an exploration of the possible influence of modern technology on the horror narrative.)
Hey listen, I didn’t do nothin’. Like, you can lock me up, and that ain’t gonna change my story. I don’t like cops, and I know you don’t like kids from my neighbourhood, but I ain’t hidin’ anything from you guys. If I get any details wrong, it’s only ‘cuz I’m still shaky from the whole thing.
I got no idea what happened to Harley. Like, sure, I’m not denyin’ I was with him that night at the swamp. I mean, we’d been planning that for days, we brought flashlights and all. I told you everything I know about what went down, and I don’t remember anything after that. I hope… I hope Harley’s at peace now, but I got a bad feelin’, y’know, like maybe there’s “fates worse than death”, like they say.
Harley’s… Harley was a weird guy, always surfing the occult websites and reading fucked-up stuff about the supernatural. I didn’t understand much of it: I just liked hangin’ out with him. Guy could scare the shit out of me sometimes, y’know?
The house was his idea. It used to be, like, this headquarters or temple for this old freaky cult. I mean, seriously freaky. So we got there, with the moon shining on this old creepy house, and the place was fuckin’ huge, with wings and all. Well, not like bat wings or anything. You know… the arch’tectural kind. Harley was spouting all this spooky stuff about what the cultists used to do in there before they got flushed out by the police. Black masses, orgies, weird inbreeding, the works.
So Harley wanted to go in, but he said it could be horrible in there, like maybe the place was still… marked by what happened there. Said I should stay and wait for him. That only made me want to follow even more, ‘cuz I thought he was just trying to scare me so he could tell everybody I wussed out afterwards.
But he finally convinced me, and he walked in. There was a lobby with a door at the back, and he closed it behind him. I saw his flashlight for a while through the door’s little window, and then nothin’.
He wanted to do this silently, like maybe something could hear him in there. So we pulled out our cell phones and started messaging. I tried to write it down exactly like it was.
WHO DA MAN
And I sent:
U DA MAN H
And he sent:
NO U DA MAN
We’d do that every fifteen minutes, just so I’d know he was OK. If he was silent too long, I was supposed to get help.
Then we sent a bunch. Him:
Normally I would have laughed at that first word, but I just sent:
And after a bit all he sent was:
The he was silent for a long while, and I was, like, freakin’ out. I felt like switching to voice and yelling at him, what the fuck’s goin’ on? But I figured, what if he ain’t alone?
I was about to call you guys, or his big brother or somethin’, but then I got:
I was scared, but I couldn’t just leave him there. I sent:
And he just freaked out, sent a few in a row:
Then nothing, for like five minutes, then ten, then fifteen, and I wasn’t gonna go in there, no way, but I had to help him, and I kept sending:
U THERE H
And when I finally got an answer, that’s when I lost it, I guess. Just started running, and ran until I couldn’t run no more, and it’s all kinda blurry in my memory. Next thing I knew the sun was up and I was, like, lying by the side of the road with one of you guys looking down on me like I was roadkill.
So I don’t know what happened. The last thing I really remember is that last message I got, and it said:
U FOOL H DED
And… that was pretty much that.