• I really shouldn't be doing this to myself.

    It's past midnight and I'm sitting in the dark with only the glow of the computer screen. There's a small twinge in the back of my mind, Go get some rest. This can wait till' morning. Still, my rear stays firmly glued to the swivel chair. I'm not proud to admit it, but I'm afraid of venturing out into the dark and back to my bedroom.

    The fear is completely irrational; this part of the neighborhood almost never sees crime and I definitely don't believe in the paranormal. Perhaps it's instinct, early man had right to fear the dark. He could not see his surroundings and was at the mercy of predators who were better equipped for the dead of night.

    A sharp mechanical shriek makes me nearly jump out of my skin. My eyes dart around whatever I can see in the room. After calming down, I quickly realized that the computer was the source of the ear piercing noise. The screen was flashing different colors like a strobe light. I pressed the escape button, Crtl-Alt-Del, even resorting to simply slamming the power button; nothing worked. I growled and smacked the monitor in frustration. After a few more minutes of deafening alarms and seizure inducing lights, the monitor went black. I shuddered, alone in the dark. The monitor came to life once more, the eerie green glow spilled onto the desk and outward into the darkness. At the top of the screen a message appeared in blocky, white text.


    A flickering cursor appeared below the greeting. My gut twisted itself into knots, something was wrong. I promptly shook the silly notion out o my mind. It's nothing but text on a screen, it can't harm me. I typed in a response.


    I hit the enter button and waited.

    They're coming.

    Everything about this whole thing screamed danger, but I found myself strangely intrigued.

    Who are "they"?

    They're coming. They're almost here.

    I'm afraid I don't understand who you're talking about.

    Running won't help.

    Is this some kind of joke?

    I slapped myself. Why didn't I think of it before? It must some new computer virus, or a hacker trying to scare people for laughs. I chuckled to myself, my concern quickly disappearing.

    Sorry, buddy, but you're little prank doesn't scare me.

    Not a prank. See for yourself.

    The screen flicked off, when it turned on again it showed a video of someone sitting at their computer screen. The video was a sickly green monochrome. There were shadows quickly piling up behind the hapless victim. The formless figures writhed and wormed, occasionally I could make out features; fangs, claws, the stuff horror movies are made of.

    The room that was being filmed seemed oddly familiar. Like I've seen it before. Perhaps I've been here before. Actually, wait a minute...

    I raised my hand experimentally, the person in the video did so as well. That was me on screen. I heard scratching and squishing, slurping sounds dangerously close behind me. I gulped when the familiar green glow returned to the screen.