Author’s note:If you haven’t read The Dark Web part one or two, please do so for it to make sense.
The luminous computer screen portayed a tale of gore and sadness, an unhappy ending for what seemed like a desperate mother, an innocent child, and a twisted individual. Whether it was real or just an act to fool any viewers was difficult to distinguish. Jenny s***s in her breath while rereading the message on the screen repeatedly as if doing so wouldn’t make it real. Yet the words remained on the screen almost frozen in time as a warning they couldn’t ignore, etching an uneasy feeling among her confused thoughts.
“Jenn,” Samantha whispers, inching away from the computer desk in short steps as to stray away from an imminent danger. “What do they mean? Who is that?”
Jenny exits out of the browser and begins to close out all her running applications, rapidly clicking on her mouse. “It was just some a*****e trying to scare us or something, I heard the deep web had hackers but I didn’t think we’d personally meet one.”
She twirls her computer chair towards Samantha and half convincingly says, “We’re fine. Just some prick getting his rocks off trying to scare us.”
Samantha nods her head waving her thick curly hair in light sways. She pulls one side back exposing her ladder of silver rings coated down her left ear.
Jenny curves her pouty lips and repeats it once more to hammer the final nail into a coffin full of doubt, “I promise we’re fine.”
“I would beg to differ.”
A hoarse male voice interrupts the conversation through a crackling speaker. Spinning around Jenny faces a man staring at her through her screen. He wore a jet black hood with what looked like red paint smeared across his face.
He spoke with certainty, a deep bass quivered along his vocal cords. It was the only message he spoke.
Jenny slides out of the chair flopping down onto the carpeted floor and yanks the cord from the wall. Samantha starts to gulp air in and out in fast paced breaths.
Jenny grips her small hands around Samantha’s shoulders before kneeling down. “Sam listen to me, it was a joke. It wasn’t real, just a prank to scare newbies like us.”
Samantha nods her head but reluctantly continues to steadily s**k in the tightening air in short heaves. “Sam we’re not in danger, slow down. I’m here, look at me, I’m here.”
Samantha’s pounding heart rams against her chest, bit by bit it finally slows down flushing out her panic attack. “I promise we won’t go on there anymore, it was just fake snuff films that looked real.”
She nods back and smiles, her heart finally retrieving from its stone punches of fear. “I’m sorry, I just wasn’t expecting that. How did they come across your screen like that?”
“It’s not hard to hack a webcam, probably was online and saw us talking and wanted to give us a scare. Did you see that cheap a*s halloween paint on his face?”
Samantha lets out a light chuckle and stands up from the edge of the stiff bed allowing the springs to bounce back. “I’m okay now, just no more exploring on there.” Glancing at her watch she realizes the time and shouts, “Oh s**t it’s almost eight I’ll text you when I get home though okay? I have to finish my homework before going to bed or my mom will have a fit.”
Wrapping her in a loose hug Jenny whispers, “Okay text me when you get home.”
Left alone in the room by herself with the abandoning of her friend, Jenny looks at the computer and debates on whether or not to plug it back in. Fear trickles down her spine, a muffled voice in her mind tells her not to but her conscience wins the battle. Pushing the plug back in she turns her computer on and waits for it to boot back to life.
Samantha lived about six blocks away from her best friend, so they usually just walked to each others homes. A shortcut they often took was through an almost barren field with jutting weeds and discarded beer bottles left over from homeless folk in the community and across a steep concrete trench used for a runoff during heavy rains and floods. Loosing the clutch from her elbows she pulls her jacket a bit tighter to fight off the stinging cold blasting across her face. Her balance shifts from the uneven slopes and mounds across the field of trash and dead grass, her scrawny legs begin to fill with a kindled fire easing its way upwards. Finally reaching the edge of the slope she uses her arms for balance like a balancing beam while creeping down.
Her dirty sneaker breaks a half empty bottle of whinos delight stepping down onto the leveled base. The sound travels down into the inky hole nearby amplifying the noise as it glides into the unknown. About to arch the opposite slope she gets ready to climb towards the top when a whince is heard. Stopping for a brief moment she looks around and awaits for a second response. The sound was fragile and delicate like a childs, possibly lost or even injured, or so she thought.
“Hello?” She calls out. Only the absence of noise responds to her frozen ears.
Passing it off as vivid imagination tuning her ears, she begins to place one foot forward and leans down at an angle to head upwards.
This wasn’t imagination, a little girls voice was speaking out in pain. Samantha drops back and squints her eyes into two thin slits peering into the void, again the tender voice makes a plea. Without a second thought she begins to jog inside and pulls out her phone struggling to click on the flashlight.
The beam shines onto faded graffiti smeared on the water-stained wall facing her. Navigating it side to side she continues down the tunnel unsure of what to come across.
“Hello? I’m here, where are you?”
“Is someone there! Please help I’m hurt!”
The cold grows to another level causing ridges of goosebumps to bubble on her flesh, the air was damp and musty, yet somehow still hard to swallow between pacing. Her phone assist her unknown trail until a toddlers shoe comes into view finally. Standing alone in the murky stream gliding past her feet. She takes a few steps forward and bends down picking it up, brown color had taken place halfway up the once fully white shoe.
Sploshes carry through the water causing Samantha to raise her phone like a weapon to whoever-or whatever- was heading her way. The shadows give way parting new life to a young girl. She wore a white dress with pink stitching, her brunette hair in tow pigtails, she smiles exposing crooked teeth.
Without a word of terror or threat, the conniving desperate smile said more than enough.
“Got her!” A voice shouts from behind as a blunt object is rammed into her skull. Toppling to the solid floor she feels her energy fade in uneven bursts. Her phone drops to the floor glowing with a familiar face on the screen, a call from Jenny. While stretching her fingers towards the device her skull pays the price of another rough impact forcing her eyes to close.