Tuesday, October 31, 2017

"You Have My Game" - Short Story/Creepypasta(?)

Well for Halloween I wanted to do something different, and it also kept me from making a post yesterday. I wasn't really sure if I should be posting this or not, but after going over it a few times I figured there would be no harm done. Everyone likes a "scary story" from time to time, and hopefully this is one you've never heard before. Actually, I'm 100% sure you haven't. While I'm not allowed to go into the details of the origins of this story, let's just say I've been given full permission to post it, and I was asked that it not be shared outside of Netto's Game Room unless linked to the original source (being this post).

So anyway, I hope you guys enjoy. It might be a bit amateurish (yes, I'm apparently allowed to call it that as well) , but maybe some of you will like it? Just keep in mind that there may be some disturbing moments in this, but the language is clean (unless I overlooked something somehow). Well, once again, hope you guys enjoy!

You Have My Game 
© 2017


When I was seventeen me and my family packed up our belongings and moved to a small town in Texas. I wasn't thrilled about leaving everything behind, but as someone still in high school I had no choice. Saying goodbye to all my friends was hard, but knowing I could contact them online at any given time was comforting. "Hey man, see ya later! Get on the group chat when you can! Send a text when you get there!" Maybe these weren't their exact words, but it is close enough. At that time social media was still in it's early days, with websites now long forgotten as the kings, instant messaging programs were popular, and even basic cell phones had the ability to text. Thanks to this, you never really felt alone. I told myself that I would keep in contact with them and everything would stay the same, but I knew deep down that this was a lie. We would eventually grow apart, and I would just have to accept that. Besides, in just a year most of us would be going away to college anyway.

My new house was nice. There were two floors, and I was able to pick out which room I wanted. As an only child I didn't have to worry about fighting for it, and my parents were fine with either option. So I chose the room with a window overlooking the back yard, and began setting up my stuff. We wouldn't have internet for awhile sadly, so I was unable to join that group chat my friends had asked me to, but I did make sure to text each and every single one to know that I had made it. They were happy I was okay, but I couldn't help but feel strange as I read their messages. Maybe they seemed too happy?

Starting a new school wasn't easy, and I wasn't motivated to make new friends. I wouldn't be there for more than a year, so I focused on doing whatever I needed for college. I studied hard, spent less time talking to my friends online, cut out playing video games, and I even began looking for outside work. Anything I could put on an application to look good was fine, as long as it didn't take up too much time; I couldn't fall behind on my studies. I'm not fully sure why I became so dedicated to my school work, but if I had to guess... I wanted to show the others. Show them that one day I would become something more. You see, despite ignoring my new "classmates," they didn't ignore me.

The job I ended up going with was what I thought would be a simple one. There was an old man -- one I'll be calling "Mr. A" from now on -- who lived alone and need someone to talk to. I didn't know much about him, but this sort of thing was pretty common. They don't want to leave their home and go to a full care facility (who could blame them?), and their families worry about them and want someone to check on them from time to time. The job was unpaid, of course, and the guy only lived a few blocks over from me, so it was actually perfect. I only had to visit once every few days, talk to him for a bit, help with whatever he needed, and then get out. It left me with plenty of time in the evening, and it would go right at the top of my resume.

Mr. A was a boring man. He didn't say much, or do much. Once I spent the entire visit watching some documentary about who knows what (I'm pretty sure I actually fell asleep), and another time he had me help clean his house. He didn't have any stories to share, and no matter what questions I asked him he refused to answer. His family posted the job at the volunteer agency I went through, but I didn't even know anything about them. No pictures on the walls of Mr. A's house, no letters in the mail, no phone calls, and seemingly no past. This was an old man who sat at home, and that was it. Apparently he still drove and he did his own shopping, but he didn't seem to have any hobbies. Eventually I started to wonder why I was even going there, but I guess I should've been thankful it was so easy. I would talk to him about what I was studying at school to kill time, but who knows if he was even listening. But then, things changed.

I'll be honest. The house creeped me out. It was old, poorly lit, and reminded me of a funeral home. There were rooms closed off and locked, and never once did Mr. A offer to show me what was inside. Sure I had no reason to ask him either, but after a few months of visiting him you would've thought he'd bring it up. And shockingly, he did. (Yes, the "never once" was a lie.)

It happened one Sunday afternoon when I was getting ready to leave for the day. Mr. A was sitting on the couch watching yet another documentary, and I was getting ready to take his trash with me on my way out. As I said goodbye and turned the door knob I had a funny feeling and looked back at him. Rather than seeing the boring old man I had come to know, there he sat with a smile on his face -- something I had never seen him do.

"Hey" he said (which was also out of character for him). "Can you do me a favor before you leave?"

It turned out he wanted me to toss some things from his son's old room -- the son I had never even heard about. After all this time he had never once mentioned family, and now here he was talking about it out of the blue. I had always imagined what it would be like if he actually spoke his mind, but now that it was happening I didn't know what to say. Instead I simply listened to his request, and made my way to the newly opened room down the hall.

There wasn't much in the old room, but there were some boxes piled up in the corner. Mr. A must've been packing things up on his own earlier, and now wanted me to finish the job of chucking them. Looking back I wish I would've, but curiosity got the better of me. Rather than throwing them away, I opened the boxes and began digging through them. I'm not sure what I expected to see, but I was quite surprised when I found nothing but ancient electronics! Everything from old storage devices (ones that were so large they would crush my desktop's tower), to wires, to even an old "iconic" PC. Although I didn't quite know the state laws, I was pretty sure the dump wouldn't take any of it. That's when I went to go tell Mr. A this, but then something else caught my eye.

It was small, square, flat, and gray in color. There was a slit in the bottom of it with electrical contacts inside. Although there was no picture, there was a small piece of paper taped to it with the name "Jim" written on it. I wasn't sure if Jim was Mr. A's son's name, but I was sure about what I was holding. Even though the design was slightly different and clearly home made, there was no doubt in my mind that I was holding a classic handheld video game.

"That's my son's!!!" Mr. A's voice startled me as he seemingly appeared out of nowhere. (Or maybe he was watching me the whole time?)

I felt a little bad about digging through his stuff, but that soon passed as Mr. A began to explain. According to him his son had dreams of "making those stupid games," and had spent a lot of time working with PCs. Eventually he "grew up" and got a real job, and left everything behind. Mr. A wouldn't tell me what he was doing now days, or why he gave up on his dream, but I didn't really care anyway. If anything I was more interested in the game itself, and the old man let me have it. (He was going to throw it out anyway.)

That night I did something I hadn't in years -- I dug out my old handheld device. I had it stored in a box in the basement, and stupid me also forgot to take the batteries out before putting it away. Thankfully I was able to scrape the hardened gunk off of the contacts and power the console on, but the "Jim" game did not work. I checked another old game I had stored in a separate box just to be sure, and it worked just fine -- I even played it for a few minutes with the use of a flashlight to see (as old screens did not light themselves up). This confirmed the hardware was good, but the game I had just gotten wasn't. "Oh well," I thought. Not like I expected much from an old homebrew anyway.

The next day was the fallout. After school I logged into the group chat to talk to my friends about Jim, and instead found myself in the middle of what I'd call an attack. I guess they didn't notice I was there, but let's just say they held nothing back. My so called "friends" couldn't stand me, and I had caught them sharing their true feelings. What followed wasn't pretty, and it ended with me smashing my phone against the wall. Not like anyone was going to call me anyway... I left the group chat as well, and deactivated my account. Good riddance. I'd just make new friends in college. Just as I was about to get off my PC and cover up the hole in the wall, I suddenly felt like checking my email. Not sure why (who was going to email me?), but that's when I saw.

"You have my game," the email was titled. I thought it was strange, but I instantly my mind jumped to the game Mr. A gave me the day before. It must have been from his son, but when I opened the email there was nothing inside. The email only had a title, and it didn't tell me anything about what he wanted. Did he want the game back? That's fine, he could have it. When I went to reply to the email however, I noticed something strange. The email had actually come from myself -- or rather, he had used my email as his own.

Considering "Jim," or whatever his name was (was "Jim" the game's name? I still didn't know), was skilled when it came to programming, it wasn't too surprising to see he knew how to do this. I couldn't do it myself, but I was sure some program existed to mask your email address. What was odd though, was why he did it in the first place. If he wanted the game back why didn't he just say so? Why did he hide his address? And how did he know? Did his dad tell him? I guess that was obvious, but it was still strange to me. Mr. A, a man who never talked about his family, was suddenly telling his son he gave his game away to me? The very same game he was going to throw away? It didn't add up. Deciding I should just ask Mr. A myself, I headed over to his house right after eating dinner. Monday wasn't when I was scheduled to stop by again, but I wanted to get to the bottom of this. I didn't need strange emails to distract me from my studies.

Mr. A wasn't happy. For a man who never showed emotion, he had quite the violent side to him. As soon as I mentioned his son and the game he had given me, he flipped. "WHO TOLD YOU TO GO IN THAT ROOM!? YOU STOLE FROM ME!? I'M CALLING THE COPS YOU ----! GET OUT OF MY HOUSE!" Okay, maybe his words weren't as nice as that, but you get the point. Apparently he never asked me to go into that back room, and he never gave me the game -- which I ended up keeping. I wasn't giving it back to someone so far gone. It was really quite sad, and I was kicking myself for not realizing it sooner. So I went back to the agency that had assigned me there, and let them know what had happened. They instantly took me off the job, thanked me for all my help, and said they'd let me know when something else opened up. I'm assuming the old man was put in a nursing home after, but I never saw him again.

The emails never stopped. Each day I'd get a new one, and each time it was the same. "You have my game" as the title, and no message inside. I even tried changing my email address, but somehow the guy found it each time. I guess it wasn't hurting anything, but a feeling of dread would constantly rush over me each time I saw it. I didn't like the idea of being stalked, and I had no idea how he was doing it. All my virus scans came up clean, and when I went back to the agency to learn about the old man's family, my request for information was denied. (I should've asked the day I turned him in for being nuts...) Nothing I tried turned up any information about this guy, and even my searches online came up empty. According to the internet, Mr. A had no son... Of course this was a lie. He did have a son, and now he was hiding himself from me. If he had the tools to mess with my email, I was sure erasing his online info would be a cake walk as well.

A week or so later I woke up sick. I could hardly get out of bed, and spent most of the day in the bathroom trying to keep down whatever I ate the day before. School was out of the question, and I couldn't even get myself to get on the PC. I hadn't checked my email in a few days, but by that time I didn't see much of a point. I already knew what was sitting in my inbox, and I no longer cared. He could spam me all he wanted, and it wouldn't change a thing. So instead I lied in bed, and let my mind wonder as I faded in and out of consciousness. Until I heard the back door slam shut. At first I thought I was dreaming, but when I looked out the window I could see something on my front step. I couldn't make out what it was, but I assumed it was some sort of package. So I dragged myself out of bed, walked down stairs, and opened my back door. What awaited me was something I had never imagined.

Whatever I was keeping down before, didn't stay down. On my back step was something so horrific, I don't even have words to describe it. It was pretty big sized, was black in color, and it looked like it had been buried under ground for a few years. It's body was degraded. There were pieces of flesh hanging from it's exposed insides. Flies swarmed it, and it's half skeleton legs were bent towards me in the wrong direction. It's face was dried and sunken in, yet somewhat in tact, and it's neck still had the collar I had bought for him many years ago. He was my best friend growing up, and now he was back.

The feeling was unimaginable. All the blood left my body, and all I could get myself to do was scream and thrash about. I felt so helpless. I felt like I wanted to bash someone's face in! I wanted to destroy everything in my sight! I had no idea how to handle this, and I still don't know how to put it into words! I was in complete despair, and there was nothing I could do about it. But then, I saw it. Sticking between what I assumed was a rib cage was a small piece of paper. By this point my stomach was empty, and I had nothing to lose. I reached towards my childhood dog, grabbed it, and slowly unfolded it to see what it was. Written inside were the simple words "You have my game," followed by "Tell no one."

I buried my dog in the back yard that day. I could tell my fever was getting worse, but I had to hide it as soon as possible. Before I had thought this guy was only messing with me online, but if he was able to track down my old home address out of state, find where my dog was, and bring it to my new home... He could do anything. If my parents were to find out, or if I were to call the police, there was no telling what he would do. That's when I realized something even more unsettling -- I had forgotten all about the door. I had checked the door because I heard it closed, but why was that? Why was the door opened if the dog was left outside? Did that mean he had come into the house? Or was he there to begin with...? Thankfully nothing else happened that day. When my parents came home they could tell I was upset, but they just assumed it was because I was sick. They saw the vomit outside as well. (Stupid me had forgotten to clean it up.) I ended up spending the rest of the night trying to sleep in my room, but I couldn't. That image wouldn't leave my mind. It was an image that would haunt me for the rest of my life.

After the dog incident, things only got worse. I was falling behind in my studies, and I turned down every job offer the agency came to me with. I tried my best to hide it from my parents, but I think they knew. Instead of doing homework, each night I'd browser the internet for other stories similar to what I was going through, and that eventually lead me somewhere else -- ghost stories. I never believed in ghosts, and I seriously doubted it was related to the crazy hacker I was dealing with, but I checked it out anyway. Then, I wish I hadn't.

Maybe Jim was behind it somehow, but strange things started happening in that house. At night I could hear the sounds of people talking. Voices I had never heard before. When I'd go to the bath room I'd catch a glimpse of something in the mirror that wasn't there. White lights would flash in the halls, and every once in awhile I'd hear a music box playing in the basement. This I did mention to my parents, but they brushed it all off like I was crazy. "Maybe you're stressing out too much about school, you should relax." That is the only excuse I could remember, but I knew it was wrong. If anything I was worried about Jim, and what he might've done to my home. Even so, that didn't explain the scratch marks I awoke to each day.

Before I knew it, the school year was almost over and I was failing. Teachers gave me extra credit to help boost my score, but it didn't look good and I was recommended for tutoring. I continued to check the emails each day too, scared something might happen if I missed a day, and nothing ever changed. The message was always "You have my game," and I couldn't contact Jim to give it back. So, I decided to get rid of it. I wasn't sure how He would react, but I was hoping he would leave me alone after it was gone. So I went down into my basement to get it.

That day I remember having another one of those funny feelings, like something was telling me to stay out of the basement. I wasn't sure what it was, but I ignored it and went down anyway. I couldn't hear the music box that time, but when I reached the bottom step a loud buzzing sound overtook all my senses. The world went dark, I felt like I was spinning, and before long my body crashed into the basement wall. I leaned against it for what seemed like hours, and eventually it passed, but what my eyes opened to was nothing like I had ever seen before. The basement had changed.

"This is a dream." I told myself this over and over again, but it didn't wake me up. In front of me was a nightmare, and there was no escape. The walls of the room had turned bright red, I could smell what could be described as burning rubber, and intense screams blocked out all other sound. There was a pool of some sort of liquid around my feet, and with each step it felt as if my feet were sinking into the ground. There were... Black things laying on the ground too. They looked human in shape, but they weren't human. What were they? Then the music started. It sounded like a carnival. There was dancing, and singing too. The screams stopped but the singing didn't feel happy either. It was like they were forced to sing. What were they? The world spun, and just as I thought I was about to pass out I heard someone's voice.

"Did you see the sun?"

I don't remember much after, but as I looked up at the sky I heard sirens, and then felt something pulling me away into the darkness. The next time I woke up I was in a hospital bed, and a bandage had been wrapped around my head. It took awhile for them to explain what had happened to me, but apparently I had fallen and bashed my head against the steps in the basement. When my parents came home they found me standing in my own blood, and leaning against the wall. I was lucky they found me in time.

Although I was awake then, my real nightmare wasn't over. The game still existed, and there was no one home to check my emails. Scared of what Jim might do if I missed one, I asked my parents for a favor. I told them that I had gone to the basement to get a game I wanted to throw out, and then asked them if they could throw it away for me. They both looked confused on why I wanted to get rid of it so badly, but eventually I convinced them. Don't know how. I was still going to miss an email though, so I was scared what was going to happen next. Thinking back on it now... If Jim was in my house, why didn't he just take it back for himself? Unless, was it really a ghost? Ha, yeah right.

When I opened my eyes the fire had already started. The hospital staff was scrambling to get the patients out, and I was being lead out of the room as well. They wanted me to stay in bed and rest for another day, but that wasn't an option. My IVs were pulled out, and I was racing down a hallway as flames shot up all around. The sprinkler system had failed to kick in, and who knew how long it would take the fire department to get there. All that mattered was escaping, and it was every man for himself. Of course, I had a feeling why they weren't working. And why the fire started to begin with. It was my fault. It had to be. I can't remember exactly how I got out of that building, but when I reached the streets it was strangely calm. I had lost track of the nurse who came to get me, but I didn't care. As long as that game existed in my house, things like this would keep happening to me. I had to go home and destroy it myself.

I tried to run home, I really did. I wanted to get there as soon as possible, but my body wouldn't let me. Instead I passed out -- or at least I think I did. I was walking down the street trying to keep my hospital gown closed, but with each step I felt the energy drain from my body. Just as I had done before, when I opened my eyes I found myself in a familiar place, and I instantly wanted to leave. You see, the city had become just like my dream. The sky was dark, and the city buildings of flesh and blood towered above me. The ground was even softer than before, and I almost sank into a hole trying to escape the thing behind me. I could hear my dog barking in the distance, and I wanted to go help him, but I had to cross a pit of lobsters first. They hurt when they pinch you. Hurt bad. Eventually I found the piano man and he played me a song. That tune still haunts me, but it's what helped me go on. Eventually I decided to take a break under the marry-go-round tree, but it only made me dizzy. I also didn't like sleeping in that place. I had to go home, and sleeping wasn't going to get me there faster.

Sometimes I can't move my arms. I wake up and it's like I'm tied to the table. A table like the one in Mr. A's graveyard. Yeah that table was hard. What was Mr. A's name again? I don't remember, so I'll just call him Mr. A. Eventually I found the door keeper, and he asked me to tell him a story. If I did, I could finally go home. So I began: "When I was seventeen me and my family packed up our belongings and moved to a small town in Texas. I wasn't thrilled about leaving everything behind, but as someone still in high school I had no choice. Saying goodbye to all my friends was hard, but knowing I could contact them online at any given time was comforting. "Hey man, see ya later! Get on the group chat when you can! Send a text when you get there!" Maybe these weren't their exact words, but it is close enough. At that time social media was still in it's early days, with websites now long forgotten as the kings, instant messaging programs were popular, and even basic cell phones had the ability to text. Thanks to this, you never really felt alone. I told myself that I would keep in contact with them and everything would stay the same, but I knew deep down that this was a lie. We would eventually grow apart, and I would just have to accept that. Besides, in just a year most of us would be going away to college anyway." Huh, college. Was I really going to go?

As I spoke each word the door man wrote them down. No, wait, that's the sound of keys typing. He typed them. Yeah he typed them down. I can still hear it... Is he still typing this? Is he typing what I'm saying now? Why? Can I go home now? I have to destroy Jim. It's all Jim's fault. It... It's all Jim's fault. Please door keep man. Please, if you find Jim. The old game. That game. You have to destroy it. Save me from this world... Yeah, me... What was my name again?

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