Goosebumps was one of the highlights of my childhood. I must’ve read nearly every book and watched a great deal of the episodes. The best thing was why the stories were scary. Most of the stories had monsters, ghosts, and demons. But I loved the ones that really fucked with your brain, like Shocker on Shock Street. Goosebumps was my favourite series of books, even if they kept me up during the night.
Last week I was clearing up my spare bedroom. It was packed full of boxes, books and old clothes, which was strange, seeing as I’ve only been living in my house three months now. I found an old Tupperware box with the word, “GOOSEBUMPS” written across it. All my old Goosebumps books were in it. A wave of nostalgia washed over me. I was near tears as I looked at the covers that had scared me shitless as a kid. A lot of the pages were dog-eared and I found two bookmarks and six business cards.
At the bottom of the box was a VHS tape with, “Goosebumps: Hide n’ Seek” written in blue marker on it. I honestly can’t remember owning any of the episodes from the TV show, so it was odd that it was there. I didn’t think too much of it at the time, and decided it would bring back a few memories if I watched it.
It took a while to find my video player through all the clutter, but after about twenty minutes, I found it. It started off with R.L. Stine emerging from under a chair. He started talking about the game Hide n’ Seek. “Isn’t it great when you find such a good hiding spot that they can’t find you till the very end?” he said, sitting on the chair. “But sometimes the best hiding spots, can be the worst,” he continued. Then the episode began.
Three girls were sitting in a circle. One of them was telling a scary story. “Stop it Amy! You’re scaring me!” shouted one of the girls.
“Grow up Rachel! It’s not real!” mocked Amy.
“Maybe we should do something else Amy,” said another girl.
“It’s a sleepover Emily. That’s what you do. Tell scary stories. But seeing as you’re too much of a scaredy cat, we’ll do something else,” said Amy.
“Let’s play Hide n’ Seek!” exclaimed Rachel.
“Alright. Not it!” shouted Emily.
“Not it,” shouted Rachel. “Okay, I’ll count to sixty,” said Amy, “One, two, three,”. Emily ran down the hall and hid in a cupboard.
After waiting for a while she checked her watch and called out, “Guys! Have you given up yet?” She opened the doors and looked out.
She was in a dark room. There was a small dude with a fucked up blurry face standing in front of her.
“Welcome,” he said in a deep voice.
“Who are you?” asked Emily in a panicky voice. “Wait’ll my parents get home, they’ll find me.”
The man chuckled. “You humans humour me. Your parents hate you. You hate your parents.”
“No I don’t! I love them and they love me!” cried Emily.
“Love is just a chemical reaction. Made up to make us feel like living is worth something. We all hate each other. Feelings are made up to comfort us.”
Emily crawled back into the cupboard crying. You could hear her banging on the back of the door.
The man looked at the camera. “Your parents hate you too. Love is fake. You hate all of your so-called “friends”. No one cares about you. You don’t care about anyone. There’s no point in living, we just like to pretend there is. You might as well just end it now. It’s not as painful as you think. ”
It cut to Emily inside the cupboard. She opened the doors again. The man was still there. He was about to say something but I stopped it before he did.
I sat there for half an hour, staring at the static. I went and had a shower. Probably drove the neighbours crazy seeing as it was midnight but I didn’t give a shit. I tried distracting myself by reading, but I couldn’t make sense of the words. All I could hear were his words. “Nobody cares about me, I care about no one,” I said to myself over and over.
I tried going online. I browsed around some boards on 4chan, tried reading a few fanfics, but I couldn’t get those words outta my head. I went on Facebook. All these “friends” messaging me, inviting to parties, posting pictures of me. They don’t care about me. Feelings are made up to comfort us. Love is only a chemical reaction. I might as well end it now.