Estimated reading time — 20 minutes
There we stood, all five of us, our feet held still to the ground, not too well, because we knew with any given moment our acceleration was a necessity of escape. Reece took our first steps, a large stick, shedding bark, confidently clutched in his purposeful grip.
The seemingly infinite sized cage that was before us had one door. Through the holes of the rusty wiring that fenced the door, were several dead birds, their heads thrust through the holes to keep them in place. All of them had been robbed of not only their lives, but their sight too. Eyes were missing, and the morbidity of this crept fear and disillusion into us all. All of us but Reece, who used the stick to unhinge the lock and creak open the door that led to frightful enclosure.
These were the farmer’s fields and this was the lion’s den. We couldn’t have been but a minute from his front door. The cage in front of us had stolen our curiosity. We just had to go inside.
“Maybe we shouldn’t?” I half asked, not wanting to seem scared, but not wanting to place ill fated confidence in Reece’s inevitable next move.
Reece half turned and his cocky immovable smirk told me we were going in. As I kept myself glued to the tail end of our small group, I eyed a small piece of thin string, which hovered a few inches above the ground. I spoke up once again:
“Maybe we shouldn’t tread on that,” I urged.
Too late. Nathan’s trainer had paid no attention to my plea, and the string was lifted several more inches from its original position, aided completely by Nathan’s careless step. We waited several seconds before the attention of our ears was stolen, and adrenaline surged with warranted pace through all of us. This included the previously unflappable Reece.
Our careful footsteps were replaced by misjudged and misplaced desperations of speed, all trying to maintain balance but gain distance. This was great, we were going to easily outpace whatever was coming for us. We had youth and fitness on our side I assumed and therefore we would win the race. There was only one fundamental issue. We had run into the cage and not out of it. Every which way was a wired wall, ensuring our captivity. We stopped to try and claim sight of another exit, but there was none. Footsteps and laboured breathing were rapidly approaching us. We were fucked.
As we ran, we stopped every now and then to try and work out what the screaming from the hutches were. Sporadically set out, were a bunch of small hutches, each with something desperate to escape. Being equally brave and risky with our precious time, we stopped completely to fully investigate one. I bent down and saw what looked like a dead squirrel hung up on a hook by its face. Inside this small enclosure was a live bird, squealing and swirling and trying its best to get out. The flies that had been attracted were causing more distress to the bird. Before we could understand the horror this poor creature was enduring, we were promptly reminded of our situation.
We didn’t need to look at each other for approval, we all ran like it was a starting pistol. But where could we go. It always ended in a wired fence. Myself and Reece decided to take a gamble. If we didn’t, this guy was going to get us. And personally, I had no desire to be hung up by my face or trapped with something that had been.
I grabbed the nearest fence post and jacked it out of the ground. Reece held the loose wired fence aloft and one by one we all crouched through our created gap. Safer on the outside, we put the fence post back in the ground in a novice attempt to hide our crime.
“It a shame Joe wasn’t here really. His Dad would’ve probably picked us up. If we only had a phone we could ring Joe and ask,” Reece stated.
Jogging gently, it had been a few minutes since our assailant had been in earshot
“He’s not coming,” declared Harry.
“He is coming,” I corrected him. As we elevated our jog to a run, it suddenly became obvious that we weren’t blessed by distance this time. Right behind us and gaining chase was the farmer, equipped with gun. I didn’t want to be hanging dead in a box, I didn’t want to get shot. And most importantly of all, I didn’t want to get grounded.
Even though our youth made us faster and gave us the stamina on our hunter, we were unsettled by the fences and having no idea which way was out of the wood. Luck swept us through a clearing and we all jumped out through a gap. Back in the open, the open open. We all mounted our best challenge back to the safety of the final field. The way we came. My burning legs were kissed by adrenaline’s gift. We were all a recipient of this. All of us but Harry.
Harry was the largest of the group, plump and red faced. He had been struggling all along, but the spread of red flushing across his cheeks have him away badly now. None of us slowed for him and it was clear he wouldn’t make it. The farmer was receding, we had enough distance to dream of escape. But as we strode ahead of Harry, we began to sense he wasn’t deserving of this dream. Harry knew it and the farmer could sense it. He renewed his assault and the gun flapped from side to side as he sought the only available prey.
Harry eventually collapsed over, far from us but not far from the farmer. As the farmer reached him and bent down to help him up, he then waved us back, gesturing that Harry was ransom. No, he could have him. That was unanimous.
“Tom, stop. We don’t need to run now,” Reece stated, his breath returning slowly.
“Shouldn’t we check he’s alright?” I asked.
“Nah, he’s a grass and he’s fine. He’s going to grass us all up and take him home, trust me. We just need to make sure we’re back in Berwick before he gets there. That way we can deny it,” Reece informed. Great, so now we’d gone from certain escape to having this guy hand delivered to our doorstep. Berwick, my home and everyone else’s. As rare as it was, the entire group lived in the same street. It’s very cliche, the kind of thing you read in a book. By that I mean a fictional one. Not this. This is me and this is what happened. And this kind of event was commonplace.
We sat in the sun, waiting with grins. Harry eventually stumbled himself into the open arms of the close, alone.
“Where is he?” Reece asked.
“He let me go, he rang my Dad and then let me go.”
The worst of the three scenarios: Grounded. I felt for him, a little. Reece looked both amused and vindicated. Reece had an unsatisfied appetitive for trouble which couldn’t be met, even if alone. It wouldn’t be uncommon for Reece to venture out by himself and smash the window of an enemy. It wouldn’t be that uncommon if it was random. He had every reason to look so pleased, he was right. I was glad.
A ringing phone interrupted the silence. Nathan tore at his pocket.
“It’s my brother,” he revealed.
“What?! You mean you had your phone on you the whole time and didn’t mention it. We could’ve ring Joe and got his Dad to rescue us” Reece yelled.
“I don’t have Joe’s Dad’s number,” Nathan argued.
“We didn’t need it, we only needed Joe’s and then for him to ask.”
Either way, I wasn’t bothered, we were safe now. Although Nathan’s lack of common sense did irk me slightly. Nathan was one of a pair, his twin brother Zak was the one ringing. Zak and Nathan were identical but for their hair. Nathan had a scruffy blonde mop on top and was a lot less intelligent. Even in simple sentences you could hear it and that’s how you know which twin was speaking. Nathan’s sentences often ended in a high pitched giggle, even if what he was saying wasn’t funny, maybe it was to him.
Whilst Harry went in to face the wrath of his father, who, it’s worth mentioning, was the spot of Fabien Barthez. I never appreciated it back when I first met him, I didn’t know who Barthez was. I was happy enough to play football, but I didn’t really follow it except for the World Cup. Anyway, Harry was definitely going to be missing in action for a while, his parents were strict disciplinarians and didn’t even allow him out on weekdays. Of all of us to get caught, he was susceptible to the worst sentence.
Nathan left and Joe and Rhys wandered out. Rhys and Reece were easy to separate. If the spelling didn’t help enough, one was fairly tall and white and the other was short and black. That makes it easier for me to separate them in text and means I don’t have to needlessly alter their names. After a while Reece bought up something he’d clearly been meaning to ask for a while.
“Tom, hey…” his hands began pointing as he spoke. “What was that story you were telling me about the other day, you said you’d tell me about. The stalker who sent you death threats.”
“Oh yeah. Monkey Jones,” I replied.
“Monkey Jones?” Rhys asked.
“That was his name. It’s what he called himself anyway.”
Their attention was pricked and I began to explain the story.
Monkey Jones was a frightening mystery, frightening because his methods were so bizarre and unexplained, more so because he was still unmasked. It was the year before.
19th May 2004. The day stands out forever in my mind. I began to explain everything I knew about the mystery man. The day itself was ordinary and even the beginning of this ordeal was uneventful and plain. It was break time and having no money for lunch I decided to spend the twenty minutes using a pc in the IT room by the library. The computers were fairly fast for their time and within a few minutes I’d managed to log onto my e-mail. It was fairly rare to ever receive an e-mail from a friend just saying hi, or discussing the everyday things. Those types of messages were reserved for instant messaging or texting. Chain mail was commonplace and already I could see my daily share of “forward this or else” type messages.
Then, I glanced upon an e-mail that broke the routine.
Sender: Monkey Jones.
Like I said, the trivial things were reserved for other messaging platforms, not e-mail.
My curiosity clicked and the page loaded.
“Hello Thomas, I know who you are, I know where you live and I know you fancy Amy.”
All three of these were not especially difficult to know about me. Anyone who knew me knew my name, I bragged about the place I lived and my crush on Amy was common knowledge. Amy was a girl three years older than my eleven. Both myself and my friend Sean had a hopeless teenage crush on her. And it was hopeless, she was far too old and far too pretty for either of us. We didn’t stand a chance, but it didn’t stop the pair of us trying to gain one up on each other. If I spoke to Amy and she laughed at my jokes, I bragged. If she gave Sean a hug, he bragged. Neither of us were ever going to win. I don’t think either of us cared.
Sean was probably one of the few close friends I had who didn’t live in Berwick. Though I’d only been here a year I’d made most of my meaningful friendships here. I’d known Sean since the first day of school, our last names were next to each other in the alphabet, which meant we were always say next to each other. Plus, he had lived only a two minute walk from my address at the time. I suppose we had no choice but to get on, but that wasn’t it. We were the first day of school cliche best friends. I had brought Sean to the Lytton Players and that’s how we both knew Amy.
The Lyttons was an amateur dramatic society in my town. I had only been in shows there for a couple of years but my mother had been a member since her youth. Because of this, I had technically appeared on stage before I was born. I had brought Sean along for the Oliver Twist auditions, and, in a manner similar to Amy, neither of us got the main part. By it didn’t matter, I enjoyed the show without needing a big part and so did he. And there was Amy.
So, for this e-mail to try and portray itself so menacingly seemed very naive. The mystery sender knew a few well known facts about me, so what?
The bell rang and I exited the page without letting it bother me too much.
But something had stirred in me. It was less of what they said and how they said it. I decided that I would swap lunch for investigation. Me and Sean met up and headed for the IT room. Whilst we were similar we were very different in appearance. Sean was barely able to keep his backpack off the floor he was so short, whilst I was barely able to fit into children’s clothing I was so tall. We both had blonde hair, but his was short and easily spiked with the aid of gel. Mine was a murky thick mess, duller but for the summer when it lightened.
I threw my rucksack to the floor and set about logging onto the computer. Before I’d managed to get my lengthy password typed out Sean was tugging at my shoulder.
“It was from Monkey Jones right?” he asked. I didn’t look at him and nodded, assuming he was looking.
“I’ve got one,” he declared. I looked at him and then the screen. He wasn’t lying. However, his message was very different. It read:
‘Meat me in the scout hut at break tomorrow.’
That was odd, who was this? Was the misspelling intentional or a result of poor intellect? We were only allowed there at lunchtime, not break. Did they mean lunch? Just below the message was a grainy picture. It was difficult to make out but it appeared to be a dog, tearing into a small baby.
“Is that…?” I asked.
“A dog eating a baby,” Sean replied. So we both thought alike. This wasn’t just a prank. This was sick.
“Check yours!” Sean hurried. I nodded.
“Oh yeah,” I said. “I might have more.”
Sure enough, there was a second message. This message was even stranger: it was childish yet frustratingly cryptic and unnerving.
‘Foot da catcha moo cow la cha cha catch a fly and squeeze it shut, bite your nails at 6 o’clock, fight the fire or die, they’re is a way out if you try.’
“What the fuck does that mean?” Sean said, giggling with amusement and confusion
“I don’t know, but it’s fucking weird,” I added. Already I was trying to work out what this was. A riddle? Song lyrics? A threat? Was this a threat? A death threat? Fire?
“Message it back,” Sean urged. We both began typing replies. Both of us effectively wrote a message demanding to know who we were dealing with. I can remember thinking that this was very strange for our age. I had an awareness that we were only 12 and that this message just didn’t seem like it was sent by a twelve year old. The first one did, but the second, it was stranger.
Lunch ended and I was anxious for a reply. Hopefully it was just a joke, or at the very least that we could work out who had sent the messages. I was sure we would. In a day or two someone would open their mouth or tell the wrong person. Year seven kids weren’t great secret keepers.
I was wrong, for today anyway. No reply, nothing. Perhaps this is what Monkey Jones had wanted, us to be interested, curious, confused, to be waiting for any hint of a sign of a word. Was it a game?
Me and Sean were chatting away to the rest of our class about the messages during morning form. Amongst the chatter and confusion, a voice behind us said something that stole our attention.
“I got one.”
Me and Sean turned to be met by the face of Elliot. Elliot was a timid quiet boy who always kept himself to himself. His grades were above average but not exceptional so he didn’t fulfill the complete geek cliche. Nevertheless he was very different. He always struggled during P.E., assumably due to severe asthma. I can remember him collapsing during the very start of cross country. We’d barely set off for thirty seconds when our teacher had been forced to near on carry him back to the changing rooms. Neither of us had really spoken to Elliot, and his quiet shy nature made me wonder if he wanted to be involved for a change so was fabricating his claim.
“You got one?” Sean asked.
“Yeah. An e-mail,” he replied, “I got one as well.”
“What did it say?” I asked, an urgency in my voice.
“It said to meet them at the scout hut and then had a weird picture of a dog,” he explained.
Me and Sean looked at each other. The dog. The baby. He was either truthful or the culprit. At break we made sure to get him to show us his e-mails and prove his claims.
He was telling the truth. In his inbox was a carbon copy of Sean’s e-mail. This made things even more puzzling. I didn’t want to bring it up in front of him, but why would they message Elliot. He wasn’t our friend, he wasn’t connected to us in any way. He was Elliot. I’d barely ever noticed him. He was pale, often appeared gaunt and wore very round glasses. His hair was strangely dark which made him seem all the more pale. His face never dare crack even the beginnings of a smile, most likely the product of his loneliness.
Did he set this up? Was this his way of making friends? Well if it was, his information was going to give him up. He wasn’t my friend and as a result he knew very little about me. The e-mail had never stated my address, only that the sender knew it. It didn’t prove it. Plus he could’ve easily overheard me and Sean discussing Amy. He didn’t have to be part of the Lytton’s to know my crush.
We ventured to the scout hut, which was locked, as expected and we decided we would return for lunch. When we returned for lunch we found the scout hut was rammed. Nobody looked suspicious or that they were on the look out for us. After a few minutes of us three standing there looking suspicious, we decided that whoever it was had no intention of revealing themselves that quickly.
All three of us checked out e-mails to find a vacant inbox. Once home after school, I began to wonder if perhaps this was over. Maybe the person got scared and decided to retire with their anonymity intact. I was busy getting ready for tonight’s dress rehearsal. Oliver Twist opened tomorrow night and I only had a short while between the end of school and getting to the theatre. Every now and then I refreshed my inbox. Nothing.
There was a knock at the door, it was Sean. He was already dressed for the show, a ripped shirt and shorts to reproduce the poverty of Victorian London.
“Did you get any more?” he asked.
“No. You?” I replied.
I refreshed the page. The familiar sight of no change appeared on the screen. I was now ready and we still had over an hour before we needed to arrive at the theatre. I refreshed the page once again.
“Sean! There’s another e-mail,” I yelled.
“Open it!” he barked.
‘hello there thomas, nice day thomas, ready to spill some blood thomas, be careful thomas, the fire comes tomorrow thomas, 6 o’clock thomas, we wouldn’t want you to die now eh’
Neither of us spoke for a few seconds, but I knew when he’s finished reading from a sly gasp that escaped from him. I was frightened now.
“Sean?” I asked. “What time do we have to be at the theatre?”
“6 o’clock,” he replied, slightly confused at my asking. I had told him what time we had to be there. Then I saw on his face he realised what I had meant.
“We’ll be at the theatre at 6 o’clock!” He exclaimed. I nodded.
“Do they mean there’ll be a fire at the theatre tomorrow?” He asked.
“I don’t know. I really don’t know. How do they know what time we need to be there. Unless this person is someone from Lyttons, but they wouldn’t know Elliot. In fact, the only person it could be, would be one of us Sean. But you’re here and I only just got the e-mail, and you saw that I didn’t just send anything to anyone. Who the fuck is this person?” I said, trying to make sense and map out the logic of this mess. Again we tried to send an e-mail back in hopes of a reply, but it seemed the messages we were getting were not replies to what we had asked. I expected we would’ve received these messages whether we had sent anything back or not. Surely they had to slip up soon. They would send something that gave away who they were. However, as it stood, the only person with the information they had was myself and Sean.
We travelled anxiously to the theatre. As my mum’s car pulled away from the drive I looked grimly at my house, wondering if I’d return to find it ablaze. We stepped into the theatre at dead on six. It wasn’t on fire, so there was a bonus. Our dressing room was on the first floor, up two sets of steps. It has those cliche mirror lights that I imagined in real west end dressing rooms. A sign above read: “Do not leave the mirror lights switched on.” I wondered why for just a second. Of course, because they could get too hot and catch fire. Wow, if someone really wanted to set a fire here it wasn’t going to be difficult.
Everyone else had left the room. I wandered drearily outside and into a long corridor. I had a fair bit of time before I needed to be on stage. The only men’s toilet was around the corner and away from any of the dressing rooms that were actually being used. I walked for what seemed like a few minutes and pushed the door open. There were two cubicles and both were vacant but the doors were pulled to. I heard a step.
The air was so still and quiet that the small steps was amplified and echoed. Then a rasping whisper tore through:
A slow dark whisper that shot adrenaline through me. It came from one of the cubicles. I waited for something to emerge, my curiosity overpowering my fear. After an endless ten seconds the door showed no movement and I summoned the bravery to step forward. It was ice cold and I could feel the sweat of fear make me shiver slightly. I pushed the door gently, turning myself slightly to prepare a run of necessary.
Sean came running out.
“Ahhhhh!” He screamed. He was laughing at the obvious fear across my face.
“You idiot! You idiot!” I yelled. His laughter grew. My breathing slowed from its huge labouring gasps. I knew he wasn’t Monkey Jones, he’d been at my house when a message arrived. He was just being a dick.
“How did you know it was me?” I asked.
“We’re the only boys on this floor,” he explained. He was right.
“Let’s go before we miss our cue,” I advised, and we jetted for the green room on the bottom floor. The show went as expected. There was interference from our assailant, although the threat had actually been made for tomorrow. 6am or 6pm? And why? I tried not to think about it but it was dominating. A wealth of fear compromised me and Sean slightly, although myself more so. I could tell we weren’t fully on our game so it was probably for the best that we didn’t have major parts in this production.
Unsurprisingly, I didn’t sleep well that night. This was not uncommon, I’d been plagued by chronic insomnia for a few years now. Every year seems to add another hour to how late rest would occur. Thankfully I was always able to function the next day, whether I’d have one hour or seven, it didn’t make a difference.
I awoke at seven, which meant that if the threat was genuine, that it wasn’t for the morning. Eleven hours until the fire then. I went to school and I could feel my nerves for the show reignite despite the sinister subplot that was taking place. Break and lunch were spent checking inboxes but to no avail, which was probably a good thing.
Once school had finished, yesterday’s routine was replicated. Only this time, me and Sean received no message. The line had gone silent. Then, Elliot sprung up on messenger.
He informed us that he had spoken to one of his friends who was good at computers who was attempting to get into the account. Elliot knew far more than this sort of stuff than we did and claimed his friend had tracked the account to another country and that whoever owned it had closed it down.
Young but not that naive; this simply fueled mine and Sean’s suspicion surrounding Elliot. This guy was not operating from abroad, he knew us too intimately for that to be possible. Even so, what would motivate Elliot to do this? And if it really was him, how did he know the workings of the Lyttons so well. Was the reference to 6 o’clock just a coincidence or was it merely incidental. Besides, Elliot could’ve just kept quiet and put the whole thing to bed. This surely set himself up to get caught and that didn’t fit the pattern of behaviour we’d seen so far. The whole ordeal was more confusing with this revelation.
“So?” Reece interrupted. Surely Sean or Eliot did it?”
“Maybe. But that wasn’t the end of it,” I interjected. “That wasn’t the last we heard of him.”
Two months had passed without sign of any kind that Monkey Jones was active. I was certain that Sean, Eliot, or a combination of the two were responsible. I was sure that whoever it was had become scared and backed out of their campaign. I was wrong.
Sean was the first this time to receive a message.
“Tom! Did you get an e-mail with a quiz in it?!” He asked.
“A quiz? No. From Monkey Jones?” I asked.
“No. Well yes. But he didn’t call himself that this time,” he explained.
“What did he call himself this time?” I asked, expecting some ominous, cryptic, creepy name to pour fear into me.
“Milky the cow,” he said, failing to deliver this name with the laughter it deserved.
“You can’t be serious?” I said. It seems he’s kept the animal theme.
“The message is weird again, but it’s different,” he added.
Sean revealed to me an e-mail from the childishly named villain. It read:
1. How high is Mount Everest?
2. What is a breed of cat without a tail called?
3. What is the correct name for a Kangaroo?
These questions are for you. (Sean) These questioned are designed specifically for you. (Sean) These questions are only to be answered by you. (Sean) I will give you your answers and new questions in one week.’
“How is he so clever at making something so simple so creepy.” I said.
I logged into my e-mail and found an identical message. Well, nearly identical. It was the same questions and paragraph afterwards, but my names was substituted for Sean’s.
‘These questions are for you. (Thomas) These questioned are designed specifically for you. (Thomas) These questions are only to be answered by you. (Thomas) I will give you your answers and new questions in one week.’
If anything was clear from these messages, it’s that our assailant was a liar. These questions were general knowledge and weren’t specifically designed for anyone in particular. He’d used the same ones for the pair of us, but then I imagined that all this was intentional for some game that we didn’t understand.
We replied as we assumed it was the only way we could rationalise getting a guaranteed response. We knew exactly what our next step needed to be: Elliot.
Elliot had the same e-mail but for the name change, proving once again how unwarranted that design of the questions was. All three of us yet again, but no, this time more.
“I’ve got the same thing,” Callum explained. Sean shook his head in confusion. Like Elliot, Callum was in our form and was now a surprise inclusion into the mystery. However, unlike Elliot, Callum was our friend. Callum knew Elliot before this had started, they lived close to each other and were in primary school together. But that didn’t mean they were close mates, though it did now pin a line across from me and Sean to Elliot, an intermediary. It didn’t account for everything though, but it was a start. But if it was Callum, why involve himself so explicitly now. The only way to discover anything was to wait a week for our potential reply.
Thursday took an age to creep up on us, but the day’s promise was met. All four of us received our e-mails. Early morning this time. The e-mail gave us the answers to the questions, but then proposed three more:
‘This week’s questions:
1. What is a tranny?
2. How do you make nob cheese?
3. What is a prozzie?’
This guy was just screwing with us. None of this was intended to mean anything. The familiar closing statement was bracketed with our names and the deceitful claim that the new questions were personalised.
We each replied back saying we weren’t going to play along and answer these questions. I thought this may antagonise a response; that our rebellion may prompt some further messages fuelled by petulant anguish. Thursday ran at us this time, but there was nothing. We were told we’d get answers and new questions, but we hadn’t replied. Naively, I sent another message which answered the previous questions, but it was in vein. It was just fucking with us.
When Autumn came and the new school year began, I had largely forgotten about the ordeal. It was no longer a pressing issue and nothing had happened outside of a web browser to ever be concerned about.
Then, in September, I found 2 suspicious e-mails in my inbox. This time there was no sender name, it was an automated service; a form that had been filled out. One e-mail was a small story that read along the narrative that the sender saw Person A kiss Person B and that Person C and D saw it all. The second e-mail was very similar. What made it peculiar was that the first e-mail mentioned people I knew from school, both Sean and Elliot were included. The second e-mail listed people I knew from Lyttons. Both worlds had collided again. This time, there was no hope of replying. The sender had revealed even more information whilst becoming more distant.
I quickly asked Sean if he had received anything and to my surprise and horror, he had nothing, nor Callum nor Elliot. This time, I was alone.
“So what happened then?” Rhys asked, growing impatient by my silence.
“Well nothing, that was the last thing I heard from them,” I explained. Rhys sighed and shook his head.
“So you don’t even know who it is. You need to find out who it is. You can’t leave a story like that,” he added.
All three of them looked unnerved from what I had just told them, but Joe appeared more disturbed than the others. He was pale and I had become aware that his head had been subtly shaking for most of the story.
“It must be something that messages everyone,” Joe stated, and we all swung our heads round to hear his explanation.
“Why do you say that?” I asked.
“Because it messaged me,” he said, quieter than before.
“No. No it didn’t Joe. It wouldn’t know you. This is before I lived here. The last message I got was in September and I moved here in October,” I explained.
“That’s when it messaged me. September. At the start of school. I remember. I can show you!” he stammered.
“Yeah. Show me, because it can’t be him Joe!” I said.
All four of us now jogged round to Joe’s front door. Once inside 31, he quickly squeezed the mouse tight and his trigger finger was so anxious that he was misfiring his clicks. He brought up messenger and began to scroll down. Once he reached M I saw it.
‘[email protected] (offline)’
“No,” I began, “That can’t be right. That’s not even the same e-mail address that messages me. Joe, are you sure it messaged you in September, it wasn’t after that. Are you sure?! Are you a hundred percent?!”
“I’m positive,” he replied.
I collapsed down onto Joe’s sofa. A nervous sweat trickled down my forehead.
“What did it say Joe?” I asked. My thumb and forefinger held across my eyes and my face grimacing.
“It just kept saying hello. I ignored it in the end because it wasn’t weird or anything. Then it never came back online again. I didn’t think anything of it,” he said.
“Of course you wouldn’t. Why would you? It was just screwing with us. It was just showing it knew you. But, if you’re right Joe and it really was September this thing messaged. Well, then it knew you before I met you, before I’d even moved here. How could they know that?” I said.
All four of us sat silent for a minute. Monkey Jones had managed to unsettle everyone once again.
Credit: Tom Beirne
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