This is my first time writing in second perspective, using words like “you,” and “your,” instead of my usual “I” or “she/he.” I find it really interesting to try and write in different perspectives, and this was the first time I’ve tried it (it’s also the first time I’ve written in the perspective of a boy). The beginning of the story is a prompt from school, and the story here is inspired by the recent uptick in the number of Virtual Reality headsets, now easily bought for commercial use anywhere. The VR world is amazing, and this story shows a small amount of what that world can be like. Here it is…

Virtual Spook

        “Dampness lingers in the midnight air. Nearby, an unidentifiable sound pricks at your nerves, repeating every few seconds. Your breath catches in your throat as a long shadow cleaves through the light spilling from a street lamp just around the corner ahead of you. You consider turning back. What do you do? The robotic female voice in your ear said.

        “Keep going.” You grumbled. Cheering erupted from outside of the VR headset, all the way back in reality.

        “Chase, good job, man! Level 6! Let’s see if you can beat Jason’s score, level 10!” One of your best friends says. You are doing a spooky Virtual Reality game, and are trying to resist the urge to take off the headset and go back into the real world, where it’s safe. Suddenly, the picture in front of you shifts and warbles, revealing a warped, dark figure emerging from the shadow of the nearby trees. You freeze as the figure stalks towards you, growling. It has an odd hunch in its back, and the small, humanoid figure seems to be glitching, as if it’s not completely there. A dark, wet substance drips a trail behind it, and it seems to expand and pool around the cracked gravel underneath your feet. The figure seems to limp and trot amid it’s fast walk, and you can see something glinting in its hand. What could that be? You step back once, twice, three times- and as suddenly as the dark figure appeared, it disappeared and was replaced by a nice, plush living room decorated in banners reading Happy Birthdaywith streamers strung periodically around the pristine white room. You are surrounded by Middle school- aged boys staring intently at you. 

        You realize the Virtual Reality headset was hooked up to the ceiling by thick wires, and you have walked outside of the circumference of wires. The bulky, black headset swung from the ceiling back and forth, making the ceiling creak slightly. A trickle of sweat rolls down your neck- it’s probably nervous sweat from witnessing that thing in the VR world… You frown, and hear a voice coming from the back of the group of boys.

        “I told you he wouldn’t be able to go past level 6!” It was Jason. You growl, stalk back towards the headset, and start to grab it when you hear another voice, this time friendlier.

        “It’s okay Chase, you don’t have to beat Jason’s score. It’s just a silly game, right?” It was Neil. He was the only one who stopped at level 3. You smile and shake your head. You need to keep going, if only to preserve your dignity! But then you remember the spooky, glitching figure in front of you, stalking towards you like he’d done it a thousand times, and the glint in his had that you’re pretty sure now is a knifeplus the blood seemingly pouring off him and filling the streets, ready to drown you… no. You can’t go back there, no matter what anyone says.

        So, you sigh and say, “Yeah, you’re right. My score is level 6!” A few kids cheer (probably the ones who got a seven or below), while others roll their eyes at you. Jason’s mom emerges from the hall with a huge chocolate cake with a rainbow of colors plastered on top, a sloppy ‘Happy Birthday’ scribbled on it in white icing. Jason cheers and says, “Cake time! Everybody in the kitchen!” The rest of the boys cheer, as well, and everybody makes their way to the kitchen to eat cake.

        You realize later that surrendering your pride, in most instances, is the best way to go, even if you think that everyone will remember you for it. But the truth is, not one of the 14 kids at that birthday party remembered what happened, especially after eating all of that chocolate cake! You’re glad, because you really got a virtual spook out of that experience!