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Author Topic: Severed Connection  (Read 410 times)

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Slimebeast

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on: 05:25:03 PM 09/16/20
Playing Minecraft was a sort of calming escape, for me.

The serene, simplistic environment made my world seem a lot less complicated, even if it was for just an hour or two. The repetitive motion of mining, farming, and building allowed me to concentrate on something other than my parents arguing in the next room.

Hunting Endermen and deftly avoiding Creepers gave my younger self a sense of power and control that I lacked in the real world. It was a world where I could be sent to stay with an Aunt or Uncle at a moment's notice. A world where Dad would disappear for days at a time as Mom would slowly trade sleepless worrying for black-out drinking.

Of course, at the time I didn't realize just how important these digital vacations were to my mental well-being. I just thought I was having fun.

I played on a lot of multiplayer Minecraft servers, and I did so with absolutely no parental supervision. I don't even think they realized the games I played could include other people. Mom and Dad weren't the most tech-savvy people, and had only bought me a computer because it would help with home-schooling.

The teachers had gotten a little too nosy about my dirty clothes, tiredness, and anxiety attacks.

The "Crafter Hours" server was where I spent the most time. It didn't have the dungeons or mini-games that usually attracted young players, but I was always more interested in the survival aspect.

If you've played Minecraft, you know how the process plays out. Dirt hut, survive the first night, wood tools, stone tools, iron tools. Eventually, I had a reasonably well-designed little castle in the middle of a birch forest. This was back when your stone options were basically ugly cobble, plain-ass stone, or badass stone bricks... you can probably guess which option I used for the whole thing.

Mom was having one of her less-than-sober nights when I met "Hexagony". The edgelord name impressed me, but I had registered "SwordKid4", so my standards were low. He was another player that had built one of the aforementioned dirt huts near to my ever-expanding estate.

At first, I was annoyed to find someone was making their home so close to mine. However, the idea of bringing a helper in to my existing projects seemed enticing. I had brought diamond armor and a sword when I went to clear him out, but after we chatted for a little bit, I ended up giving him food instead.

Hexagony appeared to be using the default "Steve" skin at first. The fact that he was likely a noob was part of my decision not to cast him out of my lavish kingdom.

However, when I looked more closely, I saw that his skin was indeed edited. Each surface of his cube-shaped head displayed a face. He had apparently copied the Steve image to every side. It made it hard to tell which direction he was looking in, and to be honest it struck me as a kind of nonsensical design choice.

As time went on, I joked with him about finding a new skin, and even offered to make him one - though I wasn't exactly a child prodigy myself. Hexagony always declined, however. Sometimes politely, sometimes with a rude refusal.

That was the thing I most remember about this kid. He was unpredictable. Erratic. He raised sheep and dyed them his favorite color... then he would re-dye them his new favorite color... and eventually he'd slaughter them because he "sheep are stupid". After it was said and done, he would start over again.

There were countless things like that. He would agree to help with something, then refuse to do it, then pretend I had never asked him at all. It got annoying over time, but I wasn't exactly rich in the friend department, so I always let it slide.

The weirdest experience was when I visited his finished home. I call it finished, but it looked anything other than complete. Every room was completely random and illogical. The design changed from wall to wall. Cobble, jungle wood, sandstone, clay, the blocks didn't make sense.

Despite the unpleasant jumble, I typed positive compliments into the chat box.

Hexagony, who had by this point edited his clothes into a myriad of mismatched colors, didn't seem to realize I was giving false platitudes. He was proud of his build, and didn't seem to see anything wrong with its structure.

Then, we got to the trap door.

In the corner of one of the rooms... a kitchen, or bathroom, or both... was a single wooded door into the wool floor. It lead to a ladder that descended into darkness.

I asked Hexagony what was in the basement. He flipped open the trap door and looked downward, then to me.

It wasn't a basement, he explained - it was his bedroom.

We exchanged a few awkward and thoughtless jokes about not wanting to go into the bedroom together, but curiosity won out, and I started down the ladder. He followed closely above.

The room below-ground was dark. I mean, it was completely unlit. My settings were not optimized for that level of pitch black.

Taking the initiative myself, I slapped down a few torches. One on a wall, two on the floor. They were placed mindlessly, but then again, so was everything in Hexagony's house.

I expected to see a jumbled-up hole in the ground filled with sloppily placed beds.

Instead, my heart sank with dread when I looked at what the torches had illuminated.

Bare walls of blank stone. A featureless ceiling and floor of the same. Against one wall, a stack of six chests. On each chest, a sign with a single letter.

"T"

"A"

"L"

"M"

"A"

"K"

I specifically remember writing "Talmak?" in the chat. Hexagony shot me a look with one of his many faces and walked over to the chests. He didn't even seem to understand what I was asking.

He opened some of the chests and seemed to stare into them for a moment, then walked back to me.

I'll never forget what he said at that moment.

"Dare you to see."

I didn't look. I didn't even approach the chests. Something about the whole scenario just rubbed me in a very wrong way. From the jumbled-up kid, to the jumbled-up house, to the dark cellar... and his insistence that I "see" something I was no doubt completely unready for.

I didn't know how to get out of the situation politely, and I considered just logging off right there.

Before I could make a decision, Hexagony turned his head again, a different side and a different face peering at me.

He demanded to know how I got into his room, and started throwing a fit about how I was invading his secret space. He all but chased me out, bow in hand, as I climbed back up the ladder, sprinted to one of many doors, and retreated back to the perceived safety of my fake castle.

That was the last time I saw him on the server. I figured he had gotten mad at me, even though he was the one that invited me in. Eventually, after griefers blew up his home (and part of mine), I finally just admitted to myself that he was an imbalanced, rude friend and I was better off without him.

It wasn't until years later, when I was a teenager living full-time with an older cousin, that I thought back to my younger years on Minecraft and the weird character who had spent maybe a month or two in my life.

I had finally been taken out of my abusive home after my mother succeeded in drinking herself to death. In the ensuing investigation, my father was arrested for the domestic abuse that had gone unchecked until a death forced the authorities into action.

The police asked me a lot of questions, and I didn't understand any of them.

My cousin, though, seemed to know everything as far as I was concerned. He was in his 30s, made a modest fortune in internet development, and wasn't much for keeping old family secrets.

Apparently, I wasn't Mom and Dad's first attempt at raising a child.

All told, they had six previous children.

Thomas, Alice, Lauren, Micheal, Arthur, and Kyle.

None of them made it past the age of five.

All of them had been "sleeping" in our basement.
If I should live until I wake, I pray the web my death to fake.



Ministerofowls

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on: 06:33:20 PM 11/30/20
So, Hexagony. Was the pun the origin of the story?

The celler itself was creepy and the idea of a six dead children fused into one messed up spirit talking to their sibling through a videogame avatar and indirectly show him where their dead bodies were is creepy as well, but I  thought it relied a bit too much on the twist. Didn't quite understand why this happened:

>Instead, my heart sank with dread when I looked at what the torches had illuminated.

>Bare walls of blank stone. A featureless ceiling and floor of the same. Against one wall, a stack of six chests. On each chest, a sign with a single letter.

Obviously we were supposed to start paying attention to the room but I didn't get why this was the creepy moment for the kid. The rest of the house was  described as this

> I call it finished, but it looked anything other than complete. Every room was completely random and illogical. The design changed from wall to wall. Cobble, jungle wood, sandstone, clay, the blocks didn't make sense.

So why would more seemingly nonsense scare the kid further?

I really liked it when Hexagony spoke, but not as much when you just described what he did.  Like in the middle of the story, you just start  doing a whole lot of telling, not showing.

>That was the thing I most remember about this kid. He was unpredictable. Erratic. He raised sheep and dyed them his favorite color... then he would re-dye them his new favorite color... and eventually he'd slaughter them because he "sheep are stupid". After it was said and done, he would start over again.

>There were countless things like that. He would agree to help with something, then refuse to do it, then pretend I had never asked him at all. It got annoying over time, but I wasn't exactly rich in the friend department, so I always let it slide.

>The weirdest experience was when I visited his finished home. I call it finished, but it looked anything other than complete. Every room was completely random and illogical. The design changed from wall to wall. Cobble, jungle wood, sandstone, clay, the blocks didn't make sense.

>Despite the unpleasant jumble, I typed positive compliments into the chat box.

>Hexagony, who had by this point edited his clothes into a myriad of mismatched colors, didn't seem to realize I was giving false platitudes. He was proud of his build, and didn't seem to see anything wrong with its structure.

I feel like you could have turned many of these into creepy moments by themselves as more build up to the final cellar scene but now, it's just... stuff in the  middle of the work. Descriptions of his strange behaviour relayed in  monotone. Again, it's creepy when Hexagony actually does say his line, I would have just liked more direct creepy quotes and his other strange actions presented in a more "proper" story like way instead of being mentioned in the passing.
« Last Edit: 06:40:24 PM 11/30/20 by Ministerofowls »




 


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