I sit at my desk running my fingers aimlessly over the keyboard. The clock is sitting at 12:32 AM. I sigh.
I volunteer at a suicide hotline, and I’m having trouble coming up with a new story to post on the short scary stories subreddit.
You might not think it appropriate for someone like me to be browsing Reddit while working, but until someone calls, I have jack-all to do.
Besides, it’s Sunday, and I want to be in bed with a slice of pizza and Netflix.
The phone rings and I jump. There’s always this nervous little tingle I get before every call.
The girl on the other end is hysterical. She’s bawling her eyes out, choking out ragged breaths every time she tries to talk.
“I don’t know what to do!” she cries, “Everybody hates me! My parents hate me!”
It takes a while to coax the details out of her.
Eventually, it comes out that a senior at her school had spiked her drinks at a party, then posted lewd photos of her to Facebook. They immediately went viral.
She had lied to her devout parents to get out of the house, and, needless to say, they were not pleased.
“And now everyone is laughing at me!” She wailed through the phone, “I can’t go back to school. I can’t, I just can’t! Oh my God, I just want it to end! I’ll end it!”
My voice is soothing, “Oh my, you can’t do that.”
“Oh, this is much too serious,” I explain patiently, “The internet is everywhere. Even when you’re gone, people will see those pictures. You’ll be ridiculed forever.
Can you imagine? Mobs of little kids, snickering and sharing pictures of your naked body. Your parents shaking their heads, telling other people about their whore daughter.
Your friends laughing about what a bitch you were for ending it all because you were scared.”
I can almost hear her flinch. I’m rather proud of my ability to tell scary stories.
“No, I’m afraid there’s only one way they’ll ever respect you.”
“Really. Now, listen to me. Is there a gun in the house?”
In the end, we agree that she will shoot both her treacherous parents, post a cryptic last message online, and then go around the neighborhood taking her revenge one bullet at a time.
Then, no one would dare to laugh at her ever again. She would go down in history as the girl who fought back. She agrees enthusiastically and the call ends.
I flex my fingers happily. I don’t think I’ve ever written a story about a bullied teenage girl going on a murderous rampage before. Maybe she stalks bullies on cold, moonless nights.
Maybe she uses a long, cruel knife to gruesomely vivisect her victims. In a few hours, I will have plenty of news stories to help my imagination.
I’m going to get dozens of upvotes!