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MY_COD_RIVAL_IS_TRYING_TO_KILL_ME_-_CREEPY_STORY_NARRATION_-_CAMPFIRE_TALES

MY COD RIVAL IS TRYING TO KILL ME - CREEPY STORY NARRATION - CAMPFIRE TALES

"I'm going to fucking murder you if you drop into that next game." I read the PSN message from AtomicBlitz89 with a chortle of skepticism. For posturing's sake, I sent him my full address and goaded him.

"Come get me, bitch!" I replied. "You're just pissed that you can't get on my level."

"Riot shield noob."

"Bronze scrub."

"You ain't far away! Charleston's only a couple miles out! I'll make sure you never play CoD again. One-shot hacking, riot shield hogging, fucking prick."

"Git gud." I laughed as I joined in the next game, then utterly annihilated Blitz with the exact same strategy I employed the previous game. Needless to say, he was not happy, and decided to throw some choice expletives my way that were - shall we say politically incorrect? Classy indeed, Blitz. He finally left the game, and I was free to continue my virtual slaughter without any fuss. Anyone else that had a problem with me didn't feel the need to contact me, and simply left the game. I was eventually reported by some angry child, and the moderators, in their infinite wisdom, decided to temporarily ban me for hacking. What did they know? I scoffed and poured myself the last cup of tea from the fridge, and left the empty jug next to the trash can.

My roommate, Sidney, emerged from her room, and passed by me as she turned the corner toward the kitchen. She didn't say anything to me, though when I sat back on the couch, I managed to catch a good look at the crease under her shorts where her thighs connected to her ass. Maybe she was still mad about the prank I pulled last night, leaving the Ouija board open. I told her that I wanted to be open about her pagan thing, but I can't help being experimental. After all, if someone tells me the one thing you're not supposed to do, that's the one thing I want to do the most.

"My TV turned on by itself, Reggie," she said, sitting opposite me on the couch. "You need to close that board quickly. I can already feel it getting colder."

"Tell you what, you take note of every weird thing that happens, and I'll do the same. It'll be like a science experiment! We got two variables: Me the skeptic, and you the believer. Wouldn't that be fascinating?"

"You'll win the Nobel for sure," she said, rolling her eyes.

"Come on, Sid, what's the worst that can happen?" As soon as I finished the sentence, Sid jumped as she saw the cap from the empty jug of tea fly off and land with the sound of thin plastic on hardwood. I looked behind me, then back to Sid with a sigh. "Attack of the fifty-foot tea jug! Run for your lives!" She was not amused. "Look, I have an idea. Let me show you that everything has a logical explanation." I walked over to the offending tea jug and lifted it to find an air conditioning vent underneath. "Yep. Thought so," I muttered. I opened the front door and stuck my hand out to feel cold, still air. Then, upon inspecting the thermostat, my hypothesis was fit into place.

"I don't have all day," said Sid.

"Not to worry. I just needed to confirm what I suspected. You said it was beginning to feel cold, right? This apartment complex is not exactly famous for its total enclosure from the outside, so naturally the coming cold season is going to bleed inside a bit. That's where the thermostat comes into play. It detected the lowering temperature and started blowing hot air from the vents, which is where I incidentally placed the empty tea jug. The air inside the jug began to get hotter, expanding the pressure inside until the cap finally flew off, and release the hot air." I replaced the cap onto the jug and set it back on top of the vent to recreate the incident.

"You know, I've never shit on you for what you believe," said Sid. "I really don't get why you feel the need to constantly challenge me."

"For one thing, I don't 'believe' in anything beyond what I can prove. Secondly, you're the one whose always trying to get me to do this, that and the other thing just because the Moon Goddess - or whoever said so. I'm not going vegan, I won't go lights-out on a full moon, and if you want me to participate in your magic rituals, then you should expect a little criticism."

"Remind me never to include you in anything ever again."

"Hey now, I don't mean to sound like an asshole. You're still my friend and all. I just think a little healthy debate keeps the mind alive."

"I just wish you had more of an open mind." With a sudden pop, the cap, once again, flew off the jug and landed on the hardwood.

"Told you," I said with a smirk. Sidney shook her head.

"Just close the damn board, please? For me?" She stormed back into her room, leaving me alone with a game I still couldn't play for several more hours. Just as well, I needed a break, and it would be midnight in a few hours. I spent the rest of the night coupling popcorn and beer with a horror movie. It was another one of those basic possession movies, and I secretly hoped Sid would walk by as soon as the demon appeared on screen. The look on her face would be priceless. She never did, unfortunately. Not until all the power in our apartment suddenly shut off.

"Oh, you gotta be kidding me." I rolled onto my feet off the couch and navigated my way through the pitch-dark corridor toward the breaker closet. Sid came out with the flashlight of her cellphone guiding the way.

"What happened?"

"That's what I want to find out. Gimme a light, will you?" After giving the breaker the once-over, I told Sid that nothing appeared to be off about it. She suggested the power company may have cut the power, but I distinctly remembered paying the bill last week. "Besides," I said, "they would have to send someone here to cut it, and there's no way someone would come this late." I stumbled across the living room toward the window to confirm that no one was out near the electrical meter.

"Do you see anything?" Sid sounded rather unnerved when I hesitated to answer.

"That's not an electrician out there," I said. Sid rushed next to me to see what I was looking at. It was the figure of a man, obscured in shade. He didn't even run, simply facing the two of us through the window with a menacing presence. "I can't believe it."

"You know what that is, right?" Sid whispered.

"I know who that fucking is. It's AtomicBlitz89."

"Who? No! That's a--"

"This crazy bastard really came and did it, didn't he? Drove all the way from Charleston just to cut my power. I'm gonna kill him!"

"Reg, stop!" Sid grabbed my arm. "That's a shadow person. They're very powerful supernatural entities, and there's no fighting them. Just stay inside, please."

"Let go! He's going to get away!" I yanked free of Sid's grip and ran out the door. By the time I went down the stairs and out into the parking lot, however, I found Blitz had already started his car and peeled out onto the main road, tires squealing on the pavement. Sid followed after she found him leaving the moment I stepped outside.

"Thank the gods, it's gone," she said.

"Do shadow people often use a Mazda as their preferred mode of transport," I scoffed. Sid yanked my earlobe with a scowl, shivering as she rushed back upstairs to warm up under her blankets. I contacted the police the morning after, but they were less than helpful. The only thing I had was the guy's gamer tag. They promised, rather dubiously, to find his real name and charge him. I may as well have not even called them at all, as the only thing I got out of it was a patrol car frequenting our parking lot at night. The electrician wouldn't be there to fix the power for another day. That left just Sid and me with nothing to do.

We tried wasting most of the day out on the town, driving nowhere in particular, trying a new Indian restaurant, and hanging out at the arcade. I almost forgot how funny Sid was throughout the whole trip, and I missed the quality time we used to spend with each other upon first moving in together. Personally, I blamed her boyfriend for taking up so much of her attention. I never got along with him, for all the times he mooched off of her, and me by extension. If Sid had been with me instead, I would have treated her right. Though I didn't forget the argument we had the night before, and after a few rounds of skeeball, I mustered the courage to apologize to her.

"I know I can be a dick sometimes, but I really don't mean to be. Whenever something nags at my thoughts I just spill it out sometimes."

"You are a dick," said Sid. "But you're my dick."

"Ooh, I say!"

"And a big dick at that." I aimed my ball for the tiniest hole marked ten thousand, but Sid bumped her waist against mine and I completely missed my shot. The ball landed up against the back ramp and rolled right back down the lane. She managed to win a little prize with our combined tickets and rushed back into bedroom as soon as we got home. The utter silence struck me instantly when she left me alone with my thoughts in the dim living room. It grew darker still as the sun went down. Funny how I used to hate the sunlight glaring on my TV, now I silently pleaded for it to stay up for just a minute longer. My night got even worse when Sid's boyfriend came to steal her away. Better to spend time with the guy who's got power than with me, I figured.

It never occurred to me that I might use the last hour of sunlight to read one of my books, sitting unread on my nightstand. I wasted too much time on my phone, however, and the second the battery died, the sun completely set. Despite being fully awake, and despite my swelling eagerness to contact Blitz for his pathetically petty gesture, I forced myself to sleep. My eyes were closed, but my brain continued to churn through everything that happened the past day. All the rage and the joy only served to confuse me and wedge my eyelids open, frustrating me even further. Everything just came back to Sid, though, and all the emotions lingering in my gut that I knew would never be satisfied. Nothing ever goes the way I plan.

In a blinding flash of light and sudden pop, I was jolted awake, wide-eyed as a deer, my heart pumping like an engine. When I regained my bearings, I saw static glowing from the TV. I was excited for a moment, but all the other lights were still out, and I could tell it was well past midnight for anyone to come fix the power. The static snow began to swirl and morph as if the outline of some moving image were attempting to take shape. A faint trill and crackle emanated from the TV, reminiscent of a low note from a synthesizer that wasn't fully plugged into a speaker. My eyes fell heavy to the growing, light, and soothing tones humming over the fading audio breaks. Before I knew it, I was fast asleep.

I woke to gentle rays of light sneaking across the living room floor from the window. It must have been a dream. I wondered how Sid would interpret that one. Did she even make it back home yet? I sat for a moment in agonizing silence, then the kitchen light beamed on with a loud electric hum, and a familiar beep sounded from underneath the TV. The soft blue glow from my PS4 turned to a clean white, and the TV lit up to the account selection screen. I selected Reggitarian01 and immediately opened my Call of Duty game to quickly get my fix that I've been waiting so long for. Before I could even enter the lobby, however, I received a message. My heart filled with fiery bile and beat ferociously as I read the name, AtomicBlitz89. I could hardly believe he actually went through the trouble to be notified when I came back online. But the message I read confirmed my suspicions.

"Got your power back, I see," he said. I entered my messages with more haste and fury than I've ever done before.

"We had the cops here, dumb ass. You're fucked now."

"Me? Why, sir, how could you suspect me of doing something like cutting your power?" I could practically see the smug look on his face as I read that.

"Seriously, who the hell actually drives across the state to cut someone's power? A psychopath, that's who. Pure, unabashed, white-coat psychopath. That's you, jack-off."

"Whatever. Not my fault you can't compete with the pros, and dick around with lower level players."

"Not my fault your mom dropped you down the stairs as a baby."

"Have fun, smurf." I didn't bother responding to his last message. Wasn't the first time I've been called a smurf. I can't help that the lobby sends me into matches with a load of players that suck. Besides, sometimes you just need to relax and let off some steam on the newbies. Which was exactly what I intended to do just then. Needless to say, I blocked Blitz, and never wanted to be in a match with him again. That guy is likely to get killed if he keeps up that behavior, or even kill someone himself.

In the following matches I played, I decided not to wear the headset, as I had enough interaction from salty players for the day. It was enough for me to just hear them wail at the silent killer stalking the battleground that they just couldn't get a leg up on. As I was about to enter a new match, the TV suddenly cut out.

"Oh for fuck-- again?" I looked around, but noticed the kitchen light still working, as well as the PS4. With that I breathed a sigh of relief before the images popped back up on the screen. "Thank hell, it's just a glitch." I was calm until I noticed what match lobby I had been placed in. Though I hadn't intended to enter a one-on-one match, there was only one other player with no bots to fill in the empty slots. His name was an incomprehensible mish-mash of letters, numbers and symbols that I can't even begin to remember. The map was the usual suburban setting with all the open houses connected by empty roads and curbs. One thing I didn't recall from this particular map was the face it was set at night, and not a single streetlight was lit. The only thing allowing me to see was a flashlight attached to my rifle.

As I approached a threshold leading out into the street, I moved behind the wall and slightly peeked around the corner to see if there was anyone nearby. Keeping the rifle at my hip left the flashlight lowered, limiting my vision, but gaining the element of surprise. I could barely make out the shapes beyond the house across the street, but upon intently focusing, I saw an obscured figure move through the shadows. As it moved, the faint light from his weapon moved along with him, and I realized this was the other player. I was delighted to have such luck to find him first, and decided to taunt him by plugging my headset back in.

"I see you," I teased. As soon as I spoke, his flashlight lit up like a beacon, frantically moving up and down, left and right. I hid back behind the wall just before his flashlight passed over me, and I chuckled. Time to put him out of his misery, I thought. I ran up to the upper level and looked out through the second story window. Once I aimed my sights toward the other player, I could see him more clearly than ever. So much so that I could practically see the whites of his avatar's eyes. His light quickly flashed onto me, but he was far too late. In the split-second move, I aimed directly for his stomach and began firing until the recoil lifted my aim up to his heart. Blood spattered behind the little game sprite and he fell backward onto the pavement, the screen displaying the victory icon for me.

In the time before he respawned, I knew I would need to find a new position. I thought a little game of hide-and-seek would be a fun way to train my stealth skills. Jumping out from the window into the street, I looked down at the player's corpse. Once I shone my flashlight, I felt my stomach twist into knots. His face was more detailed than I thought possible from this game. The creases along his cheeks and lips displayed a strange sorrow to match his deep, brown eyes. Those eyes held my attention the most. They seemed large to begin with, but presently widened with intense shock.

It hadn't occurred to me until several seconds staring at the man's face that I realized the body hadn't vanished as I expected it to. Just as that thought passed through my mind, a deep, menacing purr sounded from the sky. The closest thing I can liken it to is a table crossing a wooden floor without any cushioning beneath the legs, but amplified through a heavy bass speaker. Following this sound, a discomforting skittering sound echoed around the map, like sandpaper rubbed together quickly. I couldn't begin to make sense of the noises, but I knew there was no time to dwell on it, as I had been standing out in the open for too long.

Raising up from the corpse, I turned around and found the same man standing right behind me, free from his wounds, but wearing the same fearful expression. I tried to fire my weapon, but my controller appeared to be useless. My avatar just stood staring at the man as an amorphous shape rose from behind him. He remained immobilized as the shaded, black ooze crept over the top of his head and began to consume him. Just before it passed over his eyes, my TV cut to static, and my PS4 cut off with a mechanical clacking sound.

"You're shitting me." I stepped forward and leaned into the PS4, giving it a few good slaps on the roof of the machine. The last slap supposedly worked, as I could see my TV return to a blue screen in my peripheral vision. I found the system had jumped to a message I received from the player. It was bizarre to say the least, and as unreadable as his username. Though, if memory serves, the message read:

"Zothorssss djesiithiin czarplathssss. Yeerzplathssss dolqarriczar? Yeerzplathssss vviisziczar? Yeerzplathssss qyrric?"

"The hell?" I whispered. There was no way I was going to make heads or tails of that. I thought that a single-word response would make communication easier. "English?" I typed. After a few seconds I received a message back.

"Yes"

"Where are you from?"

"Siithiinplathssss." Before I could respond, he sent a second message. "Sorry. Many place."

"Where?"

"First home, Yiithzomiths. Then Ain Dara. Great feasts there. Czarassss qyrric."

"Cool. My name is Reggie. What is your name?"

"No."

"Sorry. You don't have to tell me. So what happened with that match? That was weird."

"Yes. Czarassss vviisz. Ghost."

"You believe in ghosts?" There was a much longer pause after I sent that last message. "Alright, I'll bite. You think we can contact him?"

"Yes. Speak."

"Hey, spirit, can you understand me?"

"Yeah! I can understand you!"

"What's your name?"

"AtomicBlitz89." I felt the same hot bile rise in my throat as I did when Blitz messaged me on his real account. I never threw the controller across the room so hard in my life than when I read his goddamn name on the screen. When I came back to my senses after a few deep breaths, I stomped toward my controller and picked it up. It took a few whacks with my palm for it to start working again, then I sent my last message to this psycho bastard.

"Fuck off and leave me alone, you demented, Looney Tune, piece of shit!" With that, I completely shut off my PS4 and TV altogether. I couldn't believe I let myself look like such an idiot in front of Blitz. How did he even manage to make the game go into that weird match? It was beyond my comprehension. For all I know, Blitz is the stereotypical basement-dweller that lives and breathes computers. I settled myself at that thought, thinking he must have nothing else in the world to keep him occupied. At least I had friends like Sid.

When Sid eventually came back home, she appeared surprised that the lights were on, but my little gaming corner was shut down.

"I thought you'd be right back on your game," she said.

"It was that fucking Blitz guy all along," I said. "I fucking knew it too."

"Are you sure?" Sid cocked her head dubiously.

"He literally started messaging me the minute I came back online! When I pressed him on it, he practically admitted to cutting our power. After that, I blocked him, but he used some weird sock account to screw with my game. I don't know how he did it, but Blitz told me it was him after I made a fool of myself in front of him."

"I don't know if it's all him. Something weird happened to me too."

"Who else could it be? I mean, what happened exactly?" Sid shook her head and sat opposite me on the couch.

"You'll just think I'm crazy."

"What if I made you a promise?" I said with a hand on my heart. "The more I know about what's going on, the quicker I can get to the bottom of it. I swear I won't say anything. I'll only listen." Sid looked down at her hands while fiddling her fingers together. She glanced at me to see my expression was genuine, then turned her head toward her room. Her lips turned upward in a distressful smile, as though she was unsure whether to laugh or cry.

"I had to get out of here. That's why I called my boyfriend." Sid rocked her whole body back and forth, ready to fly into a panic once she finished her story. "Right after we got home, I felt this really malicious presence in my room. I thought something might be outside, so I looked out the window, and all of the sudden I found some guy from the other building just staring right at me through his window. He's definitely been peeping in on me, so I texted my boyfriend to come get me. I'm pretty sure he saw my cellphone light, and that's what made him shut the blinds on his window. I closed mine too, and laid back on the bed, just texting until I could leave. As soon as I shut my phone off, there was this..." Sid's face became flustered, and her breath staggered.

"Go on. No judgement here," I said.

"I saw this figure all in black." Sid held back tears as she recounted the thing she saw. "It looked straight at me from the corner of my room with these dimly glowing, red eyes! And there were horns jutting out from either side of its head. Neither of us moved. I practically felt paralyzed. It only raised its hand when I was about to scream. The way its arm moved looked more mechanical than anything, and it locked itself in that position. My lungs felt tight, and I could only breathe when I concentrated on it. Once my cellphone vibrated, it suddenly vanished, and that's when I bolted out the door for my boyfriend." Sid's hands were noticeably trembling. I simply nodded my head.

"I'm sorry. That sounds pretty intense."

"I'm sure you have a theory by now."

"Maybe, but I promised I'd just listen."

"Then listen to this: We've got a demon in the house, and it's all because of that damn Ouija board!"

"There's no such thing as spirits, Sid! That guy from the other building is obviously Blitz. He must have broken into a vacant apartment and is watching us from there, manipulating everything going on."

"So much for listening."

"He had to have broken into our apartment too once we left yesterday, and set up all these weird things that we saw."

"We?"

"Guy must be a technical mastermind. He's nuts, of course, but genius."

"Reggie, what did you mean by 'we saw'? You saw something too, didn't you?" Sid eyed me intensely. I didn't reply. What would be the point other than putting more fuel into her hysterical fire. I already knew the answer, but she wouldn't accept any explanation other than her own. Sid didn't talk to me for the rest of the day, saying she would fix it herself. She disappeared into her room with sage, matches, and a bundle of candles. I assumed her plan was to call one of her gods or what-have-you to ghostbust our apartment. In the meantime, I decided to handle it my own way.

I turned the PS4 back on and sent a message to Blitz, telling him I knew he was hiding in the building across from us. I told him that he may have Sid fooled with his hacking skills and magic tricks, but I wasn't so easily frightened. His account showed he was last online roughly three hours ago, which would coincide with about the same time I was dropped in that odd map with his sock account. He didn't reply for several minutes. I opened the blinds on the living room window, beaming my cellphone flashlight in the direction of the window Sid claimed to have seen the guy. I passed my hand over the light up and down to mimic a slow strobing signal, so he would know that I knew. After a few seconds of signaling him, I heard the jingle of a received message.

"Yeerzi zothorssss?"

"Very funny, asshole. Will you just fuck off and leave us alone? You lost! Get a life!"

"Sid saw Zozo?"

"Zozo, huh?" I scoffed in disbelief. Did Blitz honestly think I hadn't heard that name before? Anyone with half a brain and access to Google can find that old urban legend. "Oh, how clever are you! You went on a Wikipedia binge after watching 'The Exorcist'. Try harder than that, man."

"Vviisziczar!" I jumped when I heard a loud pop coming from Sid's room. She squealed from the shock of whatever caused the sound, and I hastened toward her room. She opened the door and showed me the roll of sage in her hand with jagged strips curling from its halved end. Smoke still streamed from its tip, but there were no embers indicating any fire had lit it.

"It just exploded in my hand!"

"Get away from the window!" I rushed to grab Sid by the shoulders, and pulled her away from her room into the short hallway.

"Reg, I need you to listen to me."

"This is serious. He's got a gun and he almost shot you. We need to sneak our way out the front door without being seen from the living room window. Once we're out, we need to flag down the patrol car, and--"

"Reggie, shut the hell up and listen to me for one second! There was no bullet that went through the window. The sage literally just exploded in my hand."

"That makes no damn sense." I let go of Sid and inched toward her room.

"As if I wouldn't know the window was shot. Feel free to check for any broken glass." I gingerly peeked around the corner, but found the window was fully intact. Bits of charred sage littered Sid's floor where it presumably exploded.

"Maybe he put something in the--"

"Don't give me that shit, Reg, because I swear if you are about to postulate that your rival online snuck nitroglycerin in my reagents, then I'm going to lose it. Just stop. Don't say another word to me. I'm about to settle this once and for all, and you can do whatever the hell you want. Just don't come knocking, because I won't answer." Sid rushed into the kitchen to grab a filet knife, and locked herself in her room, slamming the door in my face. My heart raced up into my throat, but my anger wasn't directed solely on Sid. It was Blitz that was causing all this. That was my theory until I heard a loud pounding at the door, followed by a deep, firm voice.

"Orangeburg County," said the cop behind the door. I recognized the voice as the one who said he would be patrolling the area. Initially, when I opened the door, I noticed how late in the evening it appeared outside. I planned to alleviate any worries he might have had over the noise, but he spoke first. "I won't keep you long, sir, I just have a couple questions for you." He handed me a photograph from a stack of papers he held. "Are you familiar with this person?" My eyes widened when I saw the face on the photo. I shook my head slowly, not in an answer to his question, but simply in disbelief. The sorrowful mouth and deep brown eyes of the man in the picture brought me instantly back to the strange match I assumed Blitz had set up. Now, without the helmet, I could see his upturned brows that only emphasized the sad expression locked onto his face.

"No," I said, still shaking my head. "What about him?"

"His girlfriend found him dead just a few hours ago and contacted Charleston County. Then they contacted us when they found a slight connection to you."

"I don't get it. Who is he?"

"Gregory Simpson. Though you probably better know him as AtomicBlitz89." I looked at the cop and held my breath.

"That's not possible. I just-- I mean, what happened to him?"

"I'm not at liberty to discuss that. The chief may decide to tell you when you talk to him, but that's not my call."

"Am I under arrest?"

"No, I only meant during questioning. We may call on you tomorrow for it, but just remember that it's only routine, as you were seen leaving your apartment yesterday after the power incident."

"Oh yeah. Sidney and I just went for food and skeeball."

"I don't doubt it. My job is just to make sure you're here tomorrow. I would advise against any long trips beyond a grocery run."

"I'll be here." I handed him the photograph back and slowly closed the door as he bid me good day. My legs turned into jell-o, and I staggered onto the couch from the weight of the news. I looked back at the last messages sent from the unknown user, when I asked the 'spirit' for his name. If Blitz was really trying to contact me, he wouldn't use a name I never heard before. There was no way he could convince an actual police officer to play a petty game of revenge against me. But there was no way Blitz could actually be a ghost haunting us. Why was Sid convinced he was a demon, anyway? These impossibilities knocked my head like metal balls on a Newtonian pendulum, pounding my temples from left to right, again and again. I needed answers, and my gut told me that whatever controlled the obscure account had something to do with it.

"Where is Gregory Simpson?" I typed.

"Zeresht."

"What does that mean?"

"Gone."

"I already know that! What did you do to him?"

"Czarassss."

"I don't know what that means! Speak English."

"Hahahahahahahahahahaha..." I slammed my controller onto the floor.

"Fuck you!" I said aloud.

"Fuck? Hahahaha..." the user typed.

"No." I shook my head. "No, you've got a microphone in here, don't you?"

"Zothorssss creenickt. The window is opened. I can hear. I can see. I can taste."

"What do you want?"

"Fissth vviisz. I smell the demon. Fissth qyrric. I smell a goddess. Czarassss Morrigan qyrric. A feast I have been waiting for eons."

"Is that what you want? A meal?" I didn't get a reply for a whole minute, and could swear I heard a faint whimpering from Sid's room. Part of me was tempted to check on her, but I didn't want to agitate her further. "You killed Blitz, didn't you?"

"Morrigan zeresht. Yeerzplathssss Zozo?"

"I don't know what that means!" I began looking through every corner and crevice for microphones or cameras, but to no avail. "Who are you?"

"You did this!" Sid shouted from her bedroom. She burst through the door with a face red from tears. "You opened that fucking Ouija board, and now they're dead." Sid's hands were trembling. Her left hand had been cut while the right gripped the knife firmly.

"Who's 'they'?" I asked. Before I could blink, Sid pounced on me and tried to stab me in the chest. I grabbed her by the arm to stop her, but her weight brought us both to the ground.

"That thing killed Morrigan, my patron goddess! I had a vision of her cannibalized body. That demon was trying to hide from it. You let something in that didn't belong in this world. It's all your fault."

"You're nuts!" I rolled over on top of her and wrestled the knife out of her hand, tossing it far away. She clasped her hands around my throat and squeezed her thumbs into my Adam's apple. The last thing I wanted to do was to hit Sid, but the pressure against my windpipe was unbearable, and I disoriented her with a swift, hard slap across the face. Her grip loosened, and I was able to released myself from her grip.

"It's all your fault," Sid whimpered.

"You want me to fix it?" I stood up and took out the Ouija board left open in the closet. "We'll do this your way then. I'll close the damn thing."

"We don't even know what it is."

"Maybe not," I said, turning to look at the TV screen. "But now we have a name." Sid saw where I was pointing, which displayed the last message after I asked the thing who it was.

"Chirr-Rifthit?" she said.

"That mean anything to you?"

"No. It's not from here. It ate a god. Nothing makes sense." Sid's expression suddenly changed to menace, and turned her head in my direction with mechanical fluidity. "I'm next in line for its meal, but I can satiate it with you two in time for my escape." Sid's voice was low and booming.

"What's gotten into you?"

"Her body is mine now." Sid took the planchette and made a circular motion on the center of the board. "You'll die one way or another. Do as you please with her in your last moments. Don't think you can hide your desire from me."

"You're sick, demon," I said. Sid responded only with a devilish smile. I wasn't sure at the time if I had totally bought into the idea, but if I was going to do this Sid's way, I would play her - or its game. She moved the planchette over the letters C, H, I, R, and traced two circles over the R. Before she could make it to the rest of the letters, she appeared to be stuck. Her hands lifted from the board, trembling. The planchette then began to move on its own, without an air of subtlety whatsoever. It moved, not slowly, but violently quick between H and A. Again, and again, and again, it repeated the motion until the legs of the planchette bore scratches on the board.

Both of us were paralyzed. Sid's hands remained still in the air as if they were bound together by invisible tethers. Presently, the TV cut to static, and a deep, loud hum echoed from behind it. Rather than coming from the speakers, it seemed as if the screen was acting like a window that muffled whatever hid behind it.

"Zozo, vviisziczar," the entity said. It gurgled and chittered as it spoke, resembling the speech of a bubbling, oozing mass rather than anything close to humanoid.

"No," Sid growled.

"Shimii vviisz Zozo. Shimiiplathssss dolqarr?" The voice followed with a bizarre imitation of human cackling - a gleeful burbling that sounded rough as sandpaper. What monstrosity the unbearable noises promised couldn't prepare me for the utterly shocking horror which crawled out of the static TV screen. Though compact enough to fit its bulbous head through the thirty inch screen, it spilled the rest of its body out like lengths and lengths of a giant centipede. The black carapaces on its back housed a sallow, gelatinous form with millions of skittering legs underneath. It raised its body up, towering over Sid, and protracted a pair of short mandibles, snapping hungrily. At the bottom of its head, if I could even call it a chin, two stalks appeared to drip down, and opened orbital eyes, which I can only liken to that of a mantis shrimp.

As it moved on Sid, the mandibles dug deep into her shoulder to allow the creature's mouth to rip apart her flesh, piece by piece. She didn't scream, but neither did I. We were trapped in our position, as if paralytic venom in our bodies froze us into place. I knew she could feel it, however, and perhaps the demon did as well. I'll never know, for the creature escaped out the living room window once it was done with his meal. It's funny though. Sid reminded me of a half-eaten buffalo wing just then. I thought that Chirr-Rifthit would have gotten me too, but I supposed it wasn't hungry for dolqarriczar - mortal flesh. It had a particular craving for viisziczar that night - ethereal flesh.

I had hardly noticed, but I never moved from that spot by the time the police found me the day after. How silly of me to forget I had an appointment with the chief investigator. I supposed there was no need for questions after what they found in my apartment. When I was being questioned, I recall one of the many interrogators mentioning that Gregory Simpson was mutilated the same way Sid was. I didn't know anyone named Simpson, but I told them that I think my old friend, AtomicBlitz89 also had the misfortune of also running into Chirr-Rifthit.

They keep me in my own room, now. I traded some favors with my neighbors and managed to acquire a tool to scratch notes on the walls. Just a simple bit of decoding from memory. I'm so close to unlocking its language. 'Yeerzi' was so often paired with question marks in the PSN messages, but what is it asking exactly? Or could it be a prefix? I need more information. I must contact it once again. How fascinating it would be to speak the language of a completely new life form! I carved the letters into the floor and allowed my tool to act as a planchette.

"Zothorssss creenickt. Czarassss! Czarassss!" I said, circling the tool around the center of my makeshift board. "Hissssth, Chirr-Rifthit! Hissssth. Hissssth..."



Written by RCainTales
Content is available under CC BY-SA

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