It's been two years since my brother was killed.
In January 2014, my brother had bought and downloaded a computer game called "7." He said he got it on Bandcamp and thought it was a first-person shooter, judging from screenshots of the game. My brother loved first-person shooters, while I just never saw the appeal. Still, I didn't think anything of it. He went into his room to play "7," and that's the last I ever saw of him. He didn't ever come out of his room, though at first our folks and I thought he was just really into the game. When it got to dinnertime, my brother still hadn't come out of his room. Mom got up to fetch him, but when she opened his bedroom door, she screamed, "Oh, my God! My baby!"
Dad and I went to check on her, and we found my brother's body. His eyes had been ripped from their sockets, his throat was slashed, and his bedroom window was smashed open from the outside. His computer only showed his desktop. Dad dialed 9-1-1, and the ambulance and an officer were on the scene. The police conducted an investigation, and my brother's body was hauled away. While the investigation took place, my folks and I stayed at my grandparents' house for the next few months later.
One day in May 2014, while my folks were out, I went into my brother's bedroom. I was morbidly curious about "7," though I wasn't entirely sure if I could play it. What would I have to gain from playing the same game that got my brother murdered in January? Would it be worth it? Perhaps I could only play it for a while, but...no, that's just fucking stupid. It didn't matter, anyway; the police had seized my brother's computer for their investigation. I left my brother's room at that, though the morbid desire to play "7" didn't.
As the months passed by, my curiosity began to fade as I focused on other things. By September, I had forgotten about "7;" it seemed like it didn't matter to me anymore.
In January 2015, on the anniversary of my brother's murder, news broke out that my brother's murderer had been captured and arrested by the police. His name was Thomas Aldridge. According to the police, Thomas had been illegally data mining people's information from their purchases of his game "7" to stalk them, track them down, and kill them. My folks and I were stunned, though we were at least thankful that the string of murders had been put to an official end; that bastard wouldn't kill another innocent person ever again.
That said, "7" had intruded back into my mind once more. Since the killer had been caught, I knew I had no risk, and so once I had the chance, I looked for "7" on Bandcamp. Unsurprisingly, the game had been removed from Bandcamp, though that didn't deter me. I checked torrent sites for a download of "7," and once I found it, my heart began to race with excitement. I downloaded the .zip file and extracted the files into a folder I labeled "7." After reading the Read Me, which showed nothing but what the controls were, I opened the .exe file and was eventually greeted by the title screen of "7."
The title was only the digit 7 stylized to resemble a pistol, and a standard list of options was displayed below it. I clicked the start button, though what I was greeted by was nothing more than just a standard military shooter game. Goddammit, what a letdown. This is the game that killed my brother? What an anticlimax. I hit the escape key and returned to my desktop, sighing in disappointment.
I sat there for a while, mulling over everything. Feelings of disappointment slowly became relief, which allowed me to feel a sense of closure about my brother's murder.
"You can finally rest now," I thought.
I gazed out of my bedroom window, almost expecting Thomas Aldridge to come in and kill me, but I knew that there was just no way that was happening. Still, I felt uneasy about it all, as I still do now. Of course, Thomas won't be killing me anytime soon, but I don't see any harm in being a bit more careful about things.