Chapter 3 - The message

Read part I here, and part II here.

“I am seriously not kidding!” the anger reverberated from my vocal cords and struck around the walls of the room, multiplying the deep sense unjust from being condemned by my friends’ disbelief.

“You have this odd sense of humor and you do have to admit, for someone who is an absolute fan of horror, this could be another elaborate fabrication of yours to embed us scary thoughts with long refractory periods into our horror-intolerable minds.” Lucas sighed, his brows still frowned together, bridging the gap between his eyebrows, transforming it into a long thick streak of hairline.

“Look,” my eyes were dead serious, staring straight into the pupils of Lucas and Daphne.

“I know I have been instilling snippets of scary tales into your mind, but what happened yesterday night caught me totally off guard and I was so afraid of sleeping.”

Lucas and Daphne gave each other a quizzical look, then retreated into acceptance. Their eyes softened and Daphne placed her hands on my shoulder. Lucas let out a sigh.

“We believe you, and I’m sorry about the doubts we had against your words.” Daphne then turned to look at Lucas, whose facial expression relaxes as though he succumbed to harsh reality that I was facing.

“So, what do we do now?” Lucas finally spoke after the long pause.

I shook my shoulders, giving him a puzzled expression. “All I want now is to get some sleep, maybe it would be better.”

Lucas and Daphne walked me home from school, which came as a surprise given that I do not allow people to walk me home usually. However, this time, I needed my friends to give me the support I need to overcome this fear, this incident that I cannot seem to erase my mind from.

Once I settled down at home, I opened up my Gray’s anatomy thirteenth edition textbook and tried to study the regional anatomy of the abdominopelvic region. None of the information seemed to be diffusing into my already low information brain, so I closed the textbook and decided to cook myself a nice dinner before heading to bed.

Dinner was terrible, I tried to whip out a nice delicious meal of roasted chicken topped with sour cream and cheddar cheese shavings, with creamy mushroom pasta and a cup of hot Earl Grey tea. However, my mood was fumbled. Each time I tried to focus on steaming the sides of the chicken to crisp, it ended up scorched. Disappointed at both my poor focus and wastage of food, I discarded my failed attempt and boiled water. I guess in this situation, the best thing to do to relief my mind off the insane incident was to cook instant noodles.

As I sat down on my tall turquoise stool with my chin resting on the dorsum of my palm, memories of yesterday’s event flooded back into my mind.

When the door swung opened, I was thrown into the darkness. I could feel tendrils. Tens or hundreds of them wrapping around my body, pulling me towards the eternal darkness, towards the mouth of the creature. Honestly, if it was not for the fear of dying, I would have been in a state of delirium, thinking that I am part of the digested food moving along the microvilli of the intestines. I tried kicking and pushing past these tendrils, but those grips on me were strong. I resisted their movement and crawled my way out. Nothing worked. Slowly, cold slithering tendrils wrapped themselves around my body, up towards my neck. I knew the tendrils will make their way into my mouth, drowning me into the sea of gooey dark tendrils, dying for the silliest reasons at the hospital because I was curious. I forcefully shut my mouth as tightly as my muscles could contract. However, the tendrils seemed to have this shapeshifting ability where they were able to squeeze through the tiny slits of my mouth, growing in size, increasing the pressure between my lips. I could feel the increasing urge to open my mouth, but I knew that would cost my entire life. Suddenly, another group of tendrils snaked their way up from the back of my head and down towards my eyes. I could feel the tendrils entering into my orbital cavity where my eyes were firmly held in place by my rectus and oblique muscles. I never thought my eyes would be gouged out until I felt this sharp pain compressing against the back of my eye. Suddenly, my field of vision rotated as though the tendrils were twisting the muscles and nerves of my eyes. The sharp pain radiating from my eyes grew from a scale of 3 to 99 within seconds and I completely lost the will to keep my mouth shut. I let go of a horrific scream and it was all drained and muffled by the thick icy tendrils accelerating into my throat. The air flow into my lungs totally stopped, and I tried to grasp for air as hard as I could, but there is this huge resistive force that prevents me from taking in more breaths. I started to hyperventilate and my breathing quickly became shallow and rapid. Just when I thought I was about to die from the coldness and the estrangement, away from any more torture, a strange unknown force was pulling my body apart.

“Peeeeeeeeeeeeep,” my kettle screamed in its high pitched tone as hot gushes of air came spouting out from its sprout, speaking my chains of thought. After switching off the stove, I lift the heavy silverware of a kettle and emptied almost a cup full, where the curly blonde plastic coated flour sits. I then set the timer on my phone to 10 minutes and stared hard onto the noodles.

I never knew how it felt like to be in one of those rooms where there is completely zero stimuli that you believe to shrink into the tiny blob of your body, or your soul, as what some claimed it to be. Those are sensory deprivation room, where people lie in a pool of water adjusted to their body temperature, in complete darkness and absolute silence. I guess being in a state of extreme anaphylactic shock with tendrils tearing me from inwards does send me into that state. Nonetheless, with the extra tugging from my upper limbs, I felt thousands of tiny hands slowly retreating. The pain receded and I thought I was entering into the spiritual world, away from the physical pain my body had suffered. As the lights grew brighter and brighter, I saw this tanned looking shadow facing down towards me, casting a block against the strongly illuminated background. My vision was still trying to adjust, but I had trouble gaining my acuity back. Minutes after my body was free from all sorts of pressure and forces, the image around me began to sharpen. Standing right in front of me, was a bespectacled man in his early forties, with expression of a happiness despite his heavily sweated face.

“Beep beep beep…” my timer rang furiously. I stopped the annoying timer, poured the packet of umami tasting MSG, and mixed the noodles around. I decided to put whatever thought I had before aside, opening the YouTube application on my iPhone 6, contemplating between TedEd talks and CrashCourse videos.

After chasing a few sessions of videos from both of my favorite channels, I glanced at my clock and discovered that 3 hours had elapsed – it was an hour before midnight. I hurriedly threw the plastic container which previously housed my MSG-soaked noodles, and washed the burnt wok and utensils from my disaster.

Once all the chores were done, I switched on the air conditioner and tucked myself into my comfortable blanket. Enjoying the warmth the blanket provided me in the artificially cooled environment, it definitely reminds me of the times where I had to hug a radiator to sleep during Christmas last year in the U.K.

“Bzz…” My phone vibrated violently in between my pillow and my bed.

Unknown number:

“Did that person just sent me a blank text message?” I questioned as I typed my reply.

Dan: Sorry, is this a wrong message?

Awhile later, my phone vibrated and the conversation between the unknown number and I continued…

Unknown number:

Dan: Hey, it would be great if you can tell me what you are typing.

Unknown number:

Dan: One more time and I will block your number, so it is up to you to start typing and stop wasting each other’s time.

5 minutes past, there was not a single reply.

Part of my pre-bedtime routine is to scroll through the stories of my Facebook friends to learn of new stories and trends that are sending the world crazy. In between my stories and shared news, an interesting article caught my attention – “CLICK HERE TO SEE HOW TO PRANK YOUR FRIENDS WITH BLANK MESSAGES.”

In that 2 paged article, the author introduced how he found the method of sending messages to the other party that only can be viewed in special light conditions and then went on babbling about how we could do it. In his final 2 paragraphs, he revealed how we can unveil and read the messages sent using this unscrupulous method.

I pressed the home button and fast as I could, enter the “Settings” on my iPhone and keyed in “Invert colors” in my search bar. As soon as the option appeared, I opened the tab and inverted the display colors of my phone. With an intense excitement bubbling up within my chest and a huge wave of conceit building up inside me, I double tapped the home button and switched to my message application.

Can you imagine how much enthusiasm I have boiling within me knowing that I will be cracking one of the most hidden messages I have ever received? That explicit feeling of pride and narcissism definitely made me feel proud of myself of something I will be doing, and something which I will boast to Lucas and Daphne about.

 Unknown number: TURN

Dan: Sorry, is this a wrong message?

Unknown number: BEHIND

Dan: Hey, it would be great if you can tell me what you are typing.

Unknown number: NOW

Dan: One more time and I will block your number, so it is up to you to start typing and stop wasting each other’s time.

I swore that message crept the fuck out of me. Those three words totally crushed all the egocentric and egotistical emotions that permeate me completely seconds ago.

Just then, I received another text message from the unknown number.

It was a photo of me, with a fucking shocked expression on my face reading something off my phone.

Published by Lucius

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