OH GOD IS THAT REALLY WHAT I SOUND LIKE? I think, marveling at the tiny screen. I want to look away. She holds it up close so I can see.
“Ew, babe. I don’t—”
“No, just watch.”
“This is weird.”
“Oh, you have no idea.”
She pushes a button on the side, and the volume goes up. On the screen, I see myself sleeping. She’s next to me in the bed, also asleep.
“Wait. Who took this video?”
“Yeah. No clue. Someone sent it to me.”
“Who sent it?”
“Unknown number. It’s dated last year. Listen.”
On screen, the sleeping Me rolls and turns. I’m saying something like, “the way, the way.” I’m saying this over and over while she sleeps soundly beside me. The camera moves.
“Look! He’s getting closer. Holy shit, babe. He’s standing right over you.”
“How do you know it’s a he?”
“Iunno,” she says. “Just seems creepy. The first time I watched it I couldn’t even make it all the way through I was so grossed out. Look. I have goosebumps.”
“This is fucked up.”
“Oh shh shhhh! This is right where I left off.”
The camera slowly pans around to show the room. An odd sense of familiarity washes over me. I know this room that’s my room what the fuck are you doing in
“Oh god,” she says, and starts to drop the phone.
“No!” I grab it out of her hand. “We can’t stop now. I have to see it.”
“Babe, this is… We need to call the police.”
“What good will that do? This happened a year ago, remember?”
The problem is, the figure on the screen is too tall. The body is very slim, almost like a scarecrow’s arms and legs. Stick thin and knobby. I can’t see much detail, because it’s dark in the room, but the figure is shining a flashlight and when it hits the vanity mirror I can clearly make out the outline silhouetted on the wall by the bed.
“What’s it doing?” She’s got her eyes closed. “I can’t look.”
“Yeah, you probably ought to just… Oh. Oh no. Ugh.”
“Ohhhh Jesus I’m gonna be sick.”
The shadow pulls something out of its head, something flaccid and dripping. I hear the dripping sounds hitting the wooden floor. I remember the stain by the window. The one we never quite figured out.
The alarm clock reads 4:17. On the screen, the sleeping Me begins to thrash violently.
“Did you just wake up?” she says, watching over my shoulder.
“No, I think I’m still asleep.”
“What are you—”
“Oh, baby. Oh no.”
“I’m so sorry.”
“This isn’t real. You’re fucking with me.”
“You think I would do this?”
“Oh, god. Jesus. Oh, fuck. FUCK!” I can’t look away. On screen, the thing is standing in front of me, holding out the dripping wad. I’m eating it. I’m sitting up in bed, hunched over like Golem, eating mystery shit out of this creature’s hands. What was it? Brains? Animal intestines? I feel violated. I want to throw up but I know that no matter how much I do, I’ll never get that out of me. It’s been inside me for too long.
“Look, he’s moving again.”
The creature leaves me sitting on the side of the bed. My hands are in my face, and I’m panting heavily. Still eating something, it seems. The creature walks around the other side of the bed.
“Oh no,” she says. She’s starting to tear up.
“Babe, just look away.”
“No oh no oh—”
“Babe, give me that.”
She jerks the phone away.
“FUCK! What the FUCK!”
“It’s okay babe. I ate it too.”
“NO, you asshole, LOOK!”
I’m turned around on the bed now. She’s still asleep. I’m standing on the bed. The creature is by the wall, not moving.
It shines the light in my face. I’m grinning. It dons on me that I still don’t know who took the video. Is there another one of those things?
Deep inside, I’m still hoping this is all some sick, fucked up joke. One of the guys from work in a costume, maybe.
“Baby, how could you?”
“What?! Babe. I would never— Oh, come on… I’m not doing this! It’s obvious that… that fucking thing is—”
“It’s what? I don’t see it holding a gun to your head.”
She holds the screen toward me. Tears stream down her cheeks. Her face is flushed red, her eyes darkened.
“Babe,” I say, staring at the screen, “This isn’t real.”
“Looks pretty real to me.”
“No, look. Look at the screen. This can’t be real. I just killed you, I think.”
“I mean, not really. Obviously.”
On screen, I’m pulling long dark strings of goo out of her stomach. She’s twitching and seizing on the bed. The creature steps out of frame.
“Where did it go?”
“I don’t know.”
“Shh, listen. What are you saying.”
“I think I’m saying ‘the way…’”
“No,” she says. “You’re not. You’re saying, ‘look away.’”
She’s right. I hold the speaker to my ear. “Look away,” I say, rocking back and forth on the bed. She’s not moving. The creature must be holding the camera again. It walks around to see me from the front. Her body is covered in dark wet mess. The sheets and walls are sprayed and glistening.
“Look away look away look away look away Look Away LOOK A—
She grabs the phone out of my hand. Her face goes pale.
“Baby? What happened. What is it?”
She doesn’t move. Her face is shaking. Her whole body is shaking. Something dark runs out of her nose.
“Baby! What the fuck?”
She stands, stone still, staring down. I step around and look over her shoulder.
I see the scene pan away from me on the bed. It goes blurry then dark completely. Then the flashlight comes on.
The creature stares into the camera.
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