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Victor’s Emporium[]

Chapter 1: The History & Legend

I remember when my dad told me about this arcade he used to go to back in the day. I think it was called, “Victor’s Emporium”, or something like that. It was his favorite place to go when he was a kid. Games for kids of every age, and even new games that hasn’t been released at other arcades yet. Apparently, the owner himself, Victor, was a kind and gentle man. He loved seeing the kids play and having a good time. On top of that, despite a lot of people his age thinking that video games are a complete waste of time, he also love to play them. He’s stated that both of these reasons is why he opened this arcade to begin with. To give kids a place where they can be themselves and play as many games as they can. Needless to say, he succeeded in that goal.

One day, around the time horror movies were becoming more mainstream, and with at home consoles slowly sending arcades into bankruptcy, Victor ended up releasing his own game into the arcade. Victor’s Conquest. The goal of the game was simple, get to the end and slay the demon. He released it around Halloween, and it immediately was the talk of the town. They made it a bit too difficult, however, no one was able to get to the end of the game. Let alone, fight the demon at the end. Supposedly, a little girl was somehow able to make it to the end and beat the game. I say supposedly, because the arcade closed down shortly after, and no one saw the little girl since. Rumor has it that, when she completed the game, a demon came out of the game and took her soul. Which would explain why Victor had to close the arcade down.

The building remains standing to this day, with kids being dared into going to this arcade and play the game. I heard that tons of kids entered, and none had left. My dad only talked about how cool the arcade was, however, and he never mentioned the rumors surrounding the place since it closed. I only know this because, when I was a kid, my friends told me about it. One of them even dared me to go and play the game. I was about ten at the time, and I was terrified of anything even remotely creepy. I didn’t want to at first, but then, they started to call me a chicken. Nowadays, I’d just laugh it off, but back then, that was the worst thing anyone could call you. After a while, I caved in and agreed to go.

Chapter 2: Victor’s Emporium

Later that week, on a Saturday evening, I arrived at the arcade with a flashlight in hand. The Sun was about to set, so I had a little bit of daylight left to see where I was going. Just looking at the building filled me with dread. I did not want to be there. The building was massive, but decaying. It didn’t seem like anyone kept up with repairs on it. Probably since it closed in the early 90’s. Several windows were broken, and the grass all around seemed to be dead. And I don’t know if it was the shadows from the setting Sun or not, but the building was unusually dark color wise. I considered just going home and lying to my friends about it on Monday when we got back to school. That’s when I heard a voice from behind me.

“Hey, you made it.”

I turned around to see it was one of my friends, Beth. It was such a relief to see her standing there. Her gentle smile was enough to calm me down for a moment. Beth was able to see the best in people and in the situations around her. She always wanted to learn new things, that she would go on small adventures around town. Oftentimes getting herself in trouble with the grown ups.

I told her that I was just about to head home before she started walking closer to the building where the old arcade lies. I asked her why she was here, and she responded saying that she wanted to make sure I was safe. She didn’t want me to go in alone. As we approached the front door, we hear a voice coming closer to us.

“You damn kids, what’re you doing here?” The voice yells out. We turn to where the voice was coming from to see an old man, probably in his late fifties or early sixties, approaching us. “Don’t you know it’s dangerous here? Go home! Before I call the police!”

We ran back to the direction we came. I noticed Beth stopped running, so I stopped to find out why. When I asked her why she stopped, she told me that there might still be a way in. Me, being scared out of my mind, tried to convince her to leave. I failed, obviously. Beth smiled and pointed to the building, saying she might have found a way inside without the old man seeing us. I told her that it was a crazy idea, and that we should just go home. Beth ignored me and sneakily made her way back to the building. I remember standing there contemplating on whether or not I should go in with her, chase after her, or to simply leave. After a minute, I followed her.

I caught up to Beth at the side of the building. The dry grass was up to my knees, and with the sun going down, it was difficult to see anything. Beth was messing with a lid to a vent. The vent itself seemed to be big enough for little kids to crawl through. After a bit of struggle, I said that we should go home since she couldn’t remove the vent cap. As I finished my sentence, done in a playful manner because I really wanted to go home, Beth found a rock nearby and smashed the vent cap. Without hesitation, Beth begins to crawl inside. All whilst telling me to quickly go in with her. In a panic, I did just that. I crawled through the dark and narrow vent with Beth ahead of me.

It felt like we were in that vent for hours. When we made it out, we arrived in what looks like an office. Beth remarks at how dark it was. That’s when I remembered I had a flashlight on me. I turned it on and began to look around. There was a desk with an old computer on it to our left, some cabinets along the walls to our right and in front of us, and there was even a ceiling fan that looked like it was going to fall off at any time. Beth was in awe of what we were seeing. I, however, wasn’t. Beth was already at the door attempting to open it before I could say anything. She opened it, telling me to come with her. Reluctantly, I did.

We walked through these weird halls. Walls that had holes that allowed us to see the rest of the room. Some things were hanging from the holes. Some had fur, some were broken and rotting, and others were covered in so much dust. There was also a lot of these things on the floor. I wasn’t quite sure what they were until Beth picked up one of them.

“A doll?” She asked with a mix of uncertainty and excitement in her voice. I turned and shined my flashlight in her direction. Sure enough, it was an old doll. It had long, curly, blonde hair. With a blue eye in one socket that was half shut, and nothing in the other. Wearing a blue dress with white polka dots with a bizarre dark streak of red across its left cheek. I used the flashlight to look around us to get a better understanding as to where we are. We were surrounded by old shelves and toys. I don’t know why it took us as long as it did to figure out that we were behind the prize counter.

Beyond the desk were a bunch of arcade cabinets. Beth could barely contain her excitement. She had never seen arcade cabinets before, and neither had I. The sight of all these old games actually got me excited to be here. I had always been curious as to why we never had an arcade, and my dad would buy me rereleases of some of these games for our family’s home console.

Beth and I explored the main room of the arcade. It was a lot bigger than what I expected. Almost as if we were going through a maze. Some of these games I recognized, others I didn’t. Bizarrely enough, some of them had broken screens, and some had even fallen over completely. Anxiety was building up in me again, but I was immediately distracted when Beth called out to me.

I made my way through the maze of arcade machines. As I went along, they games felt like they changed. I think this was a section of games intended for the older kids and teenagers. I arrived to where Beth was to see her standing in front of an arcade cabinet covered in a blank sheet. My stomach dropped at the sight. I knew what was under that sheet. It had to be the game my friends described. Beth pulled off the sheet, and there it was, Victor’s Conquest.

Chapter 3: Victor’s Conquest

The arcade cabinet was in pristine condition. Not a spec of dust to be seen. The title on top of the cabinet had white text with a bold red outline, written in a way that made the letters look like it was dripping with blood, on a pitch black background. The illustration on the side of the cabinet was that of a stereotypical red demon on it fighting a villager. Probably the character Victor, himself. I noticed how the room suddenly became cold. I swear I could see my own breaths. Beth didn’t say anything, I don’t think she even noticed.

At this point, I was ready to go. I told her that, now that we found the game, we can go home now. Beth, however, wasn’t satisfied. She looked around the machine and found the power cord. I begged her not to plug it in. Going on my knees and everything. Beth simply looked at me with a gentle smile, reassuring me that it was just a rumor, and that nothing would happen. She plugged in the machine to a nearby outlet, and the screen lit up. I quickly stood up and backed away. And, in all honesty, I wished I convinced her to leave before she plugged in the machine.

The logo for the company that developed the game appeared on screen, before being engulfed in bright pixelated fire. When the fire disappeared, we were introduced to the title screen of the game. It had the villager in the middle of the screen looking up, his back facing us. He was surrounded by a burning forest, with the red demon at the top of the screen, covering most of it, laughing maniacally. The title of the game faded into the middle of the screen before asking for twenty five cents.

I didn’t know what to do, I just stood there in fear. Beth thought it was cool and immediately started to search her pocket for something. She pulled out a quarter, put it into the machine, and began to play. Once again, I begged her to stop. Before she could respond, however, we heard a noise. It was this weird, deep, tapping noise. It was faint, but we definitely heard it. We looked in the direction we heard it come from. We then heard the tap again, along with a few more not too long after. I looked to Beth, and even she looked worried. I had never seen her like this before. The taps began to get heavier, they began to happen more and more, before it stopped. Nothing happened for what felt like hours. The only thing I heard in that moment were the heavy breaths of me and Beth. The taps started again, only now they were faster and getting louder and louder.

I didn’t even think, I just grabbed Beth’s hand and began to run. Beth was caught off guard, but quickly regained her balance. I didn’t look behind me to see what was chasing us. But I could tell that whatever that thing is was massive. The taps kept getting louder and louder, and we can only run so fast. Unfortunately, I did something I deeply regret to this day. I let go of Beth’s hand. I should’ve held on to her, but I didn’t. I just ran and ran as fast as I could. Quickly running through the maze of arcade games before hiding between two of the cabinets.

I don’t know how long I’ve been hiding for. After some time, the taping slowly stopped. The entire room went completely silent. I could begin to hear my ears ring. Finally, I stood up and slowly started to make my way back to the prize counter. Hoping that thing doesn’t find me. I arrived at the counter and made my way through the shelves before I stepped on a toy. The toy was one of those dolls that made a noise when you press the button on the inside.

The doll made a yawning noise before saying, “Time to sleep,” followed by a fake sleeping sound. Like a character sleeping in a cartoon. The doll’s voice reverberated around the building. I slowly turned around and started to hear the tapping again, heading my way. It was just as fast and loud as before. I quickly ran in a random direction, thinking that was the direction the office was. I learned quickly I was wrong as I reached a wall with a vent nearby. After a few kicks, the vent cap came off, and I was able to crawl in. I frantically crawled through the vent, going in any direction I thought could lead me outside. The smell was unbearable, almost like something had died. Just as I thought that, I noticed that the tapping had stopped. It probably stopped a while ago, but I didn’t realize it. I tried to calm down to figure out how to get out of here. The part of the vent I was in allowed me to go either left or right, meaning one of them could lead to either the office or outside. At least, I think that was the case.

“Hey, do you want to play?” I heard a voice. Reluctantly, I looked to where I heard the voice. I saw what looked like a kid my age, but he didn’t look normal. He had deep, sunken eyes. All blacked out aside from two small lights. His head was this weird egg shape. Half of his face was decayed, and rotting. I could see his skull, which clashed with the other half of his head, which was perfectly fine. The head smiled at me, its smile reached to his ears. Exposing his teeth, or lack there of. I quickly started to crawl to the opening on my right. As I was crawling, I could hear him chasing after me. After a while, I saw that I was reaching a dead end. Before I had time to react, I begin to fall. I fell down the vent, broke through the cap at the end, and landed hard on the ground below.



Written by KyleRegis21
Content is available under CC BY-SA

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