Thursday, July 20, 2017

[Horror - Short Story] My First Gameboy

I used to love Pokemon. When the game first came up, I pestered and begged for a Gameboy. I remember how magical it felt, exploring the region of Kanto, catching and training Pokemons. Days and nights were spent in front of the Gameboy. Until one day, many years ago. I hated Pokemon after that. The day is still fresh in my mind, like it just happened yesterday.

It was a school day, in the afternoon. I ran up my room as soon as I reached home. Class could not have ended sooner. My Gameboy was waiting for me on the table. It was a big day for me. After weeks of mindless training, my beloved Pokemon team was finally ready to face the Elite Four. The battle that I had been expecting for weeks. My friends were already talking about their victories in school, and I could not wait to brag about mine.

My fingers flicked the power switch on. The screen loaded like it has always done, the words Pokemon hung on the top of the screen. I pressed the A button continuously, unable to contain my excitement. The arrow hovered to 'Continue' and I waited excitedly to hear the music of the Elite Four as the screen faded to black. My mind was already imagining the strategy that I would employ to defeat the opponents’ Pokemons.

What greeted me, however, was not the Poke Center outside of Elite Four, where I had saved the previous day. It was the music that came through the speaker first. The only music that I hated in the entire game, because it made me uncomfortable. The music of Lavender Town. My character was standing in the middle of the town, alone. There were no NPCs around, and the buildings in the town looked different. The roofs had holes in them and the walls were filled with cracks. A slight fog hung over the town.

My first thought was that my little brother, James, had messed with my save file. I was about to shout bloody murder to him when a message box popped up on the screen.

"It's not your brother,” the message on the simple text box read. I tried pressing the different buttons, A, B, Start, Select, but the message refused to disappear. Feeling a little creeped out, I pulled the power button down, thinking that something was wrong with the game. The Gameboy, however, refused to turn off. No matter how hard I pulled or what I pressed, it continued to repeat the music.

The first message then faded to another. "It's no use. You are scared."

By then I was scared. It was like a presence was in my room. In a state of panic, I turned the Gameboy over and snatched the batteries out. No use. The Gameboy stayed on. Another message appeared on the screen.

"It's no use. You cannot turn this game off." I heard a soft giggle mixed together with the music, and the screen flickered. A shadow appeared briefly on the screen. A gassy form, with hollow eyes and mouth. It was staring at me, and the whole of my body was filled with dread.

Being a teenage school boy, I freaked out immediately, dropping the Gameboy to the ground and running to my room's door, screaming at the top of my lungs. I twisted the knob and pulled at the door, but it would not budge. Panicking, I shouted for my mother and James. I pulled and bang the door, hoping that they would hear me. They should have been home. And usually they could hear me with no problem. But there was only silence that day, despite my shouts.

The whole house was utterly quiet, except for my voice and the music from my Gameboy. I ran to the window and tried pulling them open, but they too were jammed shut. I was locked in my own room. It was then when I heard a voice whispering through my Gameboy, the same voice that giggled earlier. Like a small child’s voice, but it was distorted with static.

"How does it feel, human? Being trapped in a place where you cannot escape? Forced to play a game you don't want to play?"

"Who are you?" I shouted back at the Gameboy, tears running down my face.

The voice in the Gameboy giggled again, this time slowly, dragging each syllable in its sentence. Hi. Hi. Hi. And it continued its monotonous giggle, letting it blend together with the Gameboy’s music, slowly filling my room.

"Stop it!" I shouted, curled up by my room's door and with my hands pressed against my ears. But my Gameboy ignored me. It continued to taunt me with the music, as it continued to increase its volume. As it was doing so, I saw the shadow running past the rooms of my wall, its eyes fixed on me.

I thought that I was going to die or the game would do something horrible to me. But in a moment of sheer panic, I ran up to my bed, took the Gameboy, and flung it with all my strength to the window. The Gameboy shattered the glass with a loud crash, and then smashed unto the sidewalk below. The music and voice stopped immediately.

The noise brought my mother running out from the house. Looking at the broken Gameboy, she stared at me in disbelief. She had bought me the device with almost a month of her pay. “What on earth you think you were doing?” she screamed.

I told her about everything that had happened. The voice, the music, me screaming for her, but she claimed that she did not hear anything. Even James, who was sleeping in the room next to me, heard nothing. My mum refused to believe my story initially, but when she saw that I was trembling in tears, she kept quiet.

I never found out what happened that day, nor am I interested to know. My mum never again bought me any gaming devices after that day, though I am not complaining. A few years after the incident, my mum admitted that she bought the Gameboy from a second hand store, though she did not know the story behind the Gameboy. The store closed down before she had a chance to ask.

Nevertheless, I never played another game again.

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