He had been getting messages ever since sundown, so much so that he had to turn his phone on silent to get away from them.
Each one held the exact same message: “It’s a beautiful night tonight, come outside”.
He looked up the forecast and was confused when it said that tonight was cloudy and at a high humidity.
Every so often he would look up from his book and check his phone, only to see that a bunch more notiÅcations had sprung up. They were all from a different person that he either barely knew or a close friend or family member.
At Årst, he didn’t think that much of it. He Ånished reading the chapter, turned the light off and went to get some sleep. But, every few minutes, he felt some strange tingling feeling that he should check his phone again, and as he suspected, more and more people from his life had chosen to message him about the supposed glorious night outside, and all he could do was groan and turn his phone right off, cover his head and try to sleep.
His body, however, did not seem to want to sleep, as he tossed and turned under his sheets, a cold sweat breaking under his pyjamas. I don’t feel hot, though … he thought to himself as he lay in his bed, only in his boxers, staring blankly at the ceiling.
He didn’t know what time it was or if the messages had stopped, but he started to become more and more paranoid about the night.
What exactly were those messages talking about? Did they mean something? Was this just some elaborate prank by one of his best friends? He looked to his curtains, thick and heavy to block out the summer heat. If he could just have a little peek at what’s outside, he might understand what the heck was going on. His arm slowly reached out of his blankets and went to pull the curtain aside …
The loud message ping frightened him out of his supposed stupor, putting all his attention to his phone. All he felt after that was confusion; how did it go off ? He turned it off entirely, it should be impossible. He AEipped the device over and clicked the power button, but it didn’t turn on. Instead, it only had one message in the middle of the screen. He didn’t recognise the number, he didn’t know that you could have the number 1111–111–111. The message was very simple, yet its contents was what utterly terriÅed him. “DON’T LOOK AT THE MOON.”
His breathing quickened and he suddenly felt hotter than before as he quickly pushed the power button down hard, waiting in those seemingly eternally long seconds for his phone to fully boot-up. As soon as he saw his home screen, he launched his messaging app and searched for the sender of the terrible omen. When he saw it, he typed as quick as he could: “why?”
The sender replied instantly, “DON’T LOOK AT THE MOON, WHATEVER YOU DO”.
He repeated his question, and the sender took nearly a full second to reply. Normally, that wouldn’t bother him, but at that moment, that second delay was petrifying. “THE.” “SKY.” “IS.” “…” Nothing. The little text bubble was still AEoating in that cute fashion, but no other messages came from the mysterious number. He tried to make more contact, sending ‘hellos’ and ‘are you theres’, no new responses came. When the bubble disappeared, his eyes widened in fear.
This was not a prank any more. Something was happening, something that was huge. Friends and colleagues from all over the city had sent him texts telling him to go outside, even though the forecasts predicted a horrid evening. They said it was a beautiful night, but nothing about it sounded remotely pretty. His eyes were drawn back to the curtains, those thick, navy blue curtains that were apparently protecting him from certain doom.
How many others have been affected? Was this widespread, or only happening locally? His mind was scrambling for answers to something he couldn’t even see, he didn’t realise how much his phone was buzzing in his hand.
He noticed his hand was trembling when he brought it up to his view, and he dropped it when he studied the messages. They were from his friends, his family, yet they sounded so alien and unfamiliar. The notiÅcations were all talking about the 111 number, calling it irrelevant and that they did not Åt. Each one, however, had the same chilling ending. “Come outside.” He was so petriÅed that he couldn’t move a muscle. His thoughts were screwed, his breathing like an engine spouting its Ånal, wheezing fumes. There was a knock at his window. “It’s a beautiful night tonight, come outside.”