Terror of the Net
‘Twas a cold and rainy night in the sleepy town of Gananoque. As the rest of the town-folk settled into their beds after a long day of hacking darts and driving pickup trucks, a rumbling terror rose deep beneath the town. Some say he is only a legend, something to scare kids and make sure they get home by curfew. But a precious few knew the real truth about what lurked in the shadows. A truth that they only realized once it was too late.
The bedsprings creaked as he arose from his slumber, a grumbling emitting from his vocal chords so low and incoherent, only dogs could hear its awful tones. He turned his head toward the clock – 9:00pm it shone back at him in blood-red light.
“Soon…” was all he said. His XL FutureShop shirt lay on the floor, various juices splattered across it as a reminder of what was consumed on the previous day’s lunch break. But for his task tonight, he would need no shirt – only a pair of large bi-focals, a fedora, and, of course, his instrument of terror from which he would wreak havoc in the coming hour – a Lenovo Thinkpad. i7 core. 16GB RAM. It was the blade under whose shadow the ordinary residents of Gananoque cowered in fear. And tonight would be no different.
“Hmmm,” he pondered “where shall I begin tonight?” He smirked in self satisfaction, reveling in his own cunning as he typed ‘reddit.com’ into his address bar. It would be a familiar site that he would begin; an international port for the weary travellers on the information superhighway. He trawled his way through the front page, searching through the murky fog of posts to find an easy target; a lame fool who dared to shine his light in his direction. Then he found it: a compilation video of kids making ‘adorable’ mistakes at talent shows. The OP had no chance. He was an infant gazelle, left behind to the lions to spare the herd.This was going to be a bloodbath.
A mere twenty minutes later, the thread was smoldering in his wake. The moans of pain and butthurt of a thousands nubes could be heard from miles. But his work for the night was far from complete. Neckbeard continued to scour the deepest depths of the web, but his search was disappointing. There was barely a flame war to be seen.
“This bores me” he emoted and closed all his windows. A whole bottle of Mtn Dew down his gullet and he turned his attention to his xBox. It had been nearly three weeks since the weary citizens of Live had been under his thumb. Some had even forgotten he was still around. Tonight, however, they would be wrong.
COD was a religion in these parts, a way of life for many whose ordinary lives – spent as prisoners within the walls of their middle schools – offered little chance to carry out covert black ops missions, killing Nazi Zombies by the dozens. All they came was for a bit of innocent, violent fun. What they would get, was a war they could never win.
“What the fuck dude, can you even quickscope?” he began. And that was only the beginning. Slurs, epithets, put-downs all rang out.
“Hey man, cut it out!” they pleaded. “This isn’t cool anymore!” they cried. But Neckbeard continued his plunder, desecrating any thirteen year old who dare cross his path. One by one they began to drop out. One by one they succomed to his might. By 11:30 it was only he who remained. “Hmmm” was all he could say, neither proud nor disappointed. By it was a triumph nonetheless.
“I must feast” he decaled. He shuffled his way up to the kitchen with only one thing in mind: if it was Pizza Pockets he wanted, it was Pizza Pockets he got. Freed from the frozen wastes of the back of the freezer, it was a mere three minutes in the microwave and they were before him; a steaming pile of sustenance waiting to be devoured. He liked Pizza Pockets – in many ways they reminded him of himself: warm, beige, and inviting on the outside, but if you didn’t know better, there was a fire on the inside that could easily be released. He considered returning to his laptop, but was instead content on resting on his morals for the evening.
As he swirled his finger in the remaining sauce and cheese on the plate, he wondered why he had the sudden change of heart. Was he becoming soft? Turning into one of them? With a mixture of horror and disgust for himself he lay his head upon the table and closed his eyes. Soon the sun would rise and no one would know who he was. But in the nighttime he was king, a menace to be feared. But for now, it was time for him to rest.