09 Aug Shock Factor
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"Shock Factor"Written by
Estimated reading time — 6 minutes
Creepypasta has never been a shock site. It says this in the rules, under the FAQ, word for word. Submissions are supposed to be creepy stories to spread around the internet for a bit of an adrenaline rush on those late nights alone. They’re not real, they’re not meant to be full of explicit gore or violence, they’ve always been simple stories – sometimes overdone, sometimes with plenty of cliches or plot-holes, but never… never truly chilling to the bone, not before that night…
As most of you probably know, creepypasta.com receives plenty of submissions. I had started working on the site as an assistant of sorts after volunteering to help a friend in the staff, reading over submissions to help get through the massive backlog so that they could be opened up again in a timely manner. It was much harder than I had expected, to be honest, most of the submissions I turned down didn’t cross my mind even once after they had been rejected. Most violators followed a similar pattern: blatant crappypastas, grammatical errors far too frequent to ignore, rewrites of previous pastas that had been done time and time again.
Now, I’m quite the horror fanatic. I love movies, game, stories, anything with a macabre theme that would send chills down the spine. Unfortunately, being such a frequenter of these sites and sources resulted in a sort of… immunity? to the “creepy”. Reading through submissions never really made me glance over my shoulder or peer into dark crevices, not like it used to anyway. I got cocky, thought that nothing could scare me, that I was invincible to the supposed creep-factor.
I was stupid.
It was late. My roommate was exhausted after studying for some class so she had turned in for the night. My cat had been fed and was lounging in the other room, probably dozing off for the moment; Millie only ever got up to run around after I had gone to bed, finding that the most inconvenient time for me must’ve been the most fun for her. With no homework on my agenda and no work the next day, I tried to filter through as many of the submissions that I had been asked to look over as I could. There weren’t many left, just a couple more and they seemed fairly short. I smiled to myself after whittling them down, proud to see that I had made it through almost every responsibility. I planned on spending my day-off relaxing if I could just make it through four more submissions.
“Shock Factor” was next on my list, a submission with no credit name, emailed under “[email protected]” I wouldn’t be contacting whoever this was. I didn’t even bother to test the address, certain that their story wouldn’t make it very far. Regardless, I started reading through, almost bored at first as they seemed to go with the cliche setting of being alone on a dark, stormy night. Nothing stood out, at least not at first, but I kept reading.
“Maybe they’d surprise me,” I thought. God, I wish they hadn’t.
As I kept reading, the story warped into some… twisted torture flick. Apparently the protagonist wasn’t completely alone, he had someone tied down in the other room. The narration quickly slipped into a step-by-step account of a horrific dissection, without any anesthesia, on some complete stranger. The part that sent a shiver up my spine was the descriptiveness, it seemed so detailed, so involved. It was like nothing that I had ever read before, blunt and all too natural.
I rejected it, of course. It violated the rules, the email looked fake, I simply discarded it with the others and moved on. It stuck, of course, it had disturbed me a great deal, but I brushed this off as just being a good narrative; if that submission had fallen within the rules, it might have made a good addition.
A couple days went by, and at first I had forgotten all about “Shock Factor”. With the submissions all filtered through and the next submission period being moved onto, I offered to help with the next load if I was needed and was called to do so about a month later. Again, I went through the stories and rejected whatever didn’t follow the FAQ – honestly, you’d think that some of these people hadn’t even given the link a quick gloss-over.
And it showed up again.
“Shock Factor Part 2.” Did this person honestly expect a “Part 2” to be submitted when his first had been rejected? I felt kind of pissed off, thinking that this person had just re-submitted their works, and even a little bit nervous as I remembered just how graphic the last one had been. Regardless, I opened the submission and started to skim through. I was disgusted as I found that the narrator was up to his old tricks, this time with a younger victim, stated as being somewhere around fifteen years old.
I didn’t bother reading through the whole thing as it somehow managed to disturb me more than the last one, detailed accounts of torture and abuse far beyond what I ever wanted to read in my life. All the while, it had that extremely real feel to it, that tone that dragged me in and made me believe that this was some actual legitimate account for a brief moment rather than some sicko’s idea of a joke. A joke, a sick joke to play on the staff for rejecting his first story, that’s what this must have been.
It was discarded, I made it through my quota, and I didn’t volunteer to help anymore after that. For a short while I thought that it was over, and went back to my normal everyday life. Classes, work, boyfriend, classes, work, boyfriend, classes… I began to slip back into my schedule, though memories of the “Shock Factor” series kept bubbling up over the next week or so.
I assured myself that it was over, until I received an email titled “Shock Factor Part 3” to my personal address.
It was impossible! There was no way that this guy could’ve gotten my personal email! I deleted it without bothering to read it, unnerved by the fact that he found me. I tried to think of ever possible logical explanation, even getting upset as I considered that my friend had planned some elaborate prank to disprove my boasting over never being creeped out. After sending her an annoyed message, I received a new one, this time titled “Shock Factor Part 3: You should read it this time.”
My blood ran cold. How the–
I looked at the description nervously, the glimpse of a message any gmail user would be familiar with seeing, located next to the message title. “This time there’s a cat, and I know you love c…” it read, trailing off.
I exited the tab and closed my computer. On some sort of… God-awful suspicion, I suddenly stood up and began searching the apartment for Millie. I called for her, looked under the furniture, I even asked my roommate about her and for nowhere. I started to panic, convincing myself that whoever this anonymous sender was, they had somehow managed to get their hands on something close to me. My pet, out of my house, as the topic of one of his twisted stories. How else could he have known that I had a cat? How could he have known my email address? Who the hell was he?!
Months went by. I graduated, I moved on in life, I got a job. I never did find Millie after that, never did find out who was emailing me. Occasionally, I’ll still get these strange emails, even after changing over to new addresses. New additions to the “Shock Factor” series, every time with a short description. The worst part is that… every time I receive a submission, it seems to happen just after I lose something… And whatever I lose ends up in the story. I’ll misplace a sewing kit, and find “Shock Factor Part 6: Stitching”, or I’ll lose a pair of scissors and receive “Shock Factor Part 9: Cutting Up.” It scares me, now. I dread checking my email, I’m paranoid, I never go out alone. It’s putting a lot of strain on me, and on my boyfriend, I make him go everywhere with me except to work.
The Shock Factor series has worked its way to Part 23 at this point… I don’t know how much more of this I can take…
If you ever receive an email from submission.spacefiller, an email titled “Shock Factor”, anything of the sort, please ignore it. For your own sake, ignore it – I don’t know if that would even work. It’s driving me crazy, I can’t go anywhere alone. I feel like someone is following me, like this stranger knows everything that goes on in my life. I don’t know how his stories got so realistic, either, but I don’t want to think about it.
I just got a text the other day, too, one that has driven me to the point of seeking legal help. I’m going to the police now, he has my phone number, and he’s not going to stay out of sight for forever.
“Part 30 will feature a guest star. I’m afraid that I’ll have to move on to finding a new editor after she has her episode, though. How unfortunate. I knew her so well.”
Credit To – Kat Ozkosar