The following is a written confession obtained by the FBI, which have been leaked to the public. Reader discretion is advised.
Our mission: to give young people a chance to experience adulthood!
Man, they almost make it sound noble. That’s what I thought as I scrolled through the ABOUT section of IDLord.com, a site (based in China, I believe) that sold fake ID’s like hotcakes. It was surreal looking at something like this; some site that sells phony drivers licenses to kids with inspiring sales copy. I was 18, at this time, and four of my friends and I wanted to get one of those group deals on fakes. $60 per person, something like that. If you went solo, it was north of a hundred, and since all of us were on board we thought what the hell. After doing some research on some shady sites on how best to concoct the info on your fake, I was ready to place my order.
Step one: Use your real first name, but a fake last name. This means that a bouncer won’t toss you to the curb after your friends have been calling you ‘Jake’ the whole time in line, even though the name on your I.D. says Fabio, or some shit. The fake last name… well, come on, no need to explain the reasons for that. My real name is Jake Dalton, so I use the name Jake Norman on my fake ID.
Step two: Use the age 21. Though it’s generic, it’s a common age, and there are lots of people who are, in fact, 21. No need to stretch your age.
Step three: Your picture. Make sure there’s even lighting. I actually once knew a guy who got busted because, on his ID photo, half his face was covered in shadow. He had no idea. And why would he? He was a stupid 16-year-old.
Step four: The signature. Just make it look like you’re not in kindergarten. Oh, and make sure it’s the fake name you came up with, and not your real name.
Step five: The address. This trips some people up. Some people make up a completely fake address, but then they don’t remember it when a suspicious bouncer asks them. Instead, use your actual house number so you can remember it, then make the street a fake one and change the state to whichever state your ID says.
Okay. Easy enough. So, I got my fake in the mail—checking the mailbox profusely over the next couple of weeks to make sure my parents didn’t intercept my package—and it looked great. I live in Asheville, North Carolina, and my fake ID was a Tennessee drivers license, the state which borders mine. I live at 308 B*** *** ***, so the address on my ID was a place in Tennessee called 308 W*** *** ***. Easy to remember.
My friends and I—or should I say Jake Norman—had a blast that Friday night. We got past bouncers, we bought cases of beer, we got into bars and did shots with our cash tips we’d gotten at work. It was great.
My friend, Sammy, and I were chilling the following day, Saturday afternoon. We were sort of hungover and a bit bored, just watching stuff on YouTube and reading stuff on forums. As we go through 4Chan, we come to find that there is a thread for ID Lord, the site we got our fakes from. We decide to click on it, see how other folks made out with their fake ID experiences. There were little minor complaints; “the UV is a little high,” or “the signature looks stretched.” There were glowing reviews, too.
And then, we came across something that was a bit odd. There was a subthread which was titled: The address I made up for my ID is a real address??? Anyone else notice this? What followed were a half dozen comments claiming the same thing.
Naturally, Sammy and I went and looked up the address I had made up. There it was on Google Maps. 308 White Brook Lane, and in Tennessee, no less.
We thought maybe ID Lord used real addresses for realism, but surely that’d be illegal. I’m no law student, but that seemed like a form of impersonation.
But there was one thing that really caught our attention. A few of the commenters claimed that the houses had money stashed in the floorboards, lots of it. People came up with theories as to why this might be; the most convincing was that maybe the houses were drug houses used by the same cartel that sold the fake ID’s.
Well, being broke high schoolers, Sammy and I were soon en route to the address, which was only a few hours from my house. It was sunset by the time we arrived. The house was a two-story home in the hood, and it had a chainlink fence surrounding the property. A large oak tree stood in the backyard, looming over the house as if protecting it. Beyond that were some woods that stretched on into the next neighborhood over.
Sammy and I got out of the car and headed for the property. The chainlink gate creaked as we opened it and stepped through. We walked across the overgrown, dandelion-filled grass, and went up the doorsteps and opened the screen door and knocked. No answer. We knocked several more times and, still, no answer.
“Dude,” said Sammy, “let’s fucking go in and look for the money.”
“Hell yeah,” I replied.
We went inside. The place had furniture in it and it seemed as though someone was still living there. But everything was covered in a thick layer of dust, and we were never more than three feet from a cobweb, so we were fairly certain the house hadn’t been lived in. Still, we had our doubts.
“I don’t know, man,” I said, “we might be trespassing.”
“Look,” said Sammy, “I ain’t passing up on a boatload of money. Let’s tear this place up, find it, and get outta here. No one’s lived here for years. Look…”
Sammy ran his finger across a mantle, displaying the wad of dust that had snowballed onto his fingertip.
“See?” he said.
“Yeah, yeah,” I replied. “All right, let’s get to it.”
We tore the place up; threw up couch cushions, rummaged through drawers, peeled away molding, put holes in the walls.
It was dark, now, and we were about ready to give up and just go home. That’s when we heard something. It sounded like a television.
“Shit, dude,” I said. “Is that a damn TV?”
Sammy and I stared at each other with our jaws agape. Our shocked, open mouths were pits of darkness. Our eyes were bugs’ eyes. The sound of the TV was coming from upstairs.
“You think someone just left it on?” Sammy asked, stupidly.
“Oh my god, dude,” I sighed. “We’re fucked. Probably some old person who can’t hear a thing.”
“Only one way to find out.”
Sammy and I crept up the stairs. Each step creaked, and each time it did, we winced like we’d been pinched. Whatever was playing on the TV was a commercial, but I was pretty sure it was a super long infomercial, because it sounded like the same voice had been talking for the past few minutes.
We got to the top step and I, at the forefront, peeked around the corner and gazed down the dark hallway. The hall stretched for about 20 feet and there was a door at the end. Blue light flickered beyond it.
“The TV, I presume?” I whispered.
Sammy and I crept down the hall.
“Excuse me?” I called.
Sammy shushed me and slapped my shoulder as his eyes went wide. “The hell you doing?” he hissed.
“We’re really sorry for being here,” I said, ignoring Sammy. “We thought the place was empty. We got the wrong house, and…” My voice drifted off as we listened for a response. Nothing. We arrived at the end of the hall and pushed the door open. The room was empty. But, it was what played on the TV that was truly haunting.
The TV was an Oxiclean-type informercial, with some guy shouting at the camera in an excited way.
“At ID Lord, we value you!” the salesman shouted. “You get to create a new you that is of legal age! A you that gets to party with the adults, get into clubs, or order a beer at your favorite bar! Get together for a group purchase, and get fifty percent off your -
Sammy and I looked at one another with big eyeballs.
“What the fuck?” I asked.
“Let’s go,” said Sammy. “This is…”
We turned around and there he stood. Or should I say, there I stood. It was me. Even in the shadows, I could see that it was me that stood across from us. Either I had a twin, or something had occurred that was beyond my comprehension. I couldn’t speak. I could barely breathe. I went into a state of paralysis by fear.
Me—the other me—wore the same clothes I’d been wearing in my fake ID photo. The hair, that was the same too. Something else matched, too: the facial expression. When I had gotten my photo taken, I just gave a little half smile. And that was the expression the other me had plastered to his face, unmoving, unblinking, not even a twitch.
“Wh-Who are you?” I said.
Still holding the same facial expression, the other me spoke. “You know who I am.”
“Y-You’re… you’re me.”
“No. You’re Jake Dalton.”
“I’m Jake Norman. I was gonna pay you a visit, tonight. But it looks like you came to me…”
Before Sammy or I could do a thing, Jake Norman lunged for Sammy. My evil clone pounced on him like a tiger and bit into his neck. My god, the gargling noise that erupted from Sammy’s throat, that mix of screaming and bubbling blood.
“Sammy!” I shouted. I tried to pull Jake Norman off of him but the clone was firm as a statue, and pulling on him was like trying to uproot one from the ground. I backed away and got ready to run, just as Jake Norman lifted his bloodstained head and glared at me. I shrieked and booked it toward the stairs. I glanced over my shoulder just in time to see the other me roll onto his back, prop himself up, and proceed to spider-walk after me.
I flew down the stairs. The other me did that freaky spider-walk down the steps, faster than any human could go in that position. I yanked open the door, ran to my car, and hopped in. As I put the keys in the ignition, Jake Norman slammed his face up against my window and pressed it to the glass, hissing as he ran his tongue along the glass. I started up the car and sped away.
I went to the police immediately. I told the cops to go to the house and they’d find his body. When they did, they found nothing. Not even a bloodstain. I was suspected for Sammy’s disappearance. I was eventually exonerated, but everyone still looks at me like I did it. I know what everyone is thinking. They think I’m a murderer. I think I’m gonna have to move, probably to another state.
But those are the least of my worries. Jake Norman is still out there. And, by God, he’s coming for me. I know, sooner or later, he’ll come looking. And he’ll find me. Fact is, I would’ve been better off in prison.