A short horror story about the dark side of the Deep Web.
|Boredom and curiosity is sometimes all it takes.
Last week I downloaded Dogpile as my new search engine; it allows direct access to the Deep Web with all its unfiltered, uncensored, untraceable extreme sites. I started off with some general surfing when I came across a forum with hundreds of different links, all with disclaimers notifying they lead to perverse porn or some of the “sickest fucking shit you’ll ever see” but I was disappointed to find none led anywhere interesting.
You see, I’ve always been into horror movies like Saw and Hostel, or anything with plenty of torture, mutilation, dismemberment; the gorier the better. Something about the Deep Web compelled me to explore it, even though I was strongly advised by my friends to leave it alone. A few weeks ago I was walking back from school with Gary and he warned me,
“Seriously, mate, don’t mess around with that shit. I heard this kid from Throgmore started digging around and now he needs counselling. It ain’t worth it.”
I shrugged and told him I can’t be bothered with it anyway, but the truth is I had a hunger to go into the unknown, to explore the real horrors that lurk in the Deep Web, and I couldn't ignore it any longer.
However, as I was roaming around the forum of empty links it started getting a bit tedious; I couldn't find anything shocking at all. I was just being led to ordinary porn clips or obvious fake troll sites. Nothing exciting. After a couple of hours of surfing, I was ready to shut my laptop down and watch some TV when I finally stumbled across something promising.
A link flashed across the top of the screen and when I clicked on it a video popped up. A man was kneeing on the floor, hands bound behind his back and he had a sack over his head. He was surrounded by three large men all wearing balaclavas. I could hear his heavy panting from under the sack. A flag of a country I did not recognise was behind them. One of the three men stepped forward and read from a piece of paper. They were speaking a foreign language I didn't understand but I assumed they were Middle Eastern. He sounded furious. After a minute of him passionately reading his script, one of the men standing behind revealed a machete which he must have been hiding behind his back and without any hesitation hacked it straight into the kneeing man’s throat. He hacked and hacked, each swing as veracious as the last. The dying man was gargling in agony, blood was everywhere. He fell to the ground. I remember thinking he must surely be dead by now, but his attacker didn't stop chopping at his neck until it was successfully decapitated, the killer then just stood above the carcass he created, panting heavily. The third man removed the blood soaked sack and grabbed the head by the hair and thrust it towards the camera. The victims face was still twitching. Then the video ended.
I felt physically sick. I had to engulf lungfuls of air to refrain from vomiting. I stared at my blank laptop screen for a while. Should I carry on? I guess this was what I wanted to see, but I instantly realised the clear difference between watching a movie and a real man’s brutal murder. I couldn't fall at the first hurdle; I felt I had to toughen up. I came to the Deep Web to be shocked, after all. I shook off any remaining remorse or guilt and carried on searching to see what else I could find. I was less enthusiastic than I was before, my surfing was much slower but after a little while my attention was caught by a link called I Can Make You a Star.
From the very first page I was bombarded with images that'll haunt me for the rest of my life. In that very moment I was deeply concerned that in my most private moments these disgusting sights will forever find a way to creep inside my head. Photos of children being sexually abused and horrifically tortured in ways I didn’t think any human could do to another. So many different kids, no older than me! Acts which were too disgusting and evil for me to describe. Some photos had the child and the abuser in them, the abuser was always dressed in a dirty navy blue boiler suit with a hood which he worn up over his head and with gloves on. His back was always to the camera while he would subject these poor kids to do the most heinous acts on him. Other photos were close ups of the victims faces. The look of fear and pain in their traumatised face's was too much for me to take.
I was about to close my screen when a pop up for a chat request appeared. I had no idea who this could of been. I was certain I didn't press accept because all I wanted to do was to get as far away from my computer as possible; to try and forget about the inhuman images I just witnessed, but the chat screen was loading. It took a long time but eventually a camera feed appeared. There was a man with a huge hood up, covering most of his face, only his flaky chapped lips and think grey bearded chin were revealed. He smiled and spoke in a deep digitally distorted voice,
“Are you enjoying my work?”
I couldn't find a chat box; there was no way for me to tell him that he's a sick bastard. I didn't know if this guy was for real or not, but even if he was lying and taking credit for the repulsive things I had just saw, it was out of line. He then said,
I froze. I did my best to keep my anger in check and to subdue my growing fear. I replied out loud,
“Can you hear me?”
“Loud and clear.”
“Is that you in the photos?”
“Are you enjoying my work?”
He smiled and my outrage shifted into overdrive.
“You sick fuck! How can you smirk about this? I’m reporting you to the police!”
His grin quickly transformed into a malicious frown and I felt like I gained the upper hand; however, my victory was short lived. The next thing he said instantly turned me into a shriveling, terrified wreck. Carefully and slowly, he stated my full name. I could tell he recognised the look of pure terror in my face and basked in it as his smile returned. I frantically tried to exit to chat screen but nothing happened.
He started laughing, increasingly louder and louder until it was deafening. Somehow he had control of my volume settings. I attempted to turn the computer off but the power button didn't respond. My ears were ringing with this maniac’s demonic laughter. Finally, I found a screwdriver to undo the back of the laptop and removed the battery. The screen turned black and an eerie silence was left in my bedroom.
That was a week ago now, I’m not sleeping properly, and I still haven’t switched my laptop back on. I want to tell my parents or even the police, but I’m too embarrassed and ashamed of what I was searching. So for now, I’m trying to forget.
Today I left school and walked home quickly, not saying much to Gary. I enter my room and see an envelope with my name on it. Mum must have slid it under my door which she usually does with my mail. But this is strange; there is no address; just my name. I tear open the envelope and unfold the note inside. As I read the message, I feel the blood draining from my face. I can't breath properly and a petrifying, painful shock hits my core. The room spins and I struggle to control my nausea. The hand written note read,
I WILL MAKE YOU A STAR