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I’ve had it up to here with memes. People just keep forwarding them to me, and I just keep dumping them into my trash every time I get them. Barely any of them are funny anymore. Most are just people looking for fame by being the loudest and most obnoxious, and then people look to make a name for themselves by making a copy or parody of it, which most times is even worse.
This last one, though, is giving me the creeps.
My friend sent me one with the phrase “YEAH YEAH BOI” in the title. I didn’t think much of it and was about to delete it when I noticed that his email profile picture had changed. Normally I barely notice them, but it was…weird. It was some guy with sunglasses and an otherwise vacant expression.
I opened it. The video was just some video game where all the characters were dancing around, and some guy droning on saying, “YEAH YEAH BOI.” I have to say BOI because that’s not only how my friend sent it, but it was spelled that way in all of the subtitles…the many, many poorly spelled subtitles.
I groaned and shut it off after only a few seconds. I could only take so much. I called my friend up to tell him thanks for wasting five seconds of my valuable life. He didn’t pick up, and it went to his voicemail message.
Normally it says, “Hey, guys, sorry I didn’t get your message, I’m too busy being too awesome to talk to you,” which is really annoying and pathetic, but like his profile picture, it, too, had changed. It was just him screaming, “YEAH YEAH BOI, YEAH YEAH BOI” over and over again.
Huh. He was taking this a little too far. He got into some annoying bits, but even this was a bit much. I didn’t leave a message, I just went about my day.
The next morning I went out to grab a coffee on my way to work. I sat in the drive thru for ten minutes, wondering why ordering a coffee these days took so long to do, until I finally got to the front and handed the server my credit card. I didn’t even look at him at first, since I was too busy looking at the clock and hoping I’d be at work on time, but when he handed everything back I glanced his way.
I had to do a double take. He was wearing sunglasses, which I guess shouldn’t have been too unusual normally, but it was 6:15 in the morning. In February.
Also, the way his hair had been parted, he looked an awful lot like the guy in my friend’s profile picture. At least, I thought maybe he did. But when I put my card away and looked again, I didn’t see sunglasses or hair like that at all. It was just a server, wearing the same green apron they all wore at this shop. He looked like just a regular kid.
He never said a word to me, which was also unusual, but I was too weirded out to say anything and just drove off. I also decided not to drink my coffee; I just poured it down the drain in the break room at the office.
After work, I called my friend again. No answer, but his voicemail was still the “YEAH YEAH BOI” thing. This time, I did leave a message for him to call back. For him not to call or text me was a little strange.
After a couple hours of relaxing (and by relaxing, I mean yelling various unpleasantries at enemy characters) with my Steam account, I went on looking at videos on YouTube.
On my ‘Recommended for Me’ selection at the top was YEAH YEAH BOI. I blinked. One million views. I couldn’t believe something that stupid was getting that many hits.
I was a little curious about the creator, though. I wondered what his deal was, and if he had done anything else. Turns out, he did. His video collection was mostly of some online game, just goofy, pointless commentary, very PewDiePie style.
But then his third to last video went…strange.
It had the game on, just running, and then it was just breathing for a long, long time. I skipped ahead, and suddenly the picture had a weird tint filter applied. And then he spoke.
“Soon, we will all know. We will all know the greatness.”
His second to last video was a call to his followers, who he greatly appreciated, and said it was time. He suggested to everyone that they needed to change their profile, and begin sharing with all.
The video footage wasn’t the game. It was just a collection of random movies, TV shows, all strung together in a mind-warping blend of quick cuts and confusing edits. It hurt my eyes to watch it.
And then, YEAH YEAH BOI. I didn’t click on it. I didn’t want to watch it.
My phone rang. It was my friend’s number. I answered.
“Took you long enough. What’s up?”
My friend was not who spoke to me then.
“Why haven’t you finished the video?”
“Wha…what? Who is this?”
“You have seen, but you don’t understand. You must finish what you start.”
“Don’t call me again.”
I hung up the phone. I checked again, just to see if maybe I misread the number. I hadn’t.
It rang again. Same number.
Even though I had just said not to call, I answered. Just in case.
“YEAH YEAH BOI YEAH YEAH BOI…”
I threw my phone across the room. I didn’t pick it up for 15 minutes. Even though I never hung up, it rang three more times.
I went to go watch some TV. I think I fell asleep on the couch, but I woke up to someone knocking on my apartment door. I answered it.
It was my friend. I have to admit it was a little surprising to see him after everything that happened, but I was glad to. He looked a little worried.
“Hey, you OK?”
I nodded, but wondered why he asked that. I invited him in, we got some drinks, and sat down on the couch to watch more TV.
“Yeah, I thought I should stop by. We had kind of a weird phone conversation earlier, and I wanted to make sure things were good with you. I tried calling you back, but you didn’t answer.”
I stopped halfway through drinking my drink. I thought back to earlier, to the conversation I had on the phone with that weird voice, and the server. Oh, my God, was I imagining things? Was I having some kind of breakdown? I didn’t know how to answer him.
“I…I was just having kind of a weird day, is all.”
“Yeah, sounded like you didn’t recognize me or something. Getting enough sleep, or playing too many video games again?”
“Some games. Some video stuff, too.”
He smirked. “Late night YouTube binges, eh? Same here.” He finished his drink. “Did you ever get that video I sent you, by the way?”
“That weird one with all the dancing stuff.”
“Oh, yeah. I watched a few seconds. Just didn’t appeal to me.”
He looked at me again, frowning. “Only a few seconds? You kidding? I’ve watched that thing a dozen times now. You just can’t look away from it. It’s…something else.”
“Just not for me, I guess.” I got up. “You want some Oreos, or…”
I stopped, and I gasped. Sitting on the couch was not my friend. It was…that guy from the picture. Sunglasses and everything. He stared at me.
“You have seen, but you don’t understand. You have to finish what you start.”
I backed away as he got up off the couch. He came over to me and grabbed me by the throat. I could finally see under those sunglasses.
His eyes were white, completely without an iris. But even so, there were strands that bound them tight, almost like a slit.
They were nearly sewn shut. From the crude stitching, it looked like had done it to himself.
“You must finish what you start.”
He pushed me, by my throat, coughing and spluttering, back into my bedroom, where my computer still sat on that YouTube page. He sat me in my chair and spun me to the screen.
I grabbed the mouse and kept it away from the video. He still clutched me at the neck and squeezed harder. I couldn’t breathe.
But then, with his other hand, he placed something on the desk. It was a large, curved needle, attached with thick thread. And a moment later, he placed a pair of sunglasses. It was with this hand, still strong, that he grabbed my hand with the mouse and moved it, with amazing strength, toward the YEAH YEAH BOI video. And then he stared saying it, over and over.
“YEAH YEAH BOI YEAH YEAH BOI…”
It came from his mouth scratchy and blown out. Just like in the video.
The fear and adrenaline suddenly hit me. I wasn’t watching that damn thing for anyone.
With my free hand, I grabbed the needle and jabbed it back behind my head. I felt it hit something, and I heard a grunt. The grip on my neck loosened just a little bit. It was enough to shove my chair backwards, and me and…whatever he was toppled to the floor.
With my neck and hand free, I felt air going back into my lungs, my throat burning. I got up, and already he was trying to shove the chair off of himself. I didn’t even take time to think; I grabbed my wireless keyboard and smashed it across his face. His neck twisted awkwardly, but then snapped back, ready to come at me again.
I reached for the only other thing that I could reach; my printer. Even with the cord still in the wall, there was enough give to bring it down on his head, over and over again. I didn’t stop until he lay there, not moving.
I wasn’t sure if he was dead. I only knew I had to get out of there, to do something. I looked around for my phone, and when I found it, I went to call the cops. Until I looked back at the body.
It was my friend. His head was completely stove in, blood everywhere.
The sunglasses man was nowhere to be seen.
I looked at my computer screen. The videos had changed as well. The last three videos on that playlist were all private. Unless it had happened in the last few minutes, they had always been unavailable to look at. And the needle and thread on the table were gone.
I left my apartment that night and haven’t been back. I’ve been on the run for awhile now, and my life is a living nightmare. I see them everywhere now. I see them, with their identical faces, wearing sunglasses, but then it snaps back, and they’re just people again.
Did that video make me insane? Or did it give me just a glimpse to see something happening to people? Something that possesses them, drives them to infect more people?
I just hope to God I am not insane. I really don’t.
If I’m not just seeing things, then I’m stopping something terrible from destroying our world.
If I am, then I have done horrible things. Unforgivable things.
Just please, let me not see one in you.