Dusty CD

It was dark out. Sun had just set, and a storm had rolled over. It was pitch black, the only light was an old street lamp that dimly illuminated a small part of the sidewalk. The occasional lightning flash would reveal the rest of the street, but apart from that, it was dark. I sat at my computer, checking posts, watching videos; the usual. I eventually grew tiresome of waiting for someone to post something new, or finding a good video to watch; so I began to rummage through the draws on the desk. I had just moved into this house a couple months ago. It was an old house but spacious, the original owners were probably as old as the house and they sold it for dirt cheap, So I didn’t think twice about buying it.

The house had been completely cleaned out, except for the basement. The basement was chock full of knick-knacks and useless items that the owners would never have used. On the third draw down, amongst old papers and pens, I saw an old CD case. The case was very dusty and no contents could be seen until I wiped it down with a tissue. There were no labels on the case, but inside was a blank CD. I clicked open the case and removed the contents. The disk too was dusty, but luckily it didn’t have any visible scratches on the back. On the blank front of the disk was etched in a faint blue marker ‘1995’. Lightning whipped across the sky and thunder cracked as  I read it. I thought nothing of it.

Curiosity must’ve gotten the better of myself, I took the disc and placed it face down on my desk. I then opened the front casing of my PC and slipped the disc into the CD compartment. That was my critical mistake. When the disc had properly inserted, a prompt appeared on the monitor screen wanting to open the file, I opened the file, it started to play in the default video player, it was a 4-minute long clip.

I felt a little uneasy at this point – I can’t explain it, it’s just… disturbing. I (almost)reluctantly clicked the play button. The clip started to play; it was silent. All I could hear was the pitter-patter of the rain thrashing the rooftop outside. I realized I didn’t have my headphones and the speakers were broken (since last Saturday) so I picked them up and placed them over my ears, I resumed the clip.

It was still quite silent but the sound of a low breathing was audible. In the clip, the screen faded from darkness to a black and white room, there were cupboards around the room and a desk, at the desk could be seen the back of a young boy’s head (It looked like a young boy at least) sitting on a chair, facing a computer screen with headphones on. The sight seemed very familiar… The breathing began to get louder and louder as the camera seemed to get closer to the boy, footsteps could be heard as the camera approached the boy. It got about a meter away from the boy before it stopped. Slowly a decrepit, gray hand with withered, cracked skin lifted up and pressed against the chair; I froze. I felt a press on the back of my chair and the hairs on my neck stood up, a cold breeze emanated from behind me, I moved my gaze from the screen and followed it up the headphone cables…

…They weren’t plugged in.