We here at the Leaky Wiki like to think of ourselves as stalwart patrons of the internet, without automatically wiggling our eyebrows and nudging one another, having assumed we just invented a new euphemism for “twisted porn addict”. No. Like most fair minded and balanced individuals, we can handle our internet without succumbing to the blackest pits of human recalcitrance. But many- increasingly many- can’t. Many people, when faced with the unbound possibilities of internet anonymity, immediately transform into a massive, flopping dick. But this is fine: you don’t swim in the ocean if you’re afraid of the occasional shark, and you don’t tread the net if you’re allergic to troll.
But what happens when the internet leaks into the real world? Are we, as people, prepared for land sharks? Sharks with legs? Sharks with shoes? No. Nobody is. That’s why when The Leaky Wiki noticed that the language patterns typically reserved for the spastic fingers of internet trolls were becoming part of the everyday, real world lexicon, an investigation was proposed. As The Leaky Wiki’s most expendable reporter, I was immediately put to task.
After subjecting myself to 4chan for a number of days, I eventually managed to obtain an interview with somebody who wasn’t a sexpest. William Jameson, 15, also known as ‘HAXORL33TSTYLZ’, lived in a quiet town in Bumbridge, Denver. His unassuming home was about as unassuming as you can get without making any assumptions. I nodded to my photographer and long-time colleague Daryl Redshirt, and knocked on the door.
“LOL, YOU AR EIN MY PORCH, KNOCKING MY DOORZ!”
I stared into the unremarkable teenage face of William. He stared right back, but the light of intellect I had learned to associate with higher mammals had fled from his eyes. Daryl snapped a photo, and William barely flinched at the sudden flash.
I introduced myself, and politely asked if we could be let in.
“PLZ? MORAL FAG? MAKE ME SAMMICH.” he said, and disappeared back into his house.
“Does that mean yes?” asked Daryl. I shrugged and we made our way into William’s home.
His bedroom had the reek of dried semen and failure I’d come to associate with teenage boys, and the posters and ornaments could have been found in any home in America. It was William’s laptop that caught my eye. It was glowing. Not just the screen, but the whole thing. Pulsating with a darkling light. I heard Daryl mutter a short prayer. I mentally shook myself, pulling myself together.
“Are you ready for the interview, William?”
William looked blank. Blanker than usual. “???” He said. I’m not sure how he was able to say that, but he did.
Daryl cleared his throat. “Umm... I can haz interviews?” He tried.
William smiled and nodded happily.
“:)” he said.
“Jesus! How did you do that?”
“;)” he replied.
Daryl was becoming increasingly agitated. “Let’s get out of here. I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”
“W00T! MOVIE TROPE!” squealed William. “YOUSA PEEPLE GONA DYE!”
A chill ran down my spine. My finely honed journalistic instincts told me that something was not right. “Are you okay, William?” I said. “Are you... are you in there?”
William’s face began to twitch, and then his head snapped suddenly at an unnatural angle. His eyes rolled back and his jaw slacked. A voice came from his throat, but it wasn’t the voice of a teenage boy. It was something older. Older than time, and blacker than space.
“Foolish Mortals. Don’t you realize that language effects cognition as well as the other way around? You dance in your new found technologies, leaving behind shreds of your humanity until you become mere shells ripe for the filling. When you burn in a hell of your own making, you will not scream. No, you will LOL. You will LOL hard!”
Thinking quickly, I ran back to the car and fetched my emergency shovel. I got back to William’s room just as Daryl had managed to pin him to the floor.
“Do it!” Screamed Daryl.
I brought the shovel down on the William/Thing’s head repeatedly until it was little more than pulp. When it finally stopped twitching, Daryl looked up and spat some gore out of his mouth. “Yes!” He shouted, victoriously. “All your brains are belong to us!”
Then he turned pale, the color draining from his face as he realized what he had said. He looked to me with eyes filled with guilt and shame. He had been infected.
I’d like to dedicate the rest of this article to the memory of Daryl Redshirt, a devoted husband and father and an intrepid seeker of truth. I think that, even at the end, by the seventh or eighth shovel strike, Daryl was happy in the knowledge that he had played a necessary part in blighting a burgeoning evil, and could die peacefully knowing his epitaph would be correctly spelled.
-- Image courtesy of sickfacebook.com