Video Chat is a spooky story about a teenage boy who meets a strange girl in a chatroom. When she starts begging him for help, he isn’t sure if he should believe her.
One day, when I got home from school, I found a note from my parents saying they had gone out for the night and wouldn’t be back until late. I didn’t have a lot of homework to do, so I went up to my bedroom and opened up my laptop. After browsing the Internet for a few minutes, I got bored and started looking for a video chat room.
Clicking through all the weirdos and timewasters, I tried to find someone I could have a decent conversation with. Just when I was about to give up, I clicked the button and a cute girl appeared on the screen.
She looked like she had been crying and she had her hand over her mouth, as if she was trying to keep herself from making any noise. Looking closer, I could see fear in her eyes.
She started typing…
Her: Please please help me!
Me: What’s happening?
Her: Call the police!
Me: What? Why?
Her: There’s someone in my house.
Me: Is this some sort of prank?
Her: NO! Please you’ve got to help me!
Me: OK OK I’ll help you.
Her: Call the police for me!
Me: Why can’t you call them yourself?
Her: My phone is dead. I’m all alone.
Her: Somebody broke into the house.
Her: I heard him coming up the stairs so I hid in the closet.
Her: I’m on my laptop.
Her: The first page I had open was this chatroom.
Her: You’re the first person I connected to.
Her: Please, you’ve got to believe me!
Me: Are you sure this isn’t a prank?
Her: I’m deadly serious.
I didn’t know what to do. It could all be just a sick joke, I thought, but what if this girl really needed my help? I couldn’t just ignore her. I decided that there was nothing else I could do. I had to call the police.
Me: OK I’ll call the police for you.
Me: Just give me your name and address.
Her: My name is Linda.
Her: My address is…
While she was typing, I was already dialing emergency services on my cell phone. When I saw the address she had typed, the phone slipped from my fingers and smashed on the floor.
It was my address.
I felt a chill run down my spine.
I just sat there, staring at her image in the webcam. Her eyes were pleading with me, begging me to help. Tears were flowing down her cheeks.
Slowly, I turned my head and stared at my bedroom closet.
My heart was beating fast. I broke out into a cold sweat.
With trembling hands, I picked up my laptop and cautiously approached the closet. The floorboards creaked under my feet. In the video chat, I could see the girl suddenly flinch as if she had heard something. She covered her mouth, shivering with fear.
I reached out with my left hand and grasped the handle on the closet door. The girl was still in the video chat, shaking and silently sobbing.
Clutching the handle tightly, in one quick move, I pulled the closet door open.
From within, I heard a terrified scream.
The closet was empty.
When I looked back at the laptop screen, the girl had disconnected from the video chat.
I kept hearing her scream over and over in my head.
The whole incident unnerved me so much that I couldn’t stay in my bedroom. I went to sleep on the sofa downstairs.
The next morning, I told my parents what had happened. My mother just laughed it off, but my father was curious. He said he would ask the neighbors about it. What he found out was extremely disturbing.
Years before, there had been a family living in the house. A man, his wife and their teenage daughter. One night, when the parents were out, an intruder had broken into the house. When the parents came home, they found their daughter in the bedroom closet.
She had been stabbed to death.
Her killer was never found.
Her name was Linda…