Michael Maleducado was a struggling man. Oh, of course he was “average” you’d say but, he had problems.
On the outside, in the streets, in the bus, in his work; Maleducado was your average, overall genuine guy. But his personal life was incredibly melancholy to say the least. Mike had a normal life about six months ago. His father lived in New York and he lived in Las Vegas. Vegas was not perfect, but still satisfactory of a place for Mike to live. He seemed to enjoy it. His girlfriend, May Jesstein, was a pretty faced, nice bodied girl who he loved dearly and planned to marry.
It was only in April when he found out she had been having an affair. When he consulted her she swore and threw things and left him for the other man. That man was Charles Casey. Mike had known Casey since he moved to Vegas and he considered him a friend until the realization of his inconsiderate betrayal.
A week later a phone call told that his father was found dead in his apartment from a gunshot to the head. The police searched for the weapon but found nothing at all. There was also no evidence of any sort of foul play or even suicide. The investigation was still ongoing after Mr. Maleducado’s funeral and his son was left hurt and confused.
Mike now had no one in his life to go to for guidance or help. Of course, he sent a few words to the Big Man Upstairs and hoped for the best.
After his father’s death, Mike began to get strange marks on his ears. Reddening, then swelling, then bruising around his ears.
It caused no hearing problems but it was incredibly uncomfortable. His doctor could not pinpoint the cause of this strange ailment and suggested drinking more water and getting more sleep.
But sleep, however, was not something that Mike saw often. You see, ever since he was seventeen, Mike had a small case of insomnia. Sometimes he’d be up for hours on end and sometimes he’d get good rest. Some nights he’d sleepwalk without knowing it and he’d wake up to an open fridge in the morning. His body did what it wanted to. It also didn’t help that he was a heavy smoker. He loved to smoke but hated it at the same time. He liked the calm relief it gave him but hated the smell. This was the reason for his constant coughing.
Yes, outside Michael Maleducado seemed like a normal dude. But his personal life was one not many would call “lucky”.
This was the era of the internet, though. He was able to spend the lonely hours of his miserable life on his laptop watching endless videos and playing games and surfing social media. In this time of the internet there was also the birth of online quizzes.
These quizzes test your personality where you answer questions about yourself so that you get your outcome. All sorts of the bloody things. These quizzes could range from “What will your future wife look like?” all the way to “When will you die?”
There were also ones where you take a quiz to see what kind of cartoon character you are or even what superpower you have. All these undeniably stupid, but a genuinely unending chain of them. One after another pops up on your screen and soon as you look at the clock it’s 2 AM and you have work tomorrow.
And this is when Mike stumbled upon one of them.
At 9:16 PM, Mike was sitting in his bed, surfing the web. An advertisement pops up.
Do you have a sucky life?
Click here and this test will help you CANCEL all your problems!
Out of amusement at the strange coincidence of the ad, and pure curiosity, one click and he was in.
The web page popped up.
There were no other advertisements. Only a title “CANCEL YOUR PROBLEMS”, and the quiz began:
What is the first letter of your first name?
Mike, just to be safe, picked S.
What irks you most?
He picked Being Alone.
On the screen appeared text saying:
Don’t worry! You are loved!
Mike rolled his eyes and looked at the next question:
Who do you hate?
He picked Other and another question popped up:
Who do you want dead?
Mike typed in the box:
THE PERSON WHO MURDERED MY FATHER.
The text on the screen read:
Thank you. Come back tomorrow for your answer!
Mike cursed. Why do they make this stuff so you come back the next day? It’s annoying. He shut the laptop and looked at the time.
He decided to go to bed.
That night he dreamed he saw his father on that day, months ago. He saw him sitting in his chair watching football. His father looked up to see Mike there. He smiled but it faded when Mike revealed the revolver and shot him between the eyes.
Mike awoke. He could still smell the gunpowder mixed with brain matter that splattered behind the skull once the trigger was pulled.
Mike hated dreams like that. They made him feel awful and during the day he could not stop thinking about it.
At least it was Saturday. The first day of relaxation.
Mike sat down on his couch and turned on the Television. Look what’s playing it’s Jeopardy! Thanks, Johnny and welcome players!
Mike enjoyed this show because it taught him new things every time. It was even funny when someone got an obvious question wrong and lost a fortune.
He let it play a while then shut it off when he heard a notification from his computer. He got up and looked at what it was:
Ready to CANCEL all your problems?
Shit. He’d forgotten that he’d done that stupid test the night before. He cursed his past self because he knew now that he’d be getting constant notifications from this useless garbage and would have to fix it somehow. He clicked YES because it was the only option and the screen went blank. Oh great. A virus or something.
Mike felt a weird tug and crack in his mouth.
He made an Agh! noise and licked his back teeth. One was missing.
The screen popped up another text:
Thank you for your WISDOM TOOTH! Would you like to keep CANCELLING?
Before he could wonder what was happening, the skin on his bottom jaw started to melt away and the jaw dropped onto the mouse, clicking yes. Mike tried to scream but could do nothing as his tongue hung out of his throat like a dead snake.
As the jaw hit the mouse, he felt his right leg shrink back into his torso. Mike toppled over bashing his head onto the computer and somehow clicking the mouse again and knocking the computer off the table.
His face hit the floor as his arms detached themselves and flopped onto the carpet. Mike could only squirm as he saw the computer fall to the ground moments before, clicking the mouse again and again.
CANCEL CANCEL CANCEL.
He tried to scream, groan, bellow, but none were successful because of the bloody bubbles leaking from his mouth. When his eyeball popped and his neck snapped in half he was already dead.
The mangled remains of Michael Maleducado lay on the carpet for ten minutes before a small hole, about the height of a rabbit, opened and out came a small device which swept what was left of Maleducado into a burlap sack and retreated back into the hole in the wall with the hole closing behind it. The computer screen flashed blue letters and pixel confetti:
Thank you for your donation. The dog is FED.
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