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You've Been Deceived

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Let me start at the beginning, which is where stories should start. I work a normal day job, full time, from 8 to 4:30. I have several breaks within that time span, and a lunch that can be however long I want it to be. My job was fantastic. My boss, a short gruff man who would strike anyone else as strict and ill-tempered, was extremely nice and understanding. Even his background as a soldier in the US army didn’t seem to affect how he treated me. He took me out to lunch the first day I started working here. He came up to my desk and asked me if I wanted lunch, I replied yes and then a couple coworkers, my boss, and I walked to the Chili’s right by my work. It was a great beginning to a great job.

As a programmer, I sit at my computer for hours on end. I had been tasked with fixing a problem that came up in my company. The problem was with this Optical Scanner machine that they used. Apparently the company they bought it from turned down the quality on all the scans. So when my company scanned in the new docs, they came out all jumbled and pretty much ruined the collection. So I was tasked with creating a program that would figure out which documents got messed up, since there was seriously thousands of them, far too many for one person, or a group of people, to go through.

I sat staring at my computer. I was about halfway through the process of completing my code. I was fairly inexperienced with programming, and really had to teach myself how to do it within the first week of beginning my job. Fortunately, as I said before, my boss was understanding and even gave me a webpage that I could go to in order to teach myself how to program, of which I thoroughly used. My desk setup was normal enough, a computer, keyboard, mouse, mouse-pad, and a phone. Now the phone I hardly ever used. Since I’m merely a temp that was brought on for a job during my summer after junior year of high school, I didn’t get much traffic on my phone. I’m surprised anyone else on my floor actually wanted to know me or talk to me, but then again the company is extremely friendly. Anyways, back to the task at hand. I sat there, contemplating my next keystrokes. I faced a roadblock in my code.

Just like when, as a writer, you experience a flow and all the stuff you type out into your book, or short story, or even Creepypasta, and then all of a sudden, like the flicking of a light switch to off, the flow stops and you sit there just dumbstruck of what to type next. That’s what I was experiencing. I had just finished the working version of my code, and after having been told to revamp it, I turned my face back to the screen. That’s when I saw something out of place. Now don’t make fun of me, but I use internet explorer as my main browser. I know it gets a lot of hate for being slow and such, but I’ve never had a problem with it, and frankly installing Firefox, or Google Chrome would take too much time, considering how lazy I am.

Anyways, back to what I saw. I turned my head back to the screen and noticed a new shortcut on my desktop. Now, of course, I hadn’t created that shortcut, it merely appeared. The name of the shortcut was also intriguing. It merely stated “Call Forward.” I should have known not to click on it, and just delete it. After all the Creepypasta’s I’ve read, well actually listened to, Mr. Creepy Pasta helps alleviate my boredom at work; I should have known to not follow the link. Maybe if I hadn’t clicked on it, all of this wouldn’t have happened…

So I followed the link. It brought up a webpage, which was also intriguing. The icon for the shortcut pictured a command prompt, instead of a link for a webpage. The page was completely black. The only noticeable feature on the webpage was the small white text located in the middle of the screen. But even this white text was out of place. It had a strange, blood like, red tint to it and it hurt the eyes to look upon it. The text read “Pick up the phone.” Right then, as soon as I finished reading the eerie message, my phone, that never rings, rang. Loudly, not like the normal ringing that I hear from the phones that always go off around me. This ringing was a hard ringing, like a classic phone from the early 1900’s. It was a loud, clank sound and deafened my ears. I looked to see the caller ID, and it read IT. IT is the part of the company that you call if you have any trouble with your technology, except they don’t call you…

I answered the phone, thinking that it was the IT department.

“This is Ross Martin.” I spoke into the phone. I noticed a strange static sound that played into my ear the moment I picked up the phone. Which I found odd, because shouldn’t the connection be good? Since the IT department is in the same area as my building that I worked in, and they called me on a landline? My thoughts were interrupted by a robotic voice that spoke.

“Deceptus es. Respice pro veritate.” The voice spoke, and then hung up. I couldn’t understand what it said at first. But I recognized the language. I had worked with Latin before, and even though it’s a dead language, I was able to recognize it when spoken. It has a certain flow and elegance to it, even more so than French or Spanish or Italian. Fortunately, thanks to my memory, I was able to remember what it had said to me, and quickly wrote it down. Thank God for Google translate and its ability to decipher Latin. I plugged what it said to me into the translator and then pressed go. My heart pounded in my chest. It read “You have been deceived. Look for the truth.”

I stared at the screen for a while. The message seemed to drive into my soul. I started to piece together the events of that day. I realized that the shortcut to the webpage, the mysterious phone call, and message were all linked together; Yes, I hadn’t made that connection at first. It all seemed weird to me at first, and then I just shrugged it off. I got back to work, but I was still faced with my “code block.”

I ended up not finishing my project that day and went back home. When I got home, I stripped down to my underpants and flopped into bed. Even though I enjoy my job, it’s still tiring and makes me sleepy. I slowly started to close my eyes when my head hit the pillow. Then it hit me again, what the voice said on the phone, the message that it left for me.

“I’ve been deceived?” I said to myself out loud. What could that possibly mean? I sat up in my bed and stared at the wall for a bit. I contemplated what it meant, what my next actions were. I decided to head to the internet and try to Google search anything that was similar to what I experienced. I Google’d the shortcut “Call Forward.” It came up empty handed. I google’d the characteristics of the website the shortcut took me to, in order to see if any comment strain or forum had found the same website as myself. After scanning the 35th or 36th or 37th Google page I found something interesting.

I clicked on the link and it brought me to a forum. The forum’s topic is what cued me in. The title of the forum was “Pick up the phone.” It brought me a page that reminded me of the “Call Forward” webpage. It was all black, and there were several messages in it. The first one was a question. It read “Has anyone else found a strange shortcut on their desktop called “Call Forward”?” The date the question was asked was even stranger. It was today. And the response to it occurred exactly one second after the original question was asked. The response to the question was “You have been deceived. Look for the truth.” And the response after that, which also occurred one second after, was “You have been deceived. Look for the truth.” Someone else had the same issue as me, at the same time. Hope filled me, but with it came dread. If someone else was in the same situation as I was in, and the responses were the same…

What would happen to me if I told others about it? I had to figure out who posted the question. Their username was easy enough and I used an IP tracker tool to figure it out. The forums security details weren’t very thorough so I found out the IP address of the man who posted it. His name was Paul Fresco. I tracked him down, yes, I know that’s stalker-ish but I needed to meet the man who had the same experience as me. He didn’t live too far away from me, so I was able to drive to his place.

As soon as I got to his house, the dark sense of dread came over me. His house looked abandoned. The drapes on the windows, I could clearly see were falling off on the inside. The roof was splintered, and parts of it were coming off. It seemed as if the whole house was decaying, and that no one had lived in it for 50 years. I walked up to the front door. The concrete leading to the doorway was cracked, and weeds were growing through the cracks. I stepped carefully, and made my way to the front door.

The paint on the door was practically nonexistent, except around the doorknob and a few spots near the top and the bottom. The wood was splintered, cracking, and there was a clear, large, hole in the door, opposite the doorknob. As if there were two doorknobs on the door at one point. I decided to take a peek through the hole on the other side of the door. As I lowered my eye to meet the hole in the door, cold wind licked the back of my neck. Shivers ran down my spine and I swallowed hard. I peeked in and stared into the empty hallway. It was dark, and I could only see the immediate area around the door.

But there was something else; at least I think I saw it. There was this… dark silhouette. It was standing just out of range of the light, so I could barely make it out. But it seemed like it was… facing me. The sudden realization dug into me. I froze up. Locked into the position I was in, staring through the door at the figure. Then it moved. It raised its dark, shadowy, hand and gestured for me to come in. As if by command, my hand reached out and turned the old, brass, doorknob.

The door creaked open, making a loud, almost unbearable screech, as it allowed more light to flood the corridor. The light reached the area where the figure was and illuminated it. But there was no dark figure, there was nothing at all! I couldn’t have just imagined that, could I? Something willed me to open the door… I stepped inside, against my better judgment. The air was stale, and appeared brown, probably due to the dust that filled the house. The new light from outside did a poor job of lighting the hallway that I stood in. My eyes adjusted as I stood there, and in the back of the hallway I saw the figure again. It was beckoning me once more, and, as if by command, my feet picked themselves up and followed him.

As I was lead deeper and deeper into the dark house, the walls seemed more and more decayed. In some places the paint was the only part that was peeling off, yet, further in, the wood started to splinter, and then, even further in, complete holes in the walls. I kept walking, and, as if all at once, the light disappeared. Complete darkness surrounded me, and no image appeared before me. Just black. As soon as the light disappeared, it reappeared again. Except the light source was a trail of candles in front of me. The light from the candles was wrong though. It danced across the room, and was… blood red. I followed the trail of candles. But I heard something… At first I just thought it was the cracking of the floorboards, but then I realized it wasn’t in tune with my footsteps. And the sound was coming from behind me. It was soft at first, and slowly got closer and closer. It was deafeningly close. As if something was behind me. And then I felt it, a puff of air on the back of my neck, hot air, and then again… and again… and again… I felt a heavy presence behind me and slowly bent down to pick up a candle. The presence was still breathing on me… I stood back up, and then suddenly turned around. The candle light illuminated… nothing. There was nothing behind me.

Was I going insane? I felt the hot air; I felt it breathing on me! I looked around frantically, using the candle to light up anything that I could. Yet, still, I found nothing. So I turned, and kept following the trail of candles. It seemed to span forever. After what felt like hours of walking, the trail came to a stop. The end of the trail was marked with a circle of the same candles. But these candles were dark. These candles were black. And the light that emanated from them… was hardly light at all.

The black candles emanated a glow, that was black itself. I don’t know how it illuminated anything, but I could still see. In the circle, painted on the floor, was an upside down pentagram, and within the pentagram… I could clearly see a bloodstain. I went to see if there was anyone around that was injured, but apparently the bloodstain was dry. I stood there, in the middle of the pentagram.

Bam! The noise caught me off guard and I stumbled and fell to the ground. As I lied there, I looked around me. Then I saw him. A dark figure wearing black and red robes, his face was partially hidden by the top of the robe. I stared right at him and his voice boomed.

“You came seeking the truth… And I shall give it to you” He outreached his hand, but his hand was bony. It appeared as if there was no skin on his hand at all. His bony limb got closer and closer to my face. I tried backing up, but only moved a few inches until my back hit the wall. I tried to protest, but no words came out of my mouth. As the hand got closer, I started to see things… behind him. Demonic faces stared at me, into my soul, and chanted something.

“Ave Satanas.” The demons said behind the man. Finally I mustered up something and merely squeaked.

“Paul Fresco,” managed to escape from my mouth. The hand stopped suddenly, and then retracted a bit. But the pause was only for a moment, as it outreached again and settled on my head. Stricken by fear, the figure started chanting again. I was so scared I couldn’t tell what he or the demons behind him were saying, and then the world turned black and I fainted.

When I came to, I was strapped to a table. I felt a wet substance on my arms and the sides of my torso. I strained my neck to look down to see what it was… My heart jumped into my throat. The source of the wet substance was… blood. But it was my blood that was coming from a wound on my torso. There, on my chest, was an upside down cross carved into my flesh. I gasped, but no sound came out of my mouth. Then the man, who I assumed was Paul Fresco, entered the room I was in. He stared down at me, examining the wounds on my chest that undoubtedly he inflicted. He reached out his bony hand again, and ran his finger along the upside down cross on my chest. Pain shot through me, and I jolted. He merely kept going, shushing me from time to time. Then he pulled out what I thought was water.

“In nomine Satanas, benedico hanc.” Fresco muttered under his breath. I trembled beneath those words. I picked out the word “Satanas”… which in Latin is the name of Satan. Before I could protest, Fresco opened the vial of water… and poured it onto my open wound. Instantaneously I felt the water turn to fire and begin scorching my flesh. I couldn’t scream, and just wriggled around in my bonds until the pain subsided. Then I felt it again… But the pain this time… was worse. The very gates of hell felt like they were opening within my chest. My trapped screams finally released themselves and I shouted into the room. Fresco beamed at me, and I locked eyes with him. There were… flames within is pupils. He seemed to stare right into my soul. His hand shoved itself into my wound as I lied there, motionless. He felt around, seemingly looking for something, and then when he found what he wanted… grasp held out it, and ripped it out of me. I looked at what he took, and it was a small, blue, barely pea sized, capsule. I stared in awe of what just came out of me.

“The human soul… Always thought to be a metaphorical object that helped explain individualities within different humans, is actually a tangible object…” Fresco lectured towards me, as if trying to teach me. If what he said was true, he literally stole my soul. I stared at him as he held my soul in between his finger and his thumb… Then… he crushed it. Pain shot through my spinal cord this time, and felt as if my back was breaking into two pieces. I gritted my teeth, trying to fight the pain… But it was far too much. Was this it? Was I going to die here, in some satanic ritual? After having my soul violently ripped from me? I thought back to everything I had in life a good job, a family who always loved me no matter what I did, a promising future. All of that would be cancelled if I died here. Fresco looked at me appearing to be pondering a question. Was he able to read my thoughts?

“Yes.” He said in response to my thought. Well I guess that answered my question. The realization that I had no soul anymore soon began to talk its toll on my mind. And the growls that plagued me before I was strapped to this table started up again. The demons, I thought to myself, have returned. I could see them better now… Black creatures, hunched over, almost like a gorilla, they walked towards the table I was strapped to. I couldn’t see how many there were, but I heard growls from all sides from the room. Getting louder and louder, the closer they got to me. A black, hideous, demented face appeared right above mine. Its teeth… mangled, sharp. I could see it clearly as a smile, a demonic smile. Then it lowered its face to mine and I blacked out.

When I awoke I was in a field. The wound on my chest was healed, but left the upside down cross scar on my chest.

“So it was real…” I felt the scar on my chest, I was fully healed. Everything seemed fine. So I collected myself and tried to pinpoint where I was. I wasn’t far off from a road so I walked towards that. I held up my thumb, trying to hitchhike my way back home. A kind enough man stopped by and let me in. I gave him the directions to my house, since he was going to be passing it, and he drove me there. He stopped in front of my house, and I thanked him. I shook his hand, thanking him again. But then I felt something, a strong feeling in my lower back. My left hand moved towards my pocket, without consent from my brain, as if it was being controlled. It grasped around a handle of something… It quickly came out and before I was able to stop it, a dagger planted itself into the chest of the man who gave me a ride home. I gasped at first… but then slowly started to enjoy it. I stabbed again… and again… and again… His blood flew every which way, covering the steering wheel, covering my face, covering the dagger.

I came to and stood there… admiring the work I had just done. I slowly licked the blood off of my lips, and off of the dagger. And whispered to myself… “Hail Satan”

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