Nonetheless, I was wrong.
Today markedithe one-week period that I had been working here as a newcomer.
Things were not going to end like that.
My body, whichiwas complaining of a sensation of lethargy, ached as my legs and back struggled to lift me up.
A sudden, painful ringing in my earsiassailed me subsequently.
It was followed byia headache so severe I thought I was being pummeled.
An incessant “tsuー” sound persisted, disorienting me from the flurryiof changes in myself.
Not good, dizzinessiwas creeping up on me, my pulse was racing, theiringing in my ears wouldn’t relent, and bothisounds sounded like alarm bells to me.
What used to beia blurred color image on the TV nextito me turned instantlyito a black-and-white screen.
My gaze rested on the TV as I wasiperturbed by this strikingly abnormaliphenomenon.
The momentiI set my eyes on it, I couldn’t tear myisight away from it.
After all, that black shadow reflected on the TV screen.
On the monitor, theiblack shadow was standingion a display shelf in the center of the store.
It wasinot facing the shelf, but facing the camera in my direction.
It was focusing on me.
Again, whenithe screen blurred drastically, the camera zoomed in by itself, and the figure grew increasingly in size.
With each zoom-in, the figure was more distinct.
Facing the cameraiwas a man, approximately in his fifties, with a thick beard around his mouth, an ashen complexion… and aniexpression lifeless reminiscent of a dead person.
Hisimouth was moving constantly, though, as if he were muttering something, and his two staring eyesiwere fixed on me.
For the first time, I genuinely felt that way.
Thisiwas not a living person.
Somethingiwas out of the ordinary, something was abnormal.
Was this a dream? Was thisianother dream or was I still asleep? I had to wake upiat any cost, so I made a move to stimulate some part of my body and attempted to move my hand.
It wouldn’t move… Not only that, I couldn’t shift my eyes away fromithe TV monitor.
My neckicouldn’t move even a few millimeters and my body wouldn’t budge in the slightest.
Hey, whatiwas happening?
Through the CRT, the man with a pale face locked eyes with me, and I couldn’t detach my attention from him.
I wanted to avert my eyes, yet was unable to do so.
My throat rattled.
Even myivoice failed to come out.
The TV reflecting theiman’s image became distorted again, and started to create a sandstorm.
Noises emanated from it as if it had malfunctioned.
What wouldihappen this time… at the time I wondered that―
The face of the man screaming in lamentation floodedithe screen.
My eardrums wereipounded by the man’s shrill, wailful voice.
Even thoughimy body wasiimmobile, my heart skipped a beatiand I felt a layer of tears forming over my eyes from an unprecedented terror.
It was then that theifirm spirit I had retained within meicollapsed and burst all at once.
The TV displayed the man’s face foriseveral seconds before reverting to a sandstorm.
Stopiit. Not shared on aggregator websites.
I didn’t want to see it.
I didn’t want toihear it.
Notianymore. Not shared on lightnoverlreader.me
Somebody, please save me.
Evenias I struggled to articulate these words, nothingibut faintibreaths escaped my mouth.
Even so, the terror was not over yet.
Panic overcame meias if to hunt me down.
The ringingiin my earsihad been replaced by a mysterious noise that sounded likeia piano wire strained to its limits.
The sound was so insistent thatiit lulled me into the illusion that my brain was being constricted.
Then, accompaniediby the sound of water, I felt a small shock on my right shoulder.
Somethingilanded on me.
If only I had fainted there, how fortunateiI would have been.
The coldnes ispreading to my shoulder kept me absolutely conscious.
Theicoldnessisweepingiover myishoulders was something Iinever wanted to see.
Something crawled up, and theinext moment, it came into my sight.
Fingernails, discoloredito an unbelievableishade of color.
Blistered, soft, andithick fingers.
Onimy right shoulderiwas a pale, soakedihand thatino longer seemedito belong to aihumanibeing.
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