The Warning

December 12, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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Endless.

Dark.

That was the road in front of me, stretching out farther than the eye could see in this inky blackness. Not a star in the sky tonight, and the moon seemed to be hiding from view as well. That was okay because I actually preferred the dark stretch- I found it calming to drive the narrow strip alone in the night.

It wasn’t often I had the opportunity to drive it and visit my parents is the country, and I was excited to see them. It had been a long time…too long. Being an only child, my parents had been devastated when I informed them I was moving to the city. With that being said, they of course supported me and invited me to visit often, which is how I found myself driving out after work. It was a long weekend, so I could stay Friday and Saturday and head back to the city on Sunday to have some me time.

The road had been fun when I was a child- the hills and bumps always had me lifted off my seat, giggling and shouting “wheee!” Every time we hit a large hill, my stomach would drop. I smiled at the memory, speeding up a little, intending to replicate the experience. The radio blasted a pop song, up way too loud to be good for anyone’s ears, but let’s be honest- it wasn’t like the music was that good anyway.

I checked the speedometer. I pressed a little harder on the gas, confident that I could maneuver this particular road with little danger. My car loyally leapt over the hills, bouncing me off my seat time after time. I laughed as my stomach flipped and flipped. I saw a curve up ahead and I started to gently hit my brakes. Just as I was going through the curve, a flash of blue up ahead caught my eye.

“Stop!” Someone screamed. My reaction to seeing a person standing in the middle of the road was to stop immediately to avoid hitting them. When I saw it was a young girl, I felt a wave of guilt crash over me. I almost hit that girl! I admonished myself. Her dress was a pale blue, torn at the hem and at the shoulder. The tear in the shoulder neatly matched the scratch on her arm, so I guessed she must have been running and caught a branch. Her hair was wet, matted down on one side, and she looked panicked. I felt sorry for her, but I was also scared. Did I help this girl? What was she doing in the middle of the road at this time of night? She stared at the car for a second, and then began screaming again.

“Help me! You have to help me! He’s going to kill me!” she cried, running toward the car. I had the doors locked, but her sudden movement had me reaching for the lock button. I glanced around but I didn’t see anyone else. Suddenly, I saw a man break through the bushes on the left. He was tall, with dark hair and a thick beard. Most importantly though, he was covered in blood and holding a knife. He seemed to look around for a minute, taking in the car’s bright lights, and then noticed the girl. He started in the direction of the car, obviously going after the young girl who was frantically pulling at the door handle.

“Please!” she cried, tears pouring down her face. More afraid of the bloody bearded man than the child, I pressed the unlock button hurriedly.

“Get in! Get in!!” I practically screamed, my heart racing. The man was so close to the car now, any second he was going to reach it and kill us both. The girl slammed the door shut and locked it just as the man reached the front of the car.

“Get out of the car!” he screamed, banging his fists against the hood. The girl cowered in the seat, taking in the environment of the car and stealing a glance at me. She didn’t respond to him.

“Get out of the car right now! It’s for your own good.” He said emphatically, banging his fists on the hood again, knife gleaming in the headlights and the glare momentarily blinding me. Suddenly, he began to move from the front of the car to the driver’s side window.

“Please get out of the car.” He pleaded, his voice a little different this time, almost begging for her to get out of the car. I looked at him and noticed for the first time that he was looking at me.

“Please get out. You’ve made a mistake. You don’t know what-“

I felt something hard and cold slide through my lower ribs. I cried out in pain and looked at the girl incredulously. With a malicious smile, she slowly began to twist the knife.

Me.

He had been warning me.

Credit To – K.R. Shann
Credit Link – K.R. Shann on Facebook

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Dancing Dead

December 2, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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Jake shouldn’t be outside tonight. Let alone walk through the woods by himself.
But he’s just gonna drop by his friend’s house real quick to pick up his phone, which he forgot there a few days ago. How much harm can that really do?
A damp, blue tinted fog silently prowls the night, meandering through the towering trees. The moon has deprived the sun of its throne in the sky and the repetitive sound of his sneakers hitting the dirt road is the only thing accompanying him. With the soft harmonies of solitude cascading through the forest comes complete tranquility.
You can really tell that there’s almost no one outside right now. A different kind of smell drifts with the wind and a different kind of air fills his lungs each time he takes a breath. The sensation of undisturbed nature is a pretty rare thing nowadays. Maybe the rumors of this night and why you should stay inside was all made up by people who wanted to enjoy this once every year.

A bush rustles somewhere behind him.
Jake stops in his tracks and pricks up his ears. Nothing but the distant hooting of an owl. Trying not to make anything of it, he continues walking the narrow path in front of him. He only gets to take a couple of steps, though, before he hears another rustle, and freezes instantly. The sound is a little closer to him this time, but when he spins around to face the bush, he sees nothing. Must be a squirrel or something. Maybe a cute little fox. The bottom line is: it’s nothing to worry about.

Jake presses on, but the air that fills his lungs is now flavored with paranoia, which pumps out through his veins like a malicious virus. He tries to calm himself down, but when the third rustle comes, there’s no doubt that he’s scared. He quickens his pace and keeps his eyes steadily on the road.
Maybe he should have stayed inside. He could have just gone to get his phone in the morning. Why does he always feel the need to be a rebellious idiot?

That was a footstep.
Yep, that was definitely a freaking footstep landing a few meters behind him. He knows now that something is there in the forest with him—something that’s not a cute little animal. But he won’t look back. That’s what you should never do.
Instead, Jake keeps walking determinedly towards the edge of the woods with fear rising up inside of him like in a thermostat. The rhythmical footsteps keep closing up on him. It seems like no matter how fast he walks, the footsteps behind him are set to always walk just a little bit faster. He can’t get away from them.
And when he starts hearing the wheezing breathing filled with gurgling fluid from the unknown being creeping up on him, panic breaks loose.
Jake runs. He runs as fast as anyone of his height and weight can, but he knows in the back of his mind that it won’t be enough. The thing behind him keeps the same rhythm to its footsteps but now moves like a galloping horse—inhumanly fast.
The rapid and shallow breathing coming down his neck sounds excited, and he can almost hear a little bit of crazed laughter emitting from his pursuer. The trees of the forest fly by quickly, and the outer parts of Jake’s vision blurs. He feels the air around him get colder, and the light from the moon getting choked by dark clouds.
A hand violently grabs his hood, and his head is thrown forward before he falls heavily to the ground.

Jake slowly turns his head as he lies there, helpless.
He is met by a lucid pair of big white eyes, and the tall body of a man, looming over him. The man’s hair is disheveled and under the long, dark coat, his skin is pale and filled with deep cuts. The mere presence of his lacerated soul makes Jake dizzy.
Even now, while standing still, the man taps his feet in that same rhythm, and the shaky smile on his face expresses maniacal delight. He bends over slowly and takes Jake’s hand. His fingers feels bony and frozen. Then, all of a sudden, an electric feeling bolts through Jake. It’s like nothing he’s ever felt before. Jake stands up with eyes wide open and feels euphoria flow through him. The rhythm seizes him.
And while preserving the peace and silence of nature, he and the man dance away through the forest together.

It is said in Jake’s town that once every year, the dead rise from their graves. For one night, the ones who lived miserable lives get the chance to experience fun. And what better way to have fun than through dancing? The children are taught to stay inside on this night, however.
Because everyone knows that dancing is better when you’re two.

Credit To – Daniel. S

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Creak

November 30, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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The inventor was frustrated. He had spent years, decades, researching the nature of time, and his work had finally come to fruition: he had invented a — theoretically — functioning time machine. With this he knew he could silence all the naysayers who had repudiated the underlying goal of his research. They had told him, time without number, that time travel was impossible. Otherwise, one could create a paradox by, say, going back in time and killing one’s grandfather before he had any children. In which case, the time traveler would never even exist, and so wouldn’t travel back in time to kill his grandfather, thus ensuring the grandfather’s procreation, and the time traveler’s eventual existence, enabling the latter to go back in time and kill…

Fah. He had long ago dismissed such nonsense, but as he achieved greater and greater success in his research (always in the comfort of his lab at home rather than at work) the problem grew in his mind. It did not occupy his conscious mind, but his unconscious thoughts were frequently considering it, weighing particular solutions, allowing the better ones to step up to the next floor in his mental architecture. This was actually how he did most of his thinking, with the result being that by the time an idea actually manifested itself in his conscious mind, he was essentially already decided on a course of action.

Obviously, he had concluded, a man could not travel back in time and prevent the circumstances by which he traveled back in time in the first place. Just as obviously (thus the paradox) there would be nothing to stop a man from doing precisely that once he had already traveled back in time. Therefore, both conditions must be true. A man could travel back in time and kill his grandfather. But then he would continue to exist: and upon his return to the present, he would discover that his grandfather had not been killed. Time travel, in other words, would only allow for observation, not interaction. No one would have to worry about accidentally stepping on a bug and somehow causing a volcanic eruption or whatever. This led to important side issues: were one’s actions actually happening somewhere (or somewhen)? What would happen if one then got stuck in the past where the apparent event had taken place? Etc. But his subconscious was already working on potential solutions to these questions.

As to the main question, he had already decided what to do. Before he would bring his time machine to the attention of his colleagues (and the world for that matter) he would first have to divest them of this notion of paradoxes. To this end, he would travel back in time, perform an action that could not have happened, and then return to the present. He would do this with other people so they could verify that he had, in fact, done the impossible act in the past without endangering the present in any way.

First, though, he would have to do it alone in order to have empirical verification (of a sort) in hand before approaching his colleagues. He did not want to kill his grandfather, and was certain his explanation would not be believable if he got stuck 80 years in the past. So instead, he would travel five years into the past and kill himself — his self from five years ago, that is. If, per impossibile, he got stuck there, he was pretty sure his presence would prevent any murder accusation from getting off the ground, the alleged victim being alive and well.

He took his time machine (which was about the size of a shoebox) and a pistol into the hallway outside his lab, turned the number dial on the time machine to “5”, the units dial all the way up to “year”, the directional switch to “past”, and activated it. Not much changed, but he hadn’t expected it to; he had always relished continuity (which made it a little unusual that he, of all people, would invent a time machine), and so his furnishings had remained almost entirely unchanged over the thirty-plus years that he’d been living in this house. He expected to find himself at work in his lab, and so walked over to it. The door was open a crack, and he was able to look in and see that, yes, he was indeed sitting at his desk, looking at something. He raised the pistol, pushed the door open, and before his old self could react to the sound of the creaky hinges, he shot himself in the head. His old self.

He paused for a moment to see if he noticed any differences: did he have any new memories? Did he still exist? Would one notice if one stopped existing? At this last thought, he chuckled, stepped into the room, and then pushed the return button on the time machine. Apart from the disappearance of his body — his old body — and the door closing most of the way behind him, nothing changed. After pausing again to see if he noticed any differences (he didn’t), he went over to his desk to record the results of his experiment. He looked at the time machine and called up the exact coordinates it had recorded, and began writing them down.

But something was wrong. The coordinates were not what they should have been, not even close. As he finished writing them down, he looked back at the time machine to see what the problem was. The first thing he noticed was that, although he had pushed the directional switch down for “past”, the switch was sticky and it hadn’t clicked over. The second thing he noticed was that, while he had turned the category dial all the way up to “year”, he accidentally pushed it too far: and since the dial had no stopper, it reset to the smallest unit.

He hadn’t traveled five years into the past. He had traveled five MINUTES into the FUTURE.

And behind him, the door hinges creaked.

Credit To – Jim S.

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Mr. Teeth

November 16, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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People sometimes ask me what my first memory is. Invariably I lie, because I’m prone to avoid the explanation that comes with the truth. Maybe, from now on, if someone casually asks me “What is your first memory?” I will reach into my bag where there will be copies of this story and I will just hand one over. As they read it, their face will morph from confusion, into the furrowed brow of concern, and finally into the drop-jawed bewilderment that accompanies real fear.
In passing, I tell people that my first memory was of me standing on a stool in front of my kitchen window. It was just after dusk in winter and from where I stood, I could make out the black limbs of the skeletal beech tree that loomed from across the driveway. While that is indeed a real memory, it’s not the first one. If you want to hear about that, here it is:

There was an unfortunate series of incidences that happened in the town where I grew up during the summer of 1989. By incidences, I mean murders. I’m not talking about your run-of-the-mill bar brawl gone too far or an act of passionate revenge. No. The events that happened in Middleton were far more grotesque…. even more so because the victims were children.
I don’t remember the heatwave that had swept Middleton that summer, the pink droplets of melted ice cream on the simmering pavement, or old men reclined in overstuffed chairs in shady living rooms. These precious details were told to me through family members and friends of my parents. They all, to this day say that it was the hottest summer they have ever lived through.
To make the weather even more unbearable, there were weekly brownouts that year due to some oversights at the electric plant in Salem. As a result, homes and businesses would go for hours at a time without air conditioning. Popsicles were promptly sold out in every business after noon; magazines and newspapers weren’t read that summer; they were bought to be used as makeshift fans. It seemed that the only place where air-conditioning still remained during these outages was the car.
I’ve been told by relatives that it was not uncommon during that summer to find neighbors lounging back in their parked cars with the windows up, drinking a beer and listening to the radio. At times it was the only escape from the unbearable humidity and heat.
That’s why, when mothers would go shopping, it became impossible to pull their children from their cars. After all, the kids knew that the inside of whatever clothing or grocery store their mother had taken them to was probably as hot if not hotter than the parking lot. The coolest and best place to be was in the car, with the windows rolled up and that gentle whispering wind seeping through the vents.
With this setting in mind you can understand how “Mr. Teeth,” as he was later called by newspapers, had his pick of the litter, so to speak. He knew that in any given lot outside of a busy grocery or department store, there would be at least two or three cars where the children had been left inside.
One such car was parked outside of the Market Basket on the afternoon of June 3rd. Within sat Jeremy Hagger, a freckled eight year old with a pension for action figures. When Jeremy’s mother returned from her quick dash for butter, she found the back right door of the vehicle ajar, a Darth Vader doll left abandoned on the back seat.
News of the disappearance radiated through the town over the following week up until the day when a jogger noticed a small black Reebok laying in the grass on the edge of the reservoir. Not long afterward, Jeremy’s body was pulled from the brown water and sent to the morgue. It was there that doctors noted what appeared to be bite marks on the boy’s arms and neck.
Victim number two was Amanda DeMiller, a girl of seven who had fallen asleep on her way home from shopping with her mother on July 18th. As was common in those days, a parent might leave their sleeping child in the car once at home. Britta DeMiller, Amanda’s mother, later told police that with the house being as hot as it was, she had thought that Amanda would sleep better in the car with the sliding side door left open.
At some point Mrs. DeMiller looked out the window to see that Amanda was no longer in her seat. The family lived on a fairly wooded road leading into the forests of Middleton. Neighbors were widely separated from one another. Mr. and Mrs. DeMiller spent all of that night scouring the narrow back roads, knocking on the doors of the occasional houses.
After only a three day search, a local boy found Amanda’s body slumped in the corner of his tree house. Her throat was purple from strangulation and covered with bite marks. Her shoes were on the wrong feet. Anyway, that’s how the story goes.

That brings us to my first memory. My parents have since placed the date of this memory to around the third or fourth week of August. It had been about a month since Amanda DeMiller’s murder but no one had been apprehended. People in town were still on edge.
It was at that time, one afternoon when I sat in the front seat of my Mom’s rusty Toyota parked in the giant lot of Henry’s grocery store. I remember that there was a car parked on either side of my mother’s and in front of the Toyota was one of those corrals for shopping carts.
There was music playing quietly on the radio, Madonna maybe, and my hands were sticky from eating candy.
You may wonder how, with all of the horrors that had plagued Middleton that summer, my mother could have left me alone in the car. The fact is, she hadn’t. My older brother, Stephen (age 12 at the time) had been designated as my temporary guardian while she made an emergency stop for flour. It was this “temporary guardian” who decided that this was the perfect opportunity to run to the bookstore nearby to buy a deck of collectible cards. Before he dashed out of the backseat, I remember him saying something like “Don’t go anywhere!”
So there I sat, waiting for one or both of my family members to return. It was then that I saw him and it’s this part which is clear even to this day.
The halogen lamps had just come on all across the lot; they cast that greenish glow from just being turned on. The sky beyond the pines that bordered the market was streaked with pink and purple. It must have been around seven thirty. I remember first seeing him, standing there some 30 feet from the front of our car. Almost instantly, the music from the radio faded from my ears along with the sharp rattle of carriage wheels on the old pavement.
Transfixed, silent, I stared out the windshield at this lanky gaunt figure framed by pink and purple sky. Through a curtain of greasy black hair falling across his brow, I discerned a single eye; it seemed to sort of take on the green glow of those halogen lights. He tilted his head back a bit and the hint of a smile danced across his thin lips.
He must have stood and stared through the windshield at me, transfixed and spellbound as I was, for one whole minute. He then started a slow walk over to my side of the car, never taking his eye from mine. Once he was outside my door, he looked down his long beak-like nose at me. Then looking around, he began to wiggle the handle.
“Open up,” he said, looking down at me again.
I just stared at him without saying anything.
Again, “Open up.”
His long skeletal fingers left the door handle and started to dance across my window tapping here and there.
He crouched down so that he was at my level and started a sort of puppet show with his hands. His dirty fingers dashed across the glass like great pale spiders in a deadly battle. He looked at them and laughed making hissing and growling sounds.
As he made these sounds, his mouth opened up into a full grin and I had a look inside, at rows of long yellow teeth. They are, to this day, the longest and largest teeth I’ve ever seen. There were gaps between them and they reminded me vaguely of dirty piano keys. He seemed to be completely immersed in his spider battle, giggling and clawing at each of his hands.
At one point, he noticed that my window was open just a crack at the top, he looked at me grinning with those mighty teeth and crawled one of his hand spiders up to the space. I was openly sobbing at this point. He managed to squeeze the tips of four fingers through the opening. I caught a greasy whiff of unwashed clothes mingled with the sweet scent of blood.
“Come on! Open up,” he said, in a winy, pleading voice. “Open up.” He said this same sentence in a dozen different voices, from a girly voice to a thick lumberjack one.
By sheer luck, the woman who was parked on the passenger side of our car, returned with all four of her noisy kids in tow. Upon seeing her, the man scurried off in a ducked walk towards the cart corral where he smoothly stood up straight and walked off into the parking lot…but not before looking over his shoulder, gnashing those massive teeth, and catching me with one final blood-chilling stare.
The memory ends there. It was later explained to me that my brother had returned to the car to find me crying hysterically. No matter what he said to calm me through the glass, apparently, I wouldn’t unlock the doors. My mother returned soon after. She said that all I could manage to say through thick sobs was, “There was a man.” I just kept repeating it for hours after that. “There was a man.”
Like the insufferable heat, so too did the Middleton murders come to an end with the changing of the seasons.
Just two weeks after my parking lot encounter, the child killer (who was later identified as Raymond Sandler, age 29) was caught after taking a young girl from a birthday party at a roller rink in Beverly. A worker on his coffee break at the adjacent gas station saw a thin man lead the girl out the back door of the rink and attempt to force her into a red car. The worker called the cops and the car was pulled over on Route 128 just outside of Gloucester.
While I don’t remember it, I first made the connection between the man in the parking lot and “Mr. Teeth” by seeing my father’s newspaper on the coffee table the day after Sandler’s capture. There, in a large blown-up black and white, was the same ghastly face I’d seen just inches from mine with only a layer of glass separating us. Apparently, I didn’t make it to school the day I saw that newspaper on account of I couldn’t stop screaming.
Knowing that I had almost been a victim myself, my family and people around Middleton weren’t willing to tell me anything about the killer once I grew curious, years later. I suppose they didn’t want to freak me out more than I already was.
So, in high school, I did some of my own research. I learned that the Boston Globe had first coined the nickname “Mr. Teeth” both on account of Sandler’s unusually large incisors and his habit of biting the skin of his victims. His means of killing was almost exclusively strangulation. Due to his being diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, Sandler was often delusional. As a result, his story regularly changed. However, after being asked several times, the number of murders he confessed to, while varying, never went above 10.
It was also noted in research on Sandler that he only hunted in the summertime. Some speculated that this was because of the easy access to children who had been left in cool cars while their parents went in to shop. Others suggested that the hot weather triggered something inside of Sandler, something that lay dormant during the fall and winter, then awoke once the temperature hit 80.
Who can say?
They years have softened that first memory a bit. I’m almost forty now and, while that hideous grin isn’t quite as distinct as it used to be, I still see it sometimes when I wake up at night, usually in the warmer months.
Someday, one of my two girls (who know nothing of the summer of ’89) may ask when they’re older, “Hey, Dad? What’s your first memory?” Maybe I’ll tell them about the time I was on the stool in my kitchen looking out at the old beech tree. Or maybe I’ll just say, “Teeth. I remember teeth.”

Credit To – Daniel DuBois

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Metroid 2: Secret Worlds

November 6, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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A few months ago I was busy preparing to move to a new house when I came across something from my past.

I was going through my belongings, trying to figure out what to keep and what to discard, when I found an old shoebox stuffed down the back of my closet. Curious, I opened it up and found that it was full of CD’s. I flipped through them and realized that these were backups of files from over ten years ago.

I remembered that this was how I used to back up stuff before external hard drives became affordable enough for me to just start backing up with them.

I stopped packing and started checking out the CD’s on my computer. They were mostly full of stuff I’d collected off of the net like mp3s, roms and animated GIF’s.

I then came across a CD that was labeled ‘Conversations with Pahn’. I stared at the CD with some reservation for a moment before loading it into my computer.

The CD contained a bunch of images, a couple of audio files and some text dumps from a message board.
Looking over these files made me recall an incident that had occurred many years ago. It was an incident that had slipped from my mind until I saw that CD again.

Honestly, I was glad to have forgotten about it. It was a pretty freaky experience and to this day I still don’t know what to make of it.

It was 2004, I was in my last year of high school and I spent most of my free time being an admin for an emulation message board.

It wasn’t a particularly taxing job, I was one of three guys who were admins and the board itself was pretty niche, so we usually didn’t get a great deal of traffic.

Back then there wasn’t the bot problems you find on boards these days. Most of the time I just had to log in, check my messages, then browse through the forums to see if anyone was breaking any rules or just being a dick.

It was a pretty fun gig, I got the most enjoyment out of messing with persistent trolls.

Being an admin allowed me to change their avatars(I had pics of crying babies for such occasions) or edit their posts.

Usually I’d have them say stuff like “I suck”, “I cry into my pillow at night” or my personal favorite “I left my brain in the womb”.

Basically I used to get a real kick out of administrating justice on the board.

So one night a new guy registered to the forum and created a thread called “Need help to pull apart my nes”.

The following is from that thread:

Metroid 2 - Secret Worlds - 1

I was slightly mystified by his question and I had some time to kill so I thought I’d ask him.

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I almost laughed at this. I explained to Pahn what roms were and he got really excited.

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I got the gist that he really wasn’t very technically savvy. Which was fair enough, we all had to start from somewhere.

After explaining to him about roms and emulators I didn’t hear back from him for a few days.

He then came back to the board and became a bit of a regular. He would mostly start threads in which he was asking questions about emulation problems he was having.

A lot of people didn’t have any time for him.

They felt that he was just an annoying person who asked dumb questions. I remember one night he started a thread about how he couldn’t get an emulator to read games he had downloaded. We then had to explain to him what a zip file was and how it worked.

One of the other admins was thinking of banning him. He didn’t like the fact that Pahn was starting up new threads about stuff that had been already answered in earlier threads.

I told him not to do that, I’d have a word with Pahn.
I don’t know why I decided to step in, I sort of felt bad for the kid I guess.
 I also felt a bit of a connection to him because he was one of the few people I’d run across who was also a fan of the RPG Suikoden.

So I told Pahn to check through the board before posting any questions that might have already been asked and answered. I then told him if he got really stuck to just private message me.

It wasn’t long before he started messaging me. At first he would just ask me questions.

Lots of questions.

Fortunately he seemed to be a quick study, I didn’t find myself having to explain things to him over and over again. So I wouldn’t say he was stupid, just green.

Soon enough he asked me for some game recommendations and this lead to us talking about what games we were playing. It was from there that we started having a correspondence over the next few months.
We only really talked about games and movies though, the only personal stuff that I knew about him was that he was 16 and he lived in London.

One night we were having a conversation about Metroid games. I’d just clocked Super Metroid for the millionth time and was thinking about dusting off the original Metroid and giving that a go.

Metroid 2 - Secret Worlds - 4

It was a pretty well known glitch. Basically how it works is, if you are falling down a long shaft in some places in the game and then press the select button repeatedly really fast, you can make wall tiles disappear. If you go through the tunnel that is created you’ll end up outside the map.

You can then find rooms that are tile swaps of regular rooms, rooms that scroll repeatedly forever and rooms that look like they have been randomly thrown together.

Apart from using it to sequence break, it’s pretty pointless. It’s more of a novelty then anything else.

Some people started up a website devoted to the ‘Secret Worlds’. They were obsessed with mapping the whole thing out. Like they were explorers braving uncharted territory or something.

I tried it out myself once on my gameboy. I quickly got frustrated though after I kept getting stuck in walls when I moved between rooms.

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I didn’t hear from Pahn for a couple of days after that. Then one night he sent me a message.

Metroid 2 - Secret Worlds - 7

I taught Pahn how to take snapshots and upload them so that he could show me the stuff he was finding.

A few days later I got a message.

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After that I didn’t hear from him for about a week. Then one night I was on the message board and got the following message:

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Pahn sent me the links and I looked over the images he had uploaded.

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I knew straight away that this wasn’t a glitch.

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I asked him where he had got the rom from and he gave me the address. When I checked it out, the page wasn’t there anymore. Which wasn’t really surprising. Back then rom websites were frequently popping up and being taken down almost immediately.

Metroid 2 - Secret Worlds - 13

Just before I was about to go to bed I looked at the pictures again. It occurred to me that the words might form a sentence. I wrote the words down on a piece of paper and started trying out combinations. Eventually I came up with;

“HOW DARE YOU. STOP STEALING MY LEGACY.”

I thought it was a rather strange sentence. I couldn’t figure out why anyone would even bother hacking that message into the game, I didn’t even understand what it meant.

A few days later I got another message from Pahn.

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I taught Pahn how to capture the audio and gave him my email address. I told him to attach the file there if he did manage to record any sounds from the game.

I thought about what Pahn had described to me and I had to admit that I was pretty impressed by the hack.
I also agreed with Pahn’s reasoning. If someone had bothered to put this much effort in, then it was likely that they had done more. It was just a matter of finding it.

Though I was surprised that I had never heard of the hack before. I started browsing through rom hack sites, trying to find the one that Pahn was playing. I didn’t have any luck so I asked around in a few IRC channels but no one had seen anything like what I was describing.

The following night I was browsing the message board when I noticed I had a new private message. I saw that it was from Pahn and opened it up.

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The audio file finished downloading and I listened to it while I waited for Pahn to come back.

I didn’t know what to make of it, I’d never heard a gameboy make that kind of sound before.

At first it just sounded to me like a foghorn, but then another sound started to play over the top of the foghorn noise.

The other sound did seem familiar to me somehow, but I couldn’t quite place it. I found myself getting spooked so I quickly closed the file.

I got up and made myself a cup of coffee and a snack. By the time I got back to my computer 15 minutes had passed.

Metroid 2 - Secret Worlds - 16

I waited a few more minutes but I didn’t get a response from Pahn. I got worried for a moment but then just figured either a friend or family member had come by and he was busy.

I surfed the net for a bit, did some Admin duties then checked my messages again. Pahn still hadn’t come back. I was pretty tired by that point so I shut down my computer and went to bed.

I got up early the next day and checked to see if Pahn had left me a message.

He still hadn’t gotten back to me.

I headed off for school and didn’t get home till the evening. After I grabbed a bite to eat I sat in front of the computer and checked my email and private messages. There was still nothing from Pahn.

I left a few more messages and waited for his response. Over the next few days he still didn’t get to me and I really started to freak out.

I skipped school for a few days and stuck pretty close to my computer. One afternoon, after performing some minor admin duties, I re-listened to the sound that Pahn had sent me.

I still couldn’t make out what it was so I started playing around with it in sound recorder. I sped it up a few times and realized that the foghorn sound might be the the music that plays right before you fight the Metroid Queen. As I continued to speed the sound file up I realized what the other sound was, someone was talking over the music.

I had to speed the sound up over ten times to get it to sound like it was playing at the right speed. Once I had done that I tried to make out what the voice was saying. I had to listen carefully a few times before I got it.

The first part was an introduction. Someone was saying “I am…” and after that was presumably their name. I couldn’t catch what it was though, it wasn’t an English name.

The second part of the sentence was clear enough though.

“Knock Knock, I am here.”

Needless to say I was quite unnerved at that point.

I hit the internet again, trying to find out anything I could about the version of Metroid 2 that Pahn had been playing. I emailed people at the “Secret Worlds” website, I posted messages on numerous emulation websites and I spoke to people on various IRC channels.

Most people though I was joking, the rest thought I was crazy.

It seemed no one knew what the hell I was talking about.

Then one night I got a private message.

Metroid 2 - Secret Worlds - 17

I was a bit startled. When I’d been going around asking questions about Metroid 2 I hadn’t been using Pesmerga as my username. Nor had I mentioned what message board I was from.

I replied back to the message, wanting to know who was messaging me and how they had found me. But the user never got back to me. After that night I kept an eye on the logs of user activity to see if he came back to the site, but he never did.

I then took the message’s advice and looked up the name Gunpei Yokoi.

It didn’t take me long to find out who he was.

It turns out that he was hugely influential at Nintendo. Some of the games he worked on included the original Donkey Kong, Mario Bros, Kid Icarus, Metroid and Metroid 2.

But what he is best known for is arguably his greatest creation, the Gameboy. It’s often described as his legacy.

I kept reading the article in fascination when I got to a section that was about his life after leaving Nintendo. Not long after he left Nintendo and started his own company, Gunpei Yokoi died in a car accident. I glanced at the date of his death and that gave me a shock. It was October the 4th, 1997. The same day that I got my last message from Pahn.

I listened to the sped up version of the audio Pahn had sent me and that’s when I knew that the first part of the message was “I am Gunpei Yokoi.”

It was after this realization that I went through a period, which went on for about a year, in which I flat out refused to answer a door unless the person identified themselves.

Over the next few months I scoured the internet for any news stories concerning a missing teenager in London.

There were several stories that would pop up but the details were so vague that any one of them, or none of them, could have been Pahn.

There was one story that did catch my attention. It was about a missing teenager who had been last seen at home.

His mother had left for work and she said that he had been on the computer in the lounge room.

When she returned several hours later the lounge room was empty but the computer and various other electrical appliances were still turned on. At first she thought that he might be in another part of the house, but when she checked she found that it was empty.

She then tried to call his mobile phone and that was when she discovered that his phone and wallet were by the computer. It was at this point that she called the police. They investigated and found no sign of disturbance in the house and nothing was missing, well except for the teenager. He had vanished without a trace.

I looked for more information online but couldn’t find anything else.

I contemplated getting in touch with the police in London. But one thing stopped me, there was no way I could think to word my story without sounding like a crazy person.

Even if I could figure out how to word it properly, and if this missing teen did happen to be Pahn, there was no information that I could give them that they wouldn’t get off of his computer anyway. And if it wasn’t Pahn then I would just be wasting their time and possibly end up in some sort of legal trouble.

The words ‘hindering a police investigation’ popped into my mind.

I went back through my conversations with Pahn to see if there were any clues to his real identity that I hadn’t noticed before. But there was nothing there that revealed anything I didn’t already know about him. It was then that I realized that I always just assumed that he was a ‘he’ in the first place.

But there was nothing in our conversations to dismiss the possibility that Pahn had been a female. The possibility of Pahn being female instantly made the task of finding Pahn twice as hard.

In the end I had to give up, I just didn’t know what I could possibly do. I took screenshots of all of my conversations with Pahn, copied the pics and sound files he had emailed me and burnt them onto a CD, just in case I ever needed them again.

Not long after that I finished high school and then started working.

Within a month I stopped being an admin. I still stuck around the board for a few more months, but by then I no longer had the free time to post with any regularity. Over the following years I got busy with life and everything that happened with Pahn drifted further and further from my mind.

I decided to write this all down and put it online in the hopes that after all these years someone might know something about what happened to Pahn, or know of the version of Metroid 2 that he found.

As I said at the beginning, I honestly don’t know what to make of this.

Is there a copy of Metroid 2 floating around the internet that’s haunted by the ghost of Gunpei Yokoi? And if you have the misfortune to stumble across it does he come to your door, angry that you have dared to defile his legacy?

I try not to think too much about it.

When it does cross my mind now I like to imagine that the whole thing was an elaborate hoax perpetuated by Pahn. That he set the whole thing up months in advance. He created the images and the audio files. He came onto the message board, pretending to be a technically inept teenager, when really he was brilliant with a pc.

He was user12345, he was the one who told me to look up Gunpei Yokoi.

I like to imagine that he is somewhere out there, still laughing about the wonderful joke he pulled all those years ago.

Sometimes I can almost convince myself that it was just a hoax.

I think that was how I was able to get to sleep at night in the months after I lost contact with Pahn.
And I think that telling myself that it was all a hoax now is going to come in real handy on those restless nights in the days to come.

Credit To – Yuber Neclord

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Never Answer the Door at Night

October 23, 2014 at 12:00 PM
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My father grew up on an Indian reservation in South Dakota. It is a place with few trees and even fewer people, and there has been little development since the place was settled many, many years ago. The people live in clusters of nearly uniform houses that were built by the government, and the only place to go shopping or see a movie is nearly two hours away. It’s hot in the summer, cold in the winter, and sometimes the wind blows for days without letting up. Even now, the people there have to be tough to survive. You look out for your friends, you help your neighbors, and you don’t forget your family.

His grandmother died when he was very young, but he’s told me that he retains one particularly vivid memory of her. It was winter and they were at the house together in the early evening, and she was cooking in the kitchen while he played with a deck of cards in the front room. He can’t quite recall what she looked like, but he can still remember the smell of the food that she was making that night. It’s funny how memory works that way. His parents, grandfather, and two older sisters had caught a ride into Rapid City to buy supplies before the first big storms came through, so it was just the two of them. She went on cooking and he went on playing with those cards until he’d lost track of time and it was pitch black outside.

There was a knock at the door. Not a loud knock like the police, or the friendly kind of knock that a neighbor uses when he’s stopping by to borrow something. Just a slow, quiet tapping on the door. Tap, tap, tap, just like that. Naturally, he figured his family had made it back from the city, so he went right over to let them inside. Before he had a chance to reach the door, his frail, elderly grandmother grabbed him by the arm and pulled him away, like he was a rag doll. “Never answer the door at night,” she told him, covering his mouth so he couldn’t say anything. He could feel her arm trembling. There was no more knocking, but my father couldn’t shake the sense that there was someone familiar standing on the other side of that door, waiting to be let inside. When she finally let go of him, he asked her why she had stopped him. “Sometimes the dead try to come home,” she said. There were tears in her eyes.

His family didn’t return that night, and there was no phone service so they couldn’t call. When they made it back the following day, he learned that his grandfather had died from a heart attack during the trip. My father never said anything about the knocking, and neither did his grandmother. It was like it had never happened. His grandmother wasn’t the same after that and followed her husband to the grave just a few months later. My father was six years old.

It was much later when my father found himself alone at night during a particularly bad winter storm, the wind howling outside and the rest of his family stranded miles away. They had gone into the city that morning, and wouldn’t be able to come back until the storm let up and the roads were cleared. Eventually the electricity went out and the only light came from the stove they used for heating. The worst part of the storm lasted a few hours, but finally it got quiet outside as the wind slowed and the windows stopped rattling. Then the knock came again. That same tapping at the door from years before, like fingers just barely brushing against it. My father couldn’t bring himself to look out the window to see if anyone was standing outside, but for some reason, he found himself drawn to the door, like he had to open it. It was only when he felt the cold from beneath the door on his bare feet that he stopped. He called outside, asking who was there. “It’s me,” came the voice from the other side of the door. “Let me inside. It’s cold.” He recognized the voice, since it belonged to his eldest sister. He had his hand on the doorknob when his grandmother’s words came back to him, and the feel of her hand gripping his arm. Never answer the door at night. There were many things he could have asked his sister at that moment. He could have asked where his parents were, or why he hadn’t heard the car pull up when they were dropped off. He could have even asked why she needed to knock at all – they didn’t lock their doors on the reservation. He didn’t ask her any of those things. Instead, he told her to go around to the back and he would let her inside. Before he could say anything else, or even think anything else, he heard the knocking start at the back door, like she had been there the entire time. Instantly. Tap, tap, tap. He didn’t open the door, and spent the rest of the night curled up on the floor. His family had tried to return home earlier that evening and got into a car accident in the snow. His father had broken his leg in two places. His eldest sister had died, mangled in the wreck. He didn’t tell anyone what had happened, but he knew in his heart that sometimes the dead do try to come home.

My father was not afraid of what might have happened that night. When he told me the story, he was sorrowful. He always regretted that he lost his opportunity to see his sister one last time. I know that’s why he went home by himself and waited when my mother died. You don’t forget your family. I know he heard that knocking on the door, tap, tap, tap, like he remembered from his youth. I also know that he forgot something, very, very important. The fear in his grandmother’s voice on that cold winter night, and the way she held him with all her strength. Never answer the door at night. When we found him the next day, the front door was wide open and he had been torn limb from limb. There were no footprints in the snow.

Credit To – R. Holmes

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