fwd: fwd: fwd: help

📅 Published on August 16, 2020

“fwd: fwd: fwd: help”

Written by Brian Martinez
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on CreepypastaStories.com are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available

ESTIMATED READING TIME — 13 minutes

Rating: 9.00/10. From 3 votes.
Please wait...

I received the following email from Stewart, an old friend I haven’t spoken to in years. At first I thought some spammer had gotten a hold of his address book. Within a few sentences, however, I knew it was written by Stewart himself. A long and disturbing message followed. To say it worried me would be an understatement.

* * * * * *

To: All contacts
From: Stewart K.
Subject: help

I need to assure you all that this is serious. I’m not joking or making up stories or any of that. This is real. It’s real and it’s happening to me. If you’re receiving this, it’s because I know you enough to ask you for help, and I’m praying that at least one of you has the heart and the means to offer it.

The truth is, I’m a thousand miles from home and I don’t know who else to turn to. The police can’t help me. I mean maybe they could, but I can’t get close enough to them to find out. Hopefully one of you can help me, or you can forward this to someone who can. This might take a while to explain. I’m going to give you as much detail as I can so you understand everything about what’s going on, and you can make your own decision from there.

Most of you know where I am right now. Daniele and I are in Prague, on our honeymoon. Some of you were even at our wedding. God, that already seems like a lifetime ago. I can’t believe it’s only been five days since we celebrated the best day of our lives, and now we’re at our lowest point ever.

We got to the Czech Republic four days ago. The first two days in Prague were good. It was a little boring for our tastes, so we decided to ask around about any parties that might be going on. Konrad, one of the guys at the hostel, told us he’d seen a party flyer hanging at an internet cafe up the block.

Sure enough we found the flyer he was talking about. It was no bigger than a postcard, tacked to the community board, an announcement for some kind of rave. But the problem was there was no address on it, just a long, handwritten website on the back. Daniele wanted to forget the whole thing, but I was still curious. I took the flyer to the girl at the cafe’s counter and asked her if she knew about it. She said she had no idea, she hadn’t even known about the flyer, but that I shouldn’t even think of visiting the website without a TOR browser and a good VPN blocker.

I’m not a computer expert, but I know enough to know what she was talking about. This was dark web territory, the kind of thing where you don’t want anyone knowing who or where you are. I asked her if she knew where I could secure that kind of access, and she told me that for a hundred American dollars she just might. I thought Daniele was going to try to stop me again for sure but by then she was getting curious herself. So I gave the girl the money and she brought us to a computer in the back, away from where people could see what we were doing.

I know it sounds crazy, and stupid, and all of those things, just for a party. I know that. But we were honestly just looking for some innocent fun on our honeymoon. A little danger before we settled down and got old together. We just had no idea how dangerous things were going to get.

After typing in the URL I logged onto the site. It was fairly simple, yet like no website I’d ever seen. Everything was made up of red letters, even the background and the window frames. All the page had was a story about some guy looking at himself in the mirror and not trusting his own reflection. For a minute we thought we’d been pranked, possibly by the girl at the internet café, tricking us out of a hundred bucks. But just as we were about to give up, a pop-up appeared on the screen in big, red letters.

Do you like fun? Yes or no.

Daniele and I laughed at the question, but I figured what the hell and typed yes into the box. After another minute the pop-up disappeared, and was replaced by another. It was a formal invitation to “The greatest party in all the world. Do you accept?” Daniele gave me the go-ahead, so I typed yes again. We waited a few minutes, so long that I thought the computer had frozen, but then a new pop-up appeared. This time it was an address, and a reminder to bring our dancing shoes.

We left the internet cafe and walked toward where I thought the address might be, stopping to buy some booze on the way so we wouldn’t have to trust whatever was on offer at the party. That was my idea, and it made Daniele feel better about what we were doing.

The problem was, we couldn’t find the address. I asked an old guy closing up a newspaper stand if he knew where it was, but he conveniently didn’t know English, or at least pretended not to.

We got a little lost after that, and it was starting to get late, so I decided to look up the address on my phone. I didn’t like doing it without all the protection we’d had back at the internet cafe, but I figured there wasn’t much risk in looking up a simple address on the internet. People do it every day.

It turned out to be the location of an old, indoor flower market, which seemed like a strange place to have a party. We went there with a lot of hesitation, walking through a few blocks of industrial buildings that were either abandoned or in terrible condition. Daniele doubted we were even in the right place. But then, when we were thinking of turning back, we saw it.

The building was about half a block long, concrete, with massive skylights for a roof. Half the windows were broken, the others too dirty to see through. As we approached we could hear a big party going on inside, loud music thumping, and so we felt confident enough to hold each other’s hand and head inside.

The party was immediately wilder than we’d expected. A hundred bodies dancing to heavy dance music, all cramped together in the old brick and metal building. Most of them either had too much clothing on or not enough. But that wasn’t the craziest part.

It was the fact that they were all wearing masks.

* * * * * *

At this point I was starting to get a little suspicious of Stewart’s email. I’d heard stories about those parties, always somewhere in Europe, always full of details about mysterious partiers in strange places. If the storyteller really got carried away, it would become less of a dance party and more a no-holds-barred orgy of delights. It was usually about as real as alligators in the sewers.

But the thing was, I knew Stewart. As long as it had been since we’d talked, he hadn’t changed much from the guy I knew, from what I could tell. And the guy I knew wouldn’t make up stories for attention. Plain and simple. He might have joked around occasionally, but he pretty much hated pranks, calling them mean-spirited and unfunny. More importantly, in all the time I’d known him he’d never lied to me or anyone I knew. Not even once. That and that alone was the thing that kept me reading on.

* * * * * *

There were all kinds of masks on these people. Some looked like foxes, or dogs, or grinning ghouls. Others were more of the Venetian Mardi Gras style, black and gold with glitter and lace.

Blocking our way in was a girl in a Japanese demon mask. She wore a white suit with white shoes. She stopped us and asked if we had invitations. I half-expected her to sound Japanese, but her accent was distinctly Eastern European, though exactly where she was from I couldn’t make out.

I didn’t know what to say, but then Daniele told her about the website from the flyer. The Japanese demon girl stared at us for what felt like a full minute. Eventually, like a spell had been broken, she handed a mask to each of us. They were white faces, with slits for eyes, and she didn’t let us walk past her until we put them on.

It’s safe to say Daniele and I were weirded out, but as we drifted into the crowd, the loud dance music pumping from speakers somewhere above, we started to get into it. Lights were spinning and strobing, smoke spewed out of machines. The stars twinkled through the broken skylights as we danced and drank and enjoyed ourselves, looking forward to our new life.

I realize this may sound like a lot for an email, especially a cry for help. But I’m only telling you this because it was the last, good moment we shared together.

After a while the booze was starting to go through me. I asked one of the masked partiers where the bathroom was and he pointed to a door at the other side of the building. Daniele held my mask and waited for me as I ducked through the rusty, metal door, which I learned too late led not to a bathroom but outside, to a back lot. I tried to turn back but the door had already closed behind me. The music immediately cut out.

Standing in an empty lot overgrown with weeds and loud with crickets, I thought someone had played a trick on me. Then I realized it was probably what people were using for a bathroom, so I stepped carefully into the shoulder-high weeds and went as quickly as I could.

When I was done, I found the door I’d exited from was actually locked, and no amount of banging was getting anyone’s attention.

The most intense panic attack I’d ever felt hit me as I realized what I’d done. I’d dragged Daniele to an illegal party, in some abandoned building on the outskirts of Prague, without telling anyone where we’d gone, and then I’d topped it off by leaving her alone.

I ran through that weed-infested lot faster than I’ve ever run in my life. The building was half a block long but it felt like ten. It took me a few minutes of weaving around and tripping over dead brush to clear it, hearing nothing but my own heartbeat the entire time. By the time I made my way around to the front of the building and the empty street it sat on, my lungs were on fire and I was covered in terror sweat. And yet that was nothing compared to the feeling that hit me next.

When I got back inside, it was to an empty building.

No people. No music. No lights.

No Daniele.

Alone, standing in the middle of an abandoned flower market, with smoke evaporating around me, I felt like I was sinking. How had everyone disappeared in just a few minutes? It seemed impossible.

I ran out of the building and back to the empty street hoping to catch sight of someone running or getting into a car, or even evidence that someone had. But it was just an empty street, full of empty buildings. I had nothing to go on. No one to follow.

But then, I got a phone call.

I clawed the phone out my pocket so fast I almost dropped it, praying to see Daniele’s name on the caller ID. But it wasn’t her. In fact it wasn’t anyone. The phone number just said “BLOCKED.” I almost didn’t pick up, but the thought that it might be Daniele, that there was even a chance of it, made my decision for me.

“Hello, Stewart,” a deep voice said, sending a chill up my back. It was distorted, almost inhuman. They were either using a voice changer or had a damaged throat of some kind. I asked them who they were, what they wanted, and I wasn’t polite about it. Either they knew something I needed to know immediately, or it had nothing to do with Daniele and they were wasting my time.

But their reply, in that same, alien voice, made my heart drop a thousand miles. Those words, I’ll never forget. A hundred years from now I could recite them word-for-word.

“Go to police, she dies. Talk to anyone, she dies. Bring coin to red warehouse, she lives.”

I shouted into the phone demanding they let Daniele go, but it was too late. The line had gone dead, leaving me screaming at no one. The people in the masks, whoever they were, had made their demands. And yet I didn’t know what they were talking about.

Bring a coin to the red warehouse? What kind of cryptic insanity was that?

In full-blown panic I ran all the way to the internet cafe where we’d gotten the invitation, but it was already long closed. In all the craziness I hadn’t even realized how late it was.

I jogged back to the hostel, nearly exhausted, and asked Konrad and anyone else I could find if they knew about either a red warehouse or a group of psychos in masks. No one had seen a red warehouse that they could remember, and absolutely no one said anything about the people in the masks. Like the guy at the newspaper stand, they either didn’t know or they pretended not to.

I went back to our room to see if by some miracle Daniele had reappeared there, possibly after making an escape, but the room was empty.

Empty, except for one thing. There was a folded-up piece of paper sitting on the bed, which I grabbed and immediately unfolded. It had only two words written on it, but they were enough to make my blood go cold.

“Stop questions.”

I nearly broke down right then and there. Who were these people, and how was it they seemed to be everywhere and nowhere? They had to be watching me to know I was asking questions, and yet I’d seen no one.

After I’d gathered myself, I pocketed the note – it was the one piece of evidence I had that these people even existed – and left the hostel. I must have walked around all night searching for a red warehouse. For a needle in a haystack. I went back toward the abandoned flower market, figuring that made sense, but when I didn’t find any red buildings I started circling out further and further, expanding the search until it felt like I’d walked across half the city. I got more desperate as the night went on, picturing all the horrible things they might be doing to Daniele. I even searched on my phone for red warehouses, red buildings, and just plain warehouses, hoping to narrow it down. I swore I was being watched from windows and alleys when my back was turned, but whenever I looked there was no one there.

But when I did it, when I finally found it, I knew right away it was the one I was looking for. It was the kind of place you wouldn’t give a second look if you were just passing by, but once you knew to look for it, once you had some clue as to the terrible things happening inside, you couldn’t help but notice how wrong it looked. Not a single homeless person or stray dog were anywhere near the building, like they all knew to keep their distance. Even the rats stayed away from that place.

Me, I had no choice. I walked through the front door of the red warehouse expecting a guard or a bouncer or something, but found no one there to stop me. I got the feeling they didn’t worry much about people trying to get in.

The warehouse was old and falling apart, pitch dark, with a ceiling of rusted-out girders. It had been built as one, big, open space, but then cut up into smaller rooms by hand-built walls. Sheets of corrugated metal were soldered together with fences and discarded highway signs. Reused bricks mixed with nailed-together wood.

Indescribable smells and sounds hit me from every side as I walked through that warehouse, not wanting but having to look inside the rooms for some sign of Daniele. Even now my mind is struggling to make sense of those images, to the point where I might be combining some of them. Not that it even matters, it was all one, big nightmare.

I saw a young girl wearing a baby doll mask. She was seated at a small table, and was shoveling spoonfuls of slop into her plastic mouth.

I saw a man with no feet lying on a hospital gurney. He was in what I can only describe as ecstasy as a man with an apron cut strips from his back.

I saw a naked woman struggling to breathe inside a layer of black latex.

It was one, confusing scene after another. A roomful of guns with eight, blindfolded men standing over an old man, shooting up in a lounge chair. A neonatal incubator full of hissing cockroaches. A large book, heavy, propped up on a table, with a cover that looked like dried skin. An Indian man with no eyes with wires attached to his face.

And in every shadow, a computer screen with someone behind it. A camera connected to some place in the world. Silent eyes watching.

Finally I reached a room with someone in it I recognized. The girl in the white suit and Japanese demon mask was standing next to a small crate maybe three feet high, surrounded by four men twice her size. Each of them wore a different mask, at least one of them I recognized from the flower market. The demon mask girl asked me for the coin, but instead of listening to her I demanded to see Daniele.

“You can’t see her. You can only hear her,” she said. Then she kicked the crate next to her. I’d thought it was too small to fit someone inside of, but I was wrong. The shouts and cries that came from inside belonged to Daniele. She must have been horribly cramped inside that box, barely able to breathe.

I nearly pounced on the demon mask girl, but the four men stopped me. When I’d calmed down I asked why they went through so much trouble to take people. Why they didn’t just grab them off the street. Honestly, I wish I hadn’t asked. She said it was because they liked to have fun. Even behind the mask, I could tell she was smiling.

Then she told me I could exchange the coin for the crate, but I said I didn’t know what coin she was talking about. Her reply was as strange as it was disturbing.

“Any coin we choose to accept.”

I asked her who ‘we’ were, who the voice on the phone was, but she only laughed. She didn’t stop. When I left she was still laughing, the sound of it mixing with the hissing of cockroaches and the stretching of latex.

These people are crazy. All they’re asking for is a coin. One coin for Daniele’s life. That’s all I need to do and they’ll let her go.

I’m going back now, and I hope to God I chose the right coin. This is the part I need your help with. If the coin doesn’t go in my favor, I need someone to do the same thing for me. I’ll write you all again tomorrow if I make it out. If you don’t hear from me, that means it didn’t go well.

I beg you not to go to the police. If you even talk to them these people will kill us. Don’t even talk to each other. They were very clear about this. Somehow they’ll know. They’re watching even when you don’t think they are.

If you find it in your heart to help, come to Prague. Search for the red warehouse, and bring a coin. If you can’t, if you’re too scared, or you don’t have the means, please forward this to everyone you know. Maybe one of them can help.

-Stewart

* * * * * *

That was the end of his email. The message was strange enough on its own, but then a little while later, Stewart blind cc’d me on a second email.

* * * * * *

To: kolektor
From: Stewart K.
Subject: it’s done

I sent the email you told me to. Please just let Daniele go. I didn’t give the address so you can trace them by their searches.

There’s only one thing I’m begging you. Whoever shows up, just make it quick.

* * * * * *

It seemed like a mistake, an accidental click. If not then it was a secret cry for help. I deleted the email as fast as I could, before anyone found out I’d read it. But then, just a little after that, I received one, final email. This time it was from kolektor, and all it said was this:

* * * * * *

Would you like to have some fun?

Rating: 9.00/10. From 3 votes.
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🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available


Written by Brian Martinez
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

🔔 More stories from author: Brian Martinez


Publisher's Notes: N/A

Author's Notes: N/A

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Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on CreepypastaStories.com are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

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