The 13th Floor

She Didn’t Turn Off the Camera — Until It Was Too Late

Today’s macabre tale from the weird wide web is the virtual equivalent of one of those nesting dolls: it’s a secondhand account, via blog entry from an author identified only as “Ace,” of their first and only viewing of a video — the subject of which describes her own experience viewing a similar video… and so on.

As with so many of these reports, the author gives no hint of their true identity, and their present whereabouts remain unknown.

The footage, as described in the “Ace” blog post, depicted a teenage girl, recording a kind of personal video diary in a pitch-black environment, using only the camera’s night-vision mode, which gave her skin and eyes a surreal green cast. All the author could see behind her was a dark backdrop of some kind, which resembled a sheet of thick fabric or stretched leather.

According to the author, she began her entry in a calm, subdued voice:

“My life has been a living hell,” she declared to the camera. “I can barely remember a time when I wasn’t afraid, and even that seems like it was years ago. But I know it hasn’t been years since this started. It started three days ago. It started with the video.”

She went on to describe a video very much like the one in which she herself is appearing, but the subject is a boy of the same age. This unnamed boy was also recording a kind of video journal, but while his voice was said to be as just as calm and level as hers, what he described in that footage was terrifying.

But he apparently gave her a chance to stop watching before he went too deep into his monologue… a chance she neglected to take.

She offered the same opportunity to the author: “This is your last chance to turn back, to turn off the video, to save yourself from the terror that awaits you,” she said, her voice never wavering from its calm demeanor. “Turn it off now.”

Needless to say, the author doesn’t take her advice.

“I didn’t listen to his warning either,” the girl said, referring to the boy whose video she had recently viewed. “I was dead wrong.”

She commended the viewer for his bravery, but alerted him that, like her, there is no turning back now.

Image Credit: iStock/Cirilo Poeta
Image Credit: iStock/Cirilo Poeta

“He said that they were looking for recruits for the group he was a part of,” she continued. “I was to be their newest recruit, having seen the video. That confused me. How was he supposed to find me? What If I didn’t want to be part of their group?”

She went on to explain how the boy told her she no longer had any choice in the matter, but would be granted “special abilities and rewards.” He also told her that “THEY” were coming to collect him, and that they would be coming after her next.

“I had no doubt in my mind that THEY would find me,” she said to the unblinking camera eye. “They did. That night.”

She then relates a tale that must have been as disturbing to the author as the boy’s tale was to her.

“I was half asleep when they came,” she said. “Suddenly, I heard a rustling from outside my window. A whoosh followed soon after. I ran to the window and there THEY were. Five of them, beckoning. They were smiling.”

Those smiles were apparently what horrified her the most, sending her running for the believed safety of her parents’ bedroom. In a panic, she managed to awaken her mother and father, but when she directed them to the spot on the front lawn where she’d seen them, the smiling visitors were nowhere to be found.

But the next day, THEY came again.

“They were everywhere the next day,” she said, describing how they watched her from the trees surrounding her school, fluttering past the classroom windows, darting in and out of the corners of her vision. “By this time they were visibly agitated,” she said. “A few looked furious.” She knew she was living on borrowed time.

That night, she was proven right.

“A hand burst through the window, shattering the glass,” she said, her voice never wavering. “I ran for the door, but HE was too quick for me. He got there before I did. The sweetness was gone. Rage poured from his body and out of his bright red eyes. I shrank to the floor, terror taking hold.”

The last thing she remembered from that night was the sensation of “two sharp needle pricks,” after which she claimed she lost consciousness.

When she awakened, she said, THEY were waiting.

“They explained my new abilities,” she related in the same calm voice, describing how she now could “run so fast people saw only a blur,” and she commented how much she liked being much stronger than the boys at school.

But there was a definite downside: she was forbidden from ever leaving the group.

“There is no one here I can relate to,” she said with just a hint of sadness in her voice. “Everyone else has been here so long that they’ve forgotten how to be human, how to be a teenager.”

Then she smiled at the viewer, ever so slightly. “Oh well, I’ll have you here soon,” she said. “We can be friends.”

Image Credit: iStock/Ivan Bliznetsov

Then the author says the girl in the video shifted position, stretching to get comfortable. The leathery backdrop behind her twitched and shuddered slightly when she moved… and the viewer suddenly realizes what it was.

The “backdrop” was in fact attached to the girl’s shoulder blades — a gigantic pair of wings, its billowing surface traced with tiny, barely-visible veins and stretched across long, rib-like bones.

“Good luck trying to escape,” the girl said, gazing calmly into the camera eye. The author believes she’s looking right at him. “You’re going to need it. They’ve been doing this for centuries. They know exactly what you’re going to try.”

Her smile widened perceptibly, with just a touch of anticipation coloring her otherwise unemotional voice.

“You’ll see me tonight. We’ll be watching.”

She shut off the camera, and the author’s blog entry ends here as well. There have been no further entries.