Last year, around this time, something extremely strange happened to me that I don't think I'll ever be able to forget. It has scarred me for life, and I think I'd like to share my odd experience with you.
I'm a huge fan of the game Counter-Strike. It's not a very popular game, so I doubt you've ever heard of it. Anyway, one day I was playing the newest iteration of the series, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, with my friend Gabe and we were killing all of the bad guys on the other team. Of course, Halloween was just around the corner, so the developers, a mysterious small company creatively named "Valve", decided to include a mysterious festive decoration in the game. Gabe had told me that the new addition was something very frightening and involved ghosts. I'm extremely terrified of ghosts, so I was cowering in my chair the whole match. He eventually told me that the map we were on didn't have the ghoulish festive decoration on it, so I breathed a deep sigh of relief and played the map like I normally would until it switched to a different map.
The map changed, and I shuddered thinking what the terrifyingly frightful new addition might possibly be. I began to cautiously walk through the map until Gabe told me to come over to where his character was at. I nearly covered my eyes, only letting a tiny area to see out of, and quivered in my seat as I slowly inched my way closer and closer to Gabe's location. As I came close, I finally saw what the "terrifying" new addition to the game was: the chickens that typically wander around this map now looked like little ghosts running around! I wiped away my tears of fear in relief, and sighed. Gabe can be such a jerk sometimes.
However, later in the evening something actually did happen to us that I shudder to think about even today. We played a few more matches that night, laughing at and stabbing the spooky ghost-chickens with our knives in jest. I decided to log off and go to sleep after one more match, and Gabe also decided to go to sleep after one last match. We decided to play on opposite teams instead of together like we usually do, and so Gabe chose the Terrorist side while I became a Counter-Terrorist. We both met, and we both fired at each other. I was a bit more accurate than Gabe was, so I got the kill, but something very odd happened after he died. In "CSGO", as we like to call it, after you die a still image of your killer is shown briefly before you either respawn or have to wait to respawn after the round ends. This time however.......what happened is almost indescribable for me.
After Gabe died, instead of being able to continue moving my character like I normally would be able to, a still image of his dead body popped up. This time, however, a distorted and somewhat faint apparition was near his body. The still image didn't go away, either. It remained on my screen indefinitely, and as I'm terrified of ghosts I began to back away from my chair. I picked up my phone from my nightstand and started dialing Gabe's number. He didn't answer, so I called once more and again he didn't answer. Gabe always answers, so I thought this was really odd. I tried shutting off my computer to calm myself down, but for some reason nothing happened when I held down the power button. I decided to just sleep on the couch in our living room to avoid looking at the terrifying creature on my screen and go over to Gabe's house in the morning to ask him if he also saw the ghost.
As I made my little makeshift bed on the couch and crawled into bed, I started to hear a very faint voice saying something I couldn't quite understand. I hesitantly peeked over my blanket and didn't see anyone, so I buried myself under the covers until morning. When I woke up, I realized I was still wearing my pajamas so I needed to change before I walked over to Gabe's house. As I walked in my room, I initially noticed something distinct- my computer display had changed. It wasn't the still image of the ghost over Gabe's body in "CSGO" now. Instead, in its place were four odd letters on an alternatively flashing white and black background: ÇqÉÆƒ. Initially unsure of what that might mean, I thought about it for a bit and realized that it was my friend Gabe's name upside-down. I immediately tensed up, realizing something was wrong. I quickly threw on a t-shirt and shorts, slipped on some sneakers, and rushed over to Gabe's house.
As I turned the corner on to Gabe's street, Half-Life Lane, I slowed down as I neared his house. There was police tape all over the front of his house, and three police officers were standing out front. One officer was taking pictures of his house while another was jotting down notes in a notebook. The third officer was talking to Gabe's mom, who was bawling her eyes out. I was confused- what exactly had happened? As I approached the officers, they directed me to stay clear of the area as it was under police investigation. I asked the officer with notebook what had happened, and he told me a death had occurred in the house. He wouldn't say more, so I walked in sorrow back to my house. Was Gabe really dead? It couldn't be possible. There's no way!
As I walked back in my room, my computer seemed to be back to normal, thankfully. It was still powered on and sitting at the desktop. I called Gabe just to confirm that he was truly gone one last time, but to my surprise he actually answered! "G-g-g-gabe?" I tentatively whispered. He replied back, saying, "Yeah man, it's me. Sorry about last night, bro. My memory is sort of hazy so I can't remember everything, but after last night I blacked out after playing a couple matches with you, bro. When I woke up, Horatio- you know, our pet chicken? Anyway, Horatio was dead, man! I don't know what happened to him, but oh well. We got more chickens, so I don't really care." I sighed in relief at that moment. I asked him, "Hey, up for some CSGO, bro?"