I guess you could say that I’m a high-strung person.
I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember. A perfectionist at heart, my obsession over tiny details and vital symmetry counts as little better than neuroses. Still, it’s a part of who I am, and, since it cannot be eradicated, it must be managed.
That’s why I started watching unboxing videos.
To be honest, I don’t really understand why other people watch them. I guess some people like to see the products unveiled, but that’s never appealed to me. Personally, there’s something ridiculously satisfying about watching people unbox something piece by piece. I think it’s because it’s so methodic, so routine, it just sets me at ease. As a result, I often watch unboxing videos to help me unwind after a stressful day – which, to me, translates to every day. My Youtube queue is always full of unboxing video suggestions.
Last night, I was browsing for some nice, long videos when I came across a freshly uploaded one. It was over half an hour long, uploaded under a new account called Magic Grind. It looked like a high-quality video, so I decided to give it a shot.
For the first minute, there was just black, no sound, no movement, no nothing. It was strange, and I skipped ahead to where the man first appeared.
I’ll admit, his appearance was a little daunting. He wore what was once a black trench coat, I think, but by now it was so soiled and dirty that it looked like one giant crust of mud sheltering him from the outside world. His hands were filthy, too, ingrained with dirt, the kind of hands you get after working outside for years of your life. From just that much, I could tell he was older than your typical uploaders – probably at least in his late thirties, early forties. He wore a tan mask over his face, I think it was made of leather, poorly cured based on the discoloration. It was a little creepy, his small, black eyes peering out of the mask holes, but I know better than anyone else that older people are wary of their identities on the Internet. He was probably just being cautious – some of these uploaders are real weirdos. I didn’t let it bother me.
He was droning on about what he was going to open. The title didn’t indicate what the product was, it simply stated “Unboxing No.1.” I waited for the brand name, but it didn’t come.
“I’m going to be unboxing a very special product today. It’s been in the box for about twelve years, completely unopened, which is a pretty rare state for this product to be in.”
Now, I was intrigued. A lot of the unboxing videos I watch are newly-released products from popular brands like Apple. Unboxing something vintage could be very interesting. I leaned forward in my chair as he continued with his description.
But what’s the brand? I thought, annoyed, as I continued watching. I almost clicked away from the video, hoping to find an uploader that had more experience in making these types of videos, but I decided to give it a few more minutes, see where things went.
I still can’t decide if that was a good choice or not, considering.
The man adjusted the camera and the angle fell, lighting on something pale and smooth, before he brought it back up. He pulled out a scalpel from somewhere behind him, rusted and dull.
“This is what I’ll be using to open the packaging. It might get a little messy, so I’ve placed a few tarps on the ground. Hopefully that will catch most of the mess.”
Now I was starting to grow a little suspicious. I kept watching as if in a trance, hoping that nagging feeling would go away.
The man brought the scalpel down and there was a strange squishing sound. Cardboard should not make that sound. It was accompanied by a spurt of something that fell on the camera, obscuring my vision. I heard the man cursing as I stared at the dirty screen.
It was red and thick.
He leaned forward and wiped it away.
“As I said, it can get really messy.”
He shrugged almost apologetically and went back to his work. I listened to the squishing noises as he started to hum, a strange song in a minor key that I couldn’t quite place. I began to wonder if this was a joke. If it was, it wasn’t very funny.
After a few moments, the man moved to set something aside – probably the scalpel – and reached into the box. His grunted as he started digging around, searching for something. My brain began to scream at me, beg me to do something, but something inside myself was whispering at me: stay, stay, stay.
The man held up his prize. Bile filled my throat.
It was hard to tell what it was, but it pulsed and bled, a tiny ball of red dying in his hand.
“When they’re this small they can be hard to take out, as they’re not fully mature. But removing the ovaries is the most rewarding part of the process, if you ask me. Other removals are enjoyable, of course, but there’s something… sensual about the ovary.”
He was breathing hard. I was, too, but for a different reason. I heard an unzipping noise and my gut heaved again as I struggled to contain my lunch.
“This is the best part,” he assured me, as he brought down the ovary towards himself. I didn’t have to see the act to know what he was doing, based on the sounds of flesh slapping against flesh that reached my ears. He began to grunt as his chest heaved.
When I got back up, he was finishing. I paused the video amid his animalistic cries of pleasure, sounds that I’ll never be able to scrub from my brain no matter how many drugs I pump into my system. It wasn’t a human sound. It was the sound of sickness.
I wanted to exit out of that video, to never think of it again, but something was nagging in my brain. I remembered that little flash of white when he had lowered the camera, and something about it seemed… important. With a shaking hand, I scrolled through the earlier part of the video, searching for the clip. I found it and, after a few tries, managed to pause it just when the white came into view.
It was blurry and barely visible, but I could see it.
I could see the pale white skin and what appeared to be an open eye.
I struggled with myself for a while before calling the police. I thought for sure that it wasn’t a real video, it couldn’t be, but… but what if it was? So I called them and explained tearfully over the phone what had happened. I was vaguely aware that it wasn’t very mature to cry, but I’d like to see the sick fuck that DIDN’T cry after seeing that video.
My worst fears were realized when the police arrived at my house to watch the video, their faces pale and bloodless, their eyes wide.
The video was only up for a few minutes, and I was one of the few people able to access the link before it was taken down. The police have told me that they’re searching for the man. So far there hasn’t been much luck. Well, that’s what I think. They say that they have some leads, but I can see the fear and hopelessness in their eyes.
They have some members of the force patrolling around my neighborhood. The Chief told me that the killer might have been tracking the IP addresses of people who watched his video. That would put me on a very short list. I pray that’s not true, but time will tell, for better or for worse. God, I hope it’s for better.
One last thing – I Googled that town, Newton, XX. I thought maybe it would give me some insight into what happened. I didn’t find much of note, except that a little girl went missing about a week ago.
And she was twelve years old.