I‘m running through the woods, like I’ve been doing for the past few weeks already. Branches and twigs scratch at my bare arms and legs.
“Hey, beautiful!” a glitchy, adolescent voice calls. “Where do you think you’re going?”
I don’t dare look back. If I do, I know what I’ll be looking at a boy that looks very much like Link from The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. The only exception to this would be his eyes. Instead of a lake blue like I’ve seen from playthroughs, his would be black with red pupils, and bloody tears would be coming from them. And he would be grinning sadistically.
Run, my queen, I hear Cronus’s deep voice laugh. The chase only makes it fun for them.
I try not to wonder about what he meant as I keep running. The fog begins to settle in, and eerie shadows start dancing in the full moon’s light.
When I think I’ve lost the sadistic version of Link, I hunch over beside a larger tree, trying to catch my breath.
Please let him be gone, I pray, clutching my rosary. Please let him be gone.
I’m shaking. Things got crazy when he first reached out of my laptop screen while I was entertaining the notion of having a debate with Cleverbot. The boy uttered five words that sent me running.
“You shouldn’t have done that.”
I trace my fingers over the rough bark, finding a carving. I allow myself to smile. Probably something a couple would create.
“Whatever you’re thinking,” a muffled voice says, “it’s not what you think it is.”
I turn to face a boy dressed in sneakers, jeans, and a brown hoody. The yellow goggles and the mask he wears look like they’re from the steampunk era. He holds two axes, one in each hand. He tilts his head to the side to watch my movements.
“Wha-what do you mean?” I stutter.
He moves his head as an indication. “I cut that into the tree.”
I touch the carving again. A chill goes down my spine.
I’m wrong about it being a sign of a couple. It feels circular, and then lines interrupt it. I trace the shape again, and I know it from images I’ve only seen online.
“Proxy,” I manage to spit out.
The boy examines his axes before looking back at me. “Oh, don’t worry. I won’t kill you yet, love,” he says. He puts the axe in his left hand down before pulling down his mask. He steps closer to me, and touches my cheek with a gloved hand.
“BEN wasn’t off when he said you’re good sport,” he cackles. “You’ve got spirit, I’ll give you that.”
“Back off,” I hiss.
He grins, looking every bit as terrifying as he had with his mask on. “Temper, temper,” he mocks, gripping my chin so hard bruises would form. “You’ll be fun to kill, but I think you’ll enjoy this as a last moment.”
I am about to protest as he kisses me, forcing his tongue in my mouth.
I kick him. I’ve dealt with one pushy guy for four years of my life, already. I don’t need a second.
He backs away immediately, pulling his mask back up. “Now, you’ll pay,” he growls.
I don’t give it a second of a thought. I take off in the direction which I came.
I run into Demonic Link. Like the other boy, he grins. “Hey, Toby, look who I caught,” he yells in his glitchy voice, clamping a hand on my mouth as he twists the other behind my back as he turns me around.
I hear my arm snap under pressure. I scream, but Link’s hand prevents any sound from escaping.
The other boy cracks his neck, brandishing his axes as he comes closer. “So, where were we, BEN?”
“I think we were about to kill her, Toby.”
I can’t see much, thanks to the canopy of trees blocking the moon. “Oh, that’s right,” the other boy sneers, raising both his axes. “Thank Zalgo you’re a ghost, BEN. I don’t want to hurt you.”
I struggle as much as I can against Link’s grip as the boy with the axes comes as close as he wants to. He uses one of his axes to move my head to look at him.
“Don’t forget the sun, love,” he quotes, raising the other axe. I squeeze my eyes shut.
Just as the raised axe is swung, I wake up to familiar surroundings.