“Greely has gone an adventure to explore Jamaa alone, and won’t be coming back anytime soon; sorry, wolves! Although, there’s a new alpha coming to Jamaa! Meet Tundra, the Arctic Wolf Alpha! Be sure to give him a friendly howl and a congratulations!”, the Jamaa Newspaper read.
I had intended to fully quit Animal Jam and give my Lyresong account away, but the idea withered and my account was left untouched for several weeks. When I checked up on my account, that was the update in the newspaper, and I found that my membership only had about two months left. My mom had complained about the twelve month membership she’d purchased for me and how I was letting it waste away, so she convinced me to use it up, or she’d ground me. After it was finished, I could quit the game, permanently. I played actively for a week, using an eagle I’d bought in the Diamond Shop to play the Forgotten Desert adventure, only to be rewarded handsomely! Somehow, I had managed to win a Cami’s Frog and a Blue Shag Carpet, both fairly good items! With my newly traded for long pink wristband, my trade list was slowly getting better. My worries about Cosmo and Greely began to fade, and I became quite like I was before the incident; just another brain-washed player. At school, my friends stopped teasing me about the ‘dead Greely’ I told them about, and we were all on speaking terms again. People stopped calling me a liar, too.
One of my friends didn’t like this, though. She was my closest friend, and had been the only person who at least somewhat believed what I had said. When I came to school one morning, she ran over to me, her eyes wide.
“You were right! They replaced Greely, and alpha of all things! They’re just trying to cover up Greely’s murder, right? Right?” she had been saying to me.
I dismissed it and said they were doing it to win over some new players. This seemed to dampen her mood, and we didn’t talk about it for the rest of the day. Over the next few weeks, my closest friend seemed to fall into a slight depression, seeming very timid and jumpy, uncertain and untrusting.
“You’ve changed. They took over your mind. I believed you. I believed you. I believed you.”, she whispered into my ear when I was walking to my next class.
Going home, I told my mom about my concern for her, and we drove over to her house, so I could talk to her. Around their house were police vehicles, as well as an ambulance. I was terrified to learn that she’d been found dead in her closet after committing suicide, hanging herself from the bar that held her clothing. It didn’t seem I was so brain-washed any more. I couldn’t help but wonder if her suicide was related to Animal Jam. Her words kept coming back to me.
“Greely did get murdered, remember? It happened! I saw it! Animal Jam isn’t what we t-think!”, she would constantly say.
I blamed myself for not talking to her about it, or believing her, anyways. Later that night, after my parents fell asleep, I logged onto AJ, determined to find out what happened. I typed up her username, and it showed that she was online. My eyes widening. Was her account being hacked? I quickly followed her, ending up in a den with a “___________” as the name of the den. I screamed, but covered my mouth so I wouldn’t wake up my parents. Her animal was headless, the sprite fuzzy and bleeding. She did the wolf dancing animation, being a wolf, and began to speak cheerfully.
“Giveaway, giveaway! Get my trade, get my trade!”, she sung out.
I didn’t want to click her trade, I really didn’t. I wanted to logout, and never see this damned place again. Her wolf danced towards me, making a smiling emoji.
“Hey, Emily! Hi, hi, hi! Check out my trade, f...ffff…FRIEND!”, the wolf gasped, followed by a laughing emoji.
Terrified, I clicked onto her user, and pulled up her trade. Her trade consisted of her head, Greely’s head, and the heads of other Jammers. Bunnies, foxes, wolves, eagles, you name it, all without eyes. Just empty sockets. There was one empty spot on her trade, one spot where an item could be put there.
“Emily, friendy friend, do you want anything? If you don’t, I want something from you, you, you!”, the wolf spluttered out.
“I DON’T WANT ANYTHING!”, I typed in response, logging out of my account wildly.
It logged me back on right after I logged out, putting me in the place I’d just come from. Although, the wolf was gone, and relief flooded me. Perhaps she was gone? It would never happen again, would it? That’s when I noticed Cosmo, just sitting there. I hadn’t mentioned this before, but this room was the average Castle den you could buy normally for 6,000 gems, the one with the river and pond. He was sitting in the middle of the bridge that went over the river, and led to the outside part of the den. The koala alpha glided over to me, sighing. He glitched more the closer he got to me.
“Your friends are very pushy, Jammer. Very, very pushy! She couldn’t let it be, she messaged us. She messaged AJHQ about it, asking us things, accusing us of things, telling us to leave you alone. Your friend was so annoying, wouldn’t you agree? We just showed her a few little things, we shut her up good, Jammer! We infected her computer with a little virus AJHQ designed, so we could have control over her stupid little avatar. Killing a few Jammers here and there, before killing her own wolf. I guess your little friend couldn’t take it anymore, huh? She tried to tell you, didn’t she? But you ignored her! Ignored your best friend! Ohh, you’re cold, colder than ice, aren’t you?,” he spoke, sprite shaking with mad laughter. “AJHQ is bigger than you think. We’re more than you think. It would’ve been better if you let this whole scene go, but you had to tell your silly school friends, Emily. We know who you are, where you live, how old you are, who your friends are. Your password, your username, every little thing about you, we know it.” Cosmo continued boredly. I closed my laptop, shoving it off my bed onto a pile of blankets that I had pushed off my bed earlier. A voice wheezed from my laptop, weak and distorted.
“Emily, you’re next. You don’t know what’s coming next, little girl, so I advise you run. Run away. Escape this hell.”
“You know what to do.”