In Real Life
A while back, I wrote a story that eventually made its way onto Thought Catalog under the headline “I Hacked Into A Cam Girl’s Computer And What I Found Truly Terrified Me,” where it has since been viewed more than half a million times (which I’m pretty sure is more times than every other piece of fiction I had written combined.)
The story didn’t start out as an article but rather a series of posts on Reddit’s infamous No Sleep forum. Though, that’s not entirely true. Really, it started as a form of self-prescribed therapy that I had honestly never meant for anyone else to read.
At the time, I’d just broken up with a girl and it had been a hard hit. To spare everyone the gory details, I’ll just say that the sudden and untimely demise of our relationship was the result of several unfortunate events. Events which immediately and forever changed my perception of a woman that I had, up until that point, loved with every ounce of my heart.
I needed to find an outlet to help me deal and fast. Unfortunately, this was my first break-up as an actual adult (or so they kept telling me) and “an outlet to help me deal” could no longer be translated as “drinking in excess and scream-crying at the rain.” Eventually I came to the conclusion that if there was anything which was just as needless and cathartic as drunkenly yelling at precipitation, it was writing short fiction. Plus, I could spend all night doing that without getting the cops called on me, which was a nice change of pace.
I needed to forget about the girlfriend I remembered, the woman I thought I knew. And if there was anything in this world that I loved as much as said girl, it was satirical horror-comedy (Shaun of the Dead, Cabin in the Woods, mu’fuckin’ Ghostbusters!) In the end, that’s really where Cam-Girl came from: One lonely heartbroken night when I decided to write “Big Trouble in Little China but With More Penises…”
Ten points to anyone who responded, “And yet less Wangs.”
So, I sat down and started writing. Not because I thought the story would make a good read (honestly, I assumed most people would have trouble taking a perpetually masturbating villain seriously) but simply because I needed something to do. A target for “all the feels”, as the kids would say. When I was done, I took a look at what I had and decided that the story might be worth posting on No Sleep, if only to amuse the five-or-so other Creepypasta nerds out there who were familiar enough with the genre’s formula to appreciate such an absurd satire. Turns out I had underestimated the market.
I published a few things in the past that people seemed to enjoy but nothing that resonated like this. I thought maybe the large number of views was simply a result of the title’s implied porn until my inbox started filling up with readers telling me how much they personally enjoyed the story. All of the messages were extremely positive and really encouraging. Their combined effect was better than any antidepressant and I was determined to reply to every single one. Then I got this…
Kind of strange, right? But then I thought about it and realized that her final words had probably been the result of something as benign as an unchecked autocorrect. Either that or someone was fucking with me. So, I wrote “Enid IRL” back and said…
> I’m glad to hear you liked my story so much and don’t worry. It is totally a Ghost World reference.
So you died? ;) What was that like?
>> Pretty lame. I really like your hair.
> :) Thank you! It’s good to know that the man-Farrah is still a hit. So was this like a “legally dead for so-many minutes” deal?
Either way, I’m really glad Cam-Girl could help.
>> It took them days to find me.
That gave me chills. The above message was when I officially decided to start freaking out. I knew it was just someone trying to scare me (possibly as an act of revenge for creeping them out with one of my own stories) but that didn’t make their efforts any less effective. Maybe it was because of how genuine that first email sounded; I don’t know. Either way, a vague feeling of dread had begun to well in the pit of my stomach the moment I saw I had another reply from Enid…
>> I need to confess something. I have sort of a huge crush on you. Even before I saw your picture and realized you were actually kind of cute. It just suddenly dawned on me while I was reading Cam-Girl the first time: I totally want to fuck this guy.
Is that weird?
I was surprised to hear myself laugh at that last line and the feeling of dread began to vanish. It was flattering to have someone tell me that they “totally want to fuck” based solely on my prose fiction and it suddenly occurred to me that this girl’s attempts to freak me out had been the horror-fan equivalent of running up to your crush on the playground and punching them in the arm. Something about that was really endearing to me and, after a bit of internal debate, I decided to play along…
> Don’t worry. I feel the exact same way about Kurt Vonnegut. ;)
>> LOL! But really, I feel like we were meant to meet. This is going to sound super corny. But it’s true. I think I love you.
Unless that Kurt Vonnegut thing wasn’t a joke and you’re actually gay. Wait, ARE you gay? If so, disregard all of my awkward come-ons.
> Not gay and not joking about Vonnegut. I’d do that dude out of sheer respect for his work. But he’s dead and also not gay, so I doubt he’d be interested.
>> I’m dead and I am totally interested.
> Yeah, you keep saying that. I’m gonna be for-real with you. It’s kind of creepy. ;)
>> :( There’s nothing I can do about it now and they won’t let me leave.
> Who won’t let you leave?
>> They’re everywhere. You always knew they were there. You just weren’t sure until you saw them with your own eyes. They were waiting for me when I died. They said I was bound to you that night because I’d been in the middle of reading your story right before it happened. That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you. Cam Girl had really affected me on a personal level but it was also late and I had work in the morning and so I stopped reading after the third chapter with the intention of finishing it the first chance I got that next day and then BAM!
I woke up dead.
> Well, thank God they have Wi-Fi in heaven then. ; )
>> Why’s that? : /
> For starters, you wouldn’t have been able to email me.
>> Why would I email you?
> I don’t know. You’re the one that’s doing it.
>> I am?
> How else could we be having this riveting conversation?
>> You can’t hear me?
Someone hit the mute button on the world as I sat there and stared at that message for what felt like hours. Though it was only a minute later when my computer chimed again; Gmail notifying me of a new arrival in my inbox. It was another reply from Enid IRL…
>> I’m sitting right beside you.
I quickly shut my laptop and sat as still as I could, forcing myself to keep my face aimed forward while I pretended to watch the episode of Family Guy playing on my TV, because fuck no. Not a chance. I don’t care how cold the empty space beside me on the sofa was getting or how much it suddenly felt like someone was there in the room with me. I wasn’t going to look. Nope, nuh-uh, and fuck THAT.
I started to turn my head in tiny intervals, slowly scanning the entire den before finally letting my eyes drift over to the adjacent couch cushions, which were void of phantom ass- indentions or any other sign of my ghostly companion’s presence. But I knew she was there, all the same. I could almost see her in my mind’s eye and something told me that if I got up at that moment and turned off the lights, I WOULD see her. IRL
Finally, I gave in and reopened my laptop. Gmail was still up on the screen and I decided to just deal with it and sent her the one question I had been trying to avoid asking until this moment…
> How did you die?
>> I had just graduated from college and went to live with my mom until I could afford a place of my own back home. My sister’s boyfriend broke into the house one night and shot me and my mother while we were sleeping because he found out my sister had been cheating on him. The story even made a few of the papers because my mom’s house used to be a ranch and it’s kind of out in the boonies and no one even knew we were dead until two days later when the guy called my sister to tell her, “That’s what you get!”
And she was like, “What?”
And he goes, “I’ll kill every bitch you know!”
The criminal mastermind then hung up and left for work at the car-wash were police showed up to arrest him an hour later. He threatened the officers with the pressure-washer he was holding like a gun and he got taser’ed. Problem was his clothes were soaked from, you know, all the pressure-washing? Anyway, the taser combined with the water made his heart explode. He was a finalist for a Darwin Award and everything.
> That is literally the most balls-ass crazy tragic-death story that I have ever heard.
>> Yeah, when I got to the part in Cam-Girl where he was like “Hell of an obituary though,” I couldn’t stop laughing because I knew EXACTLY how he felt.
>> Are you still freaked out?
> A little bit. This is more than likely the weirdest conversation anyone has ever had but to be honest, I’m glad you reached out to me. I’d like to help you if I can.
>> :) For the record, I wasn’t joking about wanting to have sex with you. Plus, they keep reminding me. They said it’s the whole reason why I’m still here.
> Well, you seem like a lovely girl but that’s moving a little fast for my taste. Plus, how would it even be possible, given your present condition?
>> They say you need to go out and find a girl. Any girl you want. I’ll possess her body for the night.
> Yeah, I’m pretty sure what you just described constitutes date-rape so…
>> They say I’ll be able to make her think it was her decision. Like Leonardo DiCaprio in that movie. I promise you won’t get into trouble.
> My problem with raping someone has nothing to do with getting into trouble.
>> Oh, grow up. It’s not the same thing. Besides, they say I can’t go until we do this and that if I stay bound to the mortal plane for too long, I’ll be stuck here. They say if that happens, I’ll start to change and eventually forget I was ever a person and then I’ll become one of them. Please don’t let that happen.
You have no idea how miserable angels are.
> Okay, then. Fine. Go hop inside Scarlett Johansson and we’ll get down to business.
>> It doesn’t work like that. The process to get her here would be too involved and would take too long. I’m not that strong anyway. It would be easiest if you found someone at a bar or something. They say it should be someplace where it would make sense for you to leave with a girl you just met.
> Assuming that you really are the tortured soul of a murder victim and not just someone trying to prank me into trolling for anonymous sex, how do I know you’re telling the truth about this “they” you keep talking about? You ask me, angels who think “not without consent” means “unless there’s a ghost inside me” is a little farfetched and that’s coming from a guy who gets hit on by dead girls.
>> I can assure you. They are very real.
> Prove it.
I typed out the above reply and clicked SEND. A moment later, the power went out across my entire apartment-complex. I was instantly shrouded in darkness.
My unit was on the first floor and located at the center of the building. It was close to midnight by this point and the surrounding apartments blocked out all ambient lighting, which meant that when the lights went out, they REALLY went out for me. If it hadn’t been for the faint glow of the open computer in my lap, I would’ve been totally blind.
My heart began to beat against my chest like a cartoon character that’s just fallen in love and I was telling myself to calm down… That it was okay… There’s no such thing as ghosts. Clear as day, I felt the frigid shape of a hand against my cheek and I jumped up from the sofa, still clutching my laptop.
I turned the computer around, using the pale light of its screen to guide me across the pitch-black living room and then into to my bedroom where I kept a proper flashlight. I set the laptop down on my bed and dug the flashlight out of its drawer. I clicked it on just as…
The bedroom door suddenly slammed shut behind me with a BANG! I let out a startled yelp and responded to the sound with what felt close to a four-foot vertical leap. I turned to face the closed door and my first instinct was to pull out my phone and use its camera to start recording. I was worried that maybe all of those terrible found-footage horror movies that I loved to watch were starting to affect my judgment.
But then I held the phone out in front of me, lining its tiny camera lens up with the top of the flashlight until I could see the closed bedroom door through its screen, and my speeding heart-rate actually began to slow. There might be some validity to all of those far-fetched scenes where a character is in mortal danger and still refuses to stop filming. Honestly, it was quite comforting to look through the camera and feel like I was simply watching everything that happened on a tiny screen. Probably because it made it a lot easier to pretend it wasn’t happening to me.
Then I opened my door…
If you can’t watch the above video for whatever reason, I’ll sum it up for you:
Angels are real. They don’t have wings, though, or white robes or the long flowing hair of a moderately successful street magician. They know the kind of things that you dream about in your nightmares because that’s what THEY are. At least when they’re angry. And apparently they growl like cornered dogs when they’re really pissed.
The growling was especially unnerving. I quickly slammed the door shut and pinned my back against it as the computer on my bed chimed, the sound notifying me of another new message in my inbox, which was impressive considering the power was still out and my laptop didn’t presently have an internet connection…
>> Is that enough proof?
Getting Jiggy with and/or In It
It had been years since I’d gone out with the specific intention of looking for nameless sexual gratification and I had no idea where to begin. The truth is it simply wasn’t my style. Despite all of the hype, I had never found drunken one-night stands to be all that satisfying.
Luckily my best friend since sperm, or “BFSS” if you will, was a guy named Hunter. Hunter played guitar in a local punk band that was actually marginally successful, at least by “local punk band” standards. The band’s name was instantly recognizable to basically every girl with green hair in a three-thousand mile radius and as a result, Hunter was quite adept at maintaining an active nightlife.
He answered on the second ring and before Hunter could even ask what was up, I blurted out “I need you to take me to a place where we won’t know anybody and I can find a girl to have anonymous sex with. Also, you can never tell anyone about what you witness tonight or how it may forever haunt you.”
Without missing a beat he said, “Cool, I know just the place. Plus, I’ve been meaning to go get tested again. This will give me the perfect excuse.”
“As long as you’re aware of how insanely counterintuitive that last sentence was.”
“OH! Hey, do you wanna take some ecstasy with me?”
“Um, are we going to a rave in the year 2002?”
“Then probably not.”
“Some chick at the show last night gave me like four tabs and I don’t have the balls to take them alone. Come on, pleeeeese…”
“FINE, I will eat your goddamn drugs… But you’re driving.”
I thought of the reason for tonight’s outing and realized that taking a powerful designer drug was probably not the best form of preparation. But by then, it was already too late. I was a man who didn’t like to break promises, especially to his BFSS. I promptly swallowed the two tabs, which resembled thick white aspirin and tasted like a chemical fire, as soon as Hunter handed them to me.
“Whoa, both at once? Not sure that’s gonna end well. These are supposed to be like pure MDMA.”
“Then why did you give me two?!”
Hunter held out his hand in a matter-of-fact gesture. “So you could have one for later, Captain Grateful. Fuck it now… If you’re taking both, so am I.”
With a swig of his beer, Hunter popped the two remaining tabs into his mouth. After downing them with a grimace, he shrugged and said, “Besides, if I die tonight, at least it’ll be while I’m doing what I love.”
“Overdosing on club-drugs?”
Hunter shook his head and gave me his most lecherous smile as he began to sing, “When you were here before… Couldn’t look you in the eye…”
Hunter continued his monotone a Capella of Radiohead’s “Creep” as he started the car and pulled away from the curb. “You’re just like an angel… Your skin makes me cry…”
The shady-ass club that Hunter had chosen for tonight’s adventure was named “The Ass-Hat” and it was situated no less than a mile from what was, statistically speaking, one of the drunkest colleges in the entire Southeastern United States and maybe even the world. By the time we found a place to park and walked the five blocks back, college kids were already lined up three rows deep outside the entrance.
Though as soon as the bouncer working the door saw Hunter and me approaching, he pointed at us and said, “The guy that plays guitar in that band!”
Hunter nodded at him, “Yup.”
The bouncer immediately glanced inside, scanned the crowd of patrons, and singled out a pair of frat boys wearing Ed Hardy t-shirts. He then shouted to an unseen coworker, “Those two ass-hats right there!”
We stood at the open door for a moment and watched as a much larger bouncer appeared out of the darkness and told the guys they had to leave. The frat-boys tried to get the attention of the two girls they were with but then the doorman said, “The ladies can stay!”
They continued to call after the girls as the bigger bouncer ushered the two guys outside but neither girl turned around, even after the song that was playing ended and the guys could be heard clearly. The ecstasy started to kick in and time slowed as this moment stretched out into an eternity of awkward.
It was obvious that the girls were pretending not to hear them because they didn’t want to leave. The whole thing was really quite tragic and by the end of it not even the shiniest of shirts could’ve kept me from feeling sorry for those poor bastards as they were forced passed us and the doorman motioned for me and Hunter to enter. “Sorry about the wait. Fire-code bullshit.”
Hunter gave a thumbs-up as he screamed back at the doorman over the blaring dubstep track that began to emanate from inside the club, “Good thing then! I’m on way too much ecstasy right now and might’ve burned this place to the ground otherwise!”
“Wait!” The doorman grabbed Hunter by his sleeve, halting us just as we were starting inside. I figured we were busted right then and there until he said, “You got any more?”
Hunter shook his head and pointed at me. “This ass-hat made me eat it all!”
Finally, we crossed the threshold of what can only be described as “Xanadu: College Sluts Edition.” Long after all is said and done and every manmade economy has finally crumbled beneath our collective greed and not even gold can hold its value, attractive drunk girls will still be a safe investment.
Plus, I couldn’t have planned a more convenient ratio in which to conduct what I had started to think of as simply “Operation: Dirty All Over.” For every one guy and his head of expertly-gelled hair, I saw at least two clusters of women, each of them dressed in the height of “drunk and I wanna fuck” chic. For the first time that evening I actually felt like I could do this. The ecstasy had my recently-abandoned libido now in high-gear as I began to scan the crowd in search of someone who I wouldn’t mind sexing on my penis.
The girl I finally selected was a blonde with what looked to be a spectacular ass and a twinkle in her eye that said “I’m just the right amount of stupid and drunk to wanna do it later so who cares if a ghost uses me to screw you?”
I started to approach the girl and she immediately locked eyes with me. I forced my legs to maintain a casual pace which felt like floating to my drug-dulled senses and the ecstasy had the lights behind her pulsating now, framing the girl in a halo of a thousand different shades of yellow and orange. There was no longer dubstep blaring from the club’s speakers; only Hunter singing in a monotone a capella, “I wish I was special… You’re so fucking special…”
As I neared, the girl smiled at me and said, “How did I know you were going to pick this one?”
“Is that you?”
Her smile widened into a mischievous grin as she nodded. The girl’s two friends who were waiting in the line with her to buy drinks both stood there looking stunned as she suddenly walked up to me, grabbed me by the sides of my face, and forced her tongue into my mouth.
And, to be completely honest, kissing a dead girl’s ghost through a living girl’s body was not the worst thing ever. I hadn’t even thought about kissing someone since the break-up but now that I was doing it, I remembered how satisfying it could be to have a hot girl probe your face with hers. People are so fucking weird.
“Let’s go. She lives like right down the street,” the girl said and grabbed my wrist, guiding me out of the Ass-Hat as we then started down the block toward a neighborhood known as “Frat Row.”
“What’s her name?”
“I’d like it if you just called me Enid.”
“That works. I probably wanna know as little about this girl as possible anyway.”
“Stop guilt-tripping yourself already. She thought you were nerdy-cute when she spotted you walking over. I saw it in her head when I took control of her body. And if it’s any consolation, this girl was going to have sex with SOMEBODY tonight.”
“You’ve already talked me into it. No need to keep selling.”
“Sorry, it’s just… Dead or not though, what girl has to talk the guy into having sex anyway?”
I shrugged and said, “I’m still sort of mourning what could have been with my ex. We were together for a while and this will be my first time with a woman since her, so sorry if I’m a little awkward about it.”
Enid stopped and stared at me, a suddenly serious look on her face. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know… You REALLY don’t wanna do this, do you?”
“I don’t really have a choice, right?”
“That’s sweet to say, but you do. You could not go through with it. Maybe this is just my fate, you know? Trying and failing to fuck the one guy who doesn’t turn into an absolute dog when he’s on the rebound, my soul trapped on this awful planet for the rest of eternity, forced to tend to needy mortals and their bullshit problems…”
I kissed her then, partly because it was hard to form an appropriate response through the haze of drugs still dancing about my synapses and partly just to shut her up. But mostly because it was in that moment when I realized I probably DID feel something for this girl. Could have, anyway, if it weren’t for the fact that she was dead. I couldn’t even handle a long-distance relationship, so you can imagine… Still, maybe I didn’t want this but the fact was I NEEDED it. We both did.
All three of us, my penis responded with a resounding cheer as we continued down the street once more. Enid led me to a sorority house at the end of the next block and before I knew it, we were up the stairs and inside the girl’s bedroom, where Enid immediately began to strip off her clothes.
The room smelled really good, the scent of an attractive girl’s bedroom: sandalwood body-wash and scented candles… Pheromones and youth… Another momentary pang of guilt hit me as I watched the now-naked Enid lay down on the bed and I quickly switched off the overhead light. That was a big mistake.
It was like an optical illusion with boobs. One second, the light was on and the girl lying in front of me was the blonde I had followed here. But then the darkness hit her and she was instantly someone else.
This new girl was a brunette and pretty as well, though in a less obvious way. Her blank, milky-white eyes and the dark puffy skin that encircled them didn’t help matters. But you could still tell that Enid had been fairly attractive when she was alive. She also had a better body than the blonde; I feel that’s worth noting as well. She even vaguely resembled my ex but that might’ve just been me projecting.
What was so creepy was the fact that her naked body was glowing in the darkness. “A ghostly glow” you might call it but the image of Enid wasn’t translucent like how ghosts are usually depicted, which only made the gleam of her exposed flesh seem even stranger. The sight of her made me think of old Scooby Doo villains.
I started to reach for the switch again but then she said, “Don’t… I like that you can see me.”
“Okay.” I let my hand drop to my side and for another moment simply stood there, staring at the glowing girl on the bed in front of me.
“Did you bring it?”
I nodded, reaching inside my hoody’s single pouch-pocket. I pulled out the black mask worn by the villain in “Cam-Girl” and silently slid it down over my face. I shoved my jeans down to my ankles and then rolled on a condom as Enid reached a hand out and hit play on the stereo beside the girl’s bed. Thank god, too, because “Creep” was still stuck in my head and not making any of this easier.
The song playing was one I had heard recently and actually kind of liked, despite how obscenely poppy it was. The upbeat tone and lyrics seemed ironically fitting to my present situation…
“Every time that you get undressed… I hear symphonies in my head.”
I positioned myself over Enid and felt her cold hand reach down, aligning me with her as the song reached a crescendo.
“Yeah the drums, they swing low… And the trumpets, they go…”
And just like that, I slid inside the dead girl.
ACT 3: A Tragedy of Boners
Of course, mindless sex solved everything. After that night, Enid was able to pass on to the other side and I lived happily ever after and probably fucked like a hundred true loves after that. Stuff always works out and the world is a logical place where nothing truly bad ever happens. That’s why this story has no third act and I never abused sarcasm again.
The truth is me and Enid’s sordid spectral affair continued for close to two months. Once a week, I would go out to some bar or club and find a girl I didn’t mind degrading and Enid would possess her body and then we’d have “sex.” It wasn’t clear how many times we were going to have to screw before “they” would let her move on and I began to reconsidered the possibility that I was being played. But then something happened that I didn’t see coming: I started to enjoy it.
Yes, I know how fucked up that is. That’s precisely why I’m telling you that it happened. You wanna judge somebody? You’re the one READING about it, you big pervert. But I digress…
I’ve never been what you would call “a badass” but what I was good at was reacting in the moment. I’ve seen far stronger, tougher men than me freeze up when faced with a sudden and immediate threat of danger and this was something I took comfort in knowing that I didn’t do; a fact I learned a few years ago when my brother sucker-punched our mother so hard that it broke her nose and chipped one of her teeth. The P.C. term for what my family is would be “Irish as fuck.”
And this was during the holidays, meaning they were all basically shitty drunk by default. My brother, Will, used to play football at the college level and was about three times my width and mostly muscle. As fate would have it, he was also a belligerent mean-drunk. You ever seen that video of the trainer who narrowly avoided getting stampeded to death by an enraged hippo?
When my brother got too drunk, he became a less reasonable version of that hippo. Still, the night he punched my mom in front of me was the first time he had ever done anything violent like that to a family member, let alone our mother and it was pretty fucking out of nowhere. My first thought was: He’s three times your size. Get a weapon.
The whole thing had happened while we were sitting in my parked car and I immediately reached down and pulled the lever to pop my trunk and got out and walked around to the rear of the car and dug out a tire-iron and cornered Will just as he was climbing out of the passenger seat and started hitting him with it before he could stand up, repeatedly whacking his head with the tire-iron like someone would swat a dog’s nose with a rolled up newspaper. He broke several fingers while trying to shield his face from the subsequent blows and I stood there screaming, “You! Don’t! Punch! Your mother!”
Anyway, that was the one and only time I had participated in what one might call “a righteous act of violence” before my final night with Enid. By then, we had been keeping up the routine for seven consecutive weeks with no end in sight and I had gotten fairly lax with my screening process for potential sex-partners. Though really, what did it matter who I picked when it always ended with me staring down at the same glow-in-the-dark dead girl?
The point is yeah, I probably should’ve been more careful about who I selected for Enid to possess but by then, I was done being picky. So it goes.
I found the first girl who’s voice didn’t annoy me and made my move. We went back to her place and were just getting down to business when I realized that I hadn’t turned off the bedside lamp and couldn’t see Enid. As I reached a hand up to the lamp, I heard the bedroom door fly open behind me. Several things happened almost at once as I heard an enraged voice scream, “In my OWN bed?!”
The “OWN” was punctuated by a bottle smashing against the wall in front of me and tiny shards of glass and beer began to rain down on us as Enid covered her eyes and screamed and that’s when the thought came to me with a sudden crystalline clarity: Grab that lamp your hand is on and chuck it at him.
I yanked the light away from the wall and turned to throw it at the doorway in one fluid motion. The room suddenly went dark as the lamp’s plug came loose and it sailed across the room before shattering against the door-jam and missing my target by almost a foot.
The large shirtless man with the face tattoo barely registered the lamp before turning his wide “crazy hippo” eyes back to Enid as he screamed, “I will fucking kill you, you whore!”
That’s when I saw the gun in his hand. By that point though, it no longer mattered. When the room went dark, Enid’s glowing image became visible and the shirtless man suddenly froze. He was still trying to process what he was seeing when the dead girl let out a horrific shriek.
In a shimmering blur of motion, Enid sat up and lunged at the man. Even in the dark, I could see the look on his face turn from confusion to bowel-evacuating fear. He tried to back out of the bedroom but she was too quick.
Enid landed on the man, wrapping her legs around his arms and locking her feet behind his back, squeezing him tight as she began to claw at his eyes and face with her nails like a glowing naked honey badger. Enid screamed, “MY MOM WAS THE NICEST, SWEETEST WOMAN WHO HAS EVER LIVED AND YOU SHOT HER LIKE A GODDAMN DOG IN THE STREET!”
Suddenly, I was the douche-bag just standing there watching and not knowing what to do. I wanted to get in there, help her take down the crazy shirtless man with the gun but Enid was wailing on him with such abandon that I simply couldn’t find an opening.
Eventually, a panting Enid unhooked her legs from around the man and she dropped to the floor. By this point, he had begun to scream. The gun absently fell from the now blind man’s hand as he reflexively reached up to shield what was left of his eyes. The man wobbled backward on unstable legs and cracked his head on the doorframe. BLAM!
Enid had retrieved the gun and fired a round clean through the man’s head, spraying his brains onto the wall behind him.
After that, I talked Enid into staying in control of the girl who she had just possibly made commit manslaughter while I called the cops. It was the longest, most awful night of my life and I’ll never forget what that guy’s brain smelled like. In the end though it turned out that, big surprise, the man with the face tattoo and impulse-control issues had been a real asshole with multiple charges of domestic violence on his record and the detectives quickly ruled the killing “a clear-cut act of self-defense.”
The following Saturday was the birthday of a friend of mine and a bunch of us went out to celebrate. I hadn’t heard from Enid all week and had assumed this would be my first night out in two months without having to be on the prowl and I was planning on enjoying myself. Then my phone chimed, alerting me to a new email from “Enid IRL”.
My heart sank as I hesitantly unlocked the screen and opened her message…
>> They said I can go now. Thank you for everything.
The relief that washed over me at that moment was unlike anything I had ever felt. Then again, I had never felt partially responsible for another person’s soul before. If anything, it had been a learning experience. But the absolute best part was right there at the end.
I had the biggest, most content smile on my face as I looked up from my phone and glanced at the bar’s entrance just as my ex was walking through the door. I hadn’t seen or spoken to her since things ended and this was the first official “post break-up public sighting” for both of us. Our eyes met almost immediately and I was still smiling from the email.
I couldn’t have helped it if I wanted to and I didn’t want to because I wasn’t there with anyone and my ex had brought a date who looked richer, more muscular, and just all around better than me and if this exact scenario had happened eight weeks prior it probably would’ve crushed me. If I had never met “Enid IRL” and gone through all of that bullshit and inadvertently killed someone, it would have probably STILL crushed me.
But right then and there, with the way I was feeling in that moment, it wouldn’t have mattered how many dudes she strolled in with. I still would’ve been happy to see her. Happy to see her happy. I winked at the woman I used to love, my smile now a full-on smirk. She responded with a slow nod and a raised-eyebrow that silently said “Sure, I guess…”
“What’s that game over there by the-there with the balls called?” This question was rattled off by the attractive drunk girl seated beside me at the bar, yanking me out of the moment as she pointed to the vintage skee-ball machine across the room.
I told her what it was called and when I looked back at the entrance, my ex and her escort had already turned to exit the bar. The drunk girl put a hand on my thigh and said, “You wanna show me how you skee-ball?”