Project: Phantasma

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V. Joker Phase

Gab was left munching on Cheetos as his roommates slept. Coach Evan snored like Godzilla choking on a tour bus full of nerds, not the tiny tangy candies that satisfy the sweet teeth, though. Suddenly, this thought reminded him of the clown in the Twisted Metal series, Sweet Tooth. He shuddered with the thought of a killer batshit clown with burning hair and tried to forget by appreciating the details in the room.

There was awesome old school wallpaper on the walls but there might be figures of faces and hands trying to get out. The great view of the night outside might be concealing something staring back. The bed’s soft and comfortable but something might be breathing beneath it. The door had an intricate design but someone might be leaning on the other side, trying to hear what’s inside. The chandelier is really elegant but someone must have hanged himself there. The bathroom’s clean and beautiful for just a comfort room but a madman with a bloody axe might be hiding behind the shower curtains. Everywhere he looked, he imagined impending terror.

He’s a big fan of the Resident Evil and Silent Hill game franchise (the films kind of suck for him) and plays horror video games or watches horror movies for as long as he remembered.

All his courage is in horror media, though. He never stood a chance in bravery when it came to real life. He knows a lot of nonsense and has mediocre academic grades. IQ and grades don’t necessarily determine a person’s intelligence but he takes this fact to seriously, to the point that he’s all nonsense and no intelligence.

Outlast (a famous horror game) is nothing compared to his love life. The first one’s a two-timer, the second’s untrustworthy, the third ended like a mystery, the fourth is Elle, the fifth is totally out of his league, and the sixth was a rock. Elle being fourth meant he fell for others while they were still together, but since their love was dead for half a year yet still bound, it gave way to feelings for others. His ex must be warning her friends and potential love interests of Gab for that insensitive bastard right now, telling them understories (a story made of understatements, or her missing out of faults in telling so.)

Rikimaru’s (DotA) and Shaco’s (LoL) backstab damage feels like a basic attack when pitted against Dewpoint Science Highschool’s backstabbers. You wouldn’t be exiting corridors without a bleeding back, with the ones you don’t care about staring at you with contempt of false purpose. The ones you like ignore you as if you were nothing more than a post in Facebook or a group message containing a line of a song with ridiculously useless and annoying hash tags. You won’t be sleeping in your dorm without worrying for a thief and the surprise test in Physics and Math you can smell for tomorrow. Those backstabbers will again be his enemies when Elle spreads the word.

Despite all of this, he wished that high school would last 4 more years. All his friends, the bonding, the eating, and the random things they do... Just some stuff that deserve to be missed.

After all these things flooded his mind, he found himself staring at a hole under the seemingly misplaced clock above his bed. He decided to inspect it and found it all gray, then it got black and went back to gray again, in a loop. He could hear breathing from the other side of the wall. Out of randomness, he stabbed the hole with a pen. It got sucked inside as he heard people talking. A gentle-voiced woman and a gruff man became audible through the hole.

“Uhh, Jenny. Do we have an extra gauze there and bandage?” the man asked. Gab still couldn’t see though, now everything was black inside the hole.

“Yes. Why?” the woman replied. “Oh my God, we have to go to 301 for more!”

“What about this ballpen?”

“Oh, just shove it back to the young man peering through the hole on the wall.”

Electricity shot down his spine as he hid under his blanket. He could hear his deep breathing, and then felt something drop down on him. He got it and started to scream. There was a bloody gray eyeball gorged into it. His roommates were awakened by the commotion as he threw it to the floor. His eyes were like that of a wild animal that just got chased by Cookie Monster who turned carnivorous.

“Gabriel. Go to sleep and stop singing.” Coach Evan sleepily said.

“I wasn’t! There’s an eyeball on my ballpen!”

Ken, Vin and Coach Evan stood up and saw a normal ballpen, with no organ for optics stuck on it. Vin looked rather sleepy than angry. “Dude, the boy who cried eyeball on my Faber Castell is an old story. Go to sleep.”

Gab picked his ballpen up and pointed under the clock. “It came from that hole under the clock!”

The three looked at where Gab pointed at and slowly approached it. No hole.

“Let’s ask the couple in 310, then!” Gab insisted.

The four got out of their room and ended up staring at a wall where the 310 door should be, if there ever was.

“Gabriel. Three-oh-nine is the last room on the third floor.” Coach Evan sleepily stated.

Ken went back to the room. “You’ve watched, played and read too much horror.”

Vin followed Ken inside. “Douche.”

Coach Evan stared at him with pity. “Go to sleep, Gabriel. Our Robot Builder needs rest.” He went back and shut the door, leaving Gab alone to stare at the wall.

He was about to go back when he heard room 301′s door open and then close. At the end of the corridor was the mummy nurse holding the wheelchair where the clown with a sharp set of yellow all-canine teeth and black gums sat, his left eye covered with bandage. The lights started to flicker. Each time the light was on, the duo was a meter closer. Gab stood frozen.

“I thank you for blinding my left eye. Now I can only see what’s right! Geddit?!” the gruff-voiced clown said, with his teeth that didn’t understand brushing three times a day with Colgate. The light flickered. The nurse sighed as the clown laughed hideously as if he was choking on the arm of the last boy he ate.

“Uh... I-I’m sorry!” Gab stammered. The light flickered.

The duo was now only a few feet away. “No need for apologies Gabriel Sherwood. All I need is your laugh.” These two are undoubtedly the people in Room 310. The light flickered.

“You can’t make people laugh with your crap, Punchline.” the nurse said.

Gab stepped back. “H-how’d you know my name?!”

The clown smiled wider, inviting more Lovecraftian monsters with his sheer charm. “You told me, remember?”


“And the nurse here is Painkiller she-”

“Oh please. Call me Jenny.” the nurse interrupted, still with bandages all around her arm and face. It seems like her whole body was.

“Now laugh or I’ll murder you in your sleep! Jajajajajajajajaja!”

The nurse sighed again. “Your laugh won’t make you any younger.”

“You’re always a killjoy, Painkiller. Your name should be... Joykiller! Jejejejejejejejeje!”

Gab was still frozen and felt like crap was dribbling down his pants, it’s just cold air breezing through.

“Now, where was I?” the clown asked as they passed Gab, with the nurse holding Room 310′s door. “Laugh or I’ll rip your guts off right through your mouth!”

The nurse seemed to be as unamused as Gab. The difference between them is that she wasn’t feeling like fainting. “Bob, you can’t even stand. What are you gonna do, make him push your wheelchair?”

“Well... I can crawl fast.” the clown said, the door shutting behind them. The light flickered. The clown on a wheelchair is on the ceiling. “Hope I don’t gain access under your blanket! Kekekekeke!”

The light flickered. The wheelchair is on the ground and toppled sideways, its wheel spinning.

Gab ran towards his bed and hid under his blanket.

“Whatever you do. Don’t listen to him,” the nurse yelled as something in the blanket began to shift towards him.

The light flickered.

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