I loved numbers, I loved math, variables, it was my lifeforce, so to speak. I was always good at math, the only downside was that the other kids would always want to copy off me, and it pissed me off. But, that's a different story. I remember that night like it was yesterday, partly because I dream of it every night, its terror burned into my skull like a brand. It was mid-December, freezing, dark, no moon, the perfect night for me and my friends, Steven and Ishmael to stay inside and screw around on the internet.

We were messing around on some random forums when we came across a thread entitled "NUMBERS." My friends and I wanted to see some random noob rant about some aspect of the forum they didn't like, so, for giggles, we went ahead and clicked and began reading.

At first it was like one of those stupid chain letters, it started with "DON'T STOP READING, OR YOU WILL DIE!"

So, naturally we kept reading. It was about a young boy on Facebook who read this very chain letter, and was killed, violently, it wasn't the story that disturbed me, but the sheer detail, it described everything about the boy, his death, where he was positioned... It was creepy.

Ishmael began to laugh and asked, "What is this crap? Who takes the time out of their day to write this?" Steven began chuckling nervously, and I didn't reply, I was too deep in thought about the details, so strange. Ishmael got up and began talking in a creepy, low voice, "I am going to eat your brains, Mason, BAH!!" When he screamed, it made me and Steven jump, I looked at Steven and he looked genuinely worried, so I asked him, "What's wrong, dude?" Steven sighed and got up, walked to the other side of my room, leaned over his backpack, and removed his phone.

Steven clicked his phone a few times, walked over to me, and handed me his phone. And on the phone was a text from someone named "Azrael." And the text itself was exactly the same Chain Letter as the one we just read. "Spooky," I muttered to myself.

Ishmael snatched Steven's phone from my hand and began reading it, when he was done, he burst out laughing and handed Steven his phone back, "Ha! You guys, come on, I mean, some idiot from school probably read this and decided to send it to Steven! It's just a coincidence!" Steven shut off his phone and shoved it in his pocket.

Steven looked generally distraught, he then looked at Ishmael and me and said, "I've been seeing numbers, like, on walls and stuff, ever since I read this Text Message a couple days back... Guys, what if it's true... what if because we read this, we're gonna die?"

Ishmael looked at me and mouthed, "Psycho." And turned to use the bathroom.

Steven looked me dead in the eye and said, "Mason, I'm not crazy, I'm scared, I don't wanna die!" I knew I was going to have to be the one to reassure Steven nothing was going to happen, since Steven and Ishmael didn't really get along at the best of times.

"Look," I said to Steven, "it's just your mind imagining these things, you believe this stuff is real, so your subconscious projects these numbers around, you're gonna be fine, chillax." Steven nodded and said, "You're right, this is just my head messing with me."

I laughed and said, "Hey, wanna look up some funny videos on YouTube?" Steven nodded and we began browsing for funny videos. After a while, I found it a bit odd that Ishmael wasn't back from the bathroom yet, so Steven said, "Okay, go find Ish, and I'll load this video I saw yesterday."

I stepped out of my room and walked down the dark, empty hall to the bathroom to find Ishmael, my parents had gone out to some fancy dinner, so it was just us three. I arrived at the bathroom door and knocked. No reply, I began to get creeped out, I knocked again, no reply... I heard footsteps running up the stairs and I turned to see a dark figure running towards me, I screamed and ran back to my room, stumbling over my own feet. When I arrived at my room, Steven jumped out and screamed as he saw the dark figure chasing me, I dived into the room and Steven locked it behind me.

The figure banged on my door, until finally it stopped and Ishmael laughed and said, "You shoulda seen the look on your face, Hahahaha! Little girl!" I went to go open the door when Ishmael began screaming, really loud, he began banging on the door and screaming "Help me! Please, help!"

I was about to open the door when Steven said, "Don't open it, he's just being a jerk."

I nodded and waited until the banging and screaming stopped, just as it stopped, the power went out, I began to get angry opened the door and said "Ish, stop messing with the power!" My mom will be pissed!" When I looked around and didn't see him, I turned and saw a single, bloody handprint on the door.


I slammed the door, jumped back and fell. Steven asked "What happened?" And went to go open the door, I lunged and stopped him. "No, there's blood, someone!" Steven scoffed and said, "Bull, Ish probably just grabbed some Ketchup and stained your door. He's gonna have to clean it." Deciding Steven was right, I allowed him to open the door, but not before I grabbed a flashlight. Steven opened the door and took the flashlight from me and lead the way.

We walked by the bathroom, and scrawled in the red liquid was a huge number 3. I sighed and said, "Freaking Ishmael is going to mess up my entire house!" Steven nodded and we continued down the stairs, and as Steven shone the light down the stairs, I saw Ishmael at the bottom, a huge gash in his head, I ran down and flipped him so he was facing me, Steven asked, "Ish, what-what happened?" Ish could barely speak, and when he did it was random gibberish Steven and I couldn't understand.

"Steven," I said, "dude, go get the First Aid Kit from under the sink. Hurry!" Steven ran into the kitchen and I stayed with Ishmael trying to calm him down, after a few seconds, Ish said "Some huge seven foot dude grabbed me and hit me, someone, where's-where's Steven?!" I got up and began walking to go check on Steven when Ishmael yelled, "Wait, don't leave me alone!" I shushed him, told him I was going to be right back, and walked toward the kitchen.

On the ground was a flickering flashlight, and bloody drag stains leading toward the basement, being the coward I am, I decided Steven was dead and that I wasn't going into that basement. I ran back to where Ishmael was, he was standing, leaning against the wall.

I told him what I saw in the kitchen, and we both agreed it was time to call the cops, I helped him into the living room and set him down on the couch, I grabbed the phone, no tone. "Someone cut the Phone Line!" I gasped. I looked over at Ish and realized he was knocked out cold.

I carried him to the front door, we had to get out of there, now. I looked up and in the reflection of the window, I saw him, he was around seven feet tall, he wore a balaclava and a dark leather coat. I turned just as he lunged and plunged a bloody kitchen knife into Ishmael's chest. I gasped and ran, leaving Ishmael to die, I ran into the kitchen and into the basement, I slipped on blood and fell face first into the body of Steven.

I gasped and puked to the side, just as the man ran down the stairs after me. I got up and ran for something to defend myself with, I found and old shovel and turned to face the man, he lunged and I hit him in the hand with the shovel, the knife scuttered across the floor and I hit the man one more with the shovel in the head, and grabbed the knife, just as the man ran towards me, I jabbed the knife into his stomach.

The man gasped, struck me across the head and ran away, just as I heard sirens approaching the house... I sat in the padded room, rocking back in forth, slowly. This straightjacket kept me from hurting myself, or others, and these weak pills keep the memories and insanity at bay.