Welcome to Micro Terrors: Scary Stories for Kids, where it’s always the spooky season – full of chills, thrills, and spine-tingling spooks! Micro Terrors are family-friendly frights for those ages 8 and up. And while our stories are for younger ears, we are still talking about things that go bump in the night, and some children may not be able to handle what others can. Parental consent is recommended. Now… for tonight’s MICRO TERROR!!!!
“It was only five bucks!” Amir exclaimed, holding the odd-looking Xbox controller
only inches from Cody’s face. Cody swatted it away like a bug; it was too close for him to see anything aside from the initial odd shape of it. It was brown with taupe grips and a strange logo where the center button would normally be.
“Why does it look like one of those tweed professors jackets?” Cody said.
“What are you talking about, tweed professor jackets?” Amir snapped back.
“Like those ones with the elbow pads,” Cody said. “That controller is hideous!”
“Well it was five bucks,” Amir said, as if that was all that mattered. “Now let’s plug this bad boy in and start mowing down the enemy!”
Five bucks or fifty bucks, Cody wouldn’t have wanted to own it either way. It looked like something dug out from the bottom of an old dusty dresser. And what was with that logo? Cody gawked at it as Amir plugged the tweed controller into the console with an extra-long cord. The logo looked like the top half of a skull with serpents or worms wriggling out from the bottom of it. Once it was plugged in and Amir pressed the power button, the logo ignited, outlining it in a vivid red glow.
There was a zap of static electricity that jolted Amir’s hand as the controller booted up. He ripped it away with an overdramatic, “Ouch!”, and then looked at Cody with his jaw gaping wide open.
“That was shocking!” Amir couldn’t help himself. If there was ever an opportunity for a lame joke, Amir never hesitated to let ‘er rip.
“Ha–ha,” Cody blandly replied. “Let’s just play.”
“Whatever you say!” Amir said, playfully patting his friend on the back. The moment his hand made contact, another static zap rippled through Cody. “Ow!” Cody said, pulling away. “Why did you do that?”
“How was I supposed to know you’d get zapped too?”
Cody shook it off. “Whatever. Let’s do this.” He plopped down on the couch in the living room and Amir took a seat right next to him. As player one, Cody filtered through the game’s start menu and skipped through the cut scenes until the television screen split into two horizontal sections; player one on top, player two on the bottom. As the red numbers in the center of the screen counted down from ten with accompanying musical stings, Cody cracked his neck to one side and said, “Let’s infiltrate the supply compound first, get the explosives and then make our way to Storm Fang’s base.”
Amir spun his baseball cap around backwards and leaned forward in his seat, his finger already teasing the trigger button of his Lightning Blaster.
The red numbers counted down from three …two …one …
The round began, displaying each of their three lives, their fully charged weapons and solid green health bars. However, Amir was quick to pause the game. He scrolled through his arsenal and equipped his side arm and two health packs for their inevitable use. “You should equip some health too, man. Or at least use that armor perk.”
Cody didn’t answer. Amir noticed the top screen where Cody should have been playing had frozen in some sort of screen-warping glitch. Amir was confused and turned to his friend. “You laggin’ over there?”
Cody just sat still, staring at the screen.
“Yo, Cody, is it the lag? Are you glitching?”
Cody remained motionless. He didn’t even blink. The glitchy screen reflected off the glistening whites of his eyes. Amir turned back to the screen and unpaused the game. “I need you, Cody. I can’t obliterate Storm Fang’s minions on my own.”
Amir moved his joystick forward, and to his surprise, that was the exact moment Cody stood up and rushed forward, colliding with the television and knocking off its stand. It CRASHED to the floor and the screen shattered.
Amir shot to his feet. “Whoa! Dude, what are you doing? You just destroyed the TV!” Cody didn’t answer. He just kept trying to walk forward with nowhere to go.
“Cody!” Amir cried, now frustrated with the lack of a response. Then, he realized the eerie parallels between how they had started the game and how Cody was acting. Amir paused the game. Cody paused. Amir moved his character forward. Cody moved forward.
The static zaps, the five dollar tweed controller from the creepy pawn shop — YES – that was it. The pawn shop. Amir shouldn’t have gone there. There were bad vibes all over that place. Not to mention the strange little man who ran the place, whose gray beard was so long that it brushed the ground. But, there was no going back now. Amir accepted the fact that he bought a cursed game controller at a stealof a price. Now, he was actually paying for it.
He held the controller up and moved the joystick in the left direction. Cody turned the left. Amir pushed it forward and Cody walked into the kitchen. Amir pressed the jump button twice and Cody double-jumped through the ceiling. It broke, dropping dust and shards of the popcorn ceiling to the kitchen floor. Cody fell back through the ceiling and SMACKED the ground. His legs and arms snapped and bent in unnatural and painful ways.
“Cody!” Amir screamed, running towards his friend’s mangled body. But before he got to it, it vanished. Amir stopped in the kitchen. He turned around and saw that Cody had respawned near the couch.
Amir pushed the joystick to the left and then forward, controlling Cody back into the kitchen. He stopped him with only a few inches between them. Amir studied the glazed, disconnected stare in Cody’s eyes. He waved his hand back and forth.
“Cody, can you see me? Can you hear me?”
Cody didn’t respond. He did, however, begin to slightly sway back and forth in place as if he were awaiting further commands.
“The controller’s cursed,” Amir shamefully admitted to his disconnected friend. But it was no use. Cody couldn’t hear, speak or respond in any way. He was synced up to the game, and Amir was only a temporary solution. Once Cody’s parents got home, Amir was certain they would banish him from ever stepping foot inside their house again. This wasn’t how Amir saw his day going.
He held down the X button and Cody pulled something out of thin air and held it in his hand. It was a purple sphere that was pulsating a blinding radiance. The throbbing pulses came quicker and quicker. Cody had himself a Pressure Grenade and Amir was more than familiar with the damage they did. Especially if it wasn’t thrown before it detonated. In a panic, Amir let his finger off the X button, but it was too late.
Amir jumped out of the way just as the grenade exploded in a massive fireball. Cody’s limbs were torn from his body and sent flying in every possible direction.
Amir climbed to his feet as flaming debris rained down in the kitchen. Through the ashen smoke, he saw Cody respawn again by the couch.
Amir thought about his options. He didn’t want to chance killing Cody again — the game only gave the players three lives. If he were to die again under Amir’s control, well …Amir wasn’t sure what that meant for Cody.
He walked through the smoke and stood by his friend’s side. Cody began to impatiently sway again.
“I know, I know,” Amir said, “hold your horses.”
Amir thought. Maybe getting him out of the house was the answer. Out in the yard, in the world, there would be more room to play and move him around. Amir controlled Cody to the closest wall and drew his Lightning Blaster. He target-locked onto the wall and pulled the trigger. An assault of blue electricity spewed from the barrel of the blaster, burning a hole into the wall and then blowing it outward. Through the smoking hole, Amir could see the neighbors backyard. A boy stood out on the patio in shock at what he had witnessed; a glass of what appeared to be lemonade had come to a halt only inches from his lips.
Amir continued to control Cody across the yard as his blaster recharged. He climbed through the hole in the wall as well and suddenly felt a tug on his controller’s cord, followed by a ton of slack.
He turned around and saw the controller had come unplugged. He turned back to Cody only to see him evaporate into a mist of pixels. And just like that, Cody was gone. Amir rushed back inside and plugged the cord back into the console. Cody never appeared.
He was gone; lost forever in the graphics of reality. “I guess that’s …game over,” Amir said to himself.
Thank you for listening to Micro Terrors!!! Join us each Saturday for another scary story! For more fun, visit our website at MicroTerrors.com where we also have spooky games you can print out and play — like wicked word searches, mysterious mazes, and more! MicroTerrors.com is also where you can find us on your favorite social media and even send in your own scary story for us to tell! Plus, you’ll learn more about our author, Scott Donnelly, who has other horrors for both young and old! I hope you’ll join me again soon for Micro Terrors: Scary Stories for Kids!