I don’t even know if I should really submit this story to Creepypasta, since it’s not as much of literary work as I’d hoped in the first place.
Recently, I’ve bungee jumped into a valley of nostalgia. It was a hard work to try and recollect all of the music I used to listen to, all of the books I used to read and all of the games I used to play. I set up a playlist that ranged from Crush 40 (my first musical interest) to Girls’ Generation (my most recent obsession), borrowed an Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog DVD from a video rental store (which is a notalgic act in intself) and searched by my old games CDs like my life depended on it. I was really excited for such an afternoon. My girlfriend didn’t mind my sudden surge of zeal for my own uneventful past. Rather, she appreciated it and made lots of questions, leading to some pleasant talks I hadn’t had in a long time.
I couldn’t find some CDs, though; others were broken or severely damaged; others yet wouldn’t run on Windows XP. I should have had expected that, since some are really quite old. And I never had the chance to finish them all – Castle of the Winds and Winged Warrior II are some of my biggest regrets. The one CD, however, that really caught my attention was one from a game magazine that contained several RPG Maker games, along with RPG Maker 2000 and 2003. I had so much fun with those when I was younger – not that younger, by the way. I discovered RPG Maker in, say, 2006. At first, I wasn’t any good – I could never program to save my life, since I’ve always been terrible at thinking too logically.
Heh, when RPG Maker XP was launched, they even said Ruby was an easy language and anyone could learn, but I don’t think I had the intellect or the will to do so at the age of 13.
I had the most fun replaying the classics, like Kindred Saga, Chimera Report, Shichimenchouken and, my personal favourite, the Legion Saga series. The best part about playing them is that I learned a lot with them, be it storytelling, RPG Maker mechanics or simply patience. If they had made such entertaining games, so could I.
The truth is, I never made anything due to my own laziness and lack of organization. Maybe I had some ideas, but they were always too complicated – this led me to interesting achievements, since I could do some neat things on RPG Maker 2000/2003. Never a full game, though.
All of these reminiscences led me to decide I was ready to make a game. I am more mature now, after all, and I have been through much practical learning regarding patience since then (organization is an entirely different matter). I opened the program and immediately got depressed.
Databases were always a pain in the neck.
After seeing just how much time I would have to spend deleting the useless stuff from the database, importing graphical resources and setting up the most basic and structural details, I noticed I had a long, long way to go, so it would be for the best if I just started off by rememberig how to handle the machine.
I did recall the engine was pretty broken as well, particularly with automated events – telling the game to wait for something would often make it tilt and ruin all of your perfect timing, glitching everything. It occurred to me that I should, at least, try to get a better understanding of these issues before moving on, and then started working on a generic introduction of sorts… except I didn’t have any ideas.
I blinked thrice upon this realization.
Drawing a nearby notepad, I started mumbling sketches and drawing random words. When I gave up, I resorted to drawing sketches and mumbling random words.
To no avail, of course.
I needed a symbol, something that could rouse my ideas. Maybe even make them revolve around it, because I’ve always liked projects that build something concrete and interesting off something rather banal and simple. Drawing, unfortunately, is another skill I don’t have and was not born for, so I ended up just casting more strokes upon the sheet of paper, mostly trying minimalist faces and stylized wings.
I did get something, in the end. Basically two eyes and a mouth: a black and white logo absolutely devoid of sophistication, even though vaguely feminine. The eyes were actually more like wings without feathers, wide, curvy and inclined. I grew fond of it, because it inspired me some very abstract ideas related to flags and piracy. Well.
I showed it to those close to me and they were basically unaffected by it. I even had to explain that it was a face to some – my girlfriend (who is probably the person closest to me since I no longer live with my parents), for one, said it looked like a kitten with its eyes closed. What I thought of as a smile seemed to her like a nose. Well.
No, for me it was a smile, actually a very unsettling one. Didn’t have sharp teeth or anything – just a somewhat eerie collection of shapes and forms. So it clicked – I could perhaps make a creepy introduction around it! I don’t have all that much knowledge of composing and sound editing, but I was sure I could do it with FL Studio and Audacity. RPG Maker 2003 only supports image files with 256 colors, though, which proved to be a major problem – except it actually sometimes helped everything look more menacing. Or so I thought, at least.
This is what I got.
I worked hard on this, mind you. It lengths about, I don’t have a clue, three or four minutes? Still, I had to check each and every detail, every position of a given picture, every second to see if it the music wouldn’t mismatch the sequence of pictures. It did, obviously, because of the aforementioned problem RPG Maker has with automated events. It is safe to say I spent two nights doing this, from 9PM to 6 AM. And I never could sleep under daylight, so that’s two days without sleep.
In the end, I didn’t know if I was exhausted or, indeed, starting to get a little put off every time I had to listen to that tune again. I had “composed” it myself, but I seriously couldn’t have another of that first sequence of high-pitched notes.
I was not sure it was not downright ridiculous, so instead of start spamming it on the internet, I decided to show it to my friends. We always talk via Skype, so I’d be able to hear their feedback right away.
I still don’t know why I was so nervous when I showed it to them, but the thing is that I posted the link and took my earphones off, so I don’t really know what they all laughed at. It was a collective, loud guffaw I couldn’t not hear even with the earphones put away. Many thoughts of frustration crossed my mind in the form of phrases, such as “and you thought you had a chance of not being a failure” and “embracing your own knees and curling up is indeed your signature move, isn’t it?”
I immediately turned my computer off and went to sleep, since I noticed I was about to cry.
I opened my eyes with a resolution, though – I wouldn’t give up. I felt entitled to making a scary skit, and so I walked to my friends – metaphorically, since we only talk on the Internet – and asked them what was wrong with it, what I had to improve. Exasperated I was when I heard them say it was really good and they could picture someone getting disturbed seeing it. Just hadn’t happened to them because they weren’t watching alone, even if metaphorically.
I instantly heard a scream coming from the back of my mind – fuck you. How can you say that? You fucking laughed yesterday! I know you noticed I didn’t handle it well enough, but do you seriously need to lie to me? I’m not dense and I don’t want kind words, you know?
But I ended up not saying anything, since that would be really uncalled for. The back of my mind was still raging when I decided I needed a second opinion, so I sent the “game” to another friend of mine.
He didn’t take long to respond.
“Hey, that’s some good shit you’ve got there. I’m immune to your weirdness, but I’m sure someone would fall from the chair in terror”. Once again, a hidden part of my mind started to complain. What the hell? How come everyone is immune – not to eerieness itself, but to the eerie stuff I make? Could it be everyone recognized the effort and amount of time spent on it, so they… pitied me for failing?
This became a recurring thought throughout the days, even when I was doing anything that didn’t have anything to do with anything, like reading a (as of now, indistinct) comic book. I will admit it was bugging me, since it was a noisy, albeit soundless phrase. I will also admit it changed its form throughout the day, sometimes becoming “You’re nothing more than her ordinary meal. She thinks of all her ex-boyfriends and future ones when she’s with you” when hanging out with my girlfriend and, as a response of sorts, I became much more sensitive to lack of cuddling than the acceptable, as if her displays of affection could counter the thoughts. I’m also terrible at hiding feeling, so I couldn’t help but ask if there was anything wrong all the time. I once asked why she hadn’t been smiling all that much when around me, to what she replied very quickly:
“I did smile when I saw you. It’s you who hasn’t smiled all day long.”
It would also turn into “you will be nothing like them. You’ll fall behind and have to borrow money from them” when talking with my friends about their perspectives for the future. I could forget that I feel displaced in my current university course… until these moments.
A couple days later, however, I tried to concentrate and battle this negative aura I was bearing and, perhaps, already spreading. I calmly sat on my bed, crossed my legs, closed my eyes and waited for the thought to come like a father waits for the cockroach to come out of the crack on the wall, holding a sandal as if it were a mace. Eventually, it reached my ears.
“You are pathetic. Your life will be a sequence of hops from failure to failure. You will often feel bursts of hope because of another half-assed idea you will have, only to break your face on the floor when you realize it didn’t impress anyone. You will always have dialogues in which all of the lines are yours, scenes in which you play all the parts. It’s insulting to see you trusting yourself – like a child making origami with money, you don’t deserve to believe in yourself. You are the clown everyone laughs at, but who no one cries for.”
And I would have stopped it right at the beginning and I would have argued with myself, wasn’t it for the fact that it literally reached my ears. I heard it. Startled, I couldn’t help but only listen.
It was, rest assured, a girly voice.
Even though that left me disturbed and severely depressed, I still couldn’t give up. After all, scaring someone (when that’s the purpose) would surely improve my self-esteem and I had the hope I still could do it.
I locked the sad memories of rejections, abandonments and failures – that had bursted out of the chest while I heard that voice – in a mental box and tried to forget that.
…Alright. In all honesty, I did keep a certain memory of a certain dream I had long ago and that had, at the time, both inspired and disturbed me. It went mre or less like this:
A boy was, for some reason, walking in a pretty post-apocalyptic landscape, with a gray sandstorm going on and whatnot. He found an abandoned house and entered it, only to find a girl behind a table with a box of matches on it. She took the box of matches and said:
“This is your mind. Every memory, every dream, every feeling or thought of yours is stored in these matches,” and, after a little pause, “art is what happens when you burn them.”
The boy then proceeded to burn match after match, and I (the… cameraman?) would feel dizzy and my vision would blur a little evey time he burnt one.
This dream influenced me in more than one way, incluiding my own definition of art, so I decided I would transform that old and once-forgotten dream (or nightmare) into something creepy made in RPG Maker. On the next couple days, I worked on music and pictures once again. Quite diligently, to be honest. I was, however, feeling off and lifeless. So much so that when I actually opened the program, I entered some kind of auto-pilot mode and didn’t even see what I was doing. I truly closed myself to that one and, actually, I only noticed I had finished when I didn’t feel myself automatically moving my fingers to the Alt and F4 keys in frustration.
And, what’s worse, the final results had some details that were new even to me – particularly the sayings.
I didn’t like it and a cold liquid made of anger, sadness and frustration invaded my stomach when I saw it with unbiased eyes. Once again, I heard a feminine voice whisper:
“Funny how no one is supporting you.”
That striked me as provoking, but also as an unalienable truth. No one gave me advice, no one showed compassion, no one gave me kind words. Even my girlfriend, I had noticed, had been drifting away from me.
From that day on, the voice gained a name, since I felt the need to, somehow, make it more comfortable to deal with it . I gave her the name of Boneca, which means “doll” in Portuguese. The reason is no other than her voice being really soft and the fact that she… sounds… fragile. I pictured her as a girl, though.
From her voice, I think, I could figure out some looks for her only from her voice. Aside from her face, which I couldn’t imagine (and ended up placing the “kitten” for the facial features), I had her wear a brown, rough dress, almost the same color of her wavy hair. And, hell, did that girl had skinny arms.
Everyone noticed I was getting quieter and crankier, but what would anyone think of me if I said I had a new imaginary friend?
And even though I tried to treat her as an imaginary friend altogether, the situation got far worse in the next couple of days. I had nightmares in which… basically… everything went wrong. I could give further detail for dramatic effects, but this is really way too personal for me to tell¹. I can say, though, that I had to thrash around on my bed right after waking up and put on the loudest music just to make noise, as to make the voice stop.
Moreover – and perhaps more importantly -, she started to immediately “translate” anything anyone said to me or acted towards me. In a very cynical, sarcastic way. I couldn’t not feel down for what Boneca told me what were everyone’s “true” intentions and words.
It felt like a black hole sucking everything in the external world and distorting it until it became only a dense and black dot inside of me.
“Like hell I was going to tell anyone, though,” I thought once or twice. Sadly, I’m terrible at hiding feelings.
I had to reveal mostly everything when my relationship with my girlfriend reached a very uneasy point. She told me she had too much on her mind because of her tiring schedule and that even though she was worried she could be hurting me, she honestly didn’t think she was being any less caring. I would have protested, wasn’t I aware that I was wrong, so I told her everything.
“Using me as a shield for your own insecurities… how coward of you.”
At night, I was destroyed. The feeling of loneliness had been caused and was being augmented by Boneca, but I had just given up. I didn’t know whether she was some kind of spirit I had summoned by drawing that damned face I became obssessed with; or the impersonation of my weaknesses; or the result of my attempt at being creepy backfiring. I was just listening to them, but…
She was singing. I’m pretty sure I’ve heard the song before, but I don’t really know where.
Was she… in a good mood?
So I tried to talk to her, not knowing if that was just me talking to myself or what. This was our dia(mono?)logue:
“Have I made you?”
“Sort of, but you know more.”
“You are weak alone. Your friends liked the second installment of your series.”
“What are you?”
“What a commonplace question to make. see, I could tell you I’m a ghost, I could tell you I’m a human, I could tell you I’m a part of your psyché. But, then again, I am the one who will put mistrust into your mind, and you will still not know. Or… perhaps, you just don’t trust me altogether, which is actually healthier.”
“You are just being one hell of a cynic.”
“Of course you are. If I created you, I know what you are and what you are not.”
“Is that so? But, being your creature and living inside of your mind, don’t I know what you are what you are not, too?”
“Good point. But, then, why can’t I control you and stop you from hurting me?”
“Because you don’t want to.”
That I interpreted in two ways – either I can just make her disappear at my will or she was implying I wouldn’t have the guts to let her go, for some reason. She had been the one providing me interpretations for the world outside of my thoughts, so I should have guessed she would try and confuse me by leaving this one open for mulling over.
“You really could make more games. It would be a dream coming true, wouldn’t it? Who knows, I could perhaps quiet down after this one.”
I considered the proposal. Somehow, it sounded like an armistice for a massacre, so I, for once, wasn’t in the position to negotiate. I needed a quick solution to the problem of being constantly insecure and afraid of having anyone point fingers to me, speaking to me or even looking at me – how many times hasn’t she told me that I was ugly and that I knew it? And that people would never speak to me first if a handsome man had the same to offer?
She broke me in so many levels, but still was… I don’t know… using me to express herself? Or maybe it has always been the other way around. All I know is that when I opened RPG Maker for the last time, I was already in tears. It was too painful to program, to compose yet another tune, to close my eyes and see that everything had got done in the meanwhile. I would feel her instructions as knifes slicing my skin slowly; when drowzy, I would close my eyes and see her kitten face scare the hell out of me and wake me up all over again. This is the last time, I swear, I’m ever touching RPG Maker.
Perhaps publicizing it all, story included, was a decision of mine to get rid of her. It could also be trick of hers, so that I feel crushed once again when I see the judgement of others. She keeps me hanging between wanting everyone else’s opinion and fearing it.
I can’t take any more of this, but still I can’t let go of it. She manipulates my ego and my pride. She has taken over me. Even if she’s myself.