He tried to hold back a sneeze in the living room. Light from double sash six over six windows revealed airborne dust particles from a 70ish-style popcorn ceiling.
“It’s time for a new computer,” Oliver told his friend, nose itching. A sneeze came, adding more particulate to the stale room.
“This thing is over twenty years old. I’m surprised it still boots up. The processors are too slow,” Oliver said shaking his head in disbelief while waiting for his friend’s ancient computer to come to life. “You’re not surfing the web with this thing I hope?”
“Of course not,” Frank lied, but he knew he couldn’t fool his friend for long. He was comfortable with that pc and did everything on it.
“Well, at least I renewed my anti-virus a couple of weeks ago,’ Frank said proudly.
“You don’t use this on your network, right?” Oliver said, asking the same question differently. Frank’s face heated up and turned red. He chose to remain silent.
“Tell you what, I’ve got a laptop with all the latest security features on it so you can surf with a lot more protection. I’ll personalize it for you, then bring it over tomorrow. If you like it, I’ll sell it to you for a decent price. In the meantime stay off the web with this one,” Oliver advised while unplugging the old tower PC.
After Oliver left his home, Frank decided to turn on his old computer to download his pictures, Word documents, passwords, and social security information to a thumb drive. From past experience, he knew Oliver would take his old reliable PC when he brought the new one.
Frank’s phone played Bugs Bunny’s theme song, alerting him to an incoming text message. Nucleus Market now has some of the newest sex games, toys, and adult animation at the lowest prices. Click this link.
‘Well I’m not going to click any links on my phone and pick up a virus,’ he thought. As an avid player of adult sex games and animation, he wanted to click the link but got a better idea. Oliver was bringing him a new computer tomorrow. ‘Why not send this link to his old desktop?’ Makes sense he reasoned. ‘If I get a virus on it, who cares?’
Getting back online took a while. Oliver disconnected the old tower. It seemed to take forever to get running again.
“Let’s see, instructions say I have to access the Dark Web to get to the Nucleus Market.” Following the link brought Frank to another link, which he clicked on.
Download the TOR browser bundle, the next link stated. Feeling a little uneasy, he poured a scotch and soda to relax as the browser loaded. A search box popped up with a dialog box asking to type the requested market or browse by category.
“Dammit. What have I gotten myself into?” Frank wondered.
This was a guessing game so he decided to browse by category. The Nucleus Market game had been forgotten. He typed in the search box live sex show. Fascinated by adult chat rooms on the internet, he hit enter. Those rooms always turned to hardcore sex. ‘Would this be the same, but pre-recorded?’ Maybe, he thought. The hourglass pointer, spun around and around, showing a blank screen. It reminded him that the PC was an ancient dinosaur and needed replacing.
‘Your computer has an outdated Windows XP operating system and processor,’ Oliver told him earlier.
A dialog box finally opened with the message: to enter, please sign in using your email address, then create a password. Frank used an old mail address he seldom used.
‘If it got spammed, who cares,’ he thought. Eventually, a page opened.
Several websites in preview windows displayed live shows of several kinds. One had a naked man covered in blood pleasuring himself with a dead bird of some sort. Another had a woman tied to a bed spread-eagled, with a teen inserting objects into her orifices.
‘I better be careful not to go into a site with underaged teens.’
He remembered a twilight zone themed TV series which had a man compromised because of a cam on his laptop.
Frank surmised he wouldn’t have that problem with his old XP tower. It didn’t have a cam. Holding his breath, he clicked on the image of a naked woman in a room with several nude men.
‘Ahh, a gangbang. This is my speed,’ he thought.
In a bedroom was a spinning wheel with names on it. The woman gave it a twirl, and it landed on the name John. A man in the group came forward, grabbed the woman, and pushed her onto a bed. He penetrated her roughly while someone else spun the wheel. Another man joined the couple on the king-sized bed. This went on until three men held her in position, each penetrating an orifice. More men took a turn at spinning the wheel and having sex with the woman. At one point she tried to leave but was forced back on the bed. As she screamed and struggled to get away, the men restrained her hands and feet while they continued their assault on her body.
Frank was a little aroused, but that familiar feeling went away when the men beat the woman to a bloody pulp. She lay unconscious and bleeding on the bed. The men gave each other high fives as he went to make a drink. Pouring a double scotch, he heard the men say, “Be sure to click on Follow Us in the lower right-hand corner.”
“No way in hell,” Frank said. Then he watched his screen in disbelief. His pointer moved over to the right-hand corner and clicked on the Follow Us button by itself. “What the….” The glass dropped from his hand smashing on the linoleum floor. Eyes fixed on the screen, he saw a dialog box pop up. He read the words ‘Welcome Frank Muller, 218 Garwood Lane, Plainville IL. Telephone number 447-323-0163. Muller@twitter and the same for Facebook.’
White-faced, Frank sat like a stone, staring at the screen unable to move. How could someone get that information about him in a few minutes? Not knowing anything else to do he typed back.
‘Who are you?’ Frank nervously waited for a response.
‘My username is JJ_Jester773, and I own you bitch. Next time use a VPN and not your email as a username. I have admin access to this PC and that Word doc called…passwords. Are you familiar with that?’ asked JJ_Jester773.
Frank took another pause, still pale-faced.
‘What’s a VPN?’ Frank typed in response. That was all he could think of to ask.
‘You are priceless Frankie, my man,’ came the next dialog. ‘Tell you what, I’m going to do you a favor, just because you’re new here. Send five grand in bitcoins to my account, and I won’t steal your identity. Believe me, it’s a bitch putting your life back together after that,’ the words on the screen advised.
Frank’s hand shook like a man with advanced Parkinson’s disease. Taking a minute to weigh his options he typed a reply.
Following the instructions from JJ_Jester773, Frank managed to find a website selling bitcoins. Creating an account, he bought several bitcoins. The current US Dollar cost to him was about $5,600.45. He transferred the coins to the man’s account, then waited for confirmation from JJ_Jester773.
Was this really a guy? His name certainly wasn’t Jester.
“I am such an idiot.” Frank chastised himself. “Should have listened to Oliver,” he said, pacing back and forth. I’ve been frugal with my money for years so this loss won’t hurt too much. Bugs Bunny chimed on his phone The’That’s all folks’ catchphrase notifying him he had a text message.
‘Nice doing business with you Frank. Your personal info is safe once again. See you around on the Dark Web another time.’
Frank put the phone on the kitchen table. He closed his eyes while taking deep breaths as his doctor recommended for anxiety.
‘No, no you won’t see me around,’ Frank declared, pouring what was left of the 10-year-old scotch into another glass. Popping a Xanax tablet, he washed it down with the scotch.
“I’m never telling Oliver. Too embarrassing. And I don’t want a lecture about the danger of the Dark Web,” the words slurred from his mouth as two hard yanks pulled out the power cord and internet connection from the old tower.
“God Damn it!” he cursed opening up the mini fridge next to an understocked bar.
While twisting the top off a bottle of beer he heard a new ringtone coming from his phone. A dance tune with someone singing ‘Just got paid, It’s Friday night’ played at full volume.
Frank picked up the phone to see what number made that tune play. Restricted.
“Party hunting, Feeling right,” the tune continued. Frank answered the call.
“Hell..lo?’ Frank enunciated. The word was drawn out as anxiety returned. Both hands held the phone to his ear.
“Hey, buddy. Are you there? This is JJ_Jester773 but you can call me JJ. I changed your ringtone. That bunny shit is for kids. And…I accessed your phone contacts. I’m sending a copy of that video you gave a like to on the web to all your friends. For 10 grand I’ll keep this between us. What you wanna do?
Copyright © 2018 Darnell Cureton. All Rights Reserved.
I’ve nominated you for the Liebster Award! 🙂
Thank you for the nomination. It means a lot.
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Nobody in my writing group liked Frank, but they didn’t want him swindled either. He is a nice man… with some bad habits that got him in trouble on the web. Thanks for the comment.
Wow, what a frightening story! You really drew me in. I’m not sure I liked Frank very much, but I still felt for him – a clever trick for a writer to pull off.