NOTE! Written for the Tales Of Horror Hunt we throw every year. The use of Second Life, and other places mentioned in the story are purely out of respect. This story goes along with the gifts my partner and I created for this year’s hunt. This story belongs to me and can not be reproduced without permission. Thanks!
A Quaint and Curious Tale
The perfect sim, the perfect Victorian house….. It was mine!!! I happily paid my tier fees for the parcel and started to move in. I was finally home… or so I thought. As I was dropping my bathroom, I noticed my shower was moving to a different wall….
“Sheesh SL…. Can ya stop the prim bounce glitches for one day?” I thought to myself.
I replaced the shower, and carried on with my decorating. As I finished, I heard a loud banging noise and saw a flood of “Is at the door”.
“Odd…. This is SL, doors don’t normally sound like that in here. Didn’t I lock that thing?”
I left the bathroom, heading for the stairs… That’s when I saw him… a man in my house.
“Excuse me, this is a private home, did you need help with something?”
He quickly teleported out. I continued with my decorating happily, reminding myself to set up the security orb before I logged out to real life.
I was hard pressed for sleep that night, my mind wouldn’t shut off. It was as if fate was warning me to not close my eyes. Finally, I was overcome, and drifted off to sleep.
It was there I met him… a repeat of events that occurred earlier in Second Life. This time he turned to look at me, his face was wane, and he looked exhausted. He was pale, almost ethereal… he looked haggard and worn, yet his eyes had determination in them. He looked at me, with these eyes, and I felt as if I was looking into the soul of evil.
In a raspy voice he said, “You cannot log out of SL. Never do that again!”
As his hand reached out to touch me, I woke with a start… “Just a dream… I have been spending too much time in the metaverse again…” I made up my mind that moment to spend the next couple of days off the grid.
The next two days off the grid was anything but relaxing. I felt as if I was being watched… there was a dark cloud hanging over me that I could not shake no matter what I did. I felt a pull towards my computer, and to Second Life. I fought it, reminding myself that I had let my family know I was taking a couple of days off; they aren’t missing me too much.
As I stood brushing my teeth that evening, I heard his voice whispering, “You cannot log out of SL… you must return at once!” I glanced up at the mirror over my sink, and he stood behind me. I turned to face him, he was gone.
I tossed and turned all night, needing to log into SL, there was nothing I wanted more than to be on the grid.
I logged into my new home, and decided to go check out the Gacha event and I really needed to go to Collabor88 before I didn’t get the chance to grab this month’s items.
I landed at my first destination, a woman walked past me, wearing her Gacha splendor. She stopped, turning on a dime to face me… Her voice echoed through my head, “NEVER log out of Second Life AGAIN!” She turned back around, and seemingly did not notice what had just transpired. I watched her as she bounced from Gacha to Gacha, dumb founded.
His face was on every Gacha machine I looked at, horrified I teleported out to the Collabor88 sim. I felt a bit safer with the crowd that was huddled around me, waiting to load. As a pixel hand rested on my pixel shoulder, my sense of security was as false as a politician’s promise. I turned my camera to look behind my avatar, and saw him standing there, his hand on my shoulder.
No matter where I teleported, he was there. The cold stares of my new stalker chilled me to the core. His voice echoed through my head, churning into my nerves… “Never log out of SL”…
Being the stubborn woman I am… I logged out. No one was going to tell me what I could do. Besides, I had things to do in my real life. Real life was just as important as my second one was!
My weekend went by quietly; my dreams had not haunted me once. My rest had been peaceful, something that had not happened in the weeks I had rented my new parcel on that perfect sim. I decided to take more time off; after all I had paid a month on my plot of pixel land.
The week went by uneventful. Feeling rested, I decided to log back into the grid. I landed on my build box…. “Ah, build box… how I missed you….” I opened up the editor, and as I rezzed out my first prim, I noticed a shadow out of the corner of my eye. I looked up, and he was standing there… his face expressed anger like I have never seen before.
My build platform began to shake; it shot out from under my feet… I began the plummet down to pixel earth from 4K m in the air… I quickly logged out, shutting down my computer.
My speakers seemed to turn themselves on, and his voice screamed through them… “I TOLD YOU TO NEVER LOG OUT OF SL!!!
Ok that was it… I decided that when I logged in the next time, I would NOT be renewing… go in pick up my things… all done… over… THE END!!! I had a week left on my tier. My stalker wouldn’t be able to get to me on my own sim! I never should have decided I needed a home away from it in the first place! What was I thinking?!
My real life days were filled with a lot of fun, things I enjoyed… A “Quaint and Curious volume of forgotten lore” or two, lunch with my friend Lenore; a “Grave Yard Picnic” with Voltaire.
Finally, the day had arrived; my tier was up this evening. I began my descent into the Maelstrom called Second Life to clean up the place. I sighed as I picked up all my things piece by piece… I should be happy with my own sim, it is my home. It is the perfect place.
As I was descending the stairs to go outside and hit “not renewing” on my rental box, I was stopped… walking in place as if I was caught in a massive lag spike. Blood started to ooze out of the walls of my perfect Victorian house… the sound of the drips echoed as if in slow motion… a mist began to arise from the floor, slowly… whirling around me. As his figure started to solidify, he jumped at me… I rose my pixel arms to push him back… feeling them sink into his chest….
In a quandary, I pulled them back… I shut down my computer by pushing the shut off button on the front of the case…. Jumping away quickly from my desk… I began to slip… The floor was covered in blood… his blood…
I stuck out my arm to catch my fall… as I slipped more towards the floor… My hand… The bloody mess that it was…held an object, quivering with in it… The “tell-tale” heart of my addiction… Second Life… I screamed but no sound came from my body… I entered the void and all faded to black… and I waited… waited until someone came to rent that parcel on the perfect sim, with the most perfect Victorian house.