After reading part 8 below, follow the link to part 9, which the author refers to as the finale. There are a few loose ends at the end of the story, but being a creepypasta (and one that is supposed to be treated as factual) I don’t really mind. We don’t always have all of the answers. We are given room to speculate. I don’t think it was lazy, I think it was mysterious and creepy, even if it did leave a little to be desired.
I’m still pretty shook up. And I’m done with this. But I’ll try my best to explain this clearly. So, I kept researching the New Way. ’cause there had to be something to it. I was able find a record that mentioned the owner’s name, Joseph van Eck. That wasn’t familiar to me. I looked for obituaries, white pages, anything that could lead me to him. I didn’t think to look for missing person’s cases, but I stumbled on it. An old homepage asking to, “Help us find Uncle Joe.” I emailed his niece from the address listed asking for more information. The page was made in ’99, so I didn’t expect the email to work. But it did. I got a reply the same day asking me how I knew Uncle Joe.
I wasn’t sure how to answer, but I decided to go with honesty. And I’m glad I did. Because this is what I got back that night.
“I’m going to put this all in one email because I don’t want us to have to talk again. Uncle Joe was a good man. He used to be a rabbi. He raised me after my parents died in an accident. He was good with electronics. He thought computers were the future. That’s why he called his company The New Way. He bought up all the space he could afford with his inheritance. It was more than he could handle. So he just rented the space out.
“Life was good. He kept selling computers in his little shop. I helped when I got home from school and on weekends. He kept bees and I helped with that, too. Life was good. Until he married Connie in 1994. She was a strange woman. She didn’t like me. She was into things that scared me. I saw her make a homeless man cry by staring at him. Animals would go quiet when she was around. Sometimes she’d hide under my bed for hours, waiting for me to go to bed at night. When I did, she’d slide out and grab me. I’d scream and scream. She’d walk away like nothing happened. She didn’t laugh or say anything. I didn’t understand. I still don’t. I started sleeping on a beanbag chair in the basement after that.
“She’d often go into a corner of the room and whisper to someone. There was nobody there. No phone or nothing. She’d even get mad at whoever it was. Then she’d go back to knitting. She was always knitting something, but the things she’d knit were useless. Gloves with three fingers. Socks, but she’d seal up the ends, so you couldn’t wear them. I didn’t hate her. I was scared to death of her. I don’t know why she made Uncle Joe so happy.
“I remember the day she started pressuring Uncle Joe to turn his rental spaces into internet cafes. She told him the internet was the real future and would outlast computers. She’d say, ‘We are the internet.’ She made him get it at home, even though it was really expensive then. She had him go to this website she called the Hole. I remember that, because it always made me nervous when she talked about it. Uncle Joe asked her who made it. She said she had no idea. Nobody did. She found it already made, just like everyone else. She told him it called to her. At the time, I thought that sounded flakey. Now it just gives me creeps.
“Uncle Joe changed after that. They spent a lot of time on that website. I don’t understand it. There was nothing there. I looked over their shoulders and it was all blank. But they saw all sorts of things. And when the internet cafes started opening, more people were involved. It was strange. They would sit and stare into space. And strange things would happen. Like I could swear I heard a voice in my modem when I’d dial up and when I listened, it was saying, “it hurts.” I said it was all in my head. And another time I got an email asking, ‘Why wasn’t I able to remember?’ I don’t know why that message upset me so much. I remember it so vividly.
“One night when I was alone with Uncle Joe for once, I told him I wished things would be like they used to be. He said that’s what everyone wants. But it can’t be. He leaned in close and whispered, ‘The Hole talks, tells us things.’ He told me about how—this is strange and I didn’t understand it, but I’ll try—how human beings are set to be obsolete and they need to upgrade for the new era. He said Y2K, if you remember that, wasn’t going to affect computers, it was going to affect people. The Hole showed him how people can put their souls on the internet and be upgraded. Everyone else would just decay over generations into beasts that kill, and eat, and watch TV.
“I didn’t dare tell my Uncle Joe that this was crazy. I couldn’t hurt his feelings like that. But I knew something bad was going to happen. Uncle Joe and Connie went off to open their internet cafes all over and I left the home for college. Uncle Joe kept in contact until 1999. Then I lost him. Connie disappeared, too.
“I know some bad things happened around those internet cafes. But it’s not Uncle Joe’s fault. Please don’t blame him.”
I had plenty more questions and I sent them to her. I never heard back. But at least she gave me some real answers. And it all led right back to the Hole. So that really left me with one thing to do. I figured I had to go to the Hole after all. If I ever wanted to know what was going on, anyway.
I pulled up the instructions ‘Angelica’ sent me on how to get back to the Hole. I can’t say I felt like I was doing the right thing. I didn’t. It felt tea kettle wrong. Like there was something really terrible just offscreen in my memories. I knew it was there, but I couldn’t see it. So I welcomed the interruption when my phone rang.
My neighbor was calling to tell me the man in the bee costume was back. He was standing in my front yard, he said. I walked over to the window and peeped out. It was nice and toasty inside, but I felt my whole body breaking into goosebumps. He was there, under the streetlight. Looking right at the window.
I asked my neighbor how long he’d been there. He said he called me as soon as he saw it and that I should hang up and call the police. I tried. But there was no point calling the police. As soon as I hung up, he walked across the road and into the woods.
I noticed when hanging up that I had an email notification from Ben. I was glad that he was ok. He’d sent me a video. I played it right away. On it, he said he went into hiding, because ‘things were getting weird.’ There were little things at first. Then one night a group of people he’d never seen before knocked on his door at 3am. He didn’t answer. He watched through the peephole. They didn’t move. Didn’t knock again. Didn’t try to look in the peephole. They just stood there, staring at the door. They didn’t look homeless or crazy. Just people. He called through the door that they had the wrong address. They started laughing, loud, fake guffaws. Then they silently walked away.
He said he’d been getting calls where he just heard a dog growling on the other end. And then a few growly words, like, ‘why,’ and ‘abracadabra.’ Then he started having fits. He upset a lady at the grocery store during one. Whatever I got into, he said, it’s bad juju. Like KGB or Illuminati bad.
He pointed the camera away from himself to a computer monitor. It was an old webcam. Every five seconds, it updated with a new image. But this one wasn’t pointing at my house like before. It was pointing at a doorway in some dark room. “Watch,” he said.
I did. There was a shadow moving around. It could be nothing, but I waited and watched. I figured if it was nothing, Ben wouldn’t have kept recording. Finally I saw something entering the frame. It was a man. The image was so grainy it was hard to say who at first. But when he turned, I saw it was Det. Thereault. It had to be the Egypt.
He was walking into the bathroom of the Egypt. Frame by frame, I watched him slowly peer in, shine his flashlight, and then disappear inside. After a few frames of no activity, a blurred figure appeared for one frame and was gone. It looked like someone in robes running into the bathroom. With a knife.
I called the police department and let them know what I thought I saw. Then I hopped in my car and started driving out there myself. I don’t know what I hoped to do. I’m not a fighter. I’m a data analyst. But I couldn’t just watch something happen. The whole way I told myself I was doing something stupid.
When I got there, the parking lot of the post office was completely empty. Even the detective’s car was nowhere. I parked in front of the pub/Egypt and went in. It was set up just like in the past. Computers everywhere. A sign-up sheet on the counter. And no-one there. I called out for the detective, but I got no answer at first. Then I heard a response. It took me a moment to recognize my own voice. It was the conversation I had with Angelica. Coming from one of the computers. On the screen was my old homepage. After all that time, I knew it right away. The animated skeleton gifs and links to conspiracy theories and Heaven’s Gate. That page was deleted almost two decades ago.
On another computer, I saw a video of a middle-aged couple staring into the camera. Like they were watching me. And a little girl peeking over their shoulder. The woman said, “It chose you” and the man was shaking his head slightly. He looked frightened.
Then another computer started playing a song. I didn’t know it, but I recognized the sound of Vanity Fare again. That made it click. I’d just walked into a trap. I had to get out. But I couldn’t. These people started coming inside. A middle-aged woman with long, black hair, well-dressed. An older businessman, it looked like. A rough-looking homeless guy. More and more people crowded in without saying anything. One of them was Angelica. I just knew it. They were moving toward me. I tried talking to them, but their faces were blank, emotionless. They didn’t seem to hear. I ran into the bathroom and closed the door behind me. It had a simple turn-the-bolt lock, so I locked it.
I pulled out my phone to see if I could get the police, but there was no signal. That’s when I remembered the story about the guy knocking on the wall. Maybe there weren’t bricks on the other side. I knocked for a hollow spot and started kicking a hole in the drywall. I tore the rest of the hole open with my hands. There was space back there. But it wasn’t a way out. Or not obviously. I used my phone’s flashlight to look inside. The space was about two feet in width to the brick wall. I stepped in. A computer was running in the far corner of the space. Just the tower, no monitor or any way to interact with it.
I heard those people breathing outside the door. They weren’t trying to open it or beat it down. They were breathing heavily against it. Then I saw something moving under the door frame. I thought it was a finger slipping under, maybe trying to grab a shoelace or something. But it was too pink. It was a tongue. One of them was licking under the door.
That scared me enough to go deeper into the space, stumbling over pieces of sheetrock. I tried to follow the lines on the computer to see if they went outside, but they didn’t. So I grabbed the tower and used it to beat against the brick wall, hoping to knock the bricks loose. They didn’t budge, but the computer was in pieces. I gave up.
As I climbed back to bathroom, I noticed two things. One, written above the hole I just made, “The Hole” had been painted. The other, it’s not sheetrock I was stumbling over. It was bones. I hurried out and sat in the bathroom stall for what felt like hours. I didn’t come out until Det. Thereault showed up.
He said no-one was out there when he arrived. All the computers were gone when he took me out. He said he hadn’t been there all day. Also, he had no idea what dog I was talking about. But the bones were there and very real. He said we’d have a lot to discuss in the next few weeks. And that I needed to quit meddling. I agreed. I’m done. The bee guys, Moses, Angelica, Gopher sites—they can do what they want, I’m done.
Oh, if anyone’s interested, I did look up the song I heard. It was “Come Tomorrow.”