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I'm putting this story out there because I'm hoping someone may have an idea of what has happened. First, I am curious about the ability of music to make one physically ill or manipulate someone subconsciously. But even more, I want to know why it occurred in this case. It all started with a birthday gift.

I have a friend, Angela Chong, whose birthday was coming up. I wanted to get her something nice, but my lack of personal organization left me scrambling. Fortunately, we live in a world of modern technology. I logged on and did a quick search. I had one good idea, and eBay was there to deliver. Angie is a big fan of Kpop, and her favorite group is Red Velvet, which also happens to be my favorite kind of cake.

While you can find songs and albums on digital media relatively easily, the physical albums usually have special additions, like posters and books, not to mention the collecting value. And I was pleased to find a Red Velvet Summer Magic album for a much cheaper price than most of the other listings. It also happened to be a special Kang Seul-gi edition, which was Angie's favorite member. The Summer Magic album was released with multiple versions, a regular edition, and one for each member, with the special member editions being limited in release.

I immediately ordered the album, and then hoped it would arrive in time. It arrived the morning of her birthday, by no means a guarantee with the postal service. The album was new and unopened, just like the listing had promised. I wrapped it up and delivered it by hand. Angie wasn't having a party until the weekend, but I wanted to deliver the gift on her birthday. Besides, she didn't want presents at her party.

She was quite happy with the gift, so happy she hugged me, which meant she was very excited. Happy that the gift had been so well received, despite nearly forgetting to do anything at all, I returned home with a light step and played video games till late. The next few days I didn't have much contact with Angie but arrived at her party ready to play games and get hammered.

After about half an hour of losing friendships over video games and drinking some beer, I made my way to find another drink. I skipped over the peppermint schnapps, because who wants to drink alcohol that tastes like candy canes, and tried to decide if I wanted vodka or not. Angie walked in and pulled me outside.

“Tim, I know this might sound strange, but where did you get that album you gave me?”

“Same place we get anything nowadays, the internet.” She rolled her eyes. “What's wrong with it? It looked new.”

“If it wasn't new, someone did a very good job repackaging it.”

"Then what's the problem?"

"I was very excited...I'm sure you could tell." I nodded. "Well, I listened to the album, like seven times. I don't remember falling asleep, but I awoke in my bed. I think I was reading before, but I didn't have the book with me anymore. But, when I tried to use my laptop, it had a bunch of viruses. I had to take it to a computer repair shop to get it fixed. They were able to get to it yesterday, and said the reason I had all those viruses was that I was browsing shady websites on the 'dark web' without proper protections."

“Angie, you barely know how to use Google. How did you get on the dark web?”

"I don't know. That is what I was wondering. I was using the computer to play the disc because no one uses CD players anymore."

“So you think the CD had a virus or something?”

“Maybe...Now I can't use that computer repair place.”

“What sort of places did you go on the dark web?” She gave me a look. “I'm just curious what government watch-lists you are on now.”

“Well, I have a list of names, but most of them are pretty vague. And almost all of them are in Korean.”

“Huh. Well, I have some knowledge of computers. Maybe I could take a look at the disc.”

“Sure, just be careful.”

“I'm sorry my gift backfired...I thought I got a great deal.”

“The booklet and poster seem to be just fine, no weird mutilated pictures or creepy eyes.”

“Good..good. Now I have to go crush Carlos and Hitomi and get drunk, not necessarily in that order. Speaking of which, who brought the schnapps? It's gross.”

“I like the schnapps. It tastes like candy canes.”

“Whatever. I'll make sure to get the album before I leave.”

I forgot about the album for the rest of the party, though I didn't end up drinking quite as much as I planned. I was going to walk home, but I was tipsy enough that I accepted a ride from Carlos to my house. I collapsed into bed and woke up late the next day. It was a bit rough the next day, but I felt better by that evening. I had several errands to run, and it wasn't until after supper the next day that I got around to the album again.

The first thing I did was pop the disc into an old computer that wasn't connected to the internet. The tracks popped up in several media players and played without problem. There didn't seem to be anything besides the audio tracks. I moved the disc to a newer computer that was connected to the internet, and there was still no virus or strange effect. I ran the tracks through a few programs and didn't notice anything.

Having reached the end of my abilities, I decided to ask a friend of mine who did a lot more audio mixing and computer stuff to look into the disc. He agreed to pick it up the next day. There is something else I need to get off my chest. I'm not really a Kpop fan, though some of the songs are pretty catchy. But listening to the tracks trying to figure out what was going on, I started to enjoy them.

I put the disc into an old CD player that was still kicking around and put it on repeat and then got to work on my other hobby, painting miniatures. I got deep into the painting and before I knew it, several hours and a good many repeats later, I woke up in the bathtub. It was a surprise to me too, though I have blacked out drinking at least once. It felt like that, and not only because of the vomit all over me, and in the toilet, and on the kitchen floor. I felt very sick. It took quite a bit of effort to overcome vertigo and get out of the tub.

Having been very drunk just the night before, I know what a hangover is like, and this was different. I traced my steps back through my apartment, finding chips scattered on the floor, and several partially drunk glasses of milk and one spilled one. There were books and comic books scattered all over the table, that had not been there before. In my bedroom, the models I had been painting were still sitting on the desk, undisturbed and organized.

The CD player was knocked on the ground, and the Red Velvet CD had been broken into seven pieces, and when I tried to put them together, there was at least one piece missing. I haven't found it yet, but that isn't a surprise, as it was quite small. Due to whatever happened, further investigation of the disc isn't possible. The next couple of nights I had very strange dreams, nothing specific I can remember, just a strange feeling of being off when I woke up, and memories of strange twisting blackness and limbs and faces that don't move and look right.

And I guess that is everything. I got the list of sites from Angie and managed to translate the names, and I'm not sure what they are, and I don't feel safe trying to visit them myself, even with some precautions. They have names like Green Dragon, Jeju Fantasy League, and Bad March Mushrooms.

I'm curious if any of you have had similar experiences with other music albums, or have gotten sick from music. I think there is something here, but I don't know what it is. And if you were wondering, I bought Angie the full digital album, and it doesn't make people sick, so you can safely listen to all the Red Velvet you want without a problem.  

Written by GlennBob509
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