Dark Web. Darker Sleepover (Trigger Warning)

Submitted into Contest #115 in response to: Start or end your story with a character scrolling (or doomscrolling) through social media.... view prompt

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Horror Suspense

  Finally, me and Maggie were done with our homework and now was time to chill for a bit. I opened Instagram while playing Drake's new album. My LED lights were dim red, the setting was so relaxing. While scrolling on Instagram, I come across a video of a guy getting his head cut off. I honestly didn't feel grossed, can't say the same for Maggie though. I'd show her gore on purpose and she'll push me away and cringe. It was funny. I decided to look for gore websites to get more gore to annoy her with.

My search took me to the Dark Web.

  While scrolling, I stumbled upon some website on the dark web that felt more interesting than gore. This website's background was red in black. It's logo had an inverted star. Maggie got interested in what I showed her. The caption under the logo reads, "Welcome, new worshiper," But we didn't worship anything, did we? 

We kept scrolling, trying to scout a laugh out of this website. It asked me to sign up before we go any further, so I did it with a fake name—but I did put Maggie's real number, though. I was more surprised than relieved that it didn't ask me to give my address.

After I was newly registered as a new "worshiper" many numbers started hitting Maggie's number up. We went along and started texting them back, saying jokes and laughing at them. On the website, though, there were a lot of videos, gore, people praying in gibberish, we'd go in these videos and laugh at the way they sound and dress: A black, cloth see-through robe with a hood and a silver neck collar.

While watching some “sacrifice” video in which a guy slices a rat through its stomach. Maggie's phone vibrates out of the blue, almost jumps-caring us, the sender's message says:

"Dear Lucas Bonk. Welcome to the Worshipers of Satan's Church, as a new member to our growing community, I'd like to welcome you personally. My name is Kande Rae, and I'm the head of the Worshipers of Satan. As proof that this is not a scam/prank, I'll be asking you to send me proof of devotion to our community along with answering a few questions to us.

  • "How did you hear about us?
  • "What interests you in our Church?
  • "What's your religious experience, are you a believer?
  • "How will you benefit our society?

"After you answer these questions, I'd like you to send a video that shows signs of intended self-harm. Self-harm will be a sign of devotion and loyalty to our church. Please respond now!"

Honestly, the message freaked us out. Self-harm? We thought, no that was too far. Surprisingly, Maggie was willing to get involved in this just to see how it turns out. She looked up a gore video of someone cutting themselves, and sent it along with random, believable responses to his questions. I didn't expect him to fall for it, but I wasn't surprised by it. He sent Maggie the following text as a response:

"You are now an official blood member to our family. We bond by Blood. I expect to see you in our daily gatherings tomorrow at noon. Mandatory!

425 Brofelle St., Kansas City, KA, 660122"

We looked up this address on Google Maps, just to find a coffee shop. If this gathering was legit, it'd probably be through a secret door with the help of the owner of the cafe, who would probably be a devoted member to the Church— I don't know.

The rest of this night went by pretty weird. Usually, me and my girlfriend would spend the night doing a lot of things, but tonight, we felt like we had to prepare for something that would never come. We weren't actually going to go to some devil worshiper cult, we aren't even 18, yet! Yet we both felt like we had to somehow prepare. Maggie was nervous the whole night on how she looked, "does my hair look good? Do I need to straighten it? The frosted tips are fading, aren't they?”

I couldn't sleep that night, I felt like someone was with me, besides Maggie. The red LED lights were still on. Making the room look soothingly scary. Maggie was dead asleep in my arms, but I looked behind and I felt something was moving, Is that my imagination? Could they have figured out we were trolling and they found our address and got to us? I changed my position so I could take a better look at the source of movement.

Swoosh

I feel cool air rushing around me, as something again moves in the room. I look behind and there's a tall figure, standing still between my bed and the door. My glasses are on the other side of the bed, I try to squint to get a more detailed look.

The figure becomes clearer.

My heart starts beating faster.

The figure starts looking less lively, and more like the chair I sit on except it's stacked with clothes that I never hang in my closet. I look up towards the source of air and I see a small blot just floating in the air. Smaller than Maggie's nose ring. I freak out, what is possibly just floating in the air, as I feel it float closer towards me.

I squint again, this time harder, as I notice the blot is moving itself, it's like it has legs. Could it be a bug? bugs fly, they don't just chill in the air.

Except for the one bug I hate more than Maggie's Ex, spiders.

Stupid thing's just drooling out of it's string as it's getting closer to my face. I wait for the spider to get close enough to me so I can squish and finally rest.

The cool air keeps blowing, as you feel it force the spider quicker towards me, I squint past the spider as I see my AC vent blowing its air at me. Gosh, this vent creeps me out in situations like this.

The spider is finally within my grasp. I reach my hand out, while the spider's movement is quick, steep, and still. I let my fingers angle in the shape of a half-circle to make the catch easier.

As the spider finally reaches the palm of my hand, I quickly surround it with my fingers as I close my hand around it

Gotcha, stupid! I open my mouth in a gasp of achievement.

But the moment of relief faded harder than Maggie's frosted tips. The spider crawled out of my firm grasp. I thought I squished it, I think, as it fell directly into my open mouth—It didn't crawl on my arm or use its string to drop down, no, just a straight leap of faith into my oral cavity. I quickly retched, trying to spit it out, but it was gone. I didn't feel it crawl into my throat, or feel a string formed inside my esophagus. But I didn't feel the spider again. It was gone, which normally I'd be OK with.

I tried to catch my breath, it was over. But no, once I made my peace with the fact I just swallowed a spider, my peace gets interrupted again as Maggie's phone vibrates loudly. It was the church's leader texting her (us) at 2:00 AM:

"You have been marked now, there is no going back!"

*****

10:00 AM

Maggie is sleeping in but I couldn't get a goodnight's sleep because of what happened last night. I had made sure I deleted that message from her phone so she doesn't get freaked out. I made some breakfast for the two of us quickly. Of course we weren't going to that cafe, what are they going to do, force us there?

I went outside to see if my cat, Gero, was in my backyard not wandering around the street. I opened the backyard's door with a bowl full of cat food as the cat ran towards the door as quickly as possible, hiding behind my leg away from the door. Poor guy seemed shaken. The air smelled bad outside, which was another reason for me to close the door quickly

I squatted down to give him the food as I patted him, his breathing was fast-paced, I tried to calm him down as he seemed nervous and was devouring his food. "What's got you all shook up?" I say, as I look towards the door. I stand up as my hand travels to the door handle to look outside again, but as soon as that wind gust seeped from the gap that the opening door created, Gero runs away quickly, going upstairs.

As I step outside, feeling the faint wind rushing, The terrible smell gets stronger. It took me a second to realize I was smelling death itself. Something outside was dead. Part of me knew it had something to do with that church. Part of me wanted to go back inside and not even bother to find out what was dead. Part of me was eager to find out what happened. I went with the eagerness to go look around.

There were blood stains over the lawn, I followed the trail to my fence.

It was a rat. Poor rat was found sliced from the stomach, drowning in a pool of its own blood.

I look around and they're all around my fence…

Rats sliced from the stomach drowning in a pool of their own blood, with a foot distance between each rat.

No way was I going to tell Maggie. She doesn't have to go outside unless we're taking off from the garage through my car. So she won't see anything.

Speaking of whom, I go back inside and she's awake occupying the bathroom. I really hope I don't have to explain anything to her.

11:00 AM

Good thing I made the best breakfast, she was too busy enjoying it to notice how nervous I was. I really hated that feeling of having to hide something from her.

Thirty minutes later, we started talking without eating and she noticed something was off. "what's on your mind," she says as she holds my face.

"I'm just a bit worried about everything." I respond as I hold her arms.

"Those wannabe cultists better not be getting to your head."

"I just fear that one day, we'll take our trolling too far and end up in deep trouble. I don't ever wanna lose you"

"Hey I'm not going anywhere anytime soon."

"You better not." I take her in my arms as the hug feels like it went on for a while. The hug goes by in silence. We sit and talk for the next hour without getting bored of each other.

12:30 PM

"We should go somewhere today, I wanna go shopping" Maggie tells me.

Even though leaving the house shouldn't be the wisest decision, part of me felt we'll be safer if we're actually far from the house.

I still don't know how I am going to explain the dead rats to my parents when they get back from their vacation.

We quickly change into something to go outside to, go out to the garage and take the car. As we open the garage door and pull out into the road, there are cones blocking my driveway.

Not just one line…

They're lined up, about 4 rows of 5 cones per row. "Uhh, what's that?" Maggie asks me, for a split second she thought I had an idea what's going on either. I looked at the time on the car's screen, it was way after noon.

1:00 PM

It has to be them, I thought to myself. We see a group of masked men walking towards the car in the day of light while holding torches. "Just don't get out, Maggie." I tell the scared girl.

But the doors automatically open anyway, both doors. "Step out of the car," The man in the middle says.

"Run them over," Maggie tells me. Which was, honestly, what we thought our best option was.

I let my foot off the brake as I slam the gas pedal, trying to run whatever's in my way whether it was the cones or the Satanists. "Close your door" I yell at Maggie as I close mine.

As we push through the cones, that are significantly slowing my car, the cones force me to a complete stop as the last cone touches the man's leg. "I said, step out of your vehicle." He says intimidatingly.

I could feel my throat lumping. "I love you." I say, looking towards Maggie as two men open the doors, grabbing us out of the seats.

"I told you, don't miss it." The masked freak was Kande Rae that texted us in the middle walks up towards us, as we were forced on the floor. Maggie tries to stand up and run for it, but the circle of the men tighten around us. "Yet, you didn't listen." He continues, pulling something out of his black robe's pocket. Maggie flinches, thinking it was a weapon. As we notice his face behind the silver mask is looking towards my direction. He opens his hand, revealing a spider. "This lad's soulmate was sent to track you, when she found you, her man in my hand could trace you just by tracing her location."

The spider crawls out of the man's hand and strings onto me, climbing up, he walks into my mouth, while I feel helpless, unable to stop the spider from entering my mouth.

"Now, the soulmates are finally reunited inside you." He says cheerfully.

"What do you want from us?" Maggie said nervously.

"As you signed up to join our church, you were expected to join our services, perform our sacrifices, and any breaking to the rules results in your immediate sacrifice towards the greater cause."

The two men behind us drew what sounded like swords. We didn't see it, but we heard the unsheathing of their swords. I thought that was it, I didn't think there was going back.

Until the leader raises his hand up in ceasing motion. "It's your lucky day, for there is one more rat left, ready to sacrifice for one of your sins."

"That's funny, because Jesus already sacrificed Himself for our sins." Maggie says. We never felt the need to get spiritual or bring up anything spiritual. But if we were going to ever bring up God and ask him for help, it was definitely going to be now.

"How dare you bring His name?" the leader slaps Maggie with the back of his hand.

There's no way he just laid his hand on her, I thought. "I'm gonna kill you" I yell at him.

Kande ignores the empty threat. “This rat can only sacrifice for one of you. The other will have to die.” He announces.

Me and Maggie repeatedly yell at Rae to take oneself instead of the other. "Take me, Take me!"

Chanting in Latin begins, as the leader draws a knife out of his pocket and slices the rat’s stomach. The dying rat squeals in pain, as Rae holds the rat between us. The blood shoots from its stomach and splatters all over me and Maggie. She was whimpering, holding the screams inside her so they wouldn't shut her up in a bloody way.

As the blood splattering ceases. Their leader puts the rat down, drawing what looks like a cross over it. “O father of dark, choose the second sacrifice for us, for your wisdom is nigh over us all.” He looks towards us, looks like he’s scanning for some sign that indicates who gets to die. Me and Maggie looked at each other. No words. Just waiting for the inevitable death of either of us.

“The rat has chosen to splatter more blood over you.” He starts, we can't tell which one he’s talking to. “Satan approves of the rat’s choice!”

Kande Rae looks at me, “Your sins are now forgiven.”

We hear swords unsheathing.

We hear Chanting.

I hear blood splattering everywhere.

Stabs. Over and over.

I couldn’t bear to look to my right. I knew what I heard.

It felt like forever. Until the stabbing and the splattering sounds stopped. They all walked away, it was quiet, not a single sound. I finally turn my head around to see Maggie.

She was on the floor, stabbed literally everywhere, head, chest, stomach, legs, blood stopped pouring out of her by the time I’d decided to look, but she was drowning in a pool of her blood. I couldn’t do anything. I was lost. My mind instantly flashed back to the beginning of the sleepover, when I decided with utter stupidity to go on the dark web. It’s all my fault. I’ll never forgive myself.

It’s been 3 years now. I still remember everything in detail. I remember as soon as my parents came back from their vacation we instantly moved to a different state. We started a new life here in New Jersey, a long way from that wicked cult. 

I don’t think I’m ready for dating, everytime someone tries to get close to me, I push them away, instantly imagining how it’s going to end if I let the new person in, which is similar to how it ended with Maggie.

Just please, stay away from the dark web, kids!

October 14, 2021 14:40

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4 comments

Patrick Samuel
11:53 Oct 22, 2021

"The figure starts looking less lively, and more like the chair I sit on except it's stacked with clothes that I never hang in my closet. " This is the kind of sentence that is worth a whole story. M.R. James would have approved (even if he would have been freaked out by the rest.)

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John Hamour
18:19 Oct 25, 2021

I was writing the spider scene at 1 am, I was so mixed in with the story that night. I was legit scared when I was going to sleep.

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Patrick Samuel
19:39 Oct 25, 2021

That's every horror writer's dream (or nightmare) : to write something that manages to scare yourself. I think fear is one of the most honest emotion when we dare to face it, and honesty in writing is the best way to get across to a reader's own emotions. Hence: scare yourself and you'll scare us!

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John Hamour
00:31 Oct 26, 2021

Great point. Although it's not just fear, if you can get emotional yourself while writing a story, sad ones in the most part, you'll definitely make the reader emotional. I almost cried writing last weeks story BTW you can check it out on my profile :)

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