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The air was slightly humid in California, The sun was bright and was literally making me melt in my mascot attire. I wish I could wipe the sweat off from my forehead but obviously, I can’t.

An adult man is stuck in a stupid boiling hot smelly mascot outfit. Can you believe it? I wanted to work as an employee for Universal Studios for my whole life, the dream has lasted longer then my dream to become an actor.

If you don’t know what University Studios is, It’s a Hollywood theme park and it contains everything related to movies/films. This place has everything: roller coasters, Restaurants, Tours and you actually get to see how they make special effects in movies on those tours! If you don’t believe me search it up. Anyway, when University gave me this one in a life-time opportunity I didn’t pass it up. Plus I’ll admit, dancing like an idiot for others entertainment was slightly fun.

I have a seven-hour shift here so you’d expect how tired I would be at the end of the day. Except I would stay for a little while longer to go to the highest point of Universal where you’d be able to gaze at the brilliant stars and the colorful glowing streets from below, hills mostly surround University Studios so if you look down over the railing at night, you’d only see the dark abyss of the hills but could faintly make out the shape of trees and countless amounts of bushes.

And so this became my routine and my moment of peace, Especially finally taking off this stupid cartoony bug’s bunny head. And to make it ten times better is when I’m slurping loudly on a cold slushy.

And after about fifteen minutes I would go back to my one bedroom chilly apartment.

Days flew by and I was slowly adapting to my job. Enjoying every minute of it now, I soon learned how to loath in other people’s happiness and laughter. And so I added that to my routine schedule as well. Wake up, Eat breakfast, Shower, Work, Dance like a idiot, Stargazing, drink a sweet beverage, Go home, drawing, listening to music, fall asleep. And repeat over and over again. I already knew that I was slowly falling into a obsessive compulsive routine style but surprisingly enough. That didn’t bother me.

Slowly but surely, Universal's grounds were etched into my mind, giving me the ability to form a map in my head. It took a while and quite a lot of effort but I got there soon enough, (though it took me a year and a half) I was patient and my reward was creating a mental map of the Studio. And I could never get lost in this large range of property.

I came to the conclusion that University Studios was the ‘perfect’ job for me. sure, I was a mascot and the only mascot there. But I knew one day I would be boosted to the higher rank, the managers and other staff members have developed a liking for me. (I think one of the hot chicks here has a crush on me too) However, If Universal chooses me to stay as a mascot forever. well, I have a saying: At least I’m not the janitor or plunger;

After a few long enjoyable months, University Studios decided to ‘promote’ me to a security guard due to the fact that I actually studied law in college, and the north gate guard was tired and age had caught up with him. I was excited and thrilled but they told me I still had to work a few days longer as a mascot. I didn’t complain

Finally this was my last day as a mascot, and I was joyful. sure, I’ll probably miss the bugs bunny suit and the fact I could quite literally smack annoying employees in the face with my abnormally large carrot: But of course, All good things come to an end.

It was in the early afternoon and I took a break and went to the restroom for the staff which was way back of the studios, where it was surrounded by tiny hills and was covered in trees, so no visitors would be able to see the staff. This small area consisted storage vans. And various equipment and props were on the wooden planks that towered over each other, creating a type of table of some sort. It really was the only place where you could rest your items on, so I caught a glimpse of makeup and other unnamed things, on occasion I would catch a couple making out back here but I paid no attention of course.

Once I had taken care of my ‘business’, I zipped up, Quickly put on my mascot suit but wiped the bead of sweat off my forehead first.

I exited out of the surprisingly clean portapotty, and stretched, inhaling deeply and took in my moderately beautiful surroundings

Then, I heard a faint, soft ‘Thump’. It sounded more like a damp slap on stone too. I swung my head towards the source of the noise. It was silent momentarily before I heard it again. A little bit louder this time, I pursed my lips and debated on the lottery if I should investigate or not.I was always the type of person who wants their veins pumped with adrenaline and I was definitely a ‘problem’ Child back then. Always getting injured from exploring mysterious nooks and crannies so I didn’t want to miss this opportunity.

I walked over towards the trees that was on a small hill, I peered past the large, Tall trees and saw ‘Bates Motel’ At the bottom.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, Bates Motel is the scene from the movie ‘Psycho’, In which the main character of the movie who is the murderer, kills a blonde woman in bates motel and exits and puts her into his car’s trunk. And he proceeds to stalk towards the tour bus with a malicious expression plastered onto his features, gesturing that he was going to try and ‘murder’ the passengers on the bus

Now, you only see this scene reenacted at the ‘University Studios Tour’ (Like I said before) you get a ride on a tour bus around the studios to see how movies were made and how effects work, etc., etc.

I held the side of the tree to lean in closer to view the set better (I actually never got around on going on the tour and I also never knew the staff area was so close to Bate’s Motel.) My eyes fell upon a figure leaning against the concrete wall. I squinted my eyes to try to see who this guy was. Presumingly a male due to the fact he didn’t have a single curve on his body

I couldn’t seem to focus on his form clearly because of my bugs bunny mascot head, I groaned in defeat and slowly began to take off my head to see the mysterious male clearer.

I felt a gust of wind hit my warm face and shivered, Finally my vision grasped his form and my jaw dropped. It was the actor for the ‘Reenacted Psycho’ Scene, waiting for the tour bus to arrive so he can acted out his duties. Though, this was strange because, tours were delayed today.

I arched my brow in confusion and wondered why he was here, he has a day-off and he might as well take the opportunity, I mean. He works everyday just doing the same thing over, and over again. He was even wearing his costume for the scene too

Feeling curious, I carefully tip toed down the hill, Avoiding the dried crumpled leaves, the last thing I wanted is for him to detect me. After reaching the base of the hill, I peered slightly closer. Hand tightly holding the branch to avoid any tragic accidents where I fall and crack my skull open.

He walked inside the shack behind Bate’s Motels set where a shack was located. The shack was used for various things, But one of the main things was just to have the actor for the Bate’s motel scene to relax until the tram arrives.

My eyes followed his every movement as he looked around. Before entering the shack, I pursed my lips and felt curiosity but at the same time a sense of dread in the pit of my stomach boiled.

Feeling the adrenaline pump in my veins I jumped down, And grunted loudly due to the force shooting from my toes to my lower back. Rubbing my backside in pain I quickly walked over to the door and opened the door oh so slowly.

I knew break-time was over but that spiraled in the depths of my mind.

The work-shed was fairly large, Almost as wide as the Bate’s motel set. I tip-toed across the creaking floor, Trying my very best not to make a single sound, it was silent except for the actor’s heavy footsteps. Every time I rounded each corner I feared that he would jump out of nowhere and scare the living daylights out of me. (of course that never happened)

I turned a sharp corner to see him walking down a tiny hallway and into a basement. I swallowed hard as my heart began to thump wildly against my ribcage. Thank goodness for the stone-hard bones because if I didn’t have them my heart would burst out of my chest and unto the floor.

I waited for a minute before descending down the small wooden staircase myself. I recognized the basement, It was where they stored equipment and props but I heard a story from a few workers that they moved out of the storage unit and into a bigger, Freshly renovated one a few months ago.

I stood behind the door and pressed my ear against the cold surface that sent shivers down my spine.

I could faintly hear the sound of clicking. However it was barely audible, I bit my lip and grounded my ear to the door further if that was even possible.

The sound became clearer and now I could make out other sounds. I heard a slight thump and a clack, following by a snap and what seemed to be… crunching and gears grinding.

I felt very confused now, And my curiosity was fuming inside my brain. still, That awful feeling never left my stomach and it increased in discomfort to the point my knees slightly buckled. My toes curled tight and thoughts were racing through my mind but one stood out among them all.

What was going on behind that door?

I felt my gut screaming at me to run away and never, Ever! Come to this place again. But, my curious mind refused and the question of finding out what he was doing behind the door resurfaced each time. I took a deep, breath. My hands were shakily gripping the door handle so tight my knuckles were ghostly pale.

Even though those were a few moments of debating of what I should do next, they felt like that lasted forever. Finally, I hesitantly opened the door to leave a crack so I could peer inside. But to no avail, the door was too heavy and it wouldn’t creak open when I applied pressure, there was only one way I could see inside and I had to open the door fully.

By now the noises in the room were even louder this time, Then. I forced all of my weight and might unto the door and it flung open and even I almost toppled over. The noises halted and I looked up, And- holy shit.

There. A man wore a taxidermied black dog head and a torn, white suit splashed with paint of brilliant colors, accompanied by a camera and a type of unique tool that I did not recognize. He had belts tied around his neck and trailed down around his waist, I stood there, fear locked me in place as the horrific man began to raise his finger, and, hushed me. Placing his finger to the dog’s exposed sharp teeth

I screamed, and bolted towards the stairs but I stopped as I saw a woman with a white bandana wrapped around her mouth, She was wearing dark green rimmed sunglasses and had long blonde hair. She was fully naked except for her white boots also covered in paint. She was holding a expensive canon camera and was filming me. Before I could get the hell out of there, she shut the door, Following by a click to my horror.

I stood there, Refusing to turn around to look into those beady, Dead eyes of a dog. I tried to scream but only a whimper escaped

“Turn around,” I flinched as he spoke. A cold, raspy voice he had. I didn’t move “Turn, around,” he repeated, anger visible in his voice.

I began to tremble and quake in fear as I felt cold fingers grasp my shoulder as his fingers dug deep into my shoulders.

“Turn, around!” And with that he forcefully grabbed both of my shoulders and turned me towards him, a scream tore threw my throat as the dog head was smiling ear to ear, his ears pointing skyward. I grimaced and felt bile in my throat as brown thick, sticky liquid leaked out of his sharp teeth, and trickled down the dogs black fur, I started to pant as yellow spots danced across my vision and my throat felt parched, cracked.

He brought up a camera and his disgusting, Veins poking out of his sickly pale, blue finger hovered over the button.

“Say cheese,” was the last thing he said before there was a blinding flash of light and I fainted.

I woke with a jolt and sat up, my head whipped in every direction. Silently praying that my eyes would not meet those bottomless pits. To my relief I didn’t, I realized that I was in a hospital room. The rhythmic beeping of my heart monitor was soothing and calming. A small machine was reassuring me that I was alive and well.

I was lost in a pool of thoughts, but at least I was safe from that. Thing, the theory that it was a dream was impossible and was disposed because when I checked my shoulders I indeed saw faint scratch marks under my hospital gown.

A nurse entered my room soon after I had confirmed of what I’ve seen. She smiled and I returned the greeting with a weak grin, to my surprise I was pretty damn tired. I asked her a few questions and she explained gladly. How I got here, Telling me that my family and friends know, etc., etc. However there was one thing odd, she said a fellow employee found me passed out with my head bloodied and bruised underneath a tree.

Once that was all done a doctor came in and gave me details of what happened and when I’ll be discharged and such, even a police officer came in and asked me questions: However I didn’t tell him the story, what am I going to say? He’ll surely think I was on drugs or something (because I totally don’t have a drug related history)

He said I needed another day of rest but I didn’t complain. The thought of sleeping and eating at a hospital sounds, Safe and secure. The day went by slowly but surely and finally I was able to leave the hospital and go back home to my apartment. I was happy but at the same time uneasy arriving at my home, But none the less I was exhausted and sore.

A week had passed and I almost completely forgot about the ‘incident’, I still worked at Universal and kept distance from Bate’s Motel and I was a guard at the north gate. When I got to my apartment complex my eye caught a small thin, dark green package with a white and black striped bow on it. When I saw it my breath hitched and I felt my heart beating fast in my throat. Quickly, I brought it inside and settled it on the counter and inspected it further:

There was a small white note that had fancy words scribbled on it that said:

Dear Matthew, <3

This is for you ;)

-Director, Actress.

p.s You left your watch!

My face went pale, And I almost burst into tears right there and then, They know my address and my name! I began trembling but quickly gained my composure. I silently cursed myself, I guess my watch fell unto the ground without me noticing in the basement but no way in hell! Was I going back there.

After throwing the note into the trash, I began to unwrap the package to see what ‘gifts’, These psychos sent me.

It was a DVD, I gulped nervously. I just wanted to burn the DVD, Move out of my apartment and just, Just, Put thousands of miles between me and those people!

But something told me I HAD to watch it. And I complied, I popped the DVD in my play station and began to watch whatever was on the DVD.

It was a black screen and bold text appeared, The opening credits I guess.

“Universal Studios Presents!” a cheesy drum roll blasted out of my speakers. “MATT” My teeth chattered when my name was visible as the title of the film. Now I wanted to know what these sickos did to me while I was unconscious, I thought I would be prepared to face anything in this film.

To my utter horror. A recording of me played, I was in the basement cowering in fear, It was more terrifying seeing myself trapped like a mouse in a cage.

Everything was the same like I remember it, To the very last detail. When it ended I sat there in silence before ejecting the disc and locking it in my cabinet. Even though my rationalization was screaming at me to give it to the police but I was exhausted, Both physically and emotionally, This was NOT good for my mental health.