‘Like’ This Page is a thriller as stated in the title. If you are a little squeamish and horror stories and thrillers make you uncomfortable or downright terrified, you may like to give this story a miss.
I have split it into three parts so all the really gruesome stuff appears in the second part. That way anyone who wants to give reading this a go should be able to at least cope with the first chapter without being too traumatised.
Then it is up to you if you think you are up to braving Part Two.
‘Like’ This Page
Would you like to see this live? Was the simple question that followed the video posted on Facebook, by I know not who… probably an acquaintance of a friend of mine. I was still trying to recover from what I had just seen. The simulated torture and killing had seemed so chillingly real. If so ‘like’ this page and type ‘yes’ in comments.
Images from the morbid five minute video haunted my dreams for the next two or three nights. Over time, my mind became occupied with other things and thoughts of that video, thankfully, faded.
Then, precisely two weeks later, I found a strange black envelope in my mailbox. I would have dismissed it as junk mail except it was stamped and addressed to me personally in white ink. I was also surprised to be receiving an actual letter in these days of email and the Internet.
I opened it without haste, and before my other mail:
“Letter of Confirmation
Thank you for “liking” our page and expressing your interest in attending a live performance.
Attendee’s details: (my name and address, phone number, email address; the name of my wife, son and daughter; even my workplace)
This letter is to confirm your interest in viewing a live performance to be held at: 1 Hacker Way, ……………. (name of city withheld to protect the reader)
Please present yourself on or before 9.00pm on 13th November at the above address. Your allocated ticket/number is attached.”
The letter bore no signature or company name.
I removed a small card from a paper clip in the corner of the letter. Printed on it was my name, and in bold lettering “Ticket No. 43 (not transferable).”
How the hell had they obtained all these personal details? I thought. This set me aback. Of course, I had liked the page on Facebook, they would have tracked my profile. Damn! What had I done? A strange dizzy feeling swept over me. It was as though this letter was threatening, “We know who you are and where you live, so you better attend or else!.”
Why had I been so stupid to have “liked” that page and typed “yes” in the comments without considering the consequences?
I looked at my watch as I parked my car at the given address. It was 8.30pm, and I wasn’t one to be late for anything if I could help it, especially with the air of a threat that this invitation portrayed. In front of me stood a rundown and foreboding looking building, that I imagine to have been an abandoned factory or warehouse complex.
The dismal feeling may have been accentuated by the dark, starless night, and the thunder rumbling in the distance and warning of an impending storm. A lone spotlight on a pole beside the front entrance offered the only illumination.
A number of people were milling around, most seeming, like me, unsure of exactly what they were doing here. Occasionally, one or another looked down at what appeared to be there allocated ticket. I couldn’t see anyone of authority there to ask for advice or direction, but now and then the door would open and someone would tentatively approach the door and enter. But, only one person at a time.
After watching three or four people enter, I approached a young blonde man and asked if he knew what was happening. He stammered his reply, “S-s-see that board at the r-r-right of the door? It displays the n-n-number of the person who is next to enter.”
“Thanks,” I said and walked closer to the door for a better look. He was right; I saw a wooden board with numbered cards hanging from pegs. It currently displayed “32.” I pulled my ticket from my wallet to check it was in fact 43, and anxiously waited my turn.
In around thirteen minutes, number 43 appeared on the board and I walked towards the door, which opened at my approach. Inside it was pitch black but I saw a thin torchlight beam shone on the ground in front of me and felt firm hand on my shoulder guide me forward and through a curtain.
On the other side there was muted lighting, and seats arranged like in a theatre and facing a small stage. Those who had entered before me were already seated there. Patient or anxious, I couldn’t tell. Then one by one, more people entered and eventually all the seats were full. I estimated about 50.
Apparently all the invited guests had arrived, and within minutes the stage lighting brightened and some soft but morbid music began to play in the background. Checking my watch I saw that almost an hour had past since my arrival.
Suddenly, a struggling figure was dragged onto the stage by two others, hooded and dressed in black. The captive appeared to be a male, yes it was a man. He was placed into a simple wooden chair and his hands and ankles strapped to it. That done, one of those in black left the stage …only to return with an iron pot filled with red hot coals and what appeared to be metal skewers poking from it.
It was then I recognised the figure in the chair. It was the young blonde man I had questioned briefly while outside waiting entry! I moved uneasily in my chair at this revelation.
The crowd seemed to sense something and let out a combined exclamation of surprise and anticipation at what was to come.
One of the black hooded figures then withdrew two hot skewers, from the coals, with his gloved hands and approached the man in the chair.
… to be continued …
by John Hansen © 2016
After a lot of procrastinating I have finally self-published my first eBooks of poetry "I Laughed a Smile" and "On the Wings of Eagles" at Lulu.com.Now I find myself branching out and experimenting with short fiction.
I have also been fortunate to have two poems chosen to be made into songs and recorded. The first "On the Road to Kingdom Come" by Al Wordlaw, and the second, "If I Could Write a Love Poem" by award-winning British singer Tally Koren.
I am also finding my services increasingly in demand as a freelance writer and I have ghost-written the text for a number of children's books and educational tutorials.
It has taken me many years of searching and restlessness to realise that my life's passion is to write. It saddens me that I wasted so many years not devoting to that, but thinking positively, the experiences gained over those years is now wonderful material for my stories and poems.
I want to try to bring a new focus on poetry and try to make it appealing to a new generation of young people and those who thought they never liked or understood it before.