Someone At The Door
I know a lot of people post shit online for attention or validation but this is something else altogether. I’ve tried to come to terms with it on my own but none if it makes sense and I was wondering if any of my friends could shine some light on it.
I was visiting a girl I’d me online called Emma down south on a train to Norwich a few weeks ago, the train packed as always, and I made my way down to the toilet to have a cig (don’t judge me, it's a four-hour journey) and while I was smoking, worrying that someone would smell the smoke and think I was a terrorist, when I noticed something out of the corner of my eye.
There, in a gap beside the hand towel dispenser, was a little shining object. I picked it up and realised it was a memory stick. Unfortunately, I hadn’t brought my laptop but I couldn’t have understood the significance of the thing at the time anyway, so for now it was just a found curiosity. So I packed it away in my bag and continued on the journey, never-thinking of the USB.
As hard as this is to admit, I was stood up. She didn’t answer my messages or phonecall and embarrassing as this is, I had to slump back to the train station with my head hung low.
More hurt than annoyed, I actually forgot about the stick until about 3 in the morning when, stoned, I remembered through the haze and retrieved the gig-stick from my bag.
Now, this next part seems unbelievable and I know most, if not all of you, will disregard this as an idle mind or some attention-seeking stunt but the truth is the truth, independent of individual opinion.
With only the shadowy light of a paused television screen, I plugged the device into my laptop.
When the USB registered on the computer a single file popped up which read: reconnaissance 1 avi.
I’m ashamed to admit I was hoping for porn, but intrigued nonetheless, I clicked on it and my video player manifested on the screen.
At first it was just a dark screen with a weird rumbling noise in the background. Then a sharp sound like someone turning the page of a newspaper. I leaned in closer to try discern any images; that’s when a voice literally made me jump in the seat.
‘Next stop, Sheffield,’ said a female voice.
I hadn’t experienced real goosebumps since watching the Texas chainsaw massacre when I was 9 or 10 years old. But it happened now, because I remember that voice, the exact tone and character of the voice. And Sheffield is on the way to Norwich.
The screen the brightened so much that I had to squint my eyes for a second to adjust, then an image formed.
It was of the inside of a train carriage and it looked eerily familiar. The camera pans around, up and down the aisle and then zooms in on someone about 10 or 11 seat back. It took my brain a second to register who I was looking at, and its a wonder I didn’t erupt into some kind of psychotic break there and then.
Because the person I was looking at was me.
I was reading a book, as I had been earlier that day on the train, and whoever was filming me was whispering something over the recording but it was in a language I’d never heard before. And even later, after taking down a few words of the audio and typing it into Google, no results were found. Wether I was misspelling what I heard or not, I really don’t know, but surely something should’ve come up, even on a ‘Did you mean?’ basis. But nothing? I was getting seriously freaked out.
For three days I watched that video till my mind was a hive of paranoia and on the third day Emma messaged. – she never spoke on the phone, said she was too nervous – and offered to meet up again. Apprehensively, I agreed but didn’t tell her what I had found. It sounds weird enough posting it on Facebook to people I’ve known for years never mind a girl I was mad about.
Besides, I was curious and wanted some kind of answers.
So I set off the next day, making sure I got the same train at the same time, and took the same seat. This time I brought my laptop just in case I found any more surprises.
About 3 hours in I needed a cig so I went to the same bathroom as before and there, in the exact spot as before, was a memory-stick.
Literally shaking like someone from a fiction story, I reached down, picked it up, and rushed back to my seat.
Darting suspicious glances at everyone in the carriage, especially the area where I thought the origin of the camera had been in the first video (it was occupied now by an elderly couple), I plugged the device in.
The laptop froze and would not even respond to ctrl alt delete. Frustrated, I spent the rest of the journey staring around the carriage like a spy in a train behind enemy lines. But I reached Norwich without further incident.
To my surprise and disappointment, Emma never showed, again. No reply to messages and her phone was off. But this time I was angry. If she was nervous all she had to do was say and we could've worked something out. But, to be honest, my thoughts were more concerned with what was on that USB. So, embarrassed and pissed off, I made the journey back to Manchester.
I rushed home and plugged the stick into my computer.
The file read ‘reconnaissance 4 avi.’
Four? I thought, where the fuck is the other two?
This time when the screen flashed on, the camera was directed at me already and that weird language was whispering again, relaying, really. From what I could make out, the woman seemed to be describing what I was doing, and even said my full name several times.
What unsettled me most was that at one point in the 11 minute video I look directly at the camera but, as I remember, the area at which I looked was completely empty. And it couldn’t just be a hidden camera because there was that voice narrating throughout.
Shortly after it ended, my phone bleeped with a message and I leapt in my skin yet again.
It was Emma apologizing again saying her anxiety had caused her to derail the plans. Feeling empathetic, I said I understood and agreed to meet up one last time.
So off I went a couple of days later and its fair to say I was nervous wreck.
Again, I made sure I reproduced the conditions exactly: same train, same time, same seat. But this time I not only looked around but examined the carriage. Nobody seemed out of place or suspicious, even in my paranoid mindset. And the area from which the camera had been pointing was definitely empty. Just to be sure, I went down and had a look, disregarding the inquisitive looks of the other passengers, and there was no ominous crevice or glinting lens to be found. It was at this time I seriously considered whether I’d finally, completely discarded all sense of reality and lost my mind. But there was proof of my sanity in the form of two gig-sticks. And that’s when it hit me.
This time I rushed to the toilet, unphased by the uneasy glances of commuters and knew what I’d see as soon as the door slid open.
I got back to my seat and plugged the stick into the laptop. Of course, my computer crashed. And, as I had expected, Emma didn’t turn up.
When I finally got home, resigned, I was both eager and genuinely terrified to see what was on this one. But I was more angry at Emma than anything so I went to send a final message but there was no conversation on messenger. She hadn’t blocked me; there were no results at all. I checked Facebook; nothing. The whole conversation had been deleted and the phone number didn't even ring once. Confused and about a million levels above unnerved, I returned my attention to the memory-stick.
Named ‘reconnaissance 13 avi’ it was shaky at first. Then an image came into view.
Daylight, the camera wavers up and down as if someone is walking and recording. It didn’t take me long to recognize where it was, my apartment building. And now there were several voices all mumbling excitedly in that language I can’t figure out. The camera turns sideways for a second and to my shock and horror it shows at least six people in balaclavas with a selection of weapons, two of which being blunt butcher knives. And the cars in the car park are parked exactly as they had been just a few minutes ago when I entered the building.
I have no idea what any of this means and I’m hoping somebody has had a similar experience, so I can settle-
I can hear something outside my flat door. It sounds like...
Look If something happens to me then please just