On one late Tuesday night, I booted up my computer and went to Twitter to check out my feed. Though, after I had logged in, I noticed a pretty strange sight.
Every tweet on my timeline was from a random account named “@Byron_LG”. None of the tweets appeared to contain any text, and when I clicked onto the profile, it looked like it led to a dead page. Confused, I decided to click out of Twitter and try a few other websites. YouTube, Reddit, and even Twitch were all working fine, but whenever I went back to Twitter, all I saw was the same thing.
Eventually, I just left my computer with Twitter open, having to had temporarily leave over the phone ringing the next room over. Around 5 minutes later, I returned to my computer, finding a new Tweet from the Byron account. However, this time it had text. It read:
“01101000 01100101 01101100 01101100 01101111”
At first I was confused, though, I quickly realized it was binary. Putting it through a binary to text converter revealed it simply said “hello." Figuring I had nothing to lose, I responded to the tweet with a hello back. It was only at this point I focused more on his profile picture.
It looked like a heavily edited photo of a person, made to look blue, but I was unable to make out any facial features. Other than that, it’s... a little hard to describe. While the icon just looked like a strange edit, there was something genuinely off-putting about it; I couldn't really put my finger on it, but, it was making me seriously uncomfortable ‐‐ that might be an understatement, honestly. Even without being able to see his eyes, I felt like he was staring into the deepest depths of my very being. It was probably just some troll account, possibly one of my friends or something of the sort, but.. It scared me. I don’t know how to explain it.
I was so entranced, I almost didn’t notice that he had replied to my tweet. His reply read:
“Ovd hyl fvb kvpun Avkhf ?”
Upon seeing the message, I was, again, confused, before realizing it was, again, an encoded message. After a small amount of searching, I found out it was encoded using the caesar cipher. After decoding it, I could see the message read:
“How are you doing Today ?”
I decided to ignore the question he asked me, and instead responded with a question of my own:
“Who are you?”
Much faster than the last responses, in mere seconds I had already got a tweet back from Byron.
“Now I’m really mad.”
I was confused as to what he meant, until I started feeling strange. Suddenly, my heart started beating faster and faster as a constricting pain filled my chest; it felt like I was having a heart attack. My vision was slowly starting to become blurry as I threw off my shirt, suddenly becoming extremely warm. I could feel my consciousness slowly drift away as the pain became worse and worse. In a last ditch effort to save myself, I managed to type out a response to his original question;
“i am fin e“
I collapsed just as I hit enter, unable to see past my blurry vision as my heart was beating nearly non stop. I managed to mutter Byron’s name aloud to myself as I lost consciousness and everything went black.
Some time later, I woke up, covered in sweat and dazed, unable to remember what had happened before I had collapsed. I looked back onto my Twitter screen and saw I had a new reply from Byron, as the memories began flooding back as to what had happened. My hands shaking, I clicked onto Byron's new reply to see what he had said. It simply read:
“goodbye Peter :)”
I was overcome by emotions, relief as it seemed as this was over, worry as to how he knew my real name, which I had not put anywhere on my account, confusion as to how all this was happening. I tried once again to check his account, though when I clicked on his profile it took me to my normal timeline. Confused, I tried going back to his profile though it always just took me back to my home page. I even tried sending a tweet to his username, and the tweet failed to send. As I was still attempting to process what had happened, I realized my TV was on, turned to the news. I stumbled over to my TV, and to my shock I saw a photo of Byron next to the newscaster.
“Thousands of deaths have been reported across the US, all people who interacted with a Twitter account called “Byron_LG," and then suffered a heart attack on the spot. If you see an account with this profile picture or username, avoid speaking to them at all costs. Do NOT interact. New deaths are still being found related to this case around the country….”
I was completely bewildered at what I was hearing. It seemed like I had just narrowly avoided death at the hands of Byron_LG. Still listening to the newscaster speak about Byron, I was suddenly pulled away from the TV as the ear piercing sound of glass shattering filled the room, as a brick had just been tossed through the large window in my living room. I ran over to the window to see what had happened, and my eyes widened as I saw someone standing outside my home.
It was the same exact image I had just seen both on the news and on Twitter, now standing in real life in front of my home.