This whole thing started last month when I was contacted by a reader in Samara (it’s a city in Russia right on the Volga river, which is the country’s main commercial thoroughfare and I hadn’t heard of it either.) The initial email included what was supposedly a translation of a 16 year-old boy’s final post on a site described to me as “basically Russian Facebook”, so I assumed like normal Facebook but drunker.
According to the accompanying message, this post had been made mere hours before the author’s father murdered him along with his two siblings and their mother, all while they slept. I was given the kid’s name and with a little help from Google Translate, it didn’t take long for me to confirm that the quadruple homicide described in the email really happened, though I wasn’t able to check if the post included below was actually written by the teenage victim in question because we weren’t friends on Drunk Facebook:
Most of you know that my father is a guard at the prison near where we live. It is why we moved to the house we are in now. There was an inmate at the prison who murdered over twenty children. He stored their bodies in a cave near his mother’s house because he said that was where the Devil told him to put them. This man killed himself yesterday by slitting his own throat with a sharpened toothbrush handle. My father’s unit was in charge of clearing everything out of his cell and they found the puppet in this photo hanging from the man’s bed.
My father said the puppet has to be handmade. He brought it home because he knew I would think it was interesting. My girlfriend says it is disturbing. I had the puppet hanging in my closet with the closet door open but she made me close the door. She said she still felt strange even after I closed it. I had to walk her back to her house before she finally put out.
The person who sent me all of this claimed to be the girlfriend referenced above. She said that after her boyfriend’s funeral, someone gave her a box of his stuff to remember him by. That was how she came into possession of the puppet in the photo. She was desperate to get rid of “the hideous contraption” and asked if I would mind taking it off her hands.
Of course, my response had been a resounding, “Yes, please.”
When I initially came across and then immediately responded to this person’s email, I was far from convinced that all or even any of what they were telling me was true. I was simply intrigued by the concept and thought that the puppet looked cool.
But we’ll get into that and more of my personal regrets soon enough. Before we do though, I need to tell you about the day I first met Dankest May-May, which was what I ended up naming the puppet. See… and you may be surprised to learn this about me… I have a bit of a fondness for creepy stuff.
So, when I tell you I pulled May-May from her shipping container and it was love at first sight, hopefully you won’t misinterpret that as me implying I condone killing children and hiding their bodies in a cave for artistic inspiration. Please don’t ever kill children and hide their bodies ANYWHERE for ANY reason.
I was merely a connoisseur of disturbing shiz and my dearest Dankest May-May hit all of the checkboxes in that particular department. Mysterious backstory? Check. Humanoid face on an inhuman form? Check. Reminiscent of childhood entertainment figures? Check. Being a fucking puppet which is never NOT creepy? Check.
I could see how the thing’s presence might be disturbing to some people but for yah boy, Joel? Honestly, it was kind of an honor to have been considered worthy of receiving such a masterpiece. And then I found the thumb-drive and that all changed…
The drive had been buried beneath the mass of packing-peanuts included in May-May’s shipping container and I didn’t actually come across it until later that evening when I was dumping the box out. I probably wouldn’t have even spotted the thing dropping into the trash if the thumb-drive itself hadn’t been neon orange.
The alleged girlfriend who sent me May-May hadn’t mentioned anything about a video file in any of her emails and when I saw that was what the drive contained, I felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Inwardly, I was a little disappointed by how cliche that description would read later but at the time, mostly I was just freaking the fuck out.
And for the record I used a Raspberry Pi to scan and open the drive, in case anyone was wondering if I was dumb enough to use my personal computer to check a thumb-drive sent to me by a stranger in Russia, home of the world’s most feral hackers.When you regularly fucks with a lot of haunted tech like I do, it helps to have a couple of spare “Razzy-Ps” as I call them and yes, it IS hard being this cool (my shrink says that at my age, it’s more than likely the result of arrested development caused by the stress of a traumatic childhood but I was like,“Yolo, fam. You’re just jelly.”)
The video was a little over sixteen minutes in length and looked like it had been filmed on a low-resolution cellphone camera. Our point of view was from one end of a dimly lit residential hallway, the camera situated at a low angle and aimed so that it was looking down the length of the narrow corridor.
After several moments of nothing, Dankest May-May’s fuzzy red legs came stomping into frame as she proceeded to stride down the hallway in step with the tall pajama-clad puppeteer controlling her. His back was to the camera and in his other hand, the puppeteer was gripping a kitchen knife with a long glimmering blade.
Four doors lined the hallway, three on either side and one situated at the far end. There was the audible whine of hinges as the door closest to the camera slowly swung inward, appearing to open on its own as the puppeteer guided May-May into the bedroom beyond it. This was proceeded by a brief, sobering scream from inside the room.
May-May and the puppeteer reemerged, the blade of the kitchen knife in the tall figure’s hand now covered in something that looked almost too dark to be blood. But… and those of you who take me up on my closing offer would be wise to remember this when it’s already too late and you have nowhere left to turn because everyone you have ever loved eventually betrayed you… blood is precisely what it was.
May-May and her puppeteer repeated this process with the three remaining bedrooms and when they were finally done, the duo started back down the hall and for one brief moment, the puppeteer was visible from the front. It was just long enough for me to glimpse the man’s face.
My stomach became a pit of chilled battery acid as I reflexively slapped the spacebar, pausing the video to study the puppeteer’s slack-jawed expression and flickering half-closed eyes. It was the face of a sleepwalker. Seeing him from the front, it was suddenly abundantly clear that the middle-aged man striding down the hall in time with May-May was not in control of his own body.
And deductive reasoning dictates that if it isn’t the puppeteer who is in control, then…
I halted that thought before it could clear the fence of my subconscious and promptly closed the video. I told myself that the clip was obviously a fake. If it WAS real, Russian authorities would have seen it by now. If they had, May-May would be locked away in an evidence locker somewhere in Samara and not hanging in my closet as she was at that moment.
I slowly swiveled my desk-chair around to face the puppet and for several moments, I just sat there, staring at it. Neither of us said anything. Eventually, I decided I would email this “girlfriend” and congratulate her on a troll well done. She never replied.
That next morning, I woke up feeling exhausted and it didn’t take long for me to figure out why: I had spent the previous night co-starring with May-May in a video of my own. Thankfully, I didn’t have a knife with me in it or anything like that, but I assumed whatever this was simply hadn’t escalated to that stage yet.
The series of clips I found on my phone were more than a little unsettling to watch and to be completely honest, I ended up skimming through most of them. The first few clips were just me and May-May slowly walking in-step with each other down a shadowy suburban street in the middle of the night. Eventually, we ended up at what I recognized as a nearby grade school. Somehow, we managed to get inside because the next clip was of me and May-May flipping through a series of yearbooks in the school’s library.
I’ve been advised not to include any of the recordings mentioned here so as not to implicate myself for the crime of trespassing with video evidence. But the main takeaway while watching these clips was that a third party appeared to be filming them, as can be seen here in the snippet I posted to YouTube:
The last clip was actually of my phantom cameraman following me and May-May as we exited the school and once we were outside again, he simply handed me back my phone.
The camera only managed to catch a glimpse of what appeared to be a normal-looking guy in his late 20s/early 30s as I placed the phone in the breast-pocket of my shirt and turned away. The camera continued recording as May-May and I started back down the street and then, as we were about to reach the end of the block, it was as if I finally realized I just had a cameraman following me.
I did an abrupt 180° turn and looked back to see the same guy I had glimpsed moments before, still standing right where I had left him. Only now he had black eyes and a too-big mouth that formed a too-big grin exposing teeth stained a faint red and he was just standing there motionless, watching me. Then he started running at me and screaming just as the final clip ended.
The first things I noticed when I awoke that morning feeling utterly drained were the terrible taste in my mouth and the headless rat on my bedroom floor. I spotted the bloody palm prints littering the space beneath my desk and looked down at my hands to find that they were stained with what appeared to be multiple layers of dried blood.
It suddenly dawned on me what the taste in my mouth was as a brief glimpse from the previous night flashed through my mind. I glanced back at the decapitated rat lying discarded on my bedroom floor as I saw myself casually biting off its head like one might bite off the cap of a pen before using it to jot down a note.
When I was finally done vomiting and brushing my teeth, I returned to my bedroom to read what I had used the headless rat’s blood to write on the wall beneath my desk…
PASS ME ON OR IT WILL GET WORSE!
I assumed the message was speaking from May-May’s point of view and the implication was clear to any contemporary horror fan; what we had here was a Ringu-type situation. This meant that I had to convince somebody to take the puppet before May-May forced me to do something truly regretful.
Of course, being the total pussy that am, there was no way I could live with doing that to someone without at least providing an extensive warning first and for a brief moment I thought this next part was actually going to be difficult. Then, I remembered what I did for a living.
As an added perk for my Patreon supporters, I gave them first dibs on adopting May-May and had a taker in under an hour of posting the above story. They have since begun a mailing-list to continue passing her along and promise to send me any mysterious videos that appear on their phones as a result.
If you would like to take your chances with May-May and don’t mind paying for her shipping, simply send an email and as many dick-pics as you feel are necessary to:
My dear friend and cohort Coralynn Spicer has agreed to curate the mailing-list on my behalf, so be sure to thank her. Also, she would like me to state for the record that I was joking about that whole dick-pic thing. You can actually direct all genitalia-related photos to:
*[Serious inquiries only. If it ain’t erect, I won’t inspect.]