All three of them realized who’s gaunt face on the screen, despite the bruises and random filets of skin sliced off, was. The young girl being tortured was quickly recognized as Becky Tarsin. Becky was a normal teenage girl, she attended the same middle school with Maddie, Karla, and Donald. Although she wasn’t particularly close to them she had classes with them, and was actually one of the first students to bring up the dark web in light conversation, something at that time that no one had ever heard of. She had mentioned it to a very intrigued Maddie, who seemed overly excited to see what she could find. Maddie of course looked it up upon arriving home and spread the word to her best friends.
Becky had gone missing four months ago, she was at home in bed as far as her parents knew (or what they told police and news reporters) when she had gone missing. No evidence to go on, no signs of struggle, just gone. It was speculated that she had possibly run away at first but her parents defended her saying it couldn’t be true since she was so attached to her parents, so her being kidnapped was the next guess for the police and locals. For as long as she’s been gone, not a single clue has been provided of her whereabouts, that is until now.
Becky yells while looking at the screen before a leather gloved hand covers her mouth. A shaky pair of pliers appears and clamps shut one of her eyes. While pushing forward on her face, the pliers rear back in the other hand tearing a jagged circle of skin off, exposing her full eye. Her eye scans the room wildly while blood trickles over it forming a narrow puddle at the bottom of the socket.
Karla vomits between her bony fingers as her stomach fights past her struggle to hold it down, it heaves out in thick salty chunks onto the floor landing on dirty clothes and candy wrappers. “How did you-why is she getting-Donald what the hell what is this?” Maddie yells. Too many thoughts were colliding to escape her mouth at the same time, but the most important one to her was why this was playing right now.
Donald mutes the screen just as a pair of bolt cutters get placed over Becky’s throat. Through soggy eyes he replies, “Does this not look like Becky? I told you messing with this dark web s**t wasn’t safe! Someone sent this link to me, I tried to call but your phone is cut off again.”
Karla wipes her mouth with a black shirt from the floor before wadding it up and tossing it into the empty laundry basket. “We have to call the cops, or tell someone. She’s been missing for months, and now all of a sudden we have a video link to her? Maybe they could track it or something? We have to do something!” Karla yelps with acidic drool seeping from her mouth.
“And tell em’ what exactly? That we went onto illegal sites and found the missing girl from town? Do you know how that sounds? Are either of you even listening to yourselves?” Maddie stands up circling around the room with her forehead pinched down narrowing her eyes. “Donald turn the computer off, we need to talk about this, this is some serious stuff.”
Donald ignores the screen and powers off the tower. “Okay, so start from the beginning, cause this isn’t making sense. Who sent you a link, what happened?” Maddie asks.
Donald fixates his fingers in-between each other and fiddles his thumbs. “Okay so me and Matthew were hanging out and I suggested we go on the web to look up some stuff. Well, I brought up the dark web and we started searching odds and ends. We ended up coming across a site called Virgin Seduction. I thought maybe it was like real virgins in p**n or something.”
“Ew perv,” Karla says.
“Let me finish,” Donald yells, “It was a room that was all dark that was on the screen. Then these dim lights appeared showing these girls that were naked, they were tied to these chairs and had like potato sacks over their heads, they were crying and stuff. Like for reals not that fake s**t, and a chat box appeared at the top saying VIRGIN VENUE. I figured it was maybe some screwed up p***o, until people started commenting saying some f****d up stuff,” at this point Donald is shaking and nervously glancing at the windows in the room as if he was expecting something. “Well one person commented saying ‘Hot coal pockets’, I didn’t know what was going on until the box disappeared. This person, maybe a man, came out wearing all black a couple of minutes later and started a fire in the background. He placed coals onto this fire until they were white and glowing, then he used some tool to pick them up..”
Maddie winces, “What happened Donald?”
Donald begins to bawl, “He f*****g shoved these hot coals into them, it wasn’t acting I mean they cried like I never could imagine! One by one he forced that holder into them pushing upwards, each one bled after a certain point but I don’t know if it was because they were really virgins or because of what was happening, it doesn’t matter! They had to watch and wait their turn, one by one. The second one tried to fight yelling at the person so they stuck the coal into their mouth and held it shut until they stopped moving. After the third one the killer turned to the camera, they had some kind of mask that looked like a doll.”
“Like a porcelain mask?” Karla interrupts.
Taken back momentarily, Donald responds “Yeah, just like a porcelain doll. Wait, how did you know?”
“What happened next Donald?” Maddie asks.
Forgetting what Karla said for a second, Donald says “He looked towards the screen and just waved, like it didn’t affect him. Matthew at this point left the room, he ended up going home without me knowing, I guess it scared him. So another screen appeared on top, and it gave the option for me to type..”
“What did you do?” Karla asks, afraid of what he might say.
“I freaked out, I mean I went off. I cussed him out asking what kind of ‘man’ he was to do that to girls. The screen went blank, then a new chat box popped up. It was from some user called ‘Phantom-something’ I don’t know. He told me ‘The kind of man that isn’t afraid to dance with the devil. Be visiting you soon Donald’. I unplugged my computer and of course got scared, I figured it was a joke until today. I plugged my computer in, didn’t even access the web or nothing, when I got an email. I clicked on it without thinking and it showed me a live video stream of what I thought was Becky. I didn’t call Matthew or Sara, I just ran all the way here to show y’all.”
“We need to tell the police, it looks just like her. What if we’re in danger too?” Karla yells.
“Hold up, we’re not sure its her now. It could be some a*****e playing a prank on Donald or something,” Maddie says. Turning to him she punches his arm and says, “Whats wrong with you? Why would you say something to anyone on there in the first place? It could be fake for all we know?”
“You were sure of that one girl just recently,” Karla remarks.
Maddie looks at her when her computer turns on by itself. It boots up normally but as the screen loads, a chat box appears in the corner. The username Phantom1976 appears.
Words began to show saying, “Becky would like to say hello, unfortunately she’s lost her voice. But don’t miss her too fondly, you’ll all be reconnected soon.”