By Turbo Muscle

There was a strange message on my answering machine tonight. It said simply Z has been watching you. At first, I thought it was just a sick joke played by one of my friends.. but then I knew better. Z doesn’t fool around. Once he has taken an interest in you- you are his for life.

I logged onto my instant message program and sure enough Z was there. An ordinarily cheery chime sounded ominous… “I have been waiting for you Mark.” The message said.

Was I going to write him back? I waited several moments before responding…

“What do you want?” I replied…


“And what could I possibly have that you need?”

“Oh many things. And if you want to see your friend Steve alive again, you will do exactly as I say.”

This time I knew Z wasn’t kidding. “Alright what have you done with Steve?” I asked, my fingers beginning to tremble. Z was the only one I knew that could make Steve feel any pain.

“Please don’t hurt him.” “OH I have no intentions of hurting him—yet anyway. As long as you follow my orders, your precious little Steevy will be alright.” “Alright what do you want you bastard?” I wrote back in capital letters.

“Now now Mark, no need to get angry. All I want you to do is show up at Steve’s apartment at 6:30 and all will be revealed tonight.”

“How do I even know that you’re really Z?” I asked.

Just then the phone rang. I hesitantly picked it up. Steve’s voice was on the other end. “Mark, do as he says. He’s not kidding around this time.” Then there was a click.. dead silence followed.

“Now do you understand?” the instant message said…. “Yes… alright I’ll be there. Just please don’t hurt him.”

Just then the computer screen went black. “OH great… now I have to reformat everything. I hate it when he does that….”

I looked at my bedside clock. Oh crap… It was 6:05. I only had 25 minutes to make it to my friends place and he lived clear on the northern part of town. I raced out of my one bedroom apartment and got in my car…. •

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