I just don't get it. I was supposed to be a normal teenager. I was supposed to go through life like normal - graduate high school, graduate college, find a job, get married, have kids, give them the greatest live I could, grow old, and die happy. And I probably will - but it could never be normal. Not after what happened that day. And it probably won't for you either. Let me explain.

I was home alone. Bandits weren't breaking into my house, no. My parents simply were out at work, and I had just got home from my own job at the movie theater. It was around 1 PM. I was doing this test. It was the summer, sure, but I was practicing for my SATs. I wanted to get in a good college, like all of you. And I still do. But no longer do I want to be at a non-online college where I can't stay at home after what happened that day. That's because the home phone rang. I'm not supposed to answer the phone unless it's my parents, but just in case it was one of them, I got up and made my way to the kitchen, where the home phone closest to me was. Now you should know, we have this unique form of Caller ID. When the name and number of the person comes up, after the second and third of the four rings, an awkward mechanical woman's voice says the name of the person. When there us no name, though, or the number is out of area, it will instead read out the phone number on the second ring alone. It ended up saying the number, and if you put the pieces together, that meant that I shouldn't answer the phone. And I didn't. But as I began to walk away, I started to notice something weird. I'm pretty sure the voice said, "Call from: 000-000-0000". Ten Zero. About the fifth zero, I froze. Ten Zero. That wasn't normal. Ten Zero. However, I figured it was just a sales call, so I ignored it.

I sat down to continue practicing, but then the phone rang again. It's one thing when a person calls you numerous times, but when a company calls you, that means they've set your sights on you to the point where it's irritating. I ignored it again. There shouldn't be anything wrong. They'd give up eventually. And I wasn't expecting anything when the phone rang a third time. But on this third time, a voicemail came in. It said, "Hello boy" repeatedly. "Hello boy. Hello boy. Hello boy. Hello boy. Hello boy. Hello boy. Hello boy. Hello boy. Hello boy". I started to freak out. I wasn't going anywhere near that thing now. And then it just stopped. But it couldn't be THAT bad. The guy didn't do anything really harmful. It was creepy, but nothing really bad. So I ignored it and didn't tell my parents.

The next day. Same setting. Home alone, practicing, no bandits. And then the phone rang again. It was from 000-000-0000. Ten Zero. And again. I ignored it all three times. But then another voicemail came. "Hello Will". Oh my God. How did this guy know my name?? "Hello Will. Hello Will. Hello Will. Hello Will. Hello Will. Hello Will". Come on, Will. Just ignore it. It's just a lucky guess with the name, right? Eventually, it went away. But now I was scared. Too scared to tell my parents. Too scared to look at the phone. Too scared to sleep.

The next day. That day. Same scenario. It was a Saturday though, and this time my parents were out for dinner. But this time, there was only one ring. And then the most eerie message of them all came. It just said this: "Hello boy Will. My name is Number. I know you're scared. And you should be. You did not answer the phone. I would've taken you to Fairy Land. I would've given you all you ever wanted. But you REJECTED ME! Calls are meant to be ANSWERED, you damn bastard! And now, my men are going to come to your house - and take you to hell. Because we are all that exists. And we shall not stop until every ass in the world is gone. Vanished. Finito. ZERO... Oh, zero. The greatest number in the world. Especially when there are ten of them. Ten Zero. Goodbye for now, Will. And one last thing - don't lock the door, because that will make the death more painful".

I was petrified. Sweat was coursing down my body. My eyes became redder. My hands trembled. I had to act. I ran to my dad's storage locker. I took out his shotgun, which I had come to learn how to use. I loaded it. I got extra ammo. Then I hid in the living room. I thought I was ready. Then the window shattered.

A demonic figure stepped through the window, followed by another. They were the scariest things I'll ever see. They had feet like a Velociraptors, and legs that were thin and scaly, like thin rubber cylinders with lizard tattoos. Their bodies were a random mixture of furry at some parts and hairy at other parts, and their arms were flexible spikes. Their heads were like Skull Kid's, but with a more mobile, lizard-like flavor to their faces, boney devil horns, and no hair. They also walked like humans. They were living nightmares. I was too petrified to move. Too petrified. Too petrified. Too petrified.

They could've searched the house, but instead they walked to the front door. One of them reached for the handle. Grabbing it, the monster jerked it violently constantly. Rattle. Rattle. Rattle. Rattle. Rattle. Rattle. Rattle. NWING! They turned their heads around as if they weren't attached to their bodies in a blink of an eye - looking right at me with such a sinister smile. I nearly screamed. Sweat coursed down my body. My veins pulsed violently in my forehead. My eyes felt like they were going fall right out. I'm going to die, I thought. Going to die. Going to die. Going to die. "Hello boy Will", they told me, in perfect synchronization and a dark, androgynous, hollow tone I will never forget. I couldn't speak, but by pure instinct I was slowly able to get the gun up. One of them apparently noticed, because it jumped at me. It let out a war cry. A piercing scream that you could hear from miles. So scary. So scary. So body-chilling scary. I fired the gun. Pellets ripped through the creature's stomach, and the stomach exploded. No blood came out; just chunks of raw flesh. The creature doubled up and fell still - and then it just faded away. No dissolving, no disintegration, no nothing. It just... faded. The other one started to size me up. "Wait!" I said, almost instinctively. The thing stopped. Even when still, it sent chills through my body. "Before we fight - what the hell ARE you"?!? It smiled. Then it laughed a devilish laugh. "GWAH-ha-ha-ha-ha"! My hairs stood on end to the point where they nearly fell out. "Simple. So simple," it said. "We are what happens when you don't follow instructions - you get punished. Now, if you excuse me - I have a punishment to EXECUTE". Then he lunged at me. I tried to fire, but before I could it pinned me down on the floor with his legs. It tried to bite my head off. I grabbed it by its flat, demonic face and fought back the jaws of death. The gun had fallen to the floor; the creature could've easily picked it up, but it was so focused on me. Wanting to teach me a lesson. A lesson I had never been taught. Suddenly, the beast started to sink its claws into my chest. In pain, I lurched my arms upwards. The claws came out of my body, and the monster fell down onto the floor. I picked up the gun. The thing lunged at me again, but this time I fired. The bullets ripped through the beast's head, and it splintered like bits of wood. And then it faded away as well.

The neighbors soon came over and bandaged me up, having heard the gunshots. I was safe, but I was traumatized. The police didn't believe my story, and neither did my parents. The former thought somebody just broke into my house, beat me up slightly, and then fled, while I fired the gun in my fright. The latter thought I was pulling a cruel joke, and they grounded me. But what I saw was true. I swear on the Bible. Please believe my story - because I believe you're next.

Ten Zero

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