It was an average day for me: using the computer, watching Youtube videos, and generally getting bored. I looked at the time. 3:30. It was a perfect time to check on What Do You Do, a usually hilarious webcomic about a D&D-style mage named James Woodrock.
A quick look showed that it was finally updated. The panel was pretty normal for the comic: James was in another comical misunderstanding, thanks to the suggestion that a friend of mine posted. Seeing that no one else had posted, this was a great opportunity for my own (rather sucky) brand of humor. After a quick 'FIRST', I typed in my real suggestion - one that came to mind rather quickly for me. As I pressed on the 'add comment' button, something was off.
The panel was updated again, but the first thing that caught my eye was where the winning suggestion was displayed. It didn't have anything to do with the last panel or any before. It simply read:
"How could you?"
I looked at the comic to try to find an answer, but instead I saw a horrific sight. It was James, holding a blood-soaked knife. In front of him was a corpse of a woman with brown hair and a yellow dress. This lady was so brutalized that it was challenging to identify that this was indeed Jane, an undead from the comic. James had a psychotic look to his face and was looking straight at me.
I almost felt like throwing up, but I forced myself to look at the picture again, closely. One of Jane's eyes were missing, stuck into the knife. It felt like every second I looked at the corpse, my vision blurred more and more. I focused on James, hoping to see something less horrible, but as I looked closer I almost swallowed my tongue. James was slowly breathing.
I screamed and smashed my hands blindly against the keyboard, hoping to escape this nightmare, but I seemed to go on to the next panel. The suggestion read:
"I thought you cared about me..."
The picture was animated, but wasn't the same repeating GIFs usually featured. It was a close-up of James, rubbing his blood-soaked hands across his cheeks. After a few minutes of this, James slowly reached up to his head, ripping out chunks of hair along with blood and flesh.
He kept doing this until he was almost bald, with parts of his skull sticking out. Then, he just stood there, slowly breathing. I couldn't believe what was playing out before my eyes. I minimized the browser and tried to contact the comic's artist, Chris, on Skype. He was offline.
When I maximized the browser again, a new page loaded up.
"Is this my punishment?"
The panel was somehow missing. I went to the forums and asked if anyone else lived what I lived. Surprisingly, everyone thought what I was saying was a joke. After I argued about the recent updates, everyone took me as a troll. Some minutes passed and I saw that Chris replied to one of my posts. His avatar was weird; it was the same avatar he drew for himself, but something about it had changed...
It seemed more smug than last time, a shade bluer than normal, and his eyes were an ugly grey. I finally looked at the message.
"How do you like my gift, Raymond?"
I nearly choked. How did he know my real name? I never used it on the forums before or mentioned it to him in PMs. Everyone else continued on, like the post was invisible. The text of the message was a link, too, but when I moused over it, it didn't show the link address. I wanted to ignore the link, but it wouldn't let me go. I clicked in a moment of weakness and instantly wished I hadn't.
"What will the others think of you?"
The picture revealed Krinn, a pregnant troll who was also a main character. She was looking in the doorway of the room, looking like she was going to throw up. The doorway was caked in dry blood, like it was there even before James attacked Jane. I quickly scrolled to the bottom of the screen, hoping to escape this horror for a second and, to my surprise, there was a comment already in place.
"Krinn Leath says:
James! What did you do? How coul"
I was confused about the end cutting off like that, so I stupidly scrolled back up to see if it matched the panel. A new panel had been uploaded. It was Krinn, twitching irregularly and stabbed through the throat.
"Was she in the way of your perfection, too?"
Horrified, I shook my head. I tried focusing on something in the real world, yet there seemed to be a strange presence drawing my vision towards the browser. I started to focus on the address bar. I pulled up the archive address from my head so I wouldn't have to go to the comic page. I scrolled to the very bottom and none of the new, horrifying panels showed.
I decided to scroll back up and check on the other tabs, but I suddenly noticed that some of the panels seemed to be missing at random points in the archive. Reluctantly, I decided to click on a panel just before one that was missing.
It seemed to be the next panel in this macabre "story". James, with a manic grin, was right next to a crying, bleeding Krinn, pinning her to the wall with the knife. There was no suggestion at the top like the other times. Something kept me staring at the picturew, wondering what the fuck happened to make Chris do something like this.
Suddenly, the panel switched to James stabbing his hands through Krinn's pregnant stomach. She started vomiting deep red blood all over her skirt and James' hands. The top suggestion returned in this new panel:
"To achieve your goal, you have lost your humanity."
I started to think that this was getting too messed up and tried to close the window. When I clicked on the little x, it wouldn't disappear. I was rapidly clicking on it but it wouldn't go away. Instead, the panels started to get updated incredibly fast.
I skimmed through each one and it showed James on a killing spree, murdering everyone in sight. I got to the part where James had just killed a vampire named Douglas and almost threw up at what I saw: James had opened his stomach, ripped out his intestines, and gorged himself in a feast.
"Enjoying this, you sick bastard?"
The air around me seemed to grow warm. As the scenes continued, I began gripping the table harder and harder until my hands really hurt. My arms soon stopped responding. It felt like I was moving them, but I saw them just laying on my desk, limp and lifeless. I clenched my teeth and looked at the screen.
Just as James finished gouging out the eyes of Rhode, a rival magician in the comic, a bright light seemed to appear in the sky in the comic. I'm not doing anything anymore; the panels are updating rapidly. It's so fast that the comic's practically turned into a flip book.
The light got brighter and brighter until it seemed to take shape. I gasped as I saw the form of CondoR, another character in the story, appear on the screen; it was white and holy looking.
"Yet there are still those who oppose you."
CondoR looked odd - almost sad - like he wanted this to stop. That choice was taken from him when he was tackled to the floor and ripped in two by James. The scene changed again, with Krinn clutching the knife pinning her to the wall. James got up and picked Douglas' sword from his intestine-covered belt. He broke the sword on his knee and grabbed hold of the sharp tip. He moved right in front of the pregnant troll and cut into her stomach.
He continued until he got all the way to the knife in her neck. A realistic fetus fell out of her stomach and landed near James' feet. Its underdeveloped eye felt out of its socket and rolled around until James stomped on it, leaving a red stain on the floor.
"Our blood will not wash away your sins, Chris."
He picked up the child, studying it like a wolf studied a fresh kill. I started spasming uncontrollably, coughing at a black substance that suddenly formed in my mouth and nose. James then looked directly in my eyes and said something, even though my speakers were turned off. He sounded like Chris, but not with the crappy hollow microphone he used in his livestreams. It sounded like he was right next to me.
"The sights of hell bring its spectators back in."
And then he took a bite.
I collapsed and passed out.
I woke up in a hospital bed a few days later. The doctor told me that I was found by my roommate, hiding in a corner and waving a knife. I tried telling them about what I saw, but the doctor thought I had a panic attack. I seemed to make a full recovery and left later in the day.
The comic stopped being updated and with nothing keeping them together, the forum-goers said their goodbyes and left. I hope this was the end of this living nightmare, but that hope was dashed when my TV turned on to a Bulgarian news broadcast. It was narrated by a strangely monotone voice speaking in flawless English.
It was a report on an 18-year old artist who mutilated his girlfriend and kept her alive for three days, until her pregnant roommate and a few of his friends found her. He brutally murdered all of them and ate the roommate's fetus. I looked at the date of the broadcast and found it to be June 21...
...the day that this nightmare began.
(This story is credited to Wolfhowl44, FunkyNinjaZ, and honeyman on the WDYD forums)