Authors Note: If you haven’t read The Dark Web, please do so if you want to understand what is going on.
My name is Karla Moore. When I was a pre teen my life drastically changed from a normal one, to a living Hell. I had a close knit group of friends who I imagined growing old with, our kids growing up being best friends as well, living in the same community. That dream faded to dust, one fateful night it started with a classmate going missing. Next it was my friends who disappeared , then myself with the last two best friends. They were all murdered violently, I was tortured, to top it off they were just objects on the internet to gawk at for the right price. I managed to escape, barely. My father, Phillip Moore, moved us states away to start over anew. There were so many things I didn’t understand, that I still don’t, but I tried to forget it all. It was a part of my life that I didn’t want haunting me, so in the past I fought to keep it, but sometimes these things have ways of sneaking back into your life.
Bending over to pick up a crumpled shirt on her wooden floor, Karla positions the wicker basket under her prosthetic hand and hip while she bends down. Dropping her daughter’s shirt in, she pauses upon standing up and stares at a framed picture.
“I miss you guys.” she whispers as she continues down the hall. In the frame set was a group photo of the gang, the last one they all took together. It was Maddie’s birthday, of course her father hadn’t done anything for her, so they all pitched in their allowance to buy Maddie a cake and a small present. It was more than enough to make her day, they ended up throwing cake at each other and enjoyed their day as kids should. Kids, that mentality was stripped down and violated, after the incident Karla no longer thought like a kid should. Every night it was different nightmares, it was nervously stepping into a dark room or having panic attacks if she was ever left alone for any reason. Anxiety, depression, paranoia, these replaced her once sugar coated thoughts that examined the world in a better perspective.
Stepping into her daughters room after hearing a strange sound, she drops the basket seeing her looming bright screen playing something she would never forget, Pig Pie. Her daughter turned her chair around with a panicked expression etched into her face, her braces glimmered between her bumbling lips. Trying to explain herself she slides back as Karla begins to exit off the link. With that being done a chat box appears, a user by the name of Phantom1976.
Karla unplugs the computer and whips around to Mya. “I need you to think clearly, you’re not in trouble I swear, but think clear now. Who sent this to you?”
“Mom I didn’t know what it was plea-”
Putting her hand on her shoulder she massages it gently and pleas, “Again, you’re not in trouble. But who sent this to you? Do you have any idea?”
Squinting her eyes she starts to rub them and says, “I’m sorry mom but me and my friends wanted to try weed. We heard you could buy it on the internet if you went to the dark web but I didn’t know it was dangerous!”
Steadying her shakiness, Karla whispers, “We’ll talk about this in the car. We need to leave, now.”
A sound is heard from the closet door behind them suddenly. Karla pushes Mya behind her and inches backwards towards the door. “We’re going to open the door and run to the neighbor’s house,” Karla whispers. Her words bounced between jitters in her throat. Mya didn’t respond, she just followed instructions. Slowly backing away, Mya grabs the handle and creaks the door open.
The closet door kicks open as a grizzly man rushes out stained in what appeared to be dry blood covering his entire body. He wore a messy plaid shirt with the sleeves cut off and jeans, gripped in his hand was a chainsaw painted with blood. It fired up releasing light clouds of putrid smoke. His face wasn’t visible, it was hidden behind a teddy bear mask. The mouth had extended fangs and wide eyes, it wasn’t from any Halloween store she had been to, this looked custom made.
Slamming the door shut they both escape the room, Mya heads down the hallway as the door shatters apart from the stranger’s boot. He was massive in size, like a behemoth. He ducked down under the door frame and continued stirring his chain as he ran down the hall laughing hysterically. Mya found herself in the kitchen, frantically trying to open the back door. The door flies open inwards, knocking her back onto the floor. Another man steps in swinging a chain attached to a bear trap. He wore similar tattered clothes but had a pig mask on, the skin looked real as if he gutted the head and slipped it on. He flings the trap in her direction missing her as she rolls sideways. The metal fangs grip into the leg of the kitchen table, he tugs it back snapping it off and lassos it in the air like rope. Salt and pepper shakers, a vase with dead flowers, and a few pieces of silverware fall to the floor.
In the hallway Karla halts at the end of it, the bear man runs towards her with his weapon above him. Karla, pressed against a door, feels the doorknob and twists it as she times his movement. The door pulls back revealing a stairway to their basement. The man trips over his feet as the saw drops down first, he lands face down hitting his stomach across it, rolling down the steps it rips another chunk of meat here and there until he lands on the concrete floor a mangled mess. The weapon was pressed down under his stomach and groin as it continued to groan, tearing him in half.
Karla runs down the hallway when she hears Mya yell for her, another stranger stands in the kitchen preparing to swing his bear trap. The fangs fly through the air, hurling towards Mya’s crying face. They clamp down on Karla’s fake hand as she jerks it in front just before contact, she pulls her stump back and grabs a kitchen knife off of the floor. The man retracts the chain while Karla runs beside it. Lunging towards him she drives the knife into his cheek. The knife slides through his cheek piercing the back of his throat through the mask. He falls back with the trap clanging against the tile floor, clawing at his face he removes the mask while Karla prepares to strike again. The bloody mask slides off revealing a stranger whom she’s never met, he didn’t look deranged or twisted, he looked absolutely normal.
Pressing the blade to his throat she yells, “Who are you!”
Choking and spitting bubbles of blood out he spurts, “Game..Bounty..Phant..”
He starts to go into shock and trembles on the floor, Karla climbs off of him and presses her foot against the bear trap pulling it open with one hand. She stands over the man and glares at him menacingly.
“I wasn’t prepared to lose my loved ones, and I’ll be damned if it’s gonna happen again. He wants to play a game, then let’s play.” She drops the bear trap over his face, he shifts his arms around in spasms before she stomps her foot down making sure the trap touches ends. Blood spills out into a puddle forcing her to bare her reflection in fear and regret.
“Grab your phone and some clothes, we need to leave now.” Mya shakily nods her head, too wrapped up in a choking anxiety, and runs down the hall to do as told. Karla looks outside and sees a black van with tinted windows speed away down the road.
Stepping out onto her porch to get a better view, her foot bumps against a brown box lazily taped together. Against her better will, she forces herself to open the box, inside lay a mangled piece of meat, forcibly ripped from what it looked like, along with a blood soaked ring. She picks up the ring and recognizes the inscription on the inner layer, her husband’s vow.