It was the longest night of Charles’s life. He has been working on his platform for so long and now he was ready to finally see the results of his restless nights. After so many years his very own live streaming site was going to the mainstream. After building up the name, getting the world’s most famous online personality on it and expanding the usage of its cryptocurrency it seemed as if it was all coming together.
Since the date of the update was very close to Halloween he decided to host a little event in order to commemorate the holiday and give some love to the community. The streamer number was lower than usual due to it being a holiday so it was not surprising, but there were more than enough people participating in the “Spook me” Halloween event.
While browsing, however, he noticed a stream that was different than the others. There was something in the back of his head that was telling him that this was not something that he should see, but he shrugged it off as nervousness and lack of sleep so he clicked on the stream.
At first, there wasn’t really anything out of the ordinary happening. Just an odd picture with some text and creepy music playing.
He sighed a breath of relief and chuckled for letting his paranoia get the best of him. It is Halloween weekend, after all, people are bound to make creepy streams in order to scare their audience. This was no different. Perhaps it was just part of a game’s loading screen. But before he could fully gather his thoughts he noticed that the screen changed.
A female appeared. Her image immediately captivated him. A young girl, dressed up as a dark pixie, probably in her early twenties radiating some sort of melancholic beauty and elegance that seemed to enchant him. Before he knew it, well over an hour had passed since he started watching her. She remained motionless, not uttering a word just staring at something right at the edge of the camera while quietly sobbing.
What was it about that sorrowful and crying figure that peaked his interests so much? Perhaps, at a day and age when you mostly see people who tend to bring out their “best” and “happiest” self to the screen that the viewer begins to feel distanced from them. It begins to create a false reality that we can not feel a connection with.
This reminded Charles of his own past few days. He was too busy smiling and saying that he is insanely happy, when in fact it was quite the opposite. This was the culmination of all of his years of hard work and it was normal that he is stressed. It was the biggest test of his career and people expected him not to be overwhelmed by it? Yet he felt that he should not show it in fear of presenting a fake sense of doubt in his work thus possibly damaging his platform and alienating himself from everyone else.
“Damn Charles, who thought that you could overthink so much from one random live stream.”
He smiled and composed himself returning his attention to the stream. But the girl was gone. There was only a note left:
“Only you can set me free Charles!”
This was odd. She had no way of knowing that he was watching her stream and yet she was calling for him. Was it just a coincidence or something? But seeing as how much time he wasted he decided to ignore that and check out some of the other streams.
The most popular of the night was his favorite secret agent who surprisingly was not playing “Hitman” again. Instead, it was a horror game. But that was not the odd part. He noticed that while playing his game, agent was constantly coming across a portrait of a girl. Somehow the same girl from the stream was appearing in the game.
Thinking that the stress was getting to him he quickly clicked out of the stream and decided to check out the analog radio stream to relax a bit.
Charles was never really a person who smoked but due to the overwhelmingly stressful day that he had he decided to go and pick up one of his Cubans and a drink to enjoy while listening to the music. It took him a while but he finally noticed the dancing girl on the screen. Yet again, it was her. Only this time she seemed different. Darker, sadder, as if someone was sucking the life out of her. And yet, she was still stunning as ever.
However, he was not scared. There seemed to be something deep inside of him that was fueling his curiosity. He wanted to see more of her. Her haunting and mesmerizing appearance was like a drug to him. He kept searching for her in different streams and sure enough, she was there from raven’s Apex game to the relentless chatting stream, even brew’s fishing stream but no one seemed to notice her, no one but Charles.
The stream that was most interesting was Robin’s. This was the only place that she seemed to be able to interact with anyone. Robin was a streamer who usually enjoyed streaming in the outdoors in the forest, near the local lake, alongside his fiance’s sister Mattea. It seemed that Mattea was able to notice something running around them in the forest.
“Hey umm, Robin…What is that down there?”
Was Matea really able to see her? Well no matter the case, it was obvious that this seemed to affect the mysterious girl. It was the first time someone other than Charles paid any attention to her and she did not like it. Her eyes turned red and she was showing clear signs of anger. But after a couple of seconds, she disappeared and the screen faded to black.
A few seconds later, the stream returned to normal. But Mattea was missing. Robin was beginning to panic since he was not able to find her. The only thing that he found was the can of Pepsi that she was drinking, covered in blood. He gave a worried look towards the camera but before he could say anything the screen went black again with only the same message from her stream remaining:
“Only you can set me free Charles!”
Charles’s bizarre interest immediately changed to fear. What he thought was an odd dream was quickly becoming a nightmare. Or at least that’s what he was hoping that it was. He needed to calm down and rationalize what just happened so he rushed to his bathroom to splash some water on his face. He tried to compose himself but the events that perspired before his eyes were inexplicable. Was this actually happening or was it all in his head? Maybe all of the pressure was finally getting to him. He needed to take a hard look at himself and get his shit together.
“Get it together Charles, don’t cave into the pressure.” – he kept repeating to himself in front of the mirror but it was not helping. His sanity was slowly fading away as the border between reality and the abstract was collapsing.
“Help me, Charles!” – a voice echoed from behind.
The hairs on his back started to rise as he slowly turned around to see what was behind him. Again, there was nothing. That’s when the shaking started. He was certain now that he was losing his sanity. But at least he stopped seeing…
That’s when he noticed something out of the corner of his eyes. Trying to find what it was he frantically ran across the room but there was nothing, nothing yet he kept seeing a figure always disappearing when he tried to face it.
“Charles!” – he heard the voice again
“Charles, help me!”
He let out a loud scream. His fear was slowly morphing into anger. He was imprisoned in his own mind with an invisible captor that seemed to be getting closer and closer, slowly but surely suffocating him. What was he supposed to do? Taking back control of the situation was his main goal so he decided to climb up to the top of his building.
Once there he let out another blood-curdling scream. He wanted it to stop and there seemed to be only one way out. Frustrated and panicking he jumped off of the building desperately hoping that he would find an answer at the bottom. He drew his last breath and prepared for the worst and boom! He woke up on his desk, in front of his computer in a cold sweat.
“Damn. Was all of that just a strange dream? Halloween must be getting to me.”
Before he could fully relax though, he noticed something on his monitor.
“Thank you for freeing me, Charles. See you soon!”