“Alex? Dinner is ready!” his mother called.
No answer. She waited several minutes before trying again. “Alex, please shut that thing off and come to dinner!”
Still no response. She was beginning to get irritated. She walked to the base of the stairway and look upward towards her son’s room, but there was no sign of him exiting. Ever since earlier that day, when she’d bought him the old used copy of Pokémon Red from the local game store he’d been begging for, he’d been locked in his room, playing it obsessively.
When five more minutes passed and his door remained closed, his mother decided he’d lost his right to his privacy for the moment and ascended the stairs to open the door. However, when she turned the knob, she noticed it was locked. Alex had never locked his door before. Slightly unnerved, she knocked on the door and shouted his name again, wondering if he had the game’s music blasting in his headphones and thus hadn’t heard her calling. No answer. In the silence, Alex’s mother noticed the faint sound of 8-bit music coming from under the door, killing her headphones theory. She also noticed a smell similar to rusty nails.
Now panic began to set in. “Alex Lawrence Evans, you open this door right now!” she half-shrieked, her fear creeping into her voice. No answer and, although her perhaps it was her imagination, the music seemed to get louder. It was a rather creepy little tune considering the seemingly lighthearted nature of the game.
For a few moments she lingered motionless in front of his door, wondering what to do. At last she decided she had no choice but to break the door down. Bracing herself, she rammed against it once, twice, three times, but it wouldn’t give in to her petite frame. On a desperate whim she tried the knob again. This time it opened almost too easily.
A loud scream echoed in the small, disheveled room. She supposed it came from her, but she was far too frightened to be sure of anything. The room looked as though a tornado had blown through it. This would be far less disconcerting for the room of a young boy if not for the blood spattered over every fallen book, every tilted poster, every scrap of paper on the floor. Besides blood these scraps of paper also had frantic and sloppy messages scribbled on them, such as “ON MY SHOULDER” and “DIG ME OUT” and “I BELIEVE IN THEM NOW,” each one covering an entire sheet.
Lying in the center of the chaos was what could be assumed to be Alex, though a stranger to the situation may not have recognized it as a human at all, let alone a young boy. Blood covered his hands and disfigured face, matted his hair, and flowed from a large gash in his stomach. His mouth was twisted into a horrifying grimace and his eyes were wide open, somehow seeming sinister in their lifelessness. In one bloody hand was his Gameboy SP, Pokémon Red still playing, though the now-cracked screen kept flickering intermittently between a purple-colored city, utter blackness, and images that were surprisingly creepy for being pixelated; there was a disembodied white hand, a black-colored ghost with angry red eyes, a graveyard, and some that flashed on and off too quickly to catch.
In his other hand Alex clutched a scrap of paper like the ones surrounding him, the lower half soaking in his blood. It read “GREETINGS FROM LAVENDER TOWN.”