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Song of the Dogs

Back a few years ago, I used to be a huge fan of Alpha and Omega (the wolf movies from Lionsgate). So when I heard about an obsolete video game, I was psycho for it. I didn’t know that I’d find it, though. And, now, I wish I hadn’t, because one terrifying memory refuses to be forgotten, like a core memory, to be remaining in my mind forever.

I was skateboarding my way to school on a brisk, unruffled Thursday morning. I won’t forget that day. May 24th.  I stopped by a trash can near the school. I was a volunteer for the school, so I’d dump the trash into the dumpster each morning. When I was about to tip the trash can, though, a DVD case fell out and plopped onto the ground.

It was a CD rom game for the computer. I took a look at the case, and it was an Alpha and Omega game. Specifically, the game that had been pulled from shelves for an unknown reason.

I still desire that it never fell out.

With my phone, I took a quick photo.

The cover art looked really dingy, as if it had been made years ago. The text was barely visible, but read Alpha and Omega: The Video Game! Below it, it said Song of the Dogs.

I had a mini panic attack out of happiness, stuffed it in my bag, then did my job, and headed for classes.

When I got home, my parents weren’t there. A note said this:

Left for a business trip. You may want to rent a hotel room,since I don’t have a lot of groceries and had to take my wallet with me. I’ll be home Monday. 

Love, Mom

I sighed and trudge to my room. My dad’s dead, so I usually wait on Mom to get back in a hotel for the room service. Since I had school the next day, I was going to have to fake leaving for vacation.

Hours later, I decided to go to a hotel in Denver, Colorado.The trip was long and boring, courtesy of my friend Alicia driving me there and singing to her favorite songs off-key. Thanks a lot, Alicia. (Not.)

So when I hopped out of the car, fetched my key, went to my hotel room, and dug through my bags to find the disc, I was grateful that I was no longer stuck in the car for hours on end.

With a sigh, I eventually decided to open the case and pop out the disc to the game.

And now, there was no turning back.

And I meant that.

Here goes nothing, I thought.

Let’s play the game.

It had fuzzy looking artwork, and poorly written text. I booted up my computer, popped the disc drive open, and put my disc in. Moments later, a loading screen appeared. It looked somewhat casual, and with high quality, instead of the poorly made graphics I expected from looking at the cover and disc. Now, I realized I shouldn’t have been convinced it was normal so easily.

Even remembering such detail disturbs me.

After the computer finished the download completion, I was met with a main menu. Again with bright colors, lovely images, and deceivingly innocent music playing in the background.

I clicked on the play button and a screen appeared with two characters—Lilly and Kate.

I selected Lilly and a banner popped up saying “Lilly’s Quest” on a gradient background.

I continued on with the game. Lilly told me to go to the Island of the Wolves, which wasn’t mentioned in any of the movies I had watched.

An image flashed onscreen. I didn’t get a chance to see it, but then the game crashed and a folder had been saved to my laptop, which was called ‘Help.jpeg’. I opened it, and a single jpeg image titled “Come Find Me” was inside it. I was presented with an image that was barely visible, so I toyed around with it and enlightened the image a bit.

This is what I found.

As seen, Garth’s eyes were missing, and replaced with black, hollow sockets. Gashes remained beneath his eyes, clearly new and bleeding.

I restarted the game and tried again. Playing as an unknown wolf, I ran through a dark, surprisingly calm island--the same one Lilly was on. Moments later, I was met with another image that stayed onscreen for about 5 seconds.

What was it with these images and empty eye sockets?

I heard a deafening screech blast through my headphones, and it sounded like Lilly. I was beyond terrified and threw my headphones off. For a few moments, I shook, then heard the scream again, but this time, it came from inside the hotel room. I grabbed my phone and tried to call Alicia, but she never picked up.

I began to shake violently for a bit, realizing this game couldn’t be so innocent. Disturbing imagery and a scream obviously not coming from my PC or the headphones.

The screen displayed an incredibly gruesome game over screen. And then Lily died. The end.

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