It was the summer of 2019, the 16 year old Thomas Mitchell and his family went on a trip to their cabin in the Stillwater State Forest of Montana.
He had two younger brothers, Felix, who was 10 and Michael who had just turned 14.
They usually spend their time hiking and visiting nearby places during the day, and playing with their Nintendo’s in the evening/night.
There wasn’t any WiFi in the cabin due to the fact that Thomas’s parents wanted the two weeks to be free of social media and more focused on family and nature.
This, however didn’t mean that they couldn’t bring their old Nintendo’s with them to do something in the evening.
Their cabin was rather old fashioned, with it being built in the 1960’s and the fact that there hasn’t been any form of renovation since then.
Thomas’s great grandfather built it all by himself. And his family was very proud of that.
Thomas and his family lived in Seattle, so it was quite a long drive to their cabin.
They left early in the morning and after a few hours, Thomas his brother, Felix had to go to the toilet.
So, they stopped at a local gas station.
The rest of the family also thought it was a good opportunity to get some snacks and to get ready for the rest of the drive.
When they arrived, it was already about 11AM in the morning and the parking lot was pretty busy.
All five got out of the car.
Thomas’s dad, Scott Mitchell, filled the car with gasoline while Vivian Jones (Thomas’s mom) took the three kids to the shop, which was pretty busy.
Thomas and Michael went straight to the snacks and Felix ran towards the restrooms.
Vivian wait at the restrooms to take Felix to the snacks, (where his two older brothers were waiting for him) when she heard that a random man was asking him questions…
“Felix, what are you doing? Stop talking to strangers!” She yelled.
Felix quit talking to the random man immediately and walked towards his mom.
Thomas’s mom was annoyed but also relieved and took this out on his youngest brother.
Thomas and Michael chuckled. They were both shocked and also kind of entertained.
All four didn’t think much of it, got their snacks, payed for them and went back to the car.
When Vivian told Scott about what happened, he was also shocked but emphasised that nothing bad had happened and that everything was alright.
And so, they went back on their way to their destination.
The moment they arrived, it was already 5PM and Scott understood that he had to gather firewood in case it was going to be a cold night.
An exact week had passed, the family had forgotten about the small incident during the trip and everyone was home from a long and exhausting day of hiking at a local wildlife park.
It was an evening like every else. Dinner at 7PM, then TV until 11PM and everyone went to bed.
However, the three had arranged a late night chat with each other when their parents were asleep. How? You might ask.
Well, through the Nintendo’s old fashioned chat rooms.
They all agreed to meet at around 11:30PM in chatroom D.
And so, they did…
Thomas, AKA “Thoma2002”, Felix, AKA “FlyingBat” and Michael, AKA “M1C43L” were all three in Chatroom D.
The range of said Chatrooms is approximately 65 feet and that was enough range for all three, given that the cabin was about half of that in length.
Everyone had a separate room.
They all slept in rooms that were connected to each other through one long hallway which on its turn was connected to the living room and the open kitchen. There was only one door, the front door which connected the terrace to the living room.
See, the cabin was on the top of a hill, which was about 55 feet long.
The hallway consisted of 5 door.
First came the bathroom on the right side, then Thomas’s room, on the right side, next to the bathroom.
Thirdly Scott and Vivian’s bedroom on the left side.
And lastly Felix’s bedroom at the right side, across Michael’s bedroom on the left side.
An hour into chatting, Thomas heard a branch snap outside…
He looked up at the one window in his old fashioned room.
Probably just the wind, or some animal. – He thought to himself.
As Michael was typing, Thomas was going through the things he had done and seen today. The ice cream he ate with his family, the bear he saw, the tri-
Another branch snapped.
Thomas’s window was wide open. With a fly screen separating him, and the outside world.
He probably heard it because he’s the only one that always leaves his window open at night.
Michael had sent a message: “Guys, did you see that there’s someone in Chatroom A?”
That’s not possible, we’re so remote. We only have two neighbors down the street and they’re at least 100 feet away. It’s probably just a bug, these things are at least 6 years old now. – This thought raced through his mind.
He also translated this into a message and sent it to his two brothers.
“Yeah, I agree with Thomas, it’s probably just a bug or something.” Said Felix.
Michael responded with a short: “Are you sure?” Which made the other two doubt.
Thomas went to check if there was still someone else in Chatroom A.
And sure enough, there still was someone else. Lurking around.
“Should we check it out?” -Said Thomas.
“I don’t want to get into trouble.” -Felix responded shortly.
He continued: “Besides, tomorrow is a big day. Let’s cut this short and go to sleep. It was a stupid idea anyway.”
“Fine, go to sleep. But I want to figure this out. Goodnight.” -Michael responded.
Felix said good night to both of his older brothers, closed his Nintendo and went to sleep.
“So, what do we do now?” -Thomas responded.
“Let’s go to Chatroom A and try to make contact.” -Michael quickly said.
After a few minutes, Thomas said: “Are you sure that that’s a good idea?”
Michael sent a drawn picture of a emoji that pictured a face with rolling eyes.
Directly after that, he responded with “Pussy.” And left the chat.
Thomas’s heart was racing. He was becoming uneasy. What if it is a real person?
This means that that person is really, really close. Closer than 65 feet. – He thought to himself.
He figured that his parents were probably already asleep and slowly walked down the hallway, towards Michael’s room.
“Come in” -Said Michael.
“What the hell are you thinking? This isn’t a game! This person can be close to us. Really close.” -Thomas yelled.
“Shhhh. Could you keep it down? Or do you want to wake mom and dad?” -Michael protested.
Thomas rolled his eyes. “You’re going to bring us all into a dangerous situation when you don’t stop immediately.”
But Thomas was already too late. Michael was already talking to the random stranger who’s nickname was “HereNow”.
Thomas saw Michael’s screen. “Are you out of your mind? He could literally be 10 feet away from us!”
The stranger had only sent a few cryptic messages like: “Nighttime is coming.” And “The forest canopy is getting thicker and thicker for you.”
Suddenly they could hear a loud banging, coming from the windows of the living room.
Both of them froze in fear. Terrified for what could happen next.
“I warned you that this would happen.” -Said Thomas.
Michael didn’t say anything. He was completely shocked.
He close the chat and powered his Nintendo off.
“Let’s, uh, let’s remain calm” -Said Michael.
As Thomas was taking his anger out on his younger brother. Michael was getting tears in his eyes. But couldn’t cry because he was frozen in fear and was shocked.
Thomas couldn’t stand it anymore. He quietly went to the living room.
He stopped when he had reached the windows with the curtains closed.
As he could feel his heartbeat, he slowly pulled away one curtain…
The window was smeared with a dark, substance. It was hard to make out shapes and colours at first. But as his eyes adapted to the combination darkness and moonlight, it quickly became clear what substance this was… it was blood. Bloody hand marks were made all over the window…
Thomas was disgusted and terrified, but as always, he was curious about who or what did this.
He put on his raincoat, grabbed a sharp kitchen knife, put on his shoes and slowly opened the door.
When the door was finally open, the frisky air slammed into his face.
The only thing he could hear was crickets and the sound of rustling in the bushes down the densely overgrown hill.
The viewing platform was clear.
Thomas was trying to keep up with his heartbeat, trying to slow it down.
But he couldn’t when he saw that the small fence gate was opened and was no longer open.
He went back inside to grab an electric torch and got back outside to finally close the door behind him.
He tried to intimidate the intruder by shouting “Get the hell away! I will call the police. This is our land!” But he could barely yell, he was so scared that you could hear it in his voice.
After a few minutes of nothing, he was now at the top of the hill. He had walked all the way down to the place where the car was parked.
Even more uncertain than before he yelled: “Hello?”
He could hear an almost unnatural scream, but not a scream like you’d imagine. It was an almost growl like scream.
Thomas was completely freaked out now. He turned around and went back towards the house.
He could hear rustling behind him and knew that it was probably already too late.
Was this it? Is this how I meet my fate? – Thomas was thinking about unimaginably painful ways to die…
Then he sprinted toward the terrace of the house. And close the small and low gate when he had reached the point where he thought he was safe.
As he was trying to calm himself down, he could feel a sudden and hard hit on the back of his neck.
Everything slows down and fades to Black.