Let me tell you a little bit about myself. My name is Natalie, and I have a twin sister named Meghan. I also have an older sister, but I won’t mention her name as this is not a story which concerns her. My twin sister and I have shared a room at the back of our house for almost all 15 years we've been alive. The yellow painted walls, and the movie posters draped around them, reminded us of safety. The room belonged to us.

I slept in a single bed on the left side of the room, and Meghan used to sleep on a single bed on the right side of the room. Although this was the most common setup of our sleeping arrangement, we tended to rearrange often. We would sometimes push our beds together, to make a double bed, just to feel safer when we heard the house settling in the middle of the night. I remember that one time my sister and I were told that we were going to get bunk beds in our room, and our single beds would be thrown away or given to charity. We displayed such distaste in this idea that our parents, instead, forced us to keep the single beds until we were well into our teenage years. As we grew bigger, and the beds seemed to grow smaller, we soon came to the realization that we could no longer share the room at the back of the house with the yellow walls. One of us would need to leave.

Meghan was the one who ‘moved out’, if you will. My older sister had turned 18, finished school, and was taking a gap year overseas. A perfectly good bedroom with a perfectly good double bed was her departing gift to us, left behind after she had left home. Meghan took this room as her own immediately, and began to redecorate. She now had a room to herself, and so did I.

It was exciting to begin with. She could play the music she wanted without me yelling at her to plug in her headphones, and I could write stories and watch videos without her watching over my shoulder. Yes, like I said before, the start of the change was a new and fun experience for us both. But the longer we stayed away from each other, the lonelier we became. We would've walked into each other's rooms and struck up a conversation any time, considering the rooms were right next to each other, but I guess neither of us really wanted to admit that we were having second thoughts about our new rooms.

This was during the time when Facebook was really new and kind of unheard of, and Nintendo DS’s were all the rage. Pictochat was a feature on the Nintendo DS where you were able to chat with one another by either typing (slowly and tediously) with a stylus, or handwriting a message with the stylus on the touch screen. Meghan and I often chose the latter option, as it was much faster and you could also recognize the handwriting. There were four chat rooms you could chose from, A, B, C and D, and the Nintendo DS’s would wirelessly connect (over a short distance) and recognize which chat room the other person had entered.

Meghan and I began to communicate through Pictochat, and we would often take turns in choosing the chat room to enter. One would wait while the other picked a chat room, and then they would join them in that chat room. It was really fun, and you could write just about anything you wanted without fear of it being recorded or traced, as the conversation would delete itself as soon as you left.

So, Meghan would be in her room, and I would be in mine, and we would talk for hours on Pictochat, after the sun had gone to sleep, about every noise we heard in the house. About how scary it was to have an entire room to ourselves and about random and pointless things that had happened during the day. And then, after about four weeks of this, something really weird happened.

One night, I was waiting for Meghan to pick a chat room so I could enter and talk with her. She was taking forever to pick one, and we always turned our DS’s on at the same time each night. We followed the same pattern, and she knew it was her turn to pick. Seeing as her room was next to mine, I leaned over and tapped on the wall. She tapped back, and entered chat room D. Finally, she had responded. As soon as you enter a chat room, you are able to see who else is in it. Expecting to see ‘Meghan12’ pop up in purple as soon as I entered, I was surprised to instead find ‘DtDtDjUD3’ in blue. Cool, I thought, someone next door must have a DS as well, and I can talk to them! At the time it was really exciting. I’d always wanted to be able to talk to a new person on Pictochat, because it was only ever Meghan and I who would talk.

‘DtDtDjUD3’ sent me a message before I could send them one. It read: Are you sure you should be up this late? All typed out, instead of being written by hand with the stylus. I messaged them back, typing as well, to make them feel comfortable. Below is as much of the conversation as I can remember.

NatsCats33: I could ask you the same. What’s your name?

DtDtDjUD3: You can see my name on the top left hand of the message.

NatsCats33: I meant your real name.

DtDtDjUD3: My name is D.

NatsCats33: Is that your favorite letter or something?

DtDtDjUD3: Are you mocking me?

NatsCats33: No. I’m sorry. How are you?

DtDtDjUD3: Not happy. I've been fighting a lot lately.

NatsCats33: I haven’t heard anything from next door.

DtDtDjUD3: That's because we don't let you, Natalie.

‘DtDtDjUD3’ has left the chat room.

I stared at the touch screen of my Nintendo DS, completely shocked and amazed at what had just happened. I almost wanted to take a picture of the screen, just to confirm to myself that it had in fact happened. How did they know my name? Who were these people? Were they even people?

As sinister theories began to fill my mind I forced myself to sleep. I didn't want to think about it anymore that night.

The next day when Meghan woke up, I walked into her room and asked her why she hadn't gone into a chat room last night. She apologized and said she’d accidentally fallen asleep reading about half an hour earlier than the appointed time we usually talk. I told her not to lie to me, and she suddenly got really defensive.

“Why would I be lying?” she said.

“Because I heard you knock back on the wall, Meghan. I’m not an idiot, I just wanted to know, and you had to turn it into a fight,” I said, turning to walk out of her room.

“Are you serious, Natalie? Are you actually being serious now?” she said, her voice filled with worry.

“Yes,” I said, now suddenly concerned at her dramatic shift in tone, “Why?”

“I never knocked on any walls last night, Natalie. Not once.”

I left the room with a sigh, assuming she was trying to scare me. I wasn't going to fall for it. I felt clever for seeing through her dumb trick. I didn't talk to her all day; despite the nervous glances she gave me every time I passed her. I had decided that on Pictochat that night, I was going to congratulate her on her acting performance, but tell her I had had enough of her game, and that I wanted my normal sister back. I climbed into my bed and pulled the blanket up to my chin. I grabbed my Nintendo DS, entered a chat room and waited.

'NatsCats33' has entered the chatroom.

‘DtDtDjUD3’ has entered the chatroom.

DtDtDjUD3: Hi. Welcome back. Why did you pick Chatroom A?

NatsCats33: Hi. I’m waiting for my sister. I didn’t expect you to enter.

DtDtDjUD3: Why didn’t you pick D?

NatsCats33: How did you know my name last night by the way?


NatsCats33: Okay, chill. We can go there. You can meet my sister.

DtDtDjUD3: Good.

NatsCats33: As long as you tell me how you knew my name.

‘DtDtDjUD3’ has left the chatroom.

‘NatsCats33’ has left the chatroom.

‘Meghan12’ has entered the chat room.

‘NatsCats33’ has entered the chat room.

NatsCats33: Go to chat D some guy is in there.

Meghan12: Really? Another person?

NatsCats33: Yeah. He’s a bit weird. Let’s just go.

Meghan12: Okay.

Meghan and I both left the chat room and entered chat room D. The following is the conversation which I can vividly remember:

‘NatsCats33’ has entered the chatroom.

‘DtDtDjUD3’ has entered the chatroom.

‘Meghan12’ has entered the chatroom.

DtDtDjUD3: Hello. It feels good to talk to you again.

NatsCats33: How did you know my name?

Meghan12: Ur my sister, that’s how.

NatsCats33: Not you, DtDtDjUD3 up there.

DtDtDjUD3: I like the letter D.

Meghan12: Ther is no 1 else here. Why r u typing?

NatsCats33: Nice try Meghan he just sent a message.

DtDtDjUD3: It starts the best words.

Meghan12: Are you okay Natalie?

NatsCats33: Meghan look I’ll show you.

I left the room and walked into my sister’s. I showed her the screen where our messages had appeared and she stared wide-eyed at my screen. She then showed me her screen where none of ‘DtDtDjUD3’s messages had showed up. I was bewildered. That wasn’t a glitch, was it? No, glitches don’t do that sort of thing. The messages just hadn’t appeared on her screen, and it didn’t even say that he was in the chatroom on her device. I heard a familiar ‘ping’ and looked down to check my screen. Another message:

DtDtDjUD3: Don’t you think so too? D starts the best words, doesn’t it?

NatsCats33: What? Like, dessert?

DtDtDjUD3: No. Disease, Disaster, Diabolical, Destroy, Damned, Defeat, Danger, Deceived, Decline, DEMONIC and my favourite, DEATH.

‘DtDtDjUD3’ has left the chatroom.

Meghan and I both decided at that moment to stay away from Pictochat for a while. We soon came to the realization that whoever this was, they weren’t nice. They didn’t want to be friends. They wanted to hurt someone. I left the chatroom and so did Meghan, and as soon as we did we knew we couldn’t tell our parents. We had just destroyed the evidence. We would just have to pretend like it didn't happen.

* * * *

A few weeks later, we had almost forgotten what had happened. No more unusual things had been happening, and so life went on as normal. Meghan was missing her single bed, so I offered to swap her double bed into my room, and she could take the single bed out. She was thrilled at the idea, and I thought she had gotten the short end of the stick. She was stuck with an old single bed, and I now had so much more space to sleep! I was definitely winning. That night, to 'celebrate', Meghan agreed to watch a scary movie with me. I say 'celebrate' because she only did this on rare occasions and so I used every excuse I could to get her to watch one with me. She had a tendency to get nightmares, you see. But because she was so happy with the state of her new room, and also because we were missing our older sister, we snuggled up to watch a horror flick.

I have to admit, it was actually terrifying. The story idea was bone-chillingly creepy, and the scenes were shot so well you thought you were actually part of the movie. When the film had finished, Meghan and I looked at each other in horror. “I wouldn't be surprised if I have nightmares tonight,” I said, and we both laughed a little, our nerve returning. We finally gathered enough courage to leave the room and go to bed. I said goodnight to her, and walked into my bedroom, jumping onto the new double bed and switching off the light.

* * * *

A couple of hours into a deep slumber I awake to the sound of my bedroom door opening. Meghan. She must have had a nightmare and come into my room for safety. I notice something rectangular and black in her hands, then conclude it must be her Nintendo DS, and proceed to pull out my own immediately. She obviously wants to talk to me about the movie, and she is being smart; we don't want to wake up mum and dad. She crawls into bed next to me and faces the opposite direction. I can feel her back almost against mine.

I flip open my screen, and enter the only chat room with another person in it. Chat room D:

‘NatsCats33’ has entered the chatroom.

‘Meghan12’ has entered the chatroom.

NatCats33: Couldn't sleep?

Meghan12: I shouldn't have watched that movie, huh?

NatsCats33: Maybe not.

Meghan12: I had a nightmare. Sorry if I woke you up. Didn't realize it was that loud.

NatsCats33: Well, you were smart to come in here; you can keep me safe too. :)

I hear her clacking away with her stylus on her Nintendo DS behind me, and I almost laugh. How silly that we aren’t talking face-to-face. I can feel the weight of her body pushing the mattress down beside me. I think about turning to actually face her, until I hear that all too familiar 'ping' ring out from my DS. A new message. I look down at the screen:

‘DtDtDjUD3’ has entered the chatroom.

DtDtDjUD3: You breathe funny.

Meghan12: What? I’m in my own room?

Written by Natalo
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