Creepypasta #1456: Good Afternoon, California:…

Length: Medium

“Good afternoon, California!” called
out my TV. I had been working on grading papers for so long that it blended in
as background noise, just like it had the past 12 times that it introduced
advertisements. 

“Stay tuned. Next up: You won’t believe San Francisco’s new
trend!” 

Wouldn’t I? I’ve seen some shit. I chuckled to myself. 

“LAJEHWFUIEWKHWFIUEKRJHFIU.
AKJBCSKDJHFVIUSLDHF. FJSHFEWSLJHFEWSUHJL. JGCFIYAGFSUBYGVFMNSBVDHKFJ.
FKJSDHGVIURGHIURKJHGIURKEEGH.”

Fucking ow. A
jumbled cacophony of noise topped by screeching was rudely emitted from my
previously benevolent stereo set. I quickly reached for my remote control and
turned the volume way down. After a few moments of my screen being covered in
rainbow bars, I was about to change the channel and find a new channel to run
in the background as I worked. Then, the screen cut to black, and a single word
appeared: ALERT.

Alert, eh? Is this one of those
mandatory system tests?
 I
hadn’t seen one of those in a while, maybe since I was a kid. And
aren’t they supposed to tell you when it’s a test? Whatever.
 Whatever
this was would surely be more interesting than grading the rest of Jenna
Martinez’ test. Jenna was doing very poorly anyway.

“ALERT.” The television repeated, this
time in a slightly different font and accompanied by a voice. The voice was
male and somewhat distant, as if he was speaking through a walkie talkie or
over some kind of radio.

“This message is brought to you by
the Department of Defense of the Race”
 came
more text, and the voice followed.

I’d
never heard of such a department. Now I knew this wasn’t real. At this point, I
would have changed the channel were it not for the fact that I was slightly
amused. I chuckled. Whatever this was, it was weird and a little creepy, but at
least it had my attention.

“This is not a test.”

Are they even allowed to do that?
Someone down at the broadcasting station is about to get their ass handed to
them.

“For your safety, all humans are
suggested to carry out the following instructions.”

My
eyes were glued to the screen.

“At this time: please secure all
entrances to your home. This includes all possible entrances such as doors,
windows, and hatches.”

What the hell? This is one dedicated
prank.
 I wondered if they’d address
it on tomorrow’s news or try to sweep it under the rug. Probably the latter.

*“Turn off any and all electronic
devices. This includes lights, phones, and this television when our emergency
broadcast concludes.” *

Alright. That’s enough. I was starting to get a very
weird and ominous vibe from all of this. I listened to my gut and pressed the
button on my remote that would take me back to whatever channel I was
previously watching. I am not that person that always dies first in horror
movies. The screen went black for a moment, as it does when I change the
channel, and then-

*“Turn off any and all electronic
devices. This includes lights, phones, and this television when our emergency
broadcast concludes.” *

Shit. I pressed some random numbers
on my remote to get to some random channel, anything that wasn’t this. 3-4-2.
Black. *“Turn off any and all electronic devices. This includes lights,
phones, and this television when our emergency broadcast concludes.” *

Motherfucker. Looks like I’m going
to have to ride this shit out.
 I
put down the remote and waited for my next set of instructions.

“Do not look out any windows. Employ
all shades and curtains. Cover whatever openings you can. DO NOT LOOK OUTSIDE.”

I
glanced around my living room. My windows were shut and the curtains were
already pulled closed. Benefits of being a bit of a shut-in… not that I was
actually concerned. No way this was real… haha.

“Enclose yourself in a room with
minimal entryways and windows.” “Do not respond to anyone or anything outside
of your home, no matter who they appear to be.”

What is with that wording? Like hell
I’m ignoring my mom if she comes knocking on my door.

*“Do not attempt to investigate
anything you hear outside. Do not leave your home until further announcement.”
*

This was getting to be too much. One
more set of “instructions” and I was going to call the station and give them a
piece of my mind. What is this garbage?

“DO NOT GO OUTSIDE.”

I
reached for the phone. Just like that, the words disappeared from the screen.
For a few moments, I was met with the same screen of colorful bars as I’d seen
before the broadcast. Then, it was over. Black. I tried flipping to other
channels. Black. Black. Black. I decided to give my buddy James a call. I
wanted to know if he’d seen the same shit I had. As I reached for my phone once
more, I heard the doorbell ring.

Cautiously,
I rose and walked to the door. I did so more gingerly than usual because of the
broadcast’s warnings, but I was not about to ignore the doorbell in my own home
just because some silly TV prank told me to.

I peered out my door’s
peephole. Had it been this dark out just a minute ago? I
suddenly wished I’d paid more attention to that instead of Jenna’s abysmal
exam. I was greeted by… nothing? I could have sworn I’d heard knocking. My eyes
scanned once more. My glance swept up and down, and – oh! Down! There they
were! Two… children? Once boy and one girl. They can’t have been older than 12
or younger than 8, in my best estimation. Both smiling directly up at me,
meeting my eyes with theirs as if they knew exactly where I was. *Had I said
something and forgotten? Did they hear me behind the door? *

On
any other day, I’d have opened the door for them right away. I’m not heartless,
these are children, after all. If they wanted to sell me some sort of cookie,
I’d at least have the decency to answer by politely telling them I’m on a diet
(I’m always trying to be “on a diet.”) But today was different. As much as I
was ashamed to admit it, I was still chilled from what I had heard and seen
moments before on my TV.

“H-hello?” I stuttered, then quickly
felt ashamed. These were children. Why was I acting scared?
“Hello?” I quickly corrected myself.

“Can we come in?” They asked at the
same time. I was dumbfounded. This was such a sudden question. Can
they?

“W-why?”
I responded, half without thinking. Damned stuttering, giving me away. I’ll
admit it: I was nervous. Was that such a crime? I had two kids on my doorstep
and no idea what intentions they had.

“We’re
lost,” They said, once again at the same time. It was like they had this shit
rehearsed. “We have nowhere to go.”

“Where
are your parents?” I asked. I felt like Satan himself for not letting these
children take refuge in my home, but at the same time, something was off. I
just couldn’t. Something felt so wrong.

“We don’t know. We want to call
them. Please let us in.” I noticed at this point that they weren’t just saying
things at the same time, they were saying things at the exact same time. I’ve
seen my nieces and nephews of similar age try to do the very same in their
little school plays and fail miserably. What the fuck is happening
here? Right. They want a phone call.
With that, an idea bloomed in my head.
“Let me go get my phone. Then I will hand it to you guys and you can use it
right there to call your parents. Just don’t run away with it. I’ve got
security cameras.” I lied.

“No.”
I thought I saw something like malice flash in their eyes for a split second.
“Please. Let us in.”

In
an instant, my mind went over everything that had gone down in the past 15
minutes. The broadcast, the children, the very illogical logic of it all. I
came to a simple conclusion: *I am not that person that always dies first in
horror movies. *

“No, thank you. Try somewhere else.
I’ve got to go.” Without waiting for a response, I rapidly turned and ran
upstairs and into my room. I didn’t even bother with the lights before ducking
under the covers and securing myself beneath multiple pillows. Much to my
displeasure, I heard muffled banging coming from my front door. This went on
for about 5 minutes before relenting. I stayed in fetal position under the
covers for about an hour, though, or until I heard a barely audible “Good
evening, California!” from my TV. 

I steeled myself and got out of bed. I made
my way downstairs and, bracing myself, peeked out my front door’s peephole once
again. Nothing. A delivery truck rolled down the street. The sun was starting
to set. Wait. What? Had it not been dark just before? 

I walked
into my kitchen, opened up my secret drawer, and began rolling an especially
fat joint. This one is going in the vault. No matter how much
I smoked, though, I was never able to erase one question from my mind:

After I told them no, did I really
see the children’s eyes go black?

Credits
to: shinjiteita (story)