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Something was wrong. Not a single person was to be seen on the streets. Everything was dead silent and
Aphex-twin-come-to-daddy-o
motionless. The whole world seemed to be standing still. Nick turned on the TV, but all that was there was static. No matter what station he turned it to, he got nothing. That was strange. He checked the time, but the clock on his wall was stopped. Slightly unnerved by the strangeness of the morning, he decided to check is digital watch instead. No numbers were present on the small screen. Only the word "SoUL" appeared. Nick squinted his eyes. It was then that he heard the noise. It was coming from outside. It sounded like marching feet.

Nick crouched and moved slowly to the window and nearly had a heart attack. Down below, on the streets, marched a crowd of children wearing disturbingly realistic masks. They moved perfectly, in an almost robotic fashion. As Nick observed them, he noted that occasionally some children would break off from the group and begin assaulting the front doors of houses with crowbars and entering the house. He couldn't react in any way. His mind couldn't register what was happening. He only saw, but didn't really understand. He did, however, know that this wasn't good.

From downstairs, he heard the crashing of his front door being shattered into pieces. Frantic footsteps moved through the lower floor, accompanied by the sounds of destruction. Nick finally got up and slammed his bedroom door shut in an attempt to keep out the intruders for a short time. The footsteps rushed up the stairs and quickly approached his room. Before Nick knew it, there was a crowbar being bashed against his door. He didn't have any way to defend himself, so he instead built up a barricade against the door using his bed and his dresser. The door finally gave way, but the barricade kept him safe... for now. Without another thought, Nick leaped out the window and caught himself on the drainage pipe. He pulled himself up and took a look back into his room. The barricade was beginning to fail, he had to escape quickly. He ran along the rooftop and leaped to the roof of the next house. Without warning, two children came climbing out of the window and attacked him.

Nick screamed and kicked one of them away, sending them falling off of the roof and onto the street. There was a sickening cracking sound as they hit the street. The remaining child pulled out a knife and tried to stab Nick, but he rolled sideways and fell off the roof and into the crowd below. Nick stood up and felt pain surge up his spine. He was injured, but he couldn't focus on that. He had drawn the attention of the children, and they were already beginning to approach him. He started to run, pushing some children out of his path, but he was quickly overwhelmed. He felt a knife enter his back, only worsening his injury. Within seconds, he lost consciousness from a combination of pain, despair, and terror.

He woke up in a dark room. He sat in a weak wooden chair with his hands tied behind his back and a gag in his mouth. Looking around the room, he now saw that he wasn't alone. In a circular shape were more chairs, all with an occupant. Most were panicking, but others were still unconscious. In the center of the room was an old box television with static displayed on the screen. How could that be? It wasn't even plugged in, so how could it be on? Every now and then a shape would appear in the static, a shape resembling a face. But its appearance was so brief that Nick couldn't be sure, and he wasn't even sure that the others had noticed. After a great amount of time, everyone was finally conscious again, but all were clearly horrified. Suddenly the static disappeared from the TV screen and was replaced by a black void. Then a face appeared on it, so horribly distorted that it barely resembled a human. It screamed and laughed demonically, causing the TV to shake and spark.

"Come to daddy, come to daddy!" the thing screamed, and the other hostages panicked for a bit before their bodies went limp and their eyes shut. Out of nowhere appeared three more children, each of them carrying a mask in their hand. They went up to the limp people and place the mask on their face. The masks made a strange sound as they connected with the peoples' faces. It was a kind of suction sound, but it also emitted the sound of sparks. When one of the children approached Nick, he leaned back in his chair and kicked the child over, breaking the chair at the same time. The other children dropped the masks they held in their hands and backed away. Nick used a piece of the broken chair to sever the rope holding his arms together, pulled the gag out of his mouth, and then looked for a way out of the room. One of the children hurriedly picked up the TV and held it towards Nick. The face laughed and screamed.

"I will eat your soul! Come to daddy, come to daddy!" the face screeched maniacally. Nick's eyes were filled with a bright white light, but he fought to stay conscious. The TV screamed louder and louder until the few lights that were in the room exploded and sprayed broken glass all through the room. In the brief chaos, Nick fled to the nearest door and found himself in an alleyway, where he confronted yet another crowd of not only children, but also adults who wore the disturbing masks. From back in the room came a horrible sound. Nick looked back briefly and saw a twisted sight. The TV screen began to bulge, and a horrible shape started to emerge from it. Eventually a full humanoid shape appeared, horribly tall and with a terrifying face. It screamed and screamed, and Nick felt his ears go deaf. There was a bright white light again, and he couldn't fight it this time.

He stood in front of the tall being, along with his fellow brothers and sisters. Its face, now covered by a mask matching that of his own, promised assurance and kindness.



Come to daddy.

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