Clay Hurtubise Clay Hurtubise
Recommendations: 0

"Regularly I browse..."

Leslie Blackwell Leslie Blackwell
Recommendations: 21

sort of an underbelly for cyberspace.

Clay Hurtubise Clay Hurtubise
Recommendations: 0

For me, the first and second sentence could be combined: and avoid starting with "I". The last sentence is great. The imagery and sense of unease come through brilliantly.

Leslie Blackwell Leslie Blackwell
Recommendations: 21

should have stopped when I saw the Homepage?

Clay Hurtubise Clay Hurtubise
Recommendations: 0

How does the observer know that the girl was no more than 16? A girl appearing to be no more than 16...

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Alex Makridakis Alex Makridakis
Recommendations: 6

The Darkest Recesses of the Internet

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She had a friend.

This writing contains explicit content and is only for adults. You have been warned.

WARNING, DO NOT READ THIS STORY IF YOU ARE EASILY DISTURBED. Partially inspired by my experiences in the Deep Web told in the Gonzo Journalism style, but I never touched anything like this, this is all fictional. Unfortunately, it is quite likely that things like this do happen. My next story is also in the works, and it's actually my first happy story. Yay.

Until a week ago, I thought I was fairly internet savvy. I regularly browse 4chan and other message boards, and I've been a denizen of the internet since the early days of Fortune City pages and IRC channels, and a regular ever since. I've even experienced the Deep Web, where you can buy black market items and services, due to complete anonymity. Unfortunately, I was recently told about something far more sinister. The Underweb. A hidden layer of the internet inaccessible through regular means. You can't reach it through Google or Bing or Yahoo. There aren't any "in links' from the normal happy internet to the ominous Underweb. 2 comments

I forgot to ask what the man's name was. He usually came to the gas station I was employed in about once every two days. He never actually came in a car. At least, I don't think he did, he never used the gas pumps. Every time he came in, he would buy $10 to $50 of UKASH vouchers, which I figured were for porn subscriptions. It was something about his combination of beige polo shirts and greasy head afflicted with male pattern baldness that gave off a nasty vibe. 1 comment

One day, he asked for $300 of UKASH vouchers. I proceeded to make the biggest mistake of my life. I asked him what for?

"The Underweb. You ever been there?" I had no idea what it was, so I let him know. He look at me with a ominous look and pulled out a notebook. He tore off a piece and wrote something on it. "If you need some spice in your life." he whispered. He slid the paper in my front pocket. I gave him the vouchers, and he left the store. I don't think I ever saw him in my store again.

I forgot about the paper and went on with my life. I had quit my job to focus more on my studies, since exams were upcoming.A couple of weeks later, I found my old job's uniform that I had put aside. In the front pocket, right where that creepy customer put it, was the piece of paper. Curiosity got the better of me, and I had another look at it. The paper had detailed and intricate instructions on how to get to the Underweb. There were about thirty or so steps, all of them requiring an intricate knowledge of how the internet works and software programming. Tough luck that I was both tech savvy and bored enough to try it.

If anyone tells you how to how to access the Underweb, run. Stop talking and break contact with them. You don't want to go there, and you don't want to even know anyone who has been there more than once. I've seen a lot of horrible things on the internet, but nothing I've seen compares to anything on the Underweb. I should have stopped when I saw the front page. I really should have. God, what's wrong with me? 1 comment

When I reached the main hub page of the Underweb, which resembled a webpage from 1997, the first thing that caught my eye was "Corpse fucking". It was listed along with other words like "skinning" and "amputation" and about twenty or so other lovely words. I assumed that these were commonly searched terms across the Underweb, which should have been a pretty good indication to abuse that red X on the top of my browser and get the hell out. There were also things other than porn and gore. There were things like marketplaces for stolen identities, singles or bulk. A message board for cannibals and people who want to be eaten. Human trafficking, sorted by race. Classified government dossiers. After I reached a site with instructions on how to make homemade napalm, I realized that, in retrospect, I was now comfortable of the Underweb, a fact that I find sickening. 1 comment

I don't really know how I managed to stumble across this next site. I clicked things I shouldn't have. I won't say the name of the site, and hopefully, I never will. At the very least, I can stop any of you from making the same mistake as me, and letting my curiosity get the better of me, thinking that it can't be that bad. It's worse. It's far, far worse.

At the bottom of the page was the UKASH logo, which meant that the site had paid services. It was a free live webcam show, you only needed to pay to be the "director". Beneath the video was a chat box with a sign-in prompt. I entered my anonymous username that I use when I'm somewhere I don't want to be seen, such as porn sites, and I was in. As soon as I logged in, I was assaulted with a flood of messages in various languages. Most were English, but I think some were in Arabic or Farsi or whatever it's called. The chat said that there were about three hundred people in the chat. I shudder to think how many more people were watching silently. Most of the readable messages were along the lines of "HURRY UP" or "GOGOGOGO".

About a minute or two later, a man in a balaclava showed up on the screen. He had dark brown skin and was very skinny, Starving third world country levels of skinny. He was fiddling on the computer that the webcam was attached to, and a few seconds later, everyone on the chat was muted. At least, all but one person named "terror+hatredLV". I correctly guessed that he/she was the director of the show. 1 comment

I heard someone on the video scream. A girl of no more than sixteen by my estimation, blindfolded and with binded hands. She was being dragged by the hair by a larger, darker man with a plastic white mask on. She was struggling with all her might, but she was bound so hard you could see the area around her wrists and ankles becoming discoloured. I don't want to think about how long she had been in that state. 1 comment

The big guy removed her blindfold and tied her to a chair, and she stopped screaming. She saw the camera. I think she knew what was going to happen. She started crying and whimpering at the men in some language I don't understand. Just when I thought this couldn't get any worse, a message appeared in the chat.

terror+hatredLV: Lay her on the floor on her side.

The skinny guy read the massage and translated it for the big guy in their language.

terror+hatredLV: Kick her stomach.

The skinny guy translated

terror+hatredLV: Kick her face now.

The screaming kept getting louder. What the fuck was I doing? What wrong with me? That was as far as I could go, and I picked up my phone to call the police. I don't think they could have done anything, but I needed to try something.

terror+hatredLV: Stomp on her tits.

terror+hatredLV: Tell him to hit harder, I paid a lot for this.

I was in complete shock. I couldn't take my eyes off the screen. They kept kicking her for maybe 20 seconds more but it felt like eternity.

terror+hatredLV: Cut out her throat.

I couldn't control my breathing, and felt tingles on my face. I felt sick to my stomach. No. This wasn't happening. There's no way people can just do this. It just... It doesn't happen. I needed to stop this somehow. I tried to type in the chat box, but it was grayed out. I prayed to gods I didn't believe in. I tried to convince myself that everything was ok, but it wasn't. The woman cried out louder than before when she heard the last request.

terror+hatredLV: Wait, stop.

I finally felt in control of my breathing when I saw the skinny man tell his partner to stop. I thought that she was spared. Unfortunately, the animal directing this abomination wasn't so kind.

terror+hatredLV: Take her eyes first.

The skinny one stared into the camera. I could only see his eyes and the bags under them. I kept looking for some sort of hesitation, some indication that this was just too much, even for them. I begged and begged and begged to no one in particular for this to stop. I had my mouse on the close button in case this insanity continued. The skinny one started to type, and a message appeared.

Admin: $300 more.

I felt my mind lock up when I saw how much he was asking for. $300. This woman's life is being destroyed for a pathetic $300. I was making that much in my shitty minimum wage job every other week. If I could offer anything to stop this, I would. I would empty my savings to stop this insanity. I would have given my house and all my possessions. I swear I would.

terror+hatredLV: Deal.

I shut off my screen before I could see anything else. I wish I wasn't such an idiot. I wish that evil creepy monster of a man never came to my gas station. I ran to the toilet and threw up a lung. I hadn't felt this sick for a very long time. In grade 12, one of my friends showed me a clip of a man getting his head cut open by the rotor blades of a helicopter he was repairing. Over the years, I've seen far worse, and I never had the urge to be sick. But this was nothing like that. I hadn't even seen any blood. But the idea of this happening somewhere on the world as the exact same time, something that I've been forced to acknowledge, is sickening in a whole new way.

When I was finished, I realized that I could hear screaming in the distance. I realized with newfound horror that I hadn't turned off the speakers. Her screams kept escalating, until I finally managed to disconnect the speakers with my unresponsive, vomit stained hands. I never expected how awful the silence was. I felt that in the process of silencing her, I was responsible. It made no sense, but I felt like I KILLED her. I felt the need to vomit again, not that there was anything left to expunge.

I needed to find out if she was alive. If I could take back anything, it would be this. The choice to turn the monitor back on will haunt me through my life and any afterlife or reincarnation. as I reached out to turn it on, the last remaining sane part of my mind told me that I was making a mistake. I knew I was, but I had to know.

I saw her severed head, both eyes missing from their sockets. Her warped, beaten, lifeless face has haunted me ever since. Even as I write this, I can feel her hollow gaze. Her dark stare, still oozing blood. I don't sleep anymore. I keep the lights on, I keep the TV on, I don't close my eyes, but she's always somewhere in the darkest places of my mind.

Right before I shut off the computer and prepared to scrap everything connected to it, I saw one last message on the chat

Admin: Thank you for watching. The next show starts in 30 minutes.

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