11 Jan “I received an emergency alert that said I’d been abducted” Creepypasta
In the end, it was a common human fault that saved me. Despite our differences, socially, culturally, racially, we’re all accustomed to each other—at least superficially familiar with anyone we’d call a stranger, a foreigner, an other. Humans know humans. Humans know human thinking, human behavior, human ideas. These behaviors and ideas may be strange, especially if exhibited by persons outside of our social or cultural group, but we’re still able to recognize them as being of human origin.
My inability to see the humanity in that thing is what saved me.
It’s a strange thing to see an emergency broadcast alert issued for your name, especially if you’re not a child, and hadn’t been gone from your home long enough to be deemed “missing.” It’s extraordinarily bizarre, when the fact that you live alone is taken into consideration; and have no immediate peers or contacts who would notice and report your absence. And yet, as I made my way towards my friend’s house, who had texted me asking if I’d help him move some furniture, I received a text-alert declaring that I had gone missing. It had even given my last known location—my apartment complex—and an area in which I might be located. But the thing that unsettled me, the thing that made me stop in place and stare at my phone as if it were something unfamiliar to me, was that if also had given the suspected identity of my abductor.
The person, the identity of the abductor, was the same as the abductee. According to the text—which had been sent in the same manner as an AMBER alert—I had abducted myself.
My phone buzzed several times, and vibrated in accordance to the sequence of buzzes, while the text flashed onscreen; the puzzling details contained within a box outlined in red. I stared at the screen for several seconds, as if unconsciously waiting for something, before dismissing the prompt. Still incredulous, I went through my texts, and at first thought that I had simply imagined the thing—somehow, despite having a clear mind at the time—when I failed to find the message in my texts. Then I remembered that I’d never been able to find past emergency alerts in my default texting app, and after a few minutes of searching through menus, I finally found where they’re stored. And, despite my hopes, there the message was—the topmost alert, detailing my self-achieved abduction.
Seeing it a second time made me extremely conscious of my surroundings, even though the suspect in question was myself. I’d been walking along an unlit sidewalk, which lined a fairly long and seldom traveled road—at least for this time of year. The direction I’d been going was away from town, further into the one suburban areas of the region, where my aforementioned friend lives. It was late in the day, around 9pm, but my friend had insisted in his texts that I help him move some furniture from one room into another, because he was going to be extremely busy at work throughout the following day and wouldn’t have otherwise had time. Having nothing going on at the time, I agreed to help, and decided to walk over instead of taking an Uber. The night was cool, but not uncomfortably chilly, and I hadn’t really had much exercise earlier in the day, being off work.
I scanned my surroundings, which were admittedly unremarkable at face value, but which had taken on an air of grave gloominess following the reception of that cryptic alert. There was no wind, and this particular area was devoid of housing; so, there weren’t any dogs howling in the night, or faintly heard televisions—no sounds of civilization. The area was virtually noiseless, preternaturally silent, and I suddenly sensed that this was not due to the general emptiness of the area; but the work or effect of some greater, imperceptible influence.
But I had traveled about half the distance to my friend’s house, so I figured that I might as well continue on.
As I walked, I decided to text my friend and ask if he received the same alert, wording it as casually as possible. My friend can be a bit of an asshole, and considering that I was undeniably creeped out, I didn’t want him mocking me if it turned out to be an error, or a joke of some kind.
I typed out the message, pressed send, and put my phone in my pocket. I walked several paces then withdrew my phone again, expecting to find a response. But when I checked the screen, I saw the little symbol that indicates a message hadn’t been sent. For some reason my text hadn’t gone through, so I tried sending it again, this time watching to make sure.
And it failed again.
A chill ran down my spine; my nerves suddenly becoming excited, my body tense, and yet I still tried to hold onto to some semblance of rational thinking. I deleted the message, telling myself that that particular “effort” was in some way flawed; and typed another message—this time even using different wording—and sent it. But just like the previous attempts, the message failed; the little text box greyed out, with the red circle intersected by a line sitting beside it.
A few moments later, I found out that I couldn’t make calls, nor connect to the internet via my 4G. The mundanity of my surroundings was completely forgotten, and I found myself sensing some vague threat among the shadows; an unknown yet inimical force encroaching upon the atmosphere, its target being the sole occupant of that stretch of road: Me.
My shoes were fairly beat, I’d worn them for pretty much every occasion and circumstance for the last few years, and yet I found myself jogging steadily even as the battered soles scraped along the concrete, and the frayed shoestrings flopped haphazardly about; threatening to trip me if I made the slightest miscalculation in footing. I was terrified, despite the absence of a known source of terror. I jogged through an environment made eerie by circumstances; carrying in my pocket an extremely expensive object that had inexplicably failed in its most basic purpose—communication.
There was something going on, of that I was sure, and my inability to figure it out made the entire situation so much more unsettling. Eventually, the first few houses came into view ahead; their outlines reconciling against the blackness in the distance; lights shining dully through windows, or above porches. I was maybe two minutes away from the neighborhood, and another five from my friend’s house, when all the lights were suddenly and simultaneously extinguished, and a darkness deeper than before sprung up before me.
I abruptly came to a stop, nearly tripping over my own feet. I felt extremely vulnerable, so I tried my best to stifle my panting. The silence had been unsettling, but now coupled with the darkness, it was oppressive, almost malevolent. I couldn’t see anything, couldn’t hear anything—total sensory deprivation. I felt trapped at the absolute bottom of an abyss, surrounded by a nothingness that was so total, so wide-spanning, that it became a terrifying presence of its own.
My phone then vibrated in my pocket, making me involuntarily cry out in surprise. I gripped the phone, suppressing the vibration, and listened; but I didn’t hear anything that would’ve denoted the approach of someone or something. My cry hadn’t alerted anyone.
Trembling, I withdrew my phone from my pocket, dimming the brightness as I unlocked the screen. Amidst the omnipresent darkness, the screen was like a blinding flare. I felt dangerously exposed, even though danger hadn’t yet presented itself. On the screen, another alert message flashed, and my heart skipped a beat when I read the text:
KEEP THE LIGHT ON. MAXIMUM BRIGHTNESS. YOU ARE NOT SAFE IN THE DARK.
DO NOT LET THE DARKNESS ENVELOP YOU, OR SHE WILL FIND YOU. SHE IS JEALOUS. YOU WILL BE REPLACED.
The message flashed several times and then dismissed itself. I stared at my home screen for a moment, my mind trying to keep itself from unraveling in terror. My eyes went to the top of the screen, and my heart sank upon seeing the remaining battery percentage: 12%. I hadn’t expected to go out that night, so I hadn’t worried about charging my phone.
I quickly went to my battery settings, enabled the maximum power-saving option, which shutdown any apps running in the background, lowered the screen’s resolution, and prevented certain battery-exhausting functions from automatically activating. This included my 4G connection. While the battery percentage didn’t change, the projected lifespan had; it went from twenty-two minutes to fifty-four, and I silently whispered my thanks to whomever designed the literally life-saving system.
With nearly every other function deactivated, I increased my brightness, and almost screamed as the projected battery life immediately plummeted to only thirty odd minutes.
I decided to continue walking, telling myself that I was only a few minutes away from my friend’s house, and that I would be perfectly safe there. But upon looking up from my phone, I felt extremely disoriented; as if my surroundings had shifted in the short passage of time. Even though I couldn’t make out anything through the darkness, I was certain that either my surroundings had changed, or I had inexplicably been repositioned to face a direction different from where I’d been looking before.
The silence was gradually broken by a mounting pulsation, and I almost panicked before realizing that it was the beating of my own heart that resonated dully in my phone-illuminated space. I tried to calm myself, but hadn’t ever been in such a frightening situation before, and didn’t know any mantras or prayers or mental games with which to calm or distract myself. I stood, petrified, bathed in the glow of my phone’s screen, while its battery dwindled at a disconcertingly steady rate—now at 9%.
With fingers that frantically flicked, pressed, and typed, I tried to search through my phone to find any hidden functions or background applications that might still be running, in the hopes of extending the pitifully low battery. But after a few minutes of this—and further loss of battery—I realized that I was only hastening the battery’s depletion. Terrified, defeated, I went back to the phone’s home screen, and held it close to me. I feared walking in any direction, lest I venture farther away from my friend’s neighborhood, and be caught deep in the endarkened territory when the battery finally ran out.
When the battery reached four percent, I started to shake uncontrollably, thoroughly terrified by my seemingly hopeless predicament.
A few seconds later, the screen suddenly cut out; the phone not bothering to limp through the last few percentages. Against sense, I cried out; infuriated at being cheated of those last few precious minutes of light—of life.
I thought—for some reason—that I would be afforded a few moments of peace before the arrival of whatever horror I’d been warned against. I guess I hoped that it would’ve taken its time in manifesting. But just as the manufacturer’s logo of my phone faded away, and the screen assumed a black blankness, I heard the quickly approaching footsteps of some otherwise silent pursuer.
Thankfully, flight won out against fight, and my legs obeyed the panicked command of my mind to run.
Through visually impenetrable darkness I ran, no longer caring about whether or not I sprinted closer to or farther away from what I had hoped would be safety. Behind me, horribly audible, the footsteps gained; my pursuer only a few paces behind. I’ve never been much of a runner; had jogged on occasion when urged by friends, but in that moment, I felt as if I were running Olympically. Control of my body was transferred to previously buried mechanisms of survival, motioned along with a primal efficiency as I fled in mindless terror away from some equally swift horror. I saw nothing, feared collision with nothing; only wanted—needed—to escape that dark-born hunter.
A pinprick of light suddenly came into view, far-off in the distance—a beacon of hope, of safety. My tired legs pushed on, accelerating with renewed vitality. My lungs hastily cycled air; my blood pumped vigorously. All thought, all impulses of nerve, were focused on reaching that brilliant destination. The footfalls behind me were almost in sync with my own, their owner literally at my heels. But I hadn’t looked back; didn’t think for one moment to. The light grew, the area over which it shone was defined—a street-lamp positioned over a street corner. I’d been heading towards my friend’s neighborhood after all, even though it had seemed as if I’d been running for much longer than the few minutes it should’ve taken me.
Half a mile. A fourth. A few feet. An arm’s length. I burst into that circle of light, actually felt a difference in the illumined atmosphere, but before I was fully inside it, I felt a sudden and unfightable resistance. I was jerked down, violently, pulled to the ground by a force much stronger than me. My hip landed onto the pavement of the street, and pain unlike anything I’d felt before shot through my entire body, stunning me. Before I could scramble back into the light, I was pulled away, dragged into that awful darkness.
Flight no longer an option, my priorities shifted, and an arm came up, desperately swinging at the source of my capture, still obscured by the darkness. I felt my hand hard strike against a surface, and something let out a blood-chilling snarl. My hand, before I could pull it away, was seized, and a second later I cried out insensately as my wrist was quickly broken.
My limp wrist was tossed aside, and my body was dragged out of the scope of the light. A voice, filled with savage contempt, then spat out the words, “It’s my turn.”
What happened next hadn’t exactly been a conscious decision on my part. Only looking back now, freed of that nightmare, does it seem like the only logical sequence of thought and action. Just as I left that perimeter of light, a thought came into my mind; a memory of times when my phone had prematurely died, kicking the bucket before actually reaching zero. Each time, I had managed to turn it back on and experience a few moments of life before it abruptly died again. With this in mind, my remaining usable hand reached across my body, somehow managed to retrieve my phone from the opposite pocket, and turned it on.
Desperately, filled with both fear and anger, I jammed the screen into what I hoped would be the face of my attacker. The space above me was filled with the bright whiteness of my phone’s activation, illuminating a monstrous image.
It was a human face, horribly malformed, but familiar.
Despite the warped features, I recognized my own face staring hatefully down at me. My—its—eyes were mis-aligned, with one too high on the face and the other too long. The nose appeared broken, or wrongly grown, and the mouth curved upward hideously; as if the cheek had been cut into an awful extension of a smile. For the first instant, the eyes merely squinted at the suddenly introduced light, but then the twisted mimic shrieked awfully, and the topmost eye burst into flames. Their grip on me was immediately released and their hands went to their face, trying to slap away the flames. Seconds later, the entire head was aflame, and the hands followed suit not long after. As afraid of the fire as I was of this hideous doppelganger, I scrambled back into the light; ignoring the white-hot pain in my wrist as I put pressure upon my barely working hand.
I heard its voice, my voice, intermittently call out for help between its shrieks of agony. A natural impulse to help it nearly overcame me, but I was stopped from returning to that darkness by how inhuman the voice sounded, even though it had bizarrely resembled my own. Had it not been so wicked sounding, so not-right, I might’ve gone to it.
I entered that circle of light beneath the street light, and watched breathlessly as that other, fainter light faded away into the darkness; and with it, the dying shrieks of my monstrous reflection.
Dumbly, I stood and walked to my friend’s house. With my free hand, I knocked on his door, and a moment later he was staring at me with an expression of surprise. Before I could speak, he said: “Oh, didn’t you get my text? Right after I asked for your help, I texted my boss to see if I could come in late, and he said he wouldn’t mind. I texted you right after.”
Without responding, I looked at my phone just as the notification for a text message popped up onscreen. But before I could open it, my phone died. Looking back, I saw the preternatural gloom recede, and the street resume its ordinarily dark setting. It happened quickly, far too quickly for me to draw my friend’s attention to it. My eyes scanned the street, searching for the other me that I had set aflame, but all I saw was a thin trail of smoke leading off towards the side of the rode—into a thicket of bushes far away.
“Holy shit, what happened to your hand?”
I turned to my friend, silently cursing him for reminding me of the pain, and asked if he had a charger I could use.