The Face's Gang

Author: Inunah
Year: 2022

It was because of an Internet glitch that I discovered the gang.

Now, when I say "gang", I don't mean in the traditional sense. Though, they do call themselves a gang. It's more of a religion, I think. A twisted, dark religion. A cult, maybe. Their objects of worship tainted by an old king, whose halls are oft tread upon in feeble attempts to experience new glories. New blessings. New revelations. And yet, in all their religious innocence, they don't believe themselves to be such a thing. They do not believe in gods, they claim. They tell me they believe in people who are within reach, living somewhere on our mortal plane. So they are merely a gang, they claim.

God, I wish I didn't know so much, but I have been trapped among them for weeks. I fear I will never be allowed to leave their places of safety, unless I were to take a leading role within them. I don't wish for that. I don't wish to know what twisted, unloving gods they've come to create from their ideals. Especially not after the few things I've seen.

But I digress.

All of my involvement with this gang started with a picture. I first saw it on a Youtube video, as a second-long, unrelated flash of color. I went back to see what exactly it was, and it didn't show in the frame by frame. But I knew what I had seen. I recognized what my eyes had gazed upon for that fraction of a second. It was a face. A malicious, grinning face, staring at the viewer. Their eyes wary, yet knowing something I did not and could not ever hope to understand. They had seen something about me, about my surroundings, about my situation that I could never hope to see.

But because I had no proof it was there, no way to see it again or in detail, I was left to my devices. I could do nothing more but go about my day. And yet as I continued on, my thoughts focused on that face. It was otherworldly. Strange. Had some sort of glitch brought it to my attention for that split second that I had found it did not exist in? Surely that was the case.

But later in that day, it appeared again. I got another look at it - a longer look - and was able to discern the individual colors that made up this being. This being that was so obviously staring at me. It was as if it was submerged in the ocean, while in the vacuum of space. Something about the combination of colors made it look so otherworldly.

Because I had seen it on two unrelated things, where I could not get it to appear again, I made a post about it online. I asked about this "face glitch" as I was calling it at the time. After all, being unnerved by an image isn't an uncommon thing, so I couldn't very well call it supernatural. I was well-versed in those "creepiest image on the internet" threads that popped up now and then on the websites. The images there often evoked similar feelings on the first viewing.

I received no answer, at first. All I received were confused replies, wondering if I'd been drunk or high. I don't blame them. The same image, staring at me for split seconds at a time, on two unrelated things? And it wasn't my browser fading out to some image set as my desktop background? I had to be joking, they told me. And as I waited for a legitimate reply, I found myself staring at that image again. But this didn't go away. I stared back at it, unable to look away. For a second, I thought I heard some small, otherworldly giggling echoing in my ears. Like a child's laugh, played forwards and backwards simultaneously with a bit of reverb. And computer shut down. I decided that was enough for the night, and went to bed. Ever since that night, I can't close my eyes without seeing that face. I can't see that face without hearing that giggling.

The next day, I turned back to that thread I had made and noticed I had a new message.

I found your post and can see you're one of the chosen ones, just like us! Won't you please come to one of our gang meetings? We'll tell you everything we can about this "face" you were talking about!

(I have removed the address listed here, for your safety)

I have a chronic case of what the Internet refers to as "the dumb". I would be the first person to die in a horror movie, I'm sure. Because I went. I went to this address to participate in a "gang meeting", whatever that entailed. It turns out I wasn't the only one invited, either.

I and a handful of others were led into the building, where we were immediately introduced to "the priestess". This was the person that had messaged me. She'd messaged all of us, actually. We'd all somehow stumbled upon an image of that face and had all come to question it online, somewhere. It was only by chance none of us saw each other's posts. That's how she found all of us. Maybe it was luck. Maybe it was chance. But whatever the case, she found us and "took us in", as she claims.

The priestess looked young, though I'm not sure how young she actually is. Her actions betray her appearance, that's for sure. But as she spoke to us, and to the "gang members" that had been here before us, I couldn't help but notice how she spoke of that face. How she held it in so much regard. How it...sort of showed itself within her face, within her eyes. How its malice translated in her keeping us here, day in and day out, to worship this face and its "siblings".

She seemingly controls it. She summons it into herself in front of our eyes, makes it say whatever she wishes to hear from it, and then it is gone. Yet...there are also times where it controls her. Where it causes her to speak in a language I cannot identify. The older members of the gang respond in kind, as if they understand this language as well. Though when I ask about it, they claim ignorance. None involved in this strange speech show recognition it actually occurred. Even the others that haven't been here much longer than I are slowly becoming so accustomed to it happening that they are starting not to realize it is happening as well. I fear that soon I'll be the last one that hears those words as something foreign.

We cannot leave, so the priestess brings us all the worldly comforts we desire. If we hunger, she is the one to bring the food. If we tire, she is the one that helps us to sleep. If we fall bored, she is the one that brings us entertainment items. And even when we do not desire something, she brings it to us. The daily worship of that face and its relatives, the other entities within this religious cult (yes, they are entities - I cannot be sure yet if they're gods). The occasional pointless demand or two.

We are at her mercy. Her graces. That face's graces and whims. My family is looking for me, yet they cannot find where I am, even when I tell them. Somehow, it is as if I too am speaking that foreign language to them when I try to give them my location.

Excuse me, though. I'm getting off track. Let me explain the rest of these entities here.

  1. The face. The holy entity upon which all judgment and consensus is made.
  2. The face's brother. The bartender. The shopkeeper. He sells ideas, potions of the mind. And for some reason, he is the object of the gang's more carnal attractions.
  3. The eye of the night. Not much is mentioned of her, but when the topic shifts to her, she is spoken of with much reverence.
  4. The old one. An entity only spoken of in hushed whispers, as if considered forbidden. Envied, yet also pitied.
  5. The creator. The man that bore these creatures from the womb of his subconscious. The king. The one upon whose halls we intrude.

It's funny. In all the time I've been trapped here, I've been relatively okay with it. I've been given free access to the internet. I can be as loud as I want. As long as I give continued worship to these beings, these entities, I am left to my own devices. The only thing I lack is ownership of most of my things. For some, it would be a dream. For me, it's...simply a fact of life, at the moment. Even though I wish to leave, this is the easiest I've ever had it in life. But I want to leave. I miss my family. My friends. My loved ones. I've probably even lost my job. Heh. It's so funny - normally I hate my job.

I've seen people try to escape before. It was unpleasant, to say the least. Unpleasant enough that I do not dare explain what happened to them. I do not know what happened to their remains, but I know they weren't sent to their families. So out of fear for my safety, I stay, and I continue to worship this priestess and her gods. All until I can find a moment in which I can truly get away and find my way back home.