On Our Way
TWENTY-SOMETHING YEAR OLD UNLEASHES HER DEMONS
What may have started as a thesis project collaboration first came to this world as the brainchild of Andrea Sol, a prodigal storyteller with a mind we all wish we could delve into.
Are you kidding me.
TRIGGER, a monster that feeds off of the negativity of its prey as it proceeds to make situations and all circumstances worse, was a creation straight out of nightmares. One that will send its victims into madness so intense that once you’ve succumbed you’ll be glad you did. Andrea was able to take her own fears and anxieties and turned it into a relatable, terrifying beast that swallows despairing and deflated souls whole after it’s done with them. Once she penned its origin and terrifying maw, she brought it to the attention of her closest friends, and together they created an urban legend that took the internet by storm in legendary proportions.
Oh, my god, who wrote this, they need to be fired.
Netflix recently bought the rights to create either a film or series on the subject of TRIGGER, and the quartet of creatives is on board and are on their way to HELIXcon to show their teaser trailer and meet their fans face-to-face, finally able to see the minds behind their beloved monster. Not only that, but maybe find out if the viral TRIGGER sighting videos and photographs were a publicity stunt, or something more sinister even the team doesn’t know-
“I need to stop googling myself.” I grumble, closing the internet browser on my phone before finishing the article. The reading brought a wave of nausea to my stomach, and reading in the car sucks. I hug my knees to my chest and cringe as the truck jerks again, I set my jaw and my hand instinctively jerks out for the overhead handle. “God, damnit, Wren!”
“Are you hitting potholes on purpose?!”
“No, I am not, this road is shit.” Wren retorts, glaring at me with his piercing blue eyes through the mirror. I roll my eyes at him and he sticks his tongue out at me.
“You’re trying to give me a heart attack!”
“He’s trying to kill us.” Mabel, my best friend, aka Mayday, complains from where she’s seated next to me.
“Definitely trying to kill us.” I agree, my head starts to spin so I fall back into my seat.
“NO. I’M NOT. THE ROAD. IS SHIT.”
“If I may interject,” Trevor, aka Doc, from the shotgun, holds up his hand. “My dear brother, the road isn’t shit. Your driving is shit.”
Wren groans. “Y’know what, you all suck. I should’ve left you all at that rest stop.”
I stare up through the skylight as my friends continue to bicker, my stomach all twisted and turned and sour. Their voices become a mishmash of noise in the background as I try to tune it all out, erasing from my memory what I just read, but it sits like a rock in my stomach. The description of the monster we all created is true to form, and it’s true we created it to haunt nightmares. Well, I created it to scare away my nightmares, to control my sleep paralysis monster. I never expected it to get this big. I don’t know if it’s imposter syndrome or what, but the fact that TIGGER has gotten so much traction and attention has got me worried.
I clench and unclench my toes, frowning against the light shining through my eyelids. The words from the article are burned in my corneas. Beloved? That monster was basically word-vomit that came to me in a fever dream of an anxiety attack that I still don’t think I’ve fully recovered from.
I mean, yes, I created TRIGGER. After working out the bugs of my lore and story, we all got to work turning this creature into our thesis project. I was glad to be rid of it, out of my body, and facing it with my friends. TRIGGER became less of the creature pinning me to my bed and panting it’s dank, rancid breath in my face that had me gagging, sweating, and shaking after each episode, and more of an internet meme I could make scary humor or creepy thriller out of. Others started to play the game we released after thesis for story and game design class, and I felt like the more that saw it, the more control I had. But, it’s still haunting me. There’s this nagging in my gut that’s only gotten worse since HELIXcon has gotten closer in days, and in miles. That, by giving it so much attention, we’ve given TRIGGER more power. It’s bearable, but it’s also painful.
I mean, Mayday and Doc and Wren don’t know about the pick marks on my skin form my anxiety under my hoodie. Of the weird scratches I have after my very intense dreams...how the shadows feel like they’re tugging at me, and there are glitches of TRIGGER in the corner of my eyes. It doesn’t help that I’ve recently come across articles that say that if there is enough focus, attention, and energy into the belief of something that shouldn’t exist, then it could most definitely exist.
Adored is a word that worries me because of that.
I gulp and cringe against the next speed bump we pass over, and my head voluntarily lolls on my neck to the side, following the motions of the car. The words in the article swim through my head as my friends continue on their bickering. This outside force is stable, but my insides are buzzing like I’m harboring bees, and thousands of them to be more precise. Hundreds upon thousands, and it won’t stop. It’s building up the more I focus on the title. “Unleashes her demons” couldn’t be anymore fitting, really. I mean, this is all my doing, even if I am just letting my paranoia get the best of me. I scratch the crook of my arm, digging in deep through the thick fabric of my hoodie.
“YOU’RE GONNA MISS THE TURN! HOLY MOTHER! STOP. SWERVING!”
“ALRIGHT, WELL, I’M TRYING TO MISS THE POTHOLES PURPOSEFULLY NOW, SO YOU CAN JUST KINDLY SHUT THE FUCK UP.”