16 Nov Superpowers.avi
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Estimated reading time — 7 minutes
This is, by reputation, a website for fictional horror stories that might make you look over your shoulder or turn the lights back on a few times, but I wanted to take this time to assure you that everything you’re about to read is true. Yeah, yeah, they all say that. But trust me, I wouldn’t make this up if I could.
So one day, when I was still in high school, I had to go to the library for some project or another for some class or another because it required the use of the internet, and my mom used our home computer for work. Once I got to the library, I noticed that there was no one in there, not even a librarian. This seemed a little strange, but the door was unlocked and there were still five hours or so until they closed, so I shrugged it off and found a computer to work.
I decided on the clunker in the far corner of the library and plugged my headphones into the headphone jack on the computer tower, as I needed to find some videos of something, I’m not sure. I never got that far.
And by that I mean, I decided to postpone working on whatever project it was I needed to finish and instead did some snooping. I’ll be honest, I didn’t really expect to find anything, but I figured it’d make a nice story if some creep had accidentally downloaded porn onto the library computer and I’d happened across it. I was 16, this was my idea of a good time.
I tried the text file folder first, but to no avail. Nothing there except some book report someone forgot to delete after they turned it in. Then I went for the images. Again, nothing. I think there was a picture of a Weimaraner, but I can’t be sure I’m remembering correctly. It was when I got to the video folder that things got interesting.
There was one video in the folder and the title struck me as odd, because it looked like it had been renamed. The title read “superpowers.avi”. I was intrigued but at this point had given up on my dream of discovering neckbeard cheeto-finger porn, so I clicked on the video skeptical that it’d be anything worth watching.
The thing that struck me right away was the quality. It was awful, even for 2009. There were maybe 300 pixels on the entire screen, it was so bad. The only thing I could really make out was that the video seemed to have taken place on an elementary school playground, or maybe in a residential park with swings and a slide. The video was just over 12 minutes long, and I highly doubted that I’d watch the entire thing, especially if the quality stayed this bad. The audio was listenable, however, so I figured I’d give it a chance.
Right away I heard a distinctly male teenage voice, and I guess that I saw him as well, but the quality made it to where I wasn’t sure. He was talking about school, I think, some guy who needed his ass kicked or some girl who wasn’t putting out. Camera Guy agreed with a definitive “yeah man.” I was highly disinterested to say the least.
Then they started doing flips off the slide.
OF COURSE they’re the “hardcore parkour” type. Why wouldn’t they be?
The only thing that kept me watching was the significant spike in video quality. In an instant the quality went from unwatchable to box office smash. This was some serious improvement. I’m not sure how it happened, but at the time I don’t think I bothered questioning it. The point is, this piqued my interest and Flip Guy was kinda funny, so I kept watching. I got a good look at him for the first time and noticed a few things.
He had shortish brown hair that was kinda spiked up, kinda just unruly, was wearing the tightest jeans I’d ever seen, and seemed kinda tall for his age. His age was indeterminate though, as he had the face of a 12-year-old but the stubble of a 19-year-old. He sounded about 16 though, so I’ll guess he was about the same age as me with weird genetics.
Anyway, Flip Guy earned his name. He backflipped off the slide, off the monkey bars, off the benches, everywhere. Then he tried to flip off of the platform separating the slide from the monkey bars and something went wrong.
The platform was about four and a half or five feet up, and I could tell midair that he wasn’t going to land the flip. He landed face-down in the wood chips and I heard a crunch. I had seen him put his hands down to brace himself so I was sure he had broken one, if not both, of his wrists. Flip Guy didn’t scream. Camera Guy did. After a few seconds, Flip Guy rolled over and, with a dangling, undeniably broken wrist, gave a thumbs up while flashing a winning smile.
I was filled with several emotions at this point, not the least of which being repulsion, but also not the least of which being admiration. He didn’t seem fazed at all. Camera Guy eventually calmed down after relentless panicking, and Flip Guy legitimately got up and tried again. This is where things get weird.
Flip Guy gets back up and climbs to the top of the platform and decides to jump off again. I think it’s important to note here that this is the first time he’s been silent for more than 30 seconds since the video started, and with it being the time most people would make the most noise, I was honestly starting to worry.
So he jumps and does a perfect flip in midair, but far overshoots his mark and flips too much, landing on his back right at the edge of the wood chips and smacking his head, hard, on the hard plastic border separating the wood chips from the grass. This makes the most sickening sound I’d ever heard. Camera Guy screams again, and rushes over to his friend who has now started bleeding — and I mean a lot — all over the ground.
I start to feel shaky, wondering if I just watched someone die, and Flip Guy’s eyes open. They look considerably more shielded, almost glazed over but where you can still see the life within them, even if just barely. There’s no way at this point that he made out without a fractured skull or worse. Camera Guy keeps asking him if he’s okay. Fucking idiot, just call the ambulance, your friend’s losing a lot of blood. But then, and I have no clue how, Flip Guy sits up again.
Camera Guy had been in the grass, looking at Flip Guy headfirst, so when Flip Guy sat up, the wound was in full view. And what a wound it was. There was a massive hole in his head, causing blood to pour down his shirt. His brown hair was almost black around the wound from how much blood was in it. All this on top of the broken wrist he already had was more than enough for me to start feeling nauseous, and more than a little morbidly pessimistic with where this as going.
Flip Guy gets up.
I have no clue how, but he gets up and starts limping toward the platform, not saying a word. His demeanor has visibly changed, unsurprisingly, but his new demeanor is horrifying. Imagine a kid with a broken wrist and a hole in his head nearly half a foot wide, lumbering towards something with a nearly dead look in his eyes, all while completely silent.
Camera Guy has finally stopped blubbering and called the cops. His friend falls over not a foot from the platform and rolls over onto his back before he starts seizing, spasming uncontrollably and foaming from his mouth. Camera Guy drops the camera and sprints over to his friend, who you can barely see in the corner of the frame. As soon as he touches Flip Guy, who I’ve learned from frantic screaming is named Anthony, everything changes.
Anthony’s completely incapacitated, all but dead, on the ground, and his friend crouches next to him before laying his hands on Anthony’s chest, panicking and unsure of what to do. As soon as his hands touch Anthony, he’s thrown into the air at least 40 feet and comes down as hard as you’d imagine, if not harder.
Right on his head.
There’s a succession of crunches and pops as he hits about 5 feet from the camera, and he’s stopped moving. His face is shown for the first time and it looks deflated, blood trickling lazily from the nose in stark contrast to the overwhelming surge that was just shown from Anthony’s head. By now I want nothing more than to turn this off and discover it was just a nightmare, but I can’t bring myself to do that.
The seizing stops nearly off-camera, and Anthony raises himself as though pulled by a string attached to the center of his chest. His head slowly turns toward the body of his friend, and from what I can see, there’s no remnants of humanity left in him. He stands up slowly and begins to stagger toward the camera and the body. Once he reaches what was once his friend, he reaches into the front pocket and extracts a pocket knife.
I can’t bear to watch this, but I can’t turn it off, and so I’m stuck, held hostage by this lighthearted video turned snuff film. Anthony opens the knife and, in a twist, buries it into his own arm. He doesn’t flinch as he carves a straight line from elbow to wrist on each arm and finally lays it to rest handle deep in the hollow his throat between his collarbone.
He stands, staggers a bit, and finally falls down to his hands and knees before succumbing to blood loss and collapsing on the grass, a pool of deep red surrounding him. You can hear sirens in the distance, getting closer, before the camera’s battery dies and the screen goes black.
I’m nearly hysterical at this point, shaking uncontrollably as I make my way out of the still empty library and onto the street. I nearly call my mom to pick me up and take me somewhere safe, somewhere I don’t have to think, but decide on using the short walk home to sort my thoughts. I begin the walk, leaving my body on autopilot and relying on it to get me home.
I start to calm down a little bit and think of rational explanations for this, like maybe it was a school project or a prank left there to terrify whatever unsuspecting library-goer happened to stumble upon it. I’m fully satisfied with these explanations.
Then I pass the park down the road from my house and see the police tape.
My heart skips a beat as I look closer and realize that the slide at the park is the same color as the one in the video, and there are exactly as many swings as there were in the video. There are two bodies lying side by side just like Anthony and his friend. I don’t dare get closer than I am now, but even from a distance, I can make out an object lying on the grass a few feet away from the bodies.
It’s a video camera.
CREDIT : j. wilkerson
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