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It was a Friday night. My band members had just left after a jam session we were performing. So after they had departed at around 9 o’ clock, I went on my computer to relax for the rest of the night playing my Steam games. After scrolling through my library of 50 games I realized I didn’t feel like playing any of them. So I do what I usually do when I don’t want to play any of the games. I got and browse the free to play section in the Steam store. When I arrived to the page I noticed a game that had just been released today. The game was titled “Near-Death Experience”. Curious to see what it was, I clicked it and was taken to its store page. I read the description to see what is was about but all the description said was “…Literally.” What does that even mean? Although I was hesitant to stay on this store page, I noticed that there were no screenshots of the game uploaded. There was just a screenshot of the title screen in an eerie grayish color with a black background and white borders all around it.  I scrolled down to see if there were any user reviews posted, but nothing. I looked to the right to see what the game had to offer in terms of players. It only offered MMO. No co-op, no single player, not even achievements. But one thing caught my eye. Under the MMO text I saw it said, “VR required for play.” VR? Virtual Reality! Luckily I have a pair from a while back when it first came out. Since I love unusual and suspenseful things, I clicked to download it. 20 gigabytes? Holy shit. Knowing that this will take all night since my internet was balls, I decided to leave my computer on to download it overnight and head for bed. I did have a long day today.

I woke up the next morning to see how my download was doing. Only 50% done. Well, hopefully it will be done when I come home today from work. 

I came home from work at around 7 PM and saw that my download was finished! Excited to play it, I changed quickly, put my goggles on, and jumped right into the action. The titles screen came up saying “Near-death Experience” and it was shown just how I saw it in the screenshot. I got to the screen and picked server browser. But before I even did that, I noticed the main menu screen had one of my close friends on it being cornered by a big black, lanky figure. I couldn’t make out what that creature was. I eventually picked server browser and strangely there was only one server. The server’s name was “Come play with us…” and the map was called  “de_highschool”. I clicked on it since I didn’t really have much of a choice and was taken to my high school.  I was shocked to see that it was an exact replica of my high school. I saw all my close friends fighting off a bunch of zombies; it looked like a zombie apocalypse broke out in our school. My friend threw me a shotgun and I had no choice but to kill the flesh-eating monsters charging at me. 

After that was all over with, I asked what the hell was going on! They said they had been in here for days fighting off these zombies and trying to survive. Some of these friends were my band members, and I just saw them yesterday jamming with them. But apparently, they had been in our high school defending themselves for months. So confused as to what was going on, I noticed a zombie had scratched my character. Only thing is, that character was I, and as my arm was bleeding in the game, it was bleeding in real life. Then it hit me. What happens in this game happens to me in real life. I called up my closest friend whom I saw in the game and told him we need to stop playing this game before we die in it. He had no idea what I was talking about and never heard of the game before. Now I was really confused. But it’s so obvious. I eventually learned that this game takes memories and everyone you know from your subconscious and projects them into the game. Like a scanner. But it also puts in the game and makes you believe this is really happening. But you can still die in it if you died in the game, and no one but your friends or the zombies can take your life away. But there was another thing I noticed.

This game goes on like its part of your daily life. You can never leave it until you have completed your objective by you, and just you, staying alive for 3 days minimum. Since everyone else is just a figment, you don’t need to care about if they’re alive or not. But I realized I should do my best to keep them alive but also not get myself killed since they can be of great use against the zombie hordes attacking us everyday. As I was walking around the school to examine or defenses and barricades, I realized one of my sexy lady friends was in this fucked up game too. She’s a cute one, but I’ve never been naughty with her in real life since I respect her. But since none of this is real I decided to have a little fun. But I didn’t try much since it was almost the end of the day and my first day hasn’t started yet until tomorrow. After a bit of talking and getting to know more of what was going on, she eventually showed me where I’ll be sleeping for these next 3 Hell on Earth days. I can tell this whole thing was scaring her, although I’M the one that should be scared since if I die in the game I get bit by one of these zombies, I can be infected in real life to and bring it over to the real world, and I’ll be responsible for the world’s fall. She kissed me on the lips and said good night. I was a little surprised as to what just happened but I shook it off and decided to get some rest. I got a big day of zombie ass-kicking tomorrow.

I woke up to the sounds of rumbling and Heavy Machine Guns going off on a bipod. I quickly grabbed my trusty Remington shotgun, and fled the room in a hurry. As I bolted out I saw everyone being attacked by the zombies, and the defenses were all destroyed. I quickly readied my shotgun and shot the bastard in the face who was trying to ear my best friend’s face off, while of course watching my own back since MY life mattered in here. We kept pumping lead into the flesh-eating maggots until that wave of them were dead. “Thank God”, I said, “There were way too many of them.” My best friend puts his hand on my shoulder and he says “Wait until you see the next three, dude.” My face grew pale and I felt a shower of fear run throughout my body. “What if I don’t succeed?”, I thought to myself in my head. “Everyone’s lives depend on me in the real world… I must fight as hard as I can!” 

After chattering a while with everyone, we decided to all go out and look out for supplies. This game is a dick because they couldn’t leave unless I went with them, so that just lowered my chances of survival dramatically. I groaned, and set out with them to find food and water and more ammo and weapons. Our school’s football field had puddles of blood, and corpses of the undead everywhere. It was horrible. Our once beautiful field, showered in bloody corpses. I tried not to let it get to me reminding myself that none of this was real… although it will be if I fail to make it out of this fucked up game alive. We went to the closest gun shop we could find and started looting some ammo and more guns. We got what we needed and went on to find some food. There was a Mcdonalds with tons of crappy burgers just piled up with food in the kitchen so we said why not and just bagged it all. Did I mention my ex was in this game? 

As we were venturing back to our high school, we heard screams and gunshots ricocheting off of the walls coming from the halls. We all quickly ran inside, only to find a few classmates fighting off some zombies. I saw my ex defenseless in the corner while a zombie was approaching her with a snapping mouth. I couldn’t get to her in time since I was killing all the incoming zombies running towards us from the gunshots and screams they heard. I couldn’t help her, all I had to do was make sure I myself didn’t die or get infected. I continued blowing these bastards heads off with the help of my great friends alongside with me. As the last zombie fell, I turned to see where my ex had gone. She was nowhere to be found. But I did see the zombie that attacked her with a butcher knife through his bloody head. I set off into the school to find her. I found her traumatized in the corner from what she had just experienced. I also notice a band-aid on her arm. “Hey… you ok?”, I ask her. “I’m… I’m fine… is everyone else safe? Are all those fucked up creatures dead?”, she asks me.”Yes, they’re all dead…”, I reply. “Good…” I finally ask her “Why is there a band-aid on your arm, Cat?” She replies with “The bastard zombie that cornered me scratched me. I was losing blood so I patched it up.” I was hoping that this virus wasn’t transmitted any other way then being bitten by the zombie, or by getting its blood in your mouth, so I said it’s ok you’re safe now, and huddled up with her.

Nightfall was coming, I decided to get some sleep since I still have 2 more days to survive in this hell hole. As I was laying down, I couldn’t stop my mind from racing about Cat being bit. “What if she turns from that? and ends up infecting me or even killing me? If I get infected, then the whole world is doomed…” I worked up the courage to snap out of it and told myself to keep my guard up to the max to make sure I don’t endanger everyone. I eventually went to sleep…

I wake up the next morning to see it was strangely silent… I decided to get out of my room to see where everyone was, but I made sure I had my trusty Remington in my hand. I walk out only to hear flesh tearing and slurping as I turned the corner of the hallway. My eyes grew huge only to see who was feasting on all my friends who were helping me… it was my ex. I was in shock.. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. She also seemed to attract other zombies with her because they were also feasting on all of them. I heard someone call my name from behind me… it was the cute girl from earlier, the one who I think is pretty sexy. She was hiding in one of the janitor closets, trying to get me to hide with her without getting the zombies’ attention. I started to creep away from them, keeping my gun up… can’t let my guard down now. I ended up hitting a piece of debris, and my ex, then all the other zombies, looked at me, and started to charge at me screaming, looking like they can’t to see how I taste. I ran, stumbling for the janitor’s closet, she flew the door open for me and I ran in and closed the door behind me and locked it. They’re not getting in. The janitor’s closet is pretty damn fortified. I turn to her and she gives me a big hug thanking God that I was still alive. I hug her by the waist, as I heard her sobbing. I asked her what the hell happened? “We were all sleeping and in the middle of the night, we heard Cat walk out of her bed. She was on the floor, trembling, having the chills, and a fever. She was burning up so fast and so much…”, she explained to me. “The slash from the zombie…”, I said quietly. “What?! What slash?! Did you know something about her that we didn’t?!”, she exclaimed at me. “After I finished off the zombies, i went deeper into the school to look for her. I found her but she only had the scratch on her arm. I thought you could only get infected by them biting you or getting their infected blood in your mouth. I didn’t know!”, I explained. She fell to her knees, continuing to sob.

After a while, I decided to look out to see what the zombies’ activity was. They were all just standing, hunched over, some even banging their heads on the wall. I took a machete I found in the Janitor’s closet and told her I’m going to go drop them. I quietly sliced their heads off in a stealthy manner. Once I came to Cat, I hesitated. I couldn’t kill her… she was such a sweet girl. But then I persuaded myself that she is already dead from this horrible infection and I need to eliminate all threats to me until I leave this game. Because if I don’t, then she will really die in real life. I thought to long and she detected my presence. She turned to me about to scream but I sliced her head off before she could. I told the girl hiding in the closet to come out and told her the coast is clear. She jumped into my arms as if a way of saying ‘My hero’. I heard a wave of zombies coming after I disposed of the bodies I had just vanquished. They were running, screaming with their bloody mouths. I readied my shotgun and fought off the horde. My poor lady friend was in the corner cowering in fear as I killed every last zombie. Once I killed the last one, or at least thought was the last one, I heard one ambush me from behind. My instincts acted quickly, and I turned and made him bite my gun instead of my neck. I tried fighting him off and shoving him off my gun, but I was so exhausted from the battle I just fought. I also noticed that my lady friend had disappeared. I told myself I had to fight him off and kill him or else the whole world was in danger. Suddenly, I hear a stabbing and slicing noise. It was my lady friend who had just killed the zombie with a kitchen knife. I sighed in relief and she jumped on me, asking if I was ok. The day was over, we went off to bed.

This time, we slept together so we can defend each other. Since it was just us two and no one else, we decided to fool around. I knew she wasn’t real, but it felt so real. She was sitting on me while I was laying down and we were making out. For the next hour or so we had some sexy time. She was pretty damn sexy so I said why not. We finished and finally went to sleep…

Day 3… this is it. I just need to survive this and then I’m not jeopardizing anyone anymore. I got out of bed, readying my shotgun because I wanted to get out of the game as soon as possible. The usual happened, a few waves of undead, I destroyed them, demolished them, but then after a while there was this huge motherfucker. I was thinking to myself he was the boss battle because of how ridiculous he was. He had cleavers coming out of his hands like how wolverine had the claws coming from his hands. He had a chain gun on his back which he can use anytime. Both of his eyes were gouged out and were bleeding down onto his chest. He was blind but had a very very sharp sense of hearing. He also had two rockets mounted on his shoulders that I later realized with just a jerk of his shoulder, the rockets come flying at me. They’re homing rockets as well, so I had to juke them and trick them into a wall so they don’t blow me up. This fight was intense. I tried to take him out with no noise, but his hearing was way too good. The only thing I could do is lay on my stomach, and get around that way. My lady friend eventually yelled at me telling me that she’ll distract him while I take him out. I didn’t want her to risk her life…but she wasn’t real. I was. I had to survive. While she distracted him, I looked around for a more nastier shotgun to blow his brains out with. Ah! An HSG-1 shotgun! Tight spread and wide-spread firing modes. Perfect. Let’s just set it to tight-spread… I heard a scream of agony as the monster hit her to the side. He then picked her up, and threw her to the wall. Her head splattered, and she was instantly dead. But little did the monster know that I was right behind him in time. He turned around to hit me with his cleavers, but I rolled around him to his back, and jumped shot his mounted rocket launchers off and jumped on his shoulders. I was riding him like a horse, and he couldn’t get me off. “Say good night you little prick…”, I said as I stuck the shotgun next to his ear and blew his fucking brains out. I jumped off his shoulders and and he fell to the ground, lifeless…

All of a sudden the ground started to shake. “What’s going on?!”, I said. The world then collapses and crumbles as I’m taken back to my room, in front of my computer screen. I was gasping for air, since my actual body had been stiff the whole time not doing anything. Then I looked up and realized that I had succeeded and let out a huge sigh…

“I’m deleting this monstrosity right now!” I deleted the local content and trashed any  leftover files that were lingering in my hard drive. I switched my inventory to “All Games” to see if it was there… but it wasn’t!

I went to the Steam store but it wasn’t there either… it was gone. As if it was never there. I heard my phone go off telling me that I received new mail. The User name was “Nowhowwasthat@hell.com”. All the message said was: “So… how did you like gambling with death?”

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