It was your average summer afternoon, although my parents were at work and my younger brother was at some sort of summer day camp. I, being thirteen, was aloud to stay home and take care of myself for the day, until my dad came home around 4:30-5:00 in the afternoon. At the moment, it was around 8:00 in the morning, roughly an hour after everyone left home, other than me, of course. Growing bored of playing on my tablet, I felt a bit of an itch, like I wanted to play some kind of game. The title of the game popped into my head: Animal Jam could work. It was a bit of a childish, cutesy game with adorable but well-made graphics, as well as other unique and quite cute features, such as the pets you could purchase, or the clothes you could wear. Making my way into my computer room, I slumped down in the comfortable chair, before pulling up Chrome, which worked quicker on this particular computer. Logging into my account, Lyresong, I was somewhat disappointed when I saw my animal; she was wearing a simple pink and white raccoon tail, a white flower crown, and black elf bracelets. I remembered why next; I had been scammed about two weeks ago, and hadn't been on much since. Moving my fox around Crystal Sands, where I had spawned, I noticed two Jammers chatting with each other.
"OMG, you got a rare bow!? HOW DID U GET IT" one was typing, clearly not bothering to try and use grammar - I'm a bit obsessed with grammar - before quickly running around some other wolf that must've been their buddy. Their friend made a face, but replied to them.
"I think I won it by playing on The Hive, but I couldn't pick up any gems or treasure chests. The less treasure you get on the way there, the better the prize at the gate!" they typed in response, before turning around and running off towards the water slides. I paused, hesitating for a moment. The Hive was a relatively easy adventure, but it was probably uncommon to get such a good prize, right? So, I looked up possible prizes for the Hive adventure, and although the Wiki wasn't clear, I got the general idea of what I was doing. So, I set it in hard mode, even after having read the part about there being two different paths that can occur while doing the adventure. Everything ran smoothly at first, and I wasn't doing all that bad! I had begun to start destroying Phantom Pods, to gain the courage and level up a bit more. Reaching the harder part of the adventure, the part where the map was very dark and you needed to depend on a torch to guide your way, I started exploring the map, before reaching somewhere in the far left corner in the area. I couldn't find the last of the crystals, and had started to become fairly frustrated, before I noticed something. There were several Phantom Pods clumped together, all pressed against the wall.
"That's a little weird. Must be for more EXP! I can almost level up now," I murmured to myself, tearing up the pods completely. That's when I noticed it; a small tunnel that had been behind the pods! It had a slightly red tint to it, the same tint that surrounded the crystals you needed. Greely suddenly swirled into appearance, in a puff of his dark magic.
"I despise it when Jammers try to play hero and think they can save the day. Don't go back to Cosmo." he said, before disappearing suddenly. The first line had been said by him earlier on, but the second part hadn't been said before. Pushing his words to the back of my head, I slipped into the tunnel, moving my fox through it. It was far longer than I had thought, taking nearly an entire minute to get to the end of the tunnel. Finally reaching the end, I let out a soft sigh of relief, noticing the crystal I needed to grab. Making a run for it, I grabbed the crystal, making a smile emoji. That's when my game froze up, the playing area of the screen turning white with a little exclamation mark in the center. This often happened to me, but why did it have to happen then!? Irritated, I shut down my Animal Jam tab, instead playing on some other games to cool down before coming back to AJ. Logging on, my animal was in the exact same place I left her, although the room was different. She had been sent back to the room where she needed to put the last crystal. Putting it in place, the screen trembled a bit, and Cosmo appeared.
"Good job, Jammer, you're doing great! You have to move along, now, and defeat that Phantom King, yes?" he questioned with a friendly smile. As if it were obvious, I moved towards the entrance to the area where you fight the Phantom King, but Greely suddenly came back, looking angry. It was the first time I had seen Greely like that, ever presented like that. Finally, the great wolf Alpha spoke..
Cosmo seemed to glitch over to Greely and I, without having a proper moving sprite, his smile broadening significantly. "Jammer, are you talking to my friend, Alpha Greely? Yes, friends never tell on each other, never lie to each other. Did you know, Jammer? I bet you did, you silly fox. What was he saying to you?" the text rolled across the screen, being painstakingly slow. Run, I remember thinking with confusion. Now that I thought about it, this was getting a little weird. I tried clicking to log out button, but my computer was taking a long time to load the request. Cosmo's smile turned into a disturbing frown. "Aren't we friends? I've been helping you out on these silly adventures, I'm your friend! Just tell me what he said." Cosmo pushed, inching closer to my avatar. Suddenly, my entire screen went black, like someone had pulled the plug on my computer. Slowly, it booted up the screen again, showing a bit of a glitched out and terrible image. Greely was on the ground, writhing beneath Cosmo as he swung his paws, tearing at the other Alpha's flesh, snarling like a wild animal.
"What the hell is this?" I snapped, spamming the log out button, as well as trying to close the tab, but my computer continued to process it very slowly, before shutting down my request. Becoming fed up with my stupid computer, I was about the yank the plug to the computer, but not before glancing up at my screen. It was a terrible site to behold. Greely's eyes had been tore right from the sockets, large gashes on his pelt as he lay in a pool of pixelated blood. His sprite twitched violenty, body parts moving at angles impossible to an animal. No, it wasn't extremely realistic. It was just disturbing, to say the least. Cosmo himself had a grayed sprite, his smile too wide for his face as he glitched over to me, a faint laughter playing through my speakers. I shut off the speakers, proceeding to pull the plug. My computer turned off without a problem, and I plugged it back in, booting it back up. I avoided Animal Jam for about a month, but eventually forced myself to log on, being able to spawn normally. I had a single Jam-A-Gram in my inbox, and I clicked it eagerly, hoping for it to be from one of my buddies. When I opened it up, it was a picture of Cosmo hanging out with the other Alphas, except for Greely, who had been smudged out beyond recognition in the photo. The words below it read,
"This is our little secret."