Just for the Taste of It

📅 Published on January 18, 2022

“Just for the Taste of It”

Written by James Thurwell
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


Rating: 10.00/10. From 3 votes.
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As you may or may not know, I do investigative journalism regarding various unscrupulous business practices.  My byline is generally ignored, so I can imagine not many but a small few are aware of my work.  However, it is important that in this matter I tread rather carefully. 

I recently stumbled across a bombshell regarding an unpleasant incident which, beyond my understanding, was heavily downplayed by many in the news, and for a while I just assumed this was an attempt to deflect criticism where criticism was due.  But I believe in this instance, there is more at play.  I have attempted to reach out to other colleagues, but have found they either stop responding to my calls, or have otherwise told me to stay away from this matter.  I’ve often heard critiques that there are toes you should never step on in this business, but this was more than that…it was as if people didn’t even want to know, or cared, about what I was doing.

So, rather than put it in my own words, I present it in the words of two items I have received.

I received the below document as an attachment to an email.  Please note that there are numerous redactions which may interfere with understanding of the document, but I have presented it as-is.  Apparently even mentioning anyone involved can cause flagging troubles, so please understand that this is the best version of this document I can offer.

Final Report Regarding Food Additive #151258, aka [Redacted]

#151258 is a synthetic developed by [Redacted] for the purposes of enhancing the taste and texture of our various lines of cereals and candies.  Production into this additive began when it was found that our previous additive, #151206, while quite popular for its orange-cream properties, was being investigated as causing vomiting and bloody stool in several instances.  Internal testing has shown this is likely circumstantial or only caused in cases concerning rare genetic abnormalities such as [Redacted], but R&D had been requested to take on new responsibilities in the event of a lawsuit to prevent catastrophic loss of the production line.

#151258 was developed and first tested on rodent subjects, with FDA oversight during the process.  No noticeable reaction occurred; the only issues occurred when a control group smelled the product and appeared to want it for themselves, but this was quickly resolved by moving the control group away from the testing group.

After six months of study and multiple testing groups, it was determined that the additive was in no way detrimental to the health of the animals; in fact, it was noted that the animals seemed calmer, more focused, and aware of their surroundings shortly after eating.  When these effects vanished, the animals showed no signs of withdrawal, even if the group in question went months without further ingestion.  It was noted that if there were any side effects present, they might not only be short-lived, but beneficial.  Greater details to this can be found in the study results itself, as they are too lengthy to be replicated here.

During the approval phase of #151258, our previous additive was contested in court, and it was forced to be pulled from the market until a further review could be completed.  We “fast-tracked” the approval of #151258 through a few connections and thanks to that, we managed to avoid pulling such products as [Redacted] and [Redacted] off the shelves for more than a few weeks, preventing a potential profit loss in the billions.

During those weeks, we ran our ‘taste test’ trials, and we saw similar results to what we had seen in the rodent testing; namely, not only were people enjoying the flavor and asking for more, but they seemed to be more at ease.  They had a greater ability to focus, and we began to imagine ways to market our products as potential study aids.  The paperwork was subsequently drafted for FDA approval, though even with some fast-tracking, there are some hoops even we were forced to jump through for visibility’s sake.  We could have just gone the route of so many and made the claim with the “This statement has not been approved by the FDA,” but unlike those claims, we thought there could have been some legitimate medicinal use that might warrant study by other companies, and that kind of paperwork is always worth having when it comes to patent approvals and other legal situations.

With the flavor approved, testing completed, and our stock refreshed with the new ingredient, production began in earnest.  It became very difficult to keep up with demand, but the supplement was fairly easy to synthesize and thus we were able to keep supply chain issues reduced.

The first recorded incident was Monday, August [Redacted], and while it was a sensational news story, there was nothing to originally imply anything had to do with the product.  A 10-year-old boy, Arthur Simpson, had just finished breakfast and had sat down to watch his favorite TV show, [Redacted].  During his viewing, Arthur became incredibly agitated, screaming and kicking, and shouting, “No!  No!  No!”  He then went on to hit the TV with his fists, breaking the LCD screen and cutting his hands to pieces.  His mother entered the room and found him, at which point he pointed at her, screamed, and began clawing at her legs, saying she wasn’t real.

Arthur was transported to Our Lady of [Redacted], where he was found to be experiencing mass hysteria, including auditory and visual hallucinations, excessive heart rate, and constant brain activity in areas that should have been at rest.  After two hours of this condition, he slipped into a coma, from which he has yet to recover at the time of this report.

Arthur had had no prior incidents or family history of epilepsy or seizures, so there was no known explanation as to how this could have happened.

However, the incident repeated with another child a week later.  Kimberly Danes, aged 8.  She had just eaten a bag of [Redacted] Orange Cream Chocolates and had sat down to watch the same TV show as Arthur.  Rather than the violent outburst Arthur had experienced, Kimberly became very quiet instead, going into her kitchen and removing a knife from a drawer.  She was found a few moments later by her mother in the backyard, quietly sawing off her fingers on the opposite hand while saying, “I’m just setting them free, Mommy.  They weren’t mine to begin with.  Nothing is mine.”

Doctors were able to reattach most of her fingers (her pinky finger, the first to be severed, was too damaged), but she, too, fell into a coma.

Again, it was relegated to an isolated incident (the time difference, the different food product, the distance between the events), but when a third, fourth, and fifth incident occurred, all involving the same foodstuffs, it began to be noticed that ingestion of our branded foodstuffs preceded all incidents.  At first it was believed only children were affected, but upon the tenth incident, a 45-year-old man, Walter Loningman, was watching a primetime show when he went out into the street, proclaimed all to be liars and deceptions, and started hitting people in the street.  He would have likely been in a coma as well if he had not been pinned to a wall by a taxi preventing him from throttling a mother in front of her 2-year-old.  This particular show, [Redacted], was not children’s programming, and thus it was assumed responsibility fell upon the product itself.

Subsequent testing, however, produced inconclusive results.  With government oversight, the tests we ran subjected a wide range of individuals, ages 10-45, over several months, but were unable to replicate the same results.  Consulting with the officials with us during the study, including several from the [Redacted], it was determined that it was likely a genetic condition, along with the additive, resulting in an epileptic or an epileptic-like state, exacerbated by stimulus from an outside source.  This did not, however, explain the situation to our liking regarding the violent and self-harming behavior, as these are not typical epileptic symptoms, though we were informed why it could also be an “epileptic-like” condition.

We continued to sell the products but were required to put a warning to avoid excessive stimulation 10-15 minutes following consumption.  The hope was to keep it vague enough to avoid a lot of questions, but it still resulted in numerous complaints from the customer support center that were not easily brushed off.

We were recommended by some associates that the best way to regain public trust and to improve relations would be to sponsor a large, well-attended event.  There were mixed reactions to this; some thought it would draw the wrong kind of attention, while others thought it would be exactly the sort of thing that would be promising.  We put together a comprehensive marketing package to shop around; while very few were interested, the Sun Beach Festival, an independent outlet that was looking to break outside of its local Tucson roots and expand into other markets.  The head of that operation, a Kelly Cassavetes, was very eager to sign practically anybody, and with [Redacted] sponsoring the event, he would certainly get the exposure he wanted.  He said that even if people called him a sell-out, or corporatist, or cashing in on our infamy, he didn’t care…even bad press would get him into the papers, and that was all he cared about in the long run.

The Festival itself was scheduled to run a week, starting on a Saturday night and finishing on a Friday, and until Friday night ran pretty much as expected.  By the time that evening arrived, most realized that they were not likely to be beaten over the head by a crazed, whacked out candy eater, and sales skyrocketed the further into the festival things got.

Then came the finale…six bands, a fireworks show, and a thank you message from Kelly himself, via satellite.  It was to be projected onto a sixty foot screen that had been used throughout the festival and had not encountered a single problem up to that time.

While the bands were playing, it was estimated that roughly 25,000 were in attendance, most of them in the prime 19-35 demographic.  Everyone was reportedly having a good time and it was estimated that $15 million was expected in product sales alone.

When the evening drew to a close, Kelly appeared on the screen to applause…applause that, after he began talking, began to become shouts of anger, screams of fright, and the crowd became disturbed.

It is believed that roughly a third of the group became aggressively violent and began turning on their fellow concertgoers, beating them senseless with backpacks, batons, or their bare hands as needed.  Another third withdrew and began self-harm.  Another third were either not affected or watched the screen in fascination before they were attacked by the first group, or until blood started to pool from their eyes.

As of this writing, of the 3,500 who survived the experience, heart attacks from overstimulation in coma have taken the lives of an additional 1,000, leaving only 10% of the original crowd alive, but in comas.

It is no longer assumed this is a genetic condition; the sheer number of people involved denies the ability that a rare condition would trigger in so many at the same time, with no symptoms beforehand.


We have come to the conclusion that the additive does indeed have an effect on the mind, but there is a catalyst somewhere, perhaps a sequence of lights or a flashing, which induces an episode in those who have recently ingested it.  This is why it was likely the same TV show caused an issue in two children.  However, we did test this episode in-house with several individuals, including our own staff, but were not able to replicate a duplicate experience.  We remain puzzled as to the exact nature of the item, but we remain forthright in continuing to narrow down the symptoms.

In the meantime, we recommend that due to the infrequency of the events, we should be able to convince the FDA and fight for its approval, but continue to add warnings not to view television due to potential seizure-like complications.

[Names of individuals conducting report redacted]

This FOIA request ends here, but there is an addendum I have…the email with which it was sent.  I cannot attest to its veracity, because attempts to connect with the person who wrote it have all failed.  This could prove itself either an elaborate hoax to throw me off of the investigation, or it is exactly why this matter is so problematic.

To: Thurwell, James ([Redacted])

From: Hi-Tom ([Email address garbled and not proper format])

I am Tom.  It is hard to write big words, so I will keep this short.

I helped write the report you have.  It is true.  But it is not all the story.

The stuff does not help you focus.  It is not a study aid.

It makes things clearer to the mind.  It opens a window.

It is not TV that is the issue.  It is not the show.  Those are the gateway.

It lets you see what they are sending.

It did not work when we tested in-house because those were all recordings.  It needs to be live.

We do not know where it comes from.  We do not know if it is human or alien.

But we know it rides the broadcasts.  It knows when it is watched, or someone knows when to send it.

It happens all the time, but we never notice.  It is subtle, tells us things, and soon, we buy it.

I had some of our candies, and I stumbled on the beam.

It is because we see it in its full glory, unfiltered.  We know it for what it is.

And then we see the lie.  All of the lie.

I don’t know how I can send this to you and not be running through the streets, destroying all of the lie.  But maybe, just maybe, because it is the only truth I know now.

Oh, what you can see when your eyes no longer have filters.

But you can only stare at the sun so long before you go blind or look away.  Imagine not being able to look away from the sun.

I don’t know if I will shut down like the others, or if they’ll take me first.  Please, let somebody know I sent this.  Anybody.

Better this sleep than the daydreaming I was doing.  That we are all doing without knowing.

Tom’s words cut off there, without a proper signature.  If true, I fear the worst has befallen him, that he will not be sending anything else my way.

Of course, you’d think something where roughly 25,000 people were either killed or in comas would be bigger news; in fact, if it were recorded as a human stampede, as it might be for a coverup, it would be the single most calamitous one in human history.

But it’s not.  And that is what frightens me.

As I’ve said, I’ve made it my life’s work to investigate these sorts of things and to uncover corruption.  But as I said, my byline doesn’t buy me much credit, and even those who know me ignored or told me to drop it, as if it’s some kind of conspiracy theory.

That has led me to questions I’m not sure I want the answer to.

The first being, why does nobody remember, or otherwise care, about this event?  There are so many like it, but it is as if we have all just forgotten this happened…including me.  Something like this is exactly the sort of thing I try to investigate…and I don’t recall it ever happening.  Until I read it, and hazy recollections of some catastrophe were recalled, but then, it just sort of fell by the wayside.  Even the families of the victims seem ignorant, as nobody seems to be demanding answers about their loved ones.

Who wants us to forget?  Who has the power to do this, and why?  Is it something familiar to us, living in the halls of the powerful, that wants us to think and feel a certain way, and acts to ensure we do?  Is it something alien, that may not understand us, and is affecting us in ways it isn’t even trying to do?  Or perhaps it is an invasion, to prep us for something far more sinister?  And when is it watching?  Is it always watching?

I want to know more.  But have I already found out more, and just been made to forget?  Maybe this is why nobody ever seems to remember my byline…of course, it could be that nobody cares about a nobody like me, but now I am questioning everything.

But since I read both documents, I have avoided all sweets, cereals, and television, even streaming shows from the internet.  At least, I think I have.  I hope I have.  I’m still coherent and awake, so I know I haven’t seen…whatever it is. 

I hate being afraid.  But I don’t know what to be afraid of…and I think that bothers me most of all.

Rating: 10.00/10. From 3 votes.
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🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available

Written by James Thurwell
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

🔔 More stories from author: James Thurwell

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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