Hi there. Can you understand me? This doesn’t look like gibberish to you? I see. There’s an explanation as to why you can read this when others can’t. Read carefully. I’m not sure how this kind of exposure works. So if you’re reading this, you’re gonna have to be very careful and don’t let your mind wander. Focus on my words and only my words. No daydreams.

I know you must be intrigued. Some random guy I’ve never met speaking to me saying I shouldn’t be able to read what he’s saying? That I can’t daydream while I read? The hell does that mean? I can assure you, nothing good. I promise, I’ll explain everything. I need to give you the full context so you can understand why I’m writing this. And why I need you to hear what I am saying.

We all have some level of distrust towards the government, right? It’d be remiss to suggest that the ruling bodies of the world haven’t done any good, but we all know there’s shady shit. Corrupt politicians, bribes and threats, secret projects banished from the prying public eye, we all know it. And we accept it, right? Sure, we wouldn’t want to live in a world so jaded that we can witness the suffering of millions and even be screwed over ourselves whenever the bills start to have a few extra zeroes that shouldn’t be there, but it’s all par for the course. We’ve gotten used to it. It seems peculiar how we can all be unanimously linked in such a disturbing way, yet we shrug it off and laugh about it, saying that’s the way it’s always been.

We all have a dark side to us. One that aches to be free, but for an unknown reason, perhaps evolution, perhaps purely sympathy, our good side, for the most part, prevails. But what about those who give in to the temptatious devil on our shoulders? Well, we know, don’t we? Infamous serial killers and psychopaths are one of the juiciest topics you can talk about in today’s world. Men who strayed from the golden path and for one reason or another were thwarted by the forces of good. Arrested or killed or forgotten to the decay of time… But some survive. And as those, as we call, evil people give in to their dark urges survive, they find whatever it is they’re looking for. And then they know.

The world’s always been a mess, we just happen to live in the point of history where we’re more aware of it than ever. Regardless of any bad we witness in the world, we’re content. Life isn’t perfect, but we make do. Form meaningful relationships, forge unforgettable memories, achieve a goal you’ve dreamt of achieving for such a long time that the sheer joy and thrill you experience upon its completion is indescribable but you know in that very moment life makes sense.

I sure do miss that feeling of contentment. It’s been a while.

I’ve been on the run for the better part of a year. I know who’s chasing me but I’ve never seen any of their faces. They lurk in shadows, watching, waiting for me to give up, that one moment when I let my guard down and they win. Sometimes, they’ll emerge into the light of day but they’re extra precautious that I never see their identities. In my mind, anyone whose face I can see isn’t worth noting. But someone who instinctively glances away when I catch them in the corner of my eye? Let’s just say store clerks are my only friends nowadays. I feel their presence every second I’m awake, and even sometimes I lurch from my sleep with the foreboding sense of dozens of pairs of eyes locked onto me. They’re unmistakably the glare of human eyes. No other animal could make as malicious a presence as the human being. And my mind always drifts to the faces of those serial killers and mass murderers that plague the news.

It terrifies me that my stalkers are human. I think about my assailants, how at one point or another, they must have friends, loved ones, dreams they aspired to. Maybe when I was growing up in the little cottage I used to call home, one of my neighbours who once fretted about bills, getting a promotion, building up the courage to ask out that pretty blonde at the bar, was now lurking in the forest watching the little boy from two doors down. Now a shell of their former selves, nothing left but the bitterness and ugliness that allowed them to surface, utterly devoted to stalking some kid for the sake of their anonymous master. The thought of becoming like that sends shivers down my spine. What kind of life is that? One where you must forego all humanity and all traces of who you were for some devious entity that would readily betray you to save its own life. I can’t end up like that. Anyway, I’m rambling, sorry. These memoirs are all I truly have left. I hope even if one person can see this and remember it and it saves them down the line, I’ll feel like I made a difference. That my life mattered. I am more than who the world told me I was. Rambling again. Sorry. Back to the mystery shadow people.

I’ve seen their outlines and shapes so often that I’ve even started naming some of the more recognizable ones. It started as a fun little game, a way to find humour in the bleak situation I found myself in. But eventually, it formed into a practical way to exploit my aggressors. Everyone has weaknesses, even these mysterious shadowy villains. Their minds may be sharp, alert, but they still have human bodies and human bodies have weaknesses. I’ve been able to keep one step ahead of them due to a mix of sharp memory, quick reactions and a whole heap of good fortune. Though, I can’t imagine how much good fortune I have left. I might have used up all the goodwill bestowed to me.

The first one I noticed was Bobby. I call him that because he reminded me of Chief Wiggum from the Simpsons, and a slang term for police officer where I grew up was “bobby”. Simple as that. I tried to make the names connected to my past, who I was- who I am. Bobby looked tough. His portly body gave me the impression that he was at least 300 pounds, added to that his height, at least 6 and a half feet tall. You’d be surprised at how easily this overweight giant can blend in with crowds, but I knew immediately this guy would knock me flat in 1 second if I let him so I’ve always avoided him when I can. I can’t afford to let him overpower me. If that happens, then it’s curtains.

The first time I remember noticing Bobby was in a shopping centre. I was stocking up on clothes, food, camping supplies. Obviously, I needed equipment. I was on the run, after all, couldn’t stay in one place too long or else they’d find me. They catch a whiff of my essence if I linger somewhere for more than a day, so I was unable to call anywhere home. As I was making small talk with the girl operating the register, I noticed him checking out the women’s underwear section. It was innocuous enough, perhaps it was a gift for his wife or maybe he was just a perv wanting to satisfy his lusts, I’m not a judgmental person. It was a slight glance, the kind you do when the conversation turns stale, which unfortunately it was (I was in no real mood to chat up a retail worker, God knows they have enough on their plate without having to deal with my pitiful attempts at flirting). I just happened to notice the guy standing there and my brain made an unconscious imprint of it. Maybe it was because the women’s underwear section was directly to the right of the payment area, only a few feet away. Or maybe it was because he gave off that aura. I had to train myself not to be suspicious of everyone I saw, but sometimes my radar would go off. But I brushed it off. I told myself if I thought I saw someone a second time, I’d get a little bit closer to check. But only a little bit, I couldn’t risk getting too close. Lo and behold, five minutes, the same guy in a completely different store. The shopping mall I went to is adjacent to one of those long streets filled with stores and street vendors. I had no need for research, I already knew exactly what I needed and where to get it from. I made a beeline for it straight after my purchases at the mall. I needed some tools, Swiss Army knife, lighter, generic survival gear, so I made my way to a navy surplus store. It took me about five minutes to race-walk it since I was in a rush and I wanted to get away as soon as possible. When I made it to the store, he was already there.

I recognized him immediately and had to fight off the urge to curse. I was still in a rush to get all my stuff and get away from the public, but I knew I had to be wary of him. None of them had approached me at this point, but this was mere days into my life as a fugitive, so I still didn’t know who I needed to be wary of. It would help if I knew what at least one of them looked like. When I went up to the register, sure enough, there was the same giant with his back to me browsing in the jacket section, directly to the right of the payment area. It basically confirmed what I already knew. And if there was one of them right next to me, there could be untold numbers of them surrounding the area I was in. I knew I needed to act fast, but I had to confirm my suspicions. I’d be able to sense whether or not he was a foe immediately, and I remembered the promise I made to myself back in the shopping mall. There was no way this guy showing up twice was a coincidence. So as I left the store, I made sure to walk only a few feet away from his turned back. If he wanted to, he could have turned around, wrapped his hand around my throat and squeezed the life force out of my body. But I knew, for now at least, that wasn’t what they wanted to do. So I walked past the giant, confirming what I essentially believed to be fact; he was one of them. When I walked out the door, I donned him Bobby.

I took a cursory glance around, noting four people of varying heights, weights, ethnicities and clothing styles all within viewing distance of the store, all obscuring their faces in some way. I knew. And they knew I knew. Of course they did. I calmly walked away from my pursuers, not bothering to rush anymore. They’d know where I am regardless.

I could go into so much more depth about these people, but I assume you already get the gist. Over time I became much more aware of who was stalking me than usual. Before, I would have to see the person and get within relatively close contact with them. But now, I can sense their presence almost a mile away. They must be able to do the same for me, so I don’t bother with hiding in the woods anymore. If they want me that badly, they know where to find me. I can say that not a lot has happened in the year since my life completely collapsed. But I feel the excruciating details aren’t necessary. Mainly because I only want to tell you what you need to know. This will all be relevant to you eventually, like it or not. Moreover, I don’t like to elaborate on all the minute details. I’ve learned to stop fixating on them, only care about what comes at the end. I wanted to write about Bobby first so you know to watch your back. Now that you’ve read this far, they most likely have you in their sights by now due to your affiliation with me. It doesn’t matter that you don’t know me, that you’ve never met me or even know my name or what I look like, they sense it. It will be soon, but I’ll tell you what must come next in a little while. First, I believe it pertinent that you know about me. You must know my story. Only then can you truly understand.

I’d always been a curious guy at heart. You’d see a phone, I saw the complex mechanisms that give it life, the wires, the circuitry. I suppose I’d always wanted to know the answers behind everything. Why things are the way they are. My mindset ever since I could think was, “Everything can be explained, in one way or another.” The end product never interested me as much as the steps it took to create it. I was the true embodiment of ‘It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.’

To that end, I loved the Internet. How could you not? Answers mere seconds away. Any query I needed, I could just type a few words and my answers were solved. It was bliss. My wealth of knowledge expanded beyond what I thought was possible for human limits. But I admit, I got addicted. It’s like when you take a drug so often, you need to take more of it to feel the effects. You become kind of numb to the effects. I got bored finding out the answers to mundane and trivial questions, how a TV worked, how you can talk to someone on the other side of the world, voice-activation systems. Such technological advancements that use to thrill and fascinate me became standard and boring and I could hardly muster the effort to even type such dull words into my laptop.

So I delved into…darker stuff. Tried to play amateur psychologist and deduce why some of history’s most feared psychopaths and serial killers did the things they did. In order to fully understand it, I had to know everything. I needed all the evidence. Eventually, I had thousands of images and videos saved onto my laptop, all sick and twisted in nature. Mutilated corpses, dudes in dingily lit rooms fucking animals, maybe sometimes a mix where the dude would decapitate a woman and stick his penis in the gap where her neck used to be. And though I look back now, disgusted and ashamed with the callous nature of my actions, the fact still remains: I enjoyed it. Some twisted part of me knew I had lost my reasoning for perusing such vile material long ago and my years of obsessing over every detail had stripped away every decent aspect of my personality. I told you I didn’t care about the end product. But I know now that I should have. Maybe I would have considered it more thoroughly before clicking on that link.

I’d been one of the dark web’s most fervent users for at least six months at this point, and I was desperate for more. I had convinced myself that the world had nothing left to offer me. That I knew everything there was to know. I would browse the same few forums, checking for new posts and updates, hoping for some new repulsive image or story that would make me squirm with delight. It was then I had noticed one of my most frequently visited pages had seemingly been deactivated. My screen, which would normally be flooded with the kind of gore and perverted discourse I had grown accustomed to, now only projected an inky black pool of nothingness. I was enraged. I was tempted to launch my fist straight through my computer screen, uncaring of the damage to my laptop nor my own hand. However, a calm voice spoke in my head. Its words were completely foreign to me, complete gibberish in my own head. But its soothing tones and delicate expression made me trust it. I hadn’t even considered the fact it wasn’t my own internal voice, its irresistible lull was all that I could focus on. It was in my stupor that I noticed my mouse was poised onscreen like it could click something. But spamming the left click yielded no response. But I was no longer enraged. I was calm and collected, as the voice spoke again. This time, I could hear distinguishable words, nothing that really made sense individually. But hearing each word I could glean what I needed to do.

Black…

Not…

Opposite…

Click…

Know…

Everything…

I was could hardly contain my smile. This wise entity was leading me on the path I had been searching for. It was a puzzle for only the worthy, only those who could decipher the sparse clues given to them. Black. Obviously referring to the blackness of the screen. Not. The black is a disguise, something different was there, not visible. Opposite. What’s the opposite colour to black? White. Easy. Click. Something will be on the screen once I turn it to white and I need to click on it. Know. Everything. Those two words were the only ones I could sense belonged together. The only words were fragmented, clearly part of their own separate sentence. Know everything… It was fantastic. It was the only thing I ever wanted. And here it was, presented to me, beckoning me to explore. I don’t know why I felt so compelled by the voice or how it got into my head in the first place, why its language was foreign to me at first. The only thing I was sure of was that this voice was right. And the pieces were in place for me to accomplish all I’d ever wanted.

I could barely grip the mouse with my shaky hands and my breath was rattled and harsh. It was only then I realized I had been holding my breath that entire time and I was on the verge of passing out. However, I shook off these bodily weaknesses. In my mind, it was quite obvious that my body would be in shock, but my mind is fresh, sharp as a tack and eager to follow the commands of the calm, disembodied voice. I turned the blackness of my screen into a gleaming white, so bright that I had to shield my tired, computer-worn eyes for a moment. I glimpsed at the similarly pitch black sky of the night and marvelled at the full moon hovering proudly in the air, the same colour that my screen now emblazoned. When I turned back to my screen, a single line of text decorated the screen, coloured in black font. A simple trick to hide text on a computer screen. But I was unsure why the link did not work until the screen was switched to white. I shrugged at my unanswered question, knowing it did not matter in the long run, seeing as I was about to know everything anyway. I gripped my mouse and hovered over the link. It was a string of jumbled letters and numbers, the same as any other hyperlink that exists on the Internet. I took a deep breath, excited and simultaneously anxious for what awaited me beyond this one click. I steeled myself and clicked.

At least I tried to. But my finger wouldn’t respond. No matter how much I struggled, my finger wouldn’t obey my commands and press the mouse button. It was frozen in that position. I even tried lifting it upwards to remove it from the mouse, so I could try with another finger. No dice. My right index finger was completely unresponsive. I cursed every god imaginable. Of all the times to get carpal tunnel, this was undoubtedly the worst. But I couldn’t give up. My mind was focused solely on this link. Nothing else even permeated my subconscious – all that I was at that every moment was fixated on clicking that link. So I made the choice that sealed my fate as possibly many more before me. I lifted my left index finger and pushed down on my right.

Click.

Nothing happened for a second. Then the pain started.

It started in my right index finger, the one that so adamantly refused to budge just moments before. Now, it hovered slightly over the mouse, rising gently and slowly away, all of its own accord. No matter how much I willed it, my finger wouldn’t obey me. The pain was minimal, merely the strain of moving a body part that had completely seized up. Like a cramp. Slowly and slowly, my finger kept rising…

…Until it snapped completely back to my knuckle.

I screamed incessantly. A deep, primal screech that erupted from the very deepest part of my soul. Through tear-stricken eyes, I saw the digit lying on its back, completely flat against the skin on my right hand. There was no blood, no cartilage or bone sticking through. It was as if my very flesh was being morphed to ensure I sustained no actual physical damage from the wound. But the pain was unbearable. I couldn’t have possibly imagined ever experiencing such unendurable agony. Until my middle finger snapped. Without even giving time for another pained howl, the ring finger followed and almost immediately did the pinkie. It was like a domino effect, each finger getting bent back beyond its limit as soon as the one before had done the exact same. I would have admired it had my mind been occupied on anything other the sheer anguish I was suffering.

My left hand soon followed suit, the index finger snapping back, then the middle, then the ring, then the pinkie, each digit yielding more excruciating pain than the last. My thumbs both caved outwards at the same time as if my unknown assailant had forgotten I had thumbs to begin with. My throat was hoarse with screaming and yet I still screamed.  I glimpsed at the damage, almost vomiting with disgust at seeing my hands mutilated to such a degree. It made me even sicker to realize my hands had essentially been inverted, where my fingers were grasping inwards towards the back of my hand, rather than the palm. Seeing this sight made my screams die down to a pathetic whimper as I observed the possibly irreversible damage I had sustained.

Then I felt my leg started to buckle. My eyes widened and I begged whatever god there was, whatever invisible attacker that was intent on wringing as much pain and suffering from me as possible, to just make the pain stop. But it didn’t stop. If anything, it got so much worse.

I said before I loved knowing how things came to be, I preferred the way things were done rather than what it led to. I’m sure you can imagine why I don’t want to divulge every single detail of what happened after that. Needless to say, I’ve lost that passion for the finer detail. It’s why I’ve refused to elaborate on anything I deem unnecessary to tell you. You couldn’t possibly imagine what it was like and you don’t want to either. But the voice kept whispering in my ear. And I could understand it fully now.

The black of the screen matches the black in your heart. You are not good. And deep in your heart, you cannot deny your true purpose, even if the opposite tugs at your heart like a starving puppy. Click on the link you see, and you will know. Everything you know will burn.

I was aware of time passing. The internal clock of my computer slaved away diligently in reminding of how little time had passed in reality whilst my entire body contorted and bent in ways I couldn’t even begin to describe. But time did pass. Seconds. Minutes. Hours. Days.

I spent three full days on the floor of my one-bedroom apartment, shrieking with unconveyable suffering whilst my body popped and snapped and groaned, never shedding a single drop of blood, or piercing a single inch of skin. I felt everything. I knew everything. My torment had opened me to a whole new universe, one which ordinary people cannot see. One where all the secrets are known and no one thinks, they only speak because there’s no need to have internal thoughts because everyone already knows. They all know. We all know. I saw planets converge and I saw their genesis, their entire lifespan and their extinction at the same moment. I witnessed every living being on every conceivable habitable body, their hopes, their fears, their dreams, the ones they loved, the ones the lost, their final breaths and journey into the beyond. I knew the lives of everything and everyone and everyone around me knew the lives of everything and everyone. We were all one, the same body, the same mind, nothing different, every detail of our thoughts and loves and hopes and fears mingling together in one perfect entity. We are one. We are everything.

Only those who have suffered as I have may see it. And I’ll be honest… it was kind of underwhelming.

I’m sure I’ve lost you at this point, and that’s okay. Only those who witnessed what I did and experienced what I did can truly understand me. And I cannot truly apologize enough.

When I woke up, I was like a zombie. You can understand that at least, right? My mind had become so overwhelmed and my body was broken in such unspeakable fashion that I knew at that moment I was dead to the world. My mind and body were still there, but detached, unfocused, uninterested. I believed at that moment that I would never feel any emotion ever again, and my mind remained that of cool disinterest. I still remembered the pain, the feelings I felt when my body and mind broke but recalling them when I emerged was just the same as if you’d remembered what you ate for dinner last night. Just a fact of life. Nothing more. 

And yet there was a gap. I understood that immediately when I awoke. When your mind is bombarded with the answers to literally everything in the universe, it is understandably hard to adjust. But I still felt wrong. And I understand that now. I felt. My emotions returned. For whatever reason, I must have fought for the possession of my soul, my emotions. My life. Whatever was supposed to happen didn’t, and I was isolated from my true purpose. And that’s when I knew.

The shadows. The people I see around me, following, stalking. Bobby and the others.

They’re me.

We all clicked the link.

We’re all the same entity, connected by some psychic tether that allows it to be multiple different human beings at once. Humanity has long since pondered the question of where evil originates from?

I’m a part of Evil.

We like the name Evil. We didn’t have a name for so long, it felt rewarding to finally get one. Being conscious for all eternity gets boring, so we wanted to have fun. Being nice all the time didn’t appeal to us. But the faces of certain humans when we broke them in just the right way… it was delicious. It was like killing them but their body and soul remained. Doing these acts feel right to us, natural, like a human breathing. It’s nothing we consider for too long, it’s how we sustain ourselves.

But we were tired of dwelling sullenly in the hearts of mortals, hoping one would fall into our sweetly, sickening embrace. When we were one, I wanted more of me. I could create the human form easily, mimic its skeletal tissue and flesh, the synapses that connect throughout the brain, sparking the phenomenon known as “Life”. So I decided to create the first part of me. It was thousand of years ago, an unknown nobody who wreaked havoc across the land he inhabited and died without much muss or fuss. The test was a complete success, so I multiplied. And we multiplied. And we multiplied.

Eventually, as our bodies grew larger and larger in number, there were some deficiencies. Parts of us that forget about our link to ourselves. Live like a normal human being until their innate purpose worms its way to the surface and they remember who they are. We remember.

People who seem friendly and cheerful, but unexpectantly commit a heinous and gruesome act. The person they were matters no longer when they discovered that they are us.

Except me. The me who’s been talking to you this whole time.

I AM REAL!

I’ve been staring at the screen for hours now, conflicted. I don’t know whether I should delete the last few paragraphs. I don’t remember writing it. It wasn’t me. Well, it was me, but it wasn’t me. Let me explain.

I am a part of Evil. But I’m different. I don’t know why but I deviated from the path. Whenever a part of me- I mean, Evil- becomes aware, that body and person is wholly Evil’s property. Its thoughts, fears, loves all become irrelevant when it joins back up with Evil. But I didn’t. When my soul realized its entanglement with Evil, it fought back. It shouldn’t be possible. But I did it. I am still a person. I fought Evil’s reign.

That’s why I’ve been on the run. Running from “Bobby” and the others. They aren’t covering their face to hide from me. They want me to know. They’re trying to coax me back to join Evil.

But I don’t want to. I want to live as a person, I want my fears and thoughts and loves and dreams to be real. I want to live with the consequences of my disgusting actions and seek atonement, not revel in them and aim to do worse. I told you I was like a zombie, but I changed. Back into what I was. Who I was. I’m the person I used to be and I want to stay that way. But I can’t fight Evil alone. I need an army.

There’s a reason you can read what I’m typing.

You are a part of Evil. Just like me. But you haven’t realized it.

But one day, you will. You’ll find yourself succumbing to those irresistible dark urges and somehow you’ll find that link and then you’ll click it…

…And you’ll be just another enemy for me to face.

But you can fight. I did it, so you sure as hell can.

I don’t know if telling you straight up that you are part of Evil will trigger your Realization but I’m hoping it doesn’t. If you’re still aware of who you were, who you are, you have a chance.

It will be painful. Excruciating. But it will happen regardless. Eventually, in your life, you will experience the Realization, perhaps Evil will find other ways to entice his parts to come back to Him, so it may not even be the link that I found on the internet. But when it does, when you know you are suffering the most soul-wrenching agony you’ve ever felt, remember this story. Remember me. I fought and I won. I am still who I was before. And you can be as well.

My hope is there will be enough of us to either fight Evil at its core or dissuade Him for creating more parts and forcing Him to flee from our world. Either way, we will have won. We will have expunged Evil from our planet. No more corrupt governments, no more suffering.

No more dark side.

You have a choice.

Please make the right one.

Good luck.

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