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I was paid to watch people being killed... [Part 1]
I CANNOTT PARCIPITATE IN THIS ANY LONGER. I THOUGHT I HAD NO CHOICE BECAUSE MY DAUGHTER SICK BUT THIS IS NOT OK, NO MATTER WHAT THOSE MEN DID. HOPEFULLY YOU FEL THE SAME WAY AND THINK OF HOW TO DO SOMETHIG ABOUT IT. I CANNOT HANDLE IT.I FEEL SO MUCH GUILT AND SHAME FOR WHAT I HAVE BEEN PART OF THAT I DO NOT DESERVE MILLION DOLLARS. I AM GOING TO THE JUNGLE NOW WHERE I DESERVE TO BE. FUCK THIS PLACE AND WHO LURED US HERE. FUCK MONEY. I AM A PIECE OF SHIT. I HOPE YOU DO BETTER.”
Along with an electronic key card for the east door, this is what had been placed on the control panel prior to my shift a few days ago. A very perplexing, guilt ridden and drunkenly assembled note from the day shift guy…the one who I believed to be the only person on this island other than myself.
I’ve never actually met him over these past three months. We each work an 11 hour, 59 minute shift, every day. He from 8:00am to 7:59pm and I from 8:00pm to 7:59am. We have one minute for the shift change. I wait outside the control room at the west door and as soon as he exits the through the east side, the lock on my door becomes ready to open with my key card. So, other than the scent of his cologne, the pot of coffee he leaves brewing for me and the empty bottle of cognac currently sitting on the control panel, I know nothing about him. I don’t know his name, age, or nationality. All he’s been to me is the source of the ass warmth on the cold leather desk chair when I sit down every evening at 8PM sharp.
In order to help you understand what the hell is happening on your chosen electronic device’s screen at the moment, let me take you back just a bit.
I’m in debt. A shitload of debt to be exact, and four months ago I was unemployed for a number of reasons I won’t get into. My rent was due, my truck was being moved every few hours to stay out of sight of the repo man, and I was showering with bottled water from the apartment building’s fountain due to a ‘misunderstanding’ with the utilities commission. I was in a bad way, for sure.
I’m an I.T. professional with a couple impressive degrees and 15 years of experience, so I know a lot of shit and finding a job had never been difficult for me…until this most recent tangle with irresponsibility, of course. So, I was scrambling to find work before the property management company threw me out on my ear. Plus, that fountain water and stolen hand soap from the lobby is doing a real number on my skin. Monster, Glassdoor, The Ladders…I had hit them all, willing to take just about anything. After far too long I began to grow despondent, until finally one day this email appeared in my inbox.
“Hello, Kyle. My name is David Danbury and I represent parties who are eager to have you in their employ. We’ve seen your profile and resume on several job sites and must say we’re quite impressed with your skill set--although one immediately does wonder why a man with your talents is looking for what appears to be his sixth job in the past five years?
Nevertheless, I am here to present to you an opportunity for a one time, three month contract overseas. The work will not be challenging for an advanced professional such as yourself (although you may find it difficult without the ponies to play), but you will be almost completely isolated for the duration of the contract. Although long periods of solitude can be maddening for some, I have no doubt a man with your ability to get out of sticky situations can handle some extended alone time.
If you should choose to take the assignment, I can guarantee your safety and security as long as you stay within the guidelines and boundaries presented to you. The work will be stale and boring, just as you found your life to be once you discovered the thrill of Vegas, and you will be paid as soon as the terms of your contract have been satisfied. You will find the compensation to be substantial, to say the least. We both know you could use the money at this point…
If you’re interested in this assignment please reply in kind and I’ll send you the paperwork and instructions for your travel.
David Danbury, Esq.
I’ll skip the bullshit about ‘thinking it over.’ The truth is, I couldn’t accept fast enough. I’m in debt, remember? For three months I could handle anything, but I know what these contract jobs consist of; high hourly pay, fat per diems, and nice hotel rooms.
Now, I’ll spare you the details of my travel and arrival. Reddit doesn’t have the attention span for that kind of thing, and truthfully, I’m as guilty as anyone of scanning past the fluff in an nosleep tale to get right to the meat and bones of it. Yeah I know, someone worked hard on all that fluff. I did too, then deleted it when I knew no one would care. So, here’s that meat and bones…
I was picked up and delivered by plane, basically blindfolded, to a small island in the middle of somewhere and left standing inside the door of a concrete bunker with nothing but my suitcase and a stack of instructions on, of all things, dot matrix paper—and no…it wasn’t stripped or separated. Some asshole is out there having a grand old time handing this archaic shit to unsuspecting contractors.
While littering the hallways with side strips I explored my work and living situation while scanning through the instructions. The work was simple…diagnostics and debugs, software updates, calibration and testing of lines and connections, and other general maintenance for a bunch of communications and video equipment.
My living quarters was really pretty damned sweet. In addition to all the bottled water I could ever need for showering, I had a nice big bedroom with a sitting room off to the side, a large, fully stocked kitchen, a few TV’s, a VR headset, tons of video games and several hundred movies. And to top it all off, there was a large selection of alcohol and beer.
I walked the main hallway where I found a good sized fitness room with all sorts of workout stuff, another big kitchen with a small cafeteria, a few more vacant living quarters identical to mine, and a big pantry with an endless amount of supplies and necessities. There were several rooms full of the equipment I would be maintaining, all of which was brand new stuff from the top manufacturers. .
The hallway ended at the big steel door to the room where I would spend the majority of my 11 hour, 59 minute shifts. Attached to the door was an envelope with my name on it.
“Hello Kyle, and welcome to your home for the next three months. The room beyond this door will be the hub of your operations and you will be sharing it with another technician. Your shift will begin promptly at 8:00PM each night and will end at 7:59AM the next morning. DO NOT arrive late or leave late. When the daytime technician’s door closes at 7:59PM you will have one minute to open the lock with the included magnetic keycard. Once you’ve opened the door it will remain unlocked for the remainder of your shift so you can move freely about the west end of the facilities. Under no circumstances are you to interact with the day technician. This work is part of a controlled study and it is critical that your duties be conducted 100% independently. In addition to this, it is STRONGLY suggested that you DO NOT leave the bunker. For reasons of personal safety, you are not locked inside, but let us assure you, outside the bunker is somewhere you only want to be as an absolute last resort.
Good luck, and remember…safety first!”
Everything went down as described. The work was gravy. So gravy in-fact that it would have made a great Poutine for our Canadian friends. You nasty fuckers. Who ever dreamed up mixing brown gravy and curdled cheese anyway??
I ran through the scheduled checks, calibrations, reports each night. I arrived at the door a couple minutes early, heard the door on the other side slam shut, and shoved my card in the slot as soon as the lock’s activation indicator went green. Although it was probably against the rules, the day shift technician left a fresh pot of coffee brewing for me each evening and I began to do the same for him each morning. How did I know the other tech was a man? It was the cologne. Kenneth Cole, circa 2005. I bought a bottle back then at the suggestion of the new lady I was seeing. She was bat shit crazy and I barely managed to cling to my sanity for the four months we were together. That one is an nosleep all of its own. I will *never* forget that scent. Not ever…
Everything was going smoothly for a long ass time. I ran into very few problems in my work, and they were solved quickly and without disruption to the gear under my care. My life may be in a constant state of uncertainty and downright chaos, but when it comes to equipment? Those devices are my babies. I take great pride in my work and it’s ALWAYS first class.
I really didn’t know what all the shit was for, though. The functions I performed were strictly for operational stability. Were the video monitors connected? Was the video storage equipment running smoothly? Was it cold enough in the server room? Were the video test images (a loop of wild horses galloping on the beach) clear and sharp? I just kept everything functioning and ensured all the backup systems were good to go at any moment.
So who was running all this sweet ass gear? The day shift guy, I presume. All those damned video monitors in that control room were for something, and it was a big something. At the time I figured the island was probably under surveillance from coast to coast to coast to coast. Why? Who knows…I didn’t particularly care, but I did feel a bit cheated when I propped my feet up on the terminal and all I got to see was horses kicking up wet sand and tossing their manes back and forth like a shitty beer commercial. I had watched that scene so many times that after a couple months I knew every detail. I had the horses named, had picked out which ones were married, which were single, which were cheating, who the assholes were, and various other daytime soap opera kind of shit.
Why not fire up a movie? Because I HAD to watch that loop. I spent an hour every night with my eyes glued to those screens, making sure not a pixel was out of place. I was under clear instruction that everything should be perfect at all times.
So what the hell did the day shift guy do? I presume he ran the cameras, collected images, data, wrote up observations, reports, etc. I think he got to be James Bond and I was the inventor in the basement at MI6 who didn’t get any of the glory for keeping Bond’s ass alive. It figured. Life had been pinching my ball sack with a big pair of salad tongs for years, so why expect to get the glorious job? I bet that motherfucker was getting paid double my salary. Asshole. HOWEVER, he did brew a great cup of Joe.
My free time was spent doing a little of everything. I like to work out, although with no money for a gym membership I’ve not exerted much energy lately outside of running from bill collectors. So I hit the gym, watched movies, surfed the web, and ate a shit ton of good food. One thing I do miss is gambling. I’ve spent my fair share of time at tracks and in casinos, for sure. It’s a rush like nothing else, but when you crash you crash hard. I crash too often.
Truth be told, I’m a mess. I have an ex-wife, a kid I hardly ever see, and I’ve destroyed most of my other interpersonal relationships. Solitary work is probably what’s best for me and I think I’m probably just not a very good person. But don’t think I don’t dwell on that fact—I do. I’ve just yet to actually DO anything about it.
However, everything changed when the day shift guy went AWOL and I found the Island’s residents. And then the plane washed ashore.
…and then the bodies began piling up.
Ok really, now. I’m not gonna put you off until tomorrow just yet.
So back to the letter from the day shift guy. I didn’t have a clue what he was talking about. I mean…it sounded like he was really torn up about something. Something so bad in-fact, it made him walk out into the jungle never (presumably) to be seen again. And what the hell was he saying about “no matter what they did?”
Seriously, dude. You couldn’t hang onto your guilt ridden conscience another few days for what…a million bucks? Was he serious? Part of me was scared for what I was about to find out, and the other part of me was wondering if I was getting anywhere near a million dollars for my own gig…unless whatever he was doing on day shift was so terrible it would require ridiculous money to keep someone participating.
DSG (as we’ll call him for now) had left the entire operation unlocked and active. The monitors were all running and the control computers were unlocked. Most of the screens had a solid gray color displaying, but some were kicking on and off. I quickly realized they were motion activated, so the camera would run for a while if something was happening in its field of vision and send a live stream to the monitors. The sun was nearly gone and there wasn’t much light remaining, so I figured the night vision on the cameras would be kicking in soon.
I watched the displays come and go for a bit. Nocturnal animal activity, giant bugs landing on the lenses…stuff like that. Then out of nowhere, I saw people. A whole lot of people, to be exact. I’m a shitty guess on crowd size but some very sloppy counting put the number close to 50, if not more. It was like an encampment of some kind. Several fires burned and makeshift torches were set up in a crude perimeter. Everyone I could see was male and most of them were sitting or lying down. Their clothing matched—extremely dirty white coveralls.
Some of the men appeared to be standing guard with homemade spears or clubs, or with no weapon at all. It was surreal to suddenly see other humans on this island that for three months I thought was only inhabited by DSG and myself. They obviously were some sort of group, which meant they had a common origin or source.
One other thing was common…every single one of them looked either scared, angry, or despondent.
As the last bit of evening sun faded off into the horizon, I watched them for a while and let the past couple hours’ events soak in. What were these people doing here? Who were they? What were they scared of? And was I working for whoever was responsible for them being here?
I was pondering all these questions when my screens starting switching on like crazy. Movement caught my eye but it was quick, and whatever I had seen was not alone. The men in the camp (who I’ll now refer to as the captives) went into panic mode, either scrambling to get into the jungle or taking up some kind of defensive position. Judging by mouth movements they looked to be screaming, but I had no audio feed and as best I could tell from searching through the computer, an audio feed didn’t exist. As the chaos unfolded I finally caught a look at what was getting the captives in such a fuss.
At first all I could see was a glimmer of what I now know was their eyes reflected in the night vision. It started with just one, down low, then another and another and even more, and suddenly I was looking at HUNDREDS of eyes seemingly floating along the ground. God they were FAST too, just shooting back and forth. One of the men began to flail around in an absolute panic. I couldn’t see the outline of a snake, but his neck was gone from the sight picture and I could see the glint of one of those snake eyes. It had wrapped the guy up like a scarf and was choking him to death.
Another man was spinning in circles as if he was surrounded by multiple attackers. The tiny lights of the snake eyes were shooting at him like bullets from at least 10 feet out. Striking his legs over and over, then working their way up. He turned away from the camera briefly and when he came back around the moonlight gave me a clear view of his face. He had a snake’s fangs clamped down directly on each eye. I watched his muted screams, pulling at them furiously as the others continued to strike with relentless enthusiasm. Finally the captive managed to pry both snakes free and flung them to the ground. The moonlight caught his face again, and to my horror, I could see the eye sockets were empty.
I shut off the monitors. I could take no more of the nightmare playing out on these screens. I was helpless in my position and watching this was going to do them no good.
I took a break for food, coffee and some deep breathing exercises to calm my nerves. This was fucked up. Those guys were captives for sure, and it didn’t appear to me that the snakes were just naturally hanging out. Plus, the sheer speed and ruthlessness of those things. Geez. That was NOT normal.
Getting back on the main computer, I poked around in DSG’s files with shaky hands. I opened one labeled “DAY SHIFT DUTIES.” I was a little jealous that DSG didn’t get the pleasure of dot matrix paper. The word document was fairly brief.
HELLO MR. IVANOV. PURSUANT TO OUR AGREEMENT, HERE ARE YOUR INSTRUCTIONS FOR HOW TO SPEND THE 11 HOURS, 59 MINUTES IN THIS CONTROL ROOM.
1. EACH DAY, LOCATE THE PARTICIPANTS, COUNT THEM, LOG THE SERIAL NUMBER ON THE BACK OF EACH MAN AND CROSS REFERENCE IT WITH THE LIST PROVIDED IN THE FILE TITLED “PARTICIPANT LIST.” NOTE THEIR BEHAVIOR AND MOOD, AND MAKE NOTE OF THEIR GENERAL ACTIVITIES BOTH AS INDIVIDUALS AND AS A GROUP.
2. LOCATE THE PAIR OF DICE IN THE THIRD DRAWER ON THE RIGHT. TOSS THEM AND MAKE NOTE OF THE RESULT. ON THE HOUR CORRESPONDING WITH THE RESULT OF THE DICE THROW, PLEASE INITIATE THE SEQUENCE DESCRIBED IN THE FILE TITLED “FEEDING TIME” IN THE “NON-HUMAN PARTICIPANTS” FOLDER. FOR EXAMPLE, IF THE DICE ROLL TOTALS NINE, YOU WILL INITIATE THE FEEDING SEQUENCE AT 9:00AM. IF NO SEQUENCE IS INITIATED MANUALLY, THE COMPUTER WILL CHOOSE A TIME AND YOU WILL BE PENALIZED FINANCIALLY. THIS WOULD NOT BODE WELL FOR SVETLANA.
IF THE DICE THROW RESULTS IN AN HOUR OUTSIDE OF YOUR SHIFT, THE SEQUENCE WILL INITIATE AUTOMATICALLY. REVIEW THE CAMERA FOOTAGE AT THE BEGINNING OF YOUR NEXT WORK DAY AND CARRY OUT THE REQUIRED DUTIES DESCRIBED IN PART 1. IF YOU PREFER TO DO SO YOU MAY ROLL THE DICE MULTIPLE TIMES AND PROGRAM THE FEEDING TIMES UP TO FIVE DAYS IN ADVANCE.
-AFTER THE FEEDING PROCESS IS COMPLETE, PROVIDE A DESCRIPTION OF THE EVENT (THE MORE DETAIL, THE BETTER), THE CAMERAS THAT PRIMARLY CAPTURED THE EVENT, THE CIRCUMSTANCE THAT RESULTED IN THE LOSS OF ANY PARTICIPANT, AND AGAIN PERFORM THE SERIAL NUMBER CROSS-REFERENCE, THEN UPDATE THE PARTICIPANT FILE. AFTER PERFORMING YOUR DUTIES, SEND THE FILE TO [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected])
***EACH OF THE PARTICIPANTS HAVE AN ANKLE COLLAR FOR TRACKING PURPOSES. YOU MAY ACTIVATE THE TRACKERS VIA THE INCLUDED SOFTWARE IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO ACCOUNT FOR ALL OF THE MEN BY THE PREFERRED METHODS, BUT MANUAL ENTRY AND DETAILED DESCRIPTIONS IS THE PREFERRED METHOD.
AGAIN, THESE DUTIES MUST BE CARRIED OUT EACH DAY**. WE AGAIN THANK YOU FOR BEING IN OUR EMPLOY AND WISH YOU WELL. WE ARE SURE YOU WON’T LET SVETLANA DOWN.**
So…what the fuck?
“Participants?” “Events?” “Non-human Participants?”
It wasn’t hard to surmise the man’s job was to watch sadistic, brutally violent shit happen to the captives, log the serial numbers of the survivors, and provide post game analysis. I came to the eye-opening realization that I had been going about this mundane existence completely oblivious to the fact that terrible things may be going on all around me. And I was sitting there every night, pounding oreo cookies and making sure the controls of this nightmare were in tip top shape.
I mean…I may as well have been Freddy Krueger’s knife sharpener.
I was blown away and trying to figure out what the hell to do when I realized something…DSG, aka Mr. Ivanov, was gone. And in order to keep the powers-that-be in the dark about his departure, those daily duties still had to be carried out...carried out by ME.
I had just watched “feeding time” happen live. Furthermore, at some point after 8:00AM when his shift would normally start I would have to review the footage, describe the incident, fill out the required logs…
...and roll those fucking dice again.
Hide and Seek
For everyone else, I will start at the beginning.
I am sure all of you have seen those youtube or twitch streamers who like to scam the scammers by wasting their time, right? I thought it was funny so I decided I would do the same thing, except without broadcasting it to the world. It was a lot of fun to see how long I could keep these assholes tied up on the phone with me instead of your trusting grandma.
Then I heard about the “Dark Web” and how there are also people on there who like to scam people. I admit, I had never been on the dark web before, but I had heard the stories. It was the wild west where you could buy drugs and have them delivered to your door and the police couldn’t track you. You could hire a hitman to kill anybody you wanted as long as you had bitcoins to pay them with. Sadly, I also heard about the child porn rings and knew I did not want to accidentally land on one of those pages. The anonymous nature of the dark web can both a blessing and a curse.
I logged on to the dark web and was able to find a page advertising hacking services. Not real hacking, but more stuff like hacking into your significant others facebook account or email to see if they are cheating on you. Stuff a simple keylogger would accomplish but they were asking for hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars. It was clearly a scam and was exactly what I was looking for.
Before I talk to any scammer, I spoof my number and have a virtual machine set up so if they take command of my computer, they are not actually doing anything real. It is all just a charade. I never use my real name, or real telephone number.
It started off the same way these things always start off. I act interested in a service, but I am not smart enough to know how to buy and send bitcoin. I string them along, and they eventually try to walk me through it over the phone. No matter how easy they make it, I am just too dumb to figure it out. They eventually get tired of dealing with me and hang up. All I wasted was both of our time.
This call was different. After about 5 minutes of me playing dumb, they figured it out and were pissed.
“You think you’re funny?”
“What are you talking about?”
“Trying to waste our time?”
“Yea, the more time you waste on me, the less time you have to scam other people.”
“You fucked up this time. You fucked with the wrong people.”
“Why do you do this? Scam people? Does it make you feel good?”
“We aren’t the spam callers you normally talk to in Nigeria or India, Jason. You are on the Dark Web now, and you should have known better than to fuck with people on the Dark Web.”
How the hell did they know my name was Jason? I told them my name was David. What the fuck? I better get off here now.
“You are a scammer. Get a real job and stop trying to scam people.”
I ended the call.
Less than a minute later, my phone rang from my own number. I knew I shouldn’t have answered it, but I did. I knew who it was.
“Jason, we don’t like it when people hang up on us.”
“Listen, I clearly messed with the wrong person. I’m sorry. I am just trying to annoy scammers who scam innocent people. That’s all. This is just a big misunderstanding. Let’s just go our separate ways. I am sorry.”
“That is not how this is going to work Jason Keys”
“How do you know my name?”
“You found hackers on the Dark Web, are you surprised we know who you are and that your address is XXXXX ?” Yes, they knew my address.
“Okay, you were able to trace my phone and get my personal information. I get it. I fucked up.”
“Where are you right now, Jason?”
“I’m at work.” I lied.
‘No, you’re not, Jason. You are in your kitchen.”
“Okay, you somehow have used my phone’s GPS to find my location. I get it. You are real hackers. I will never waste your time or anyone else’s time again. I swear.”
“Do you like games, Jason?”
“What do you mean? I have an xbox.”
“Were going to play a game.”
“No, we don’t have to do that. We can just go our own way.”
“We are going to play Hide and Seek. You know how to play Hide and Seek right Jason?”
“The kids game. Yea. Everyone knows how to play that but I don’t want to play this game. I don’t even know who you are.”
“That is what makes this game so much fun for us. We know who you are. But to you, we could be anyone, anywhere, at anytime.”
“No. I am not going to play your game.”
“You don’t seem to understand. You don’t have a choice in the matter.”
“What happens when you catch me?”
“Then you will have to hide again.”
“What if I just don’t play?”
“Bad things will happen to you.” they said. “You have 12 hours to hide. Good luck.”
They hung up. .
I clicked on the Facebook app on my phone and a message popped up saying No Account Found. I tried my twitter and gmail account and everything was gone. Somehow they had deleted my entire online presence while they were on the phone with me.
I knew I never should have went onto the Dark Web. I should have believed all the rumors I read about that place.
Maybe this person was serious about playing their game of Hide and Seek. At worst, I thought, I should find a different place to sleep for a few days just to let this pass over. I grabbed my backpack and threw in a few pairs of clothes to last three days, a pillow, and a toothbrush. That should be enough, I thought.
I called out of work and told them I had a family emergency and would be gone for a few days. I wasn’t sure where I was going to go yet, but a full tank of gas was a start. I slid my card into the gas pump and it came back denied. That is weird, I had just gotten paid 2 days before and had plenty of money in my account. I pulled out a credit card and tried again. It was also denied.
I went to the bank to get this problem sorted out. I told the teller my card was declined but I had money in my account earlier. She took my details to pull up my account, but their system showed no account ever existed under my name. I told her that was impossible! I showed her I have a debit card with my name on it. She called a manager over and they took the card away and told me I could be charged with fraud for having a fake debit card. I tried to explain but they were certain they have never had an account under my name or social security number. Even if I had an account in the past, their system would have been able to find it under my social.
I left the bank dumbfounded. My card had worked the day before and I have had an account at that bank since I turned 18 over five years ago. There is no way even hackers could delete my accounts that fast, if it is even possible at all. It had been less than an hour.
I sat on the hood of my car and called the credit card companies, but they had no records of me on file either. The one positive thing about this entire experience is they wiped off a few grand in my credit card debt, so I guess thank you for that much.
I went back to my car and the reality of the situation came crashing down on me. They knew who I was, where I lived, and now I had no access to any money. I sat down in the car to think over my options of what to do next when I saw an envelope on the passenger seat. I opened it up and it contained $100 cash (5 twenty dollar bills) and a note.
Time is ticking. You have $100 dollars and 11 hours left. You better go hide, because soon I will start to seek.
They found me already? How were they already in my town and knew where I was and what kind of car I drove? What am I going to do now? They are already watching me and what kind of car I drive, I am not even going to be able to use my own car.
After some thinking, I drove to the bus stop and bought a ticket for a bus heading North. It would be making 6 stops between here and Chicago so I can get out of town and decide where to get off later. They can’t know where I am going to be if I don’t even know where I’ll be. The ticket was $50 dollars so that only leaves me $50. I decided I would just have to deal with it later.
The bus ride itself is a nightmare on its own, but that is a story for another time. I got on the bus and finally decided enough was enough in Indianapolis. I left a warm Atlanta for Indiana with nothing but a few changes of clothes in my backpack. Could life be much worse?
I got something to eat at a McDonalds close to the bus stop and saved what little money I had left. There wasn’t enough money to spare for a motel, no matter how shady it was. I needed to save every penny I had right now. I slept outside and froze my ass off.
I didn’t know a soul there. I just decided it would be best if I kept a low profile and tried to stay out of sight. I didn’t have any sort of electronics for them to track and I don’t have any credit cards to trace. They shouldn’t have any idea where I got off the bus at. I could be in any city between Atlanta and Chicago if they had seen what bus I got off on.
That night, I found a starbucks and decided to grab myself a coffee. I put in my order and went to the restroom to clean myself up a little. I got back just as they were calling my name telling me my drink was ready. I grabbed my coffee and the employee said someone had given him a note to give me with my coffee. My heart sank as I sat down and opened the envelope. They had found me in less than 24 hours after I traveled over 500 miles away without telling a soul.
Inside was another $100 dollars and a note.
Not a bad start, most aren’t smart enough to ditch their car and town so fast. You have $100 dollars and 24 hours to find a new hiding spot. Try a little harder next time. I like a challenge.
I sat in the starbucks exhausted and defeated. If they found me that easily then was there any way to escape them? I decided to do what I should have done when all of this started. I went to the police.
The police listened to my story and then took my ID. They asked some questions and clearly did not believe I was telling the truth. They asked if I had taken any drugs and then ran my ID. When he came back he asked me if it was a fake ID because it was not pulling any information on me. I asked him to try one more time.
Before he tried again, he asked if I might be having some mental problems or off my medicine because I sounded like I might be having an episode. I’m pretty sure he wanted to take me to the hospital for a psychiatric hold.
When he went to run my ID again, I quietly slipped out the door and escaped. I knew what they had done. I no longer exist. At least in the eyes of the law and the public. My identity was deleted. My bank accounts were gone. My credit cards were gone. My social media was gone. Everything that proved who I was is gone. Outside of those who know me, I do not exist. And if I don’t exist, they can kill me with ease.
I walked to a truck stop near the interstate and was able to hitch a ride to Chicago for $20 dollars. A random trucker seemed a lot safer than a Greyhound bus full of drug addicts and creeps like I had taken to get this far. At least I got 2 hours of sleep in a warm cab.
In Chicago, I bought a burner phone and decided it was time to call home. It was prepaid, cheap, and new. The only number I knew was my own and my mom’s so I had to call her. I called her up and she was worried and asked where I was. I told her Chicago and started to explain what had led me here, but the call dropped. I looked at my phone and it said it had no service. A few moments later I got a text message.
YOU CAN USE A PHONE. YOU CAN’T ASK FOR HELP. THE RULES ARE SIMPLE YOU HIDE. WE SEEK.
I threw the phone against the wall and it shattered into pieces. It was a brand new phone. Nobody should have been able to know or hack it so fast. I am alone. Nobody can help me. I don’t know what to do anymore. The only option I had was to play their stupid game.
I know some of you guys must be asking yourself why I even play the game? Why don’t I just stop running? They are just playing with me. They would not actually hurt me.
I have tried that before. In Colorado, I was tired, cold, and wet when they found me. I decided enough was enough. They left me the note mocking my attempts to run away and gave me another $50 dollars. I said screw it, let them kill me. I got me a nice hotel at the Hilton and spent all the money I had on a nice steak dinner. If they decided to kill me, at least I would have a nice last meal and a warm bed on my last night.
I thought I would have been up all night worried, but I was too worn out to care. I slept like a baby. I was shocked to open my eyes the next morning and not find someone with a gun pointed at my head. I smiled and thought to myself it had all been a game. A stupid fucking game that I believed was real. I spent months on the road, homeless, cold, and hungry for nothing.
Then I looked over and saw a note on the bed with a sharp knife lying across it. Someone had been here while I was sleeping. They had broken into my room and were in the same room with me. They could have killed me and I never would have known. I almost wish they had, but they let me live. Those assholes had let me live.
We aren’t ready for the game to end yet. Keep running and hiding Jason. The next time, we will not be so nice. Now back to Hide and Seek! See you soon.
There was no money with the note. My backpack was gone. I was completely broke after spending all my money on food and a hotel. I wish they would have killed me.
I don’t know why I didn’t just stay where I was and let them kill me, but letting someone kill you and doing nothing to stop it isn’t easy.
I don’t know what the fun of this game is for them except to watch someone suffer. I don’t know how they seem to be everywhere and know everything. It doesn’t matter how fast or far I run, they will always be the steps ahead of me.
Every person I see or talk to could be them. I constantly try to look at the faces around me to see if any of them look familiar but everyone is a stranger. They are ghost. Always close by. Always watching. Always invisible.
They find me almost as soon as I stayed in the same place for more than a night or two. Sometimes they would be nice and let me settle somewhere for a week or two, but never long enough to be comfortable. I think they just like to keep me guessing and to give me hope that they decided to stop this game.
They also always gave me exactly what I need to survive. Most of the time it was just enough money to keep me fed but still hungry with a little left over. If it was deathly cold outside I may have a little extra to afford a place inside or even a warm jacket to keep me cold but alive. If I was sick, a bag of medicine would show up. They give me just enough to live a miserable life.
I know you are reading this. And I quit. I quit your game. I’m tired of playing. You’ve taken everything from me. If you want to kill me then kill me. I would rather be dead than to keep playing your game. You know where I am. You always do. Give me my life back or kill me. I quit.
Jason was right. Our game of Hide and Seek really is a cat and mouse game. We are the cat and Jason was the mouse. Here is the thing about a cat and a mouse, a cat likes to play with the mouse, to scare a mouse, to corner a mouse, to slap the mouse with its claws. When the mouse quits playing the cats game, the mouse dies.
It looks like we have to find a new mouse since our last one decided to stop playing our game. Luckily nosleep has plenty of mice to choose from and the accounts have a comment history so we can find the perfect mouse for our next game of Hide and Seek. If you see your own number pop up on your caller ID, don’t answer. It just might be us.