suddenly, the buzzing noise came through the phone so bombastically loud that even my wife could hear it from in the kitchen. It went like that for a few seconds as I sat in pain before it stopped and the call ended.
I decided that I had to go to the police as soon as possible, so I began to put on my coat to go report the situation. I told my wife to lock all the doors and windows once I left and stay hidden in case something were to happen to me or if that crazed psycho were to break in. I figured she would be much safer in the home than coming with me. I put on my shoes, opened the door, and ran to my car. I put the keys in and tried to start the engine. Unfortunately, the car was completely stuck in the snow.
I ran to get the shovel on the side of the house to dig out my car, but when I came back, my eyes widened. A figure was standing on the hood of my car. I couldn’t make out his clothes, but I saw that he had a wide grin on his face. I dropped the shovel and ran up to the door. My wife had locked it, so I banged on the door and screamed for her to let me in. Right as my wife unlocked the door, I was hit in the head by something incredibly hard and I passed out.
I woke up in a medical ambulance after a couple hours in the driveway of my home. The nurses nearby informed me that I was to be alright, and that it was simply a minor concussion. However, a police officer gave me the news I had been dreading. My wife had been found dead, stabbed multiple times by a kitchen knife and disposed of in our bedroom.
To this day, I am still going to therapy based on what happened that night. I reported my story to the police, and they considered it. However, after asking many people in the town who had seen the Awards what happened, all the witnesses claimed that their screen flashed the words, “TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES”, and that the Awards resumed about 20 minutes later. The police asked the neighbors if they heard any loud buzzing noise coming from my house, and they responded by saying that they had heard no such thing.
The police eventually just took the description of the man and left the home. I went upstairs to my bedroom and looked around. It felt incredibly empty with the absence of my wife, and I began to sob uncontrollably. However, after a few minutes of mourning, got a text on my phone from one of my friends. I pulled it out and realized that he had called me several times as well. I unlocked my phone and read the text.
“hey. u ok?”
I replied with, “I’ll get over it. I just need some time.”
“alright. Im just worried about u.”
“I’ll be alright.”
I looked up from my phone when I received that. I was rather confused, and I assumed that he was trying to make me laugh or something.
I texted him back, “Lol.”
“Are you alright?”
As soon as I sent that last text, my house phone started ringing. I went up to it and saw that it was friend calling. Thinking it was odd that he would call my house phone rather than my mobile phone, I picked up the phone and answered, slightly nervously.
“John? Are you alright?”
The silence continued.
“Dude, are you ok-“
As I said that, the buzzing noise pierced through the phone. After a couple seconds, it stopped and I heard that terrible, raspy voice say, “Sorry. Technical Difficulties.”
Written by AGrimAuxiliatrix1