My name is Jimmy and, in 2005, I was an intern at a publishing company for a year. This particular company specializes in childrens books. I wanted a degree in writing and I figured this would be a good way to get my feet wet. Since I got to work with the writers and publishers I got to read the books months before they hit the shelves. For most people this isn't such a big deal, but being the book worm that I am I considered this a huge perk of the job.
Not long after being hired the company exec puts me on the production team for a new book that they were making called "The Skunk, The Fox, and The Raccoon". We were in a bit of a bind because we were given a tight budget and short deadline. The book had to be writen, edited and published within in a year and for less than three grand. The problem was the head writer "Eric" worked very slow. 3 weeks in and $300 later we only managed to write the first 3 chapters of a 15 chapter book.
Eric was also kind of a dick. He would scream and shout at us to work harder while he sat on his ass and texted. He would take our papers from us as we were writing, rip them up, and say " THIS IS GARBAGE, START OVER". After some extensive brainstorming we had developed the characters and come up with a plot. We thought it would be funny if each character resembled somebody in the company.
The Fox's name was "Roland" he liked to show off and had an ego, Just like our company exec, Roland. The Raccoon's name was "Eric", named after the head writer "Eric". Just like the Eric in real life he liked to piss people off and be a douche. And finaly the skunk was Jimbo, the company's accountant and sales manager. The skunk was normally calm and peacefull, but could get angry very quickly. In real life Jimbo had anger issues and bipolar disorder.
We also developed a basic plot. At this point it's just a skeleton with no meat on it, but in a nutshell its this. The raccoon would trick the fox into pissing off the skunk, the skunk would spray the fox, the fox and skunk would realise it was all the raccoon's fault and they would team up to get revenge against the raccoon.
Things were going smoothly now that we had a plot and characters to work with. We actually went from behind schedule to ahead of schedule. Its two weeks before the deadline and the book was in final editing. Soon we would be able to print it, and distribute it to bookstores and libraries across the country. The company exec was very impressed with our productivity. Eric, of course takes all of the credit and gets slaped with ANOTHER raise.
The next day a limousine shows up out front. Roland and Eric are on their way to a company meeting, which basically means they just have to sit through a boring meeting for a few hours, then for the rest of the time they can live it up in a luxury hotel and eat at five star restauraunts, all on company dime by the way.
So while they're gone I was supposed to hold down the fort here at the offices. I don't know why the company exec would appoint the new intern to be in charge, but I couldn't argue since I would get paid overtime. The place goes into party mode while the exec is gone. People throw paper balls at each other and goof off. And I would be lying if I said I didn't go along with it. I organized a party for the overworked writing staff. I figured if Roland can spend company money on a spa bath and filet mignon, I can spend some on chips, sodas, and pizza. I reminded everyone that after the party there was work to be done. But whats the probability of a bunch of people in thier 20s listening to a 19 year old.
While the party was going on somebody from the editing department calls me back into his office. He said it was urgent. I ran back to the editing department as quickly as I could. As I walked into his office I saw a conserned look on his face and he said "Sit down please, we need to talk" He said that he was about to do the finishing touches on the story, but when he opened the file to work on it, it was different. He opens the .docx file and begins reading it to me.
The story starts of as we had written it. The skunk is laying in the barrel, The fox is chasing the raccoon. The raccoon jumps over the barrel and the fox smacks into the barrel sending it down the hill. The fox hears screaming from the barrel as it rolls down the hill so the fox goes up to the barrel to se what is in it. As the barrel hits the ground the fox runs after it. As the fox gets close to the barrel the skunk comes out of the barrel and instantly sparys the fox and the skunk says "take that". This is the point when the story starts to change. First when the skunk gets out of the barrel he is described as being covered in blood with teeth knocked out. In our version of the story the skunk comes out unscathed.
From there it gets worse. After being sprayed the fox lays on the ground screaming in agony.His eyes watering, his nose running like a faucet, his face red as an apple. In the story the skunk was supposed to feel some pity for the poor fox. But instead the skunk gets a wide grin on it's face as if it enjoys the fox's misery. The skunk sprays the fox over and over again. The fox coughing and chocking, begged the skunk for mercy. The skunk just kept spraying it with a satistic grin on it's face. The fox escapes just before dieing from suffocation. The skunk walked off laughing.
The fox started for the green forest. He didn't trot with his head held high and his bushy tail held proudly in the air. Instead his head was down and his handsome tail between his legs. He was the very picture of shame. The spray from the skunk clung to the fox's beautiful fur. As the fox walked through the green forest everybody made fun of him and shuned him. Even his friends and family didn't want anything to do with him. He got kicked out of his home and had nowhere to live. The fox went to the river to wash out his eyes. A rabbit came up and laughed at him. The fox ignored it because he was too miserable to argue. The fox never heard the last of the taunting. He felt like he could never hold his tail up again.
The fox decided he didn't want to live anymore. He ran full speed into a nearby briar patch and rolled arround in the thorns. His skin became covered in large dashes where the thorns tore into him. His orange fur became red with blood. After two minutes of agonizing rolling arround in the briar patch one of the thorns finaly made its way into his corroted artorey, he bled out and died.
The skunk then finds out from an owl who had seen the whole thing that the mastermind behind the prank was actually the raccoon. The skunk then went to seek out the raccoon to spray it to death as it did to the fox. The raccoon heard about the skunk comming and decided to run and hide in a hole he found. Inside the hole there was a hornets nest. As the skunk neared the hole where the raccoon was hiding he heard the agonizing scream of the raccoon. The raccoon was being stung to death inside of the hole. The skunk stood at the opening to the hole, listening to the agonizing screams of the raccoon, and laughed... The end
The .docx file also contained JPEG files of scenes in the book. The bloody skunk coming out of the barrel, the fox gasping for air, the blood coated fox in the briar patch, and the raccoon slowly dieing from the hornet venom. They were extremley realistic, not as if they were drawings but as if they were actual photographs.
After reading it me and the editor staired at each other, Who do you think could have done this he asks? I knew exactly who it was, Eric. I mean who else? This is exactly something that he would do. I was so happy. For the longest time the exec was completley oblivious to the bullshit that eric does, but now I have hard evidence. I can't wait to for the exec to get back. I want to see the look on Eric's face when he gets busted for his bullshit.
The editor then said "don't get too excited" I then asked "what do you mean" He said the file was edited today. Today, I said. But that means... The editor then said "That's right, Eric couldn't have done it because he left for his meeting yesterday and dosent return until tomorrow. Well then who could it be? I asked. The edidor then said " It had to be someone who was in the building today, or had access to the computer system" . It gets weirder. The time stamp was about a half hour before we began reading it. This means it was edited during the party. Everybody was in the break room. Nobody was in thier office. We checked the security camera footage to be sure. Nobody was in the offices when the file was edited. We checked the cameras anywhere there was a computer, and came up with nothing.
We need to call Mr. Roland, I said. The editor replied "No, The boss hates it when his meetings are interupted. I can call the CTO to come in and take a look at the system". The CTO arrives within 15 minutes. He logs into the company mainframe and then analizes the file. The analysis of the file shows that it was our script that we created, but edited over with new material. The CTO then analyzes the mainframe for any foreign software or signs of hacking as well as glitches. Nothing came up. We then tried inspecting the hard drive of every computer in the building as well as computers outside of the building that were connected to the system. We still came up cold.
We knew there was only one thing left to do. We had to contact the exec and tell him about this. We knew he wasn't going to be happy. We called him, we told him what we saw, we even E mailed him a copy of the file. At first we expected him to get pissed. I mean we burned the candle at both ends for 10 months just for some jackass who thinks he's funny to go and vandalize it. But no. He loves it. He calls it our next big horror story. The name of the book is changed to " bloodfest in the forest" and the new morbid book is printed and sold.
A couple weeks later the book is removed from shelves due to low sales and complaints from parents that the book gave thier children nightmares. Eric pinned the whole thing on me (go figure) and I was fired. As I went to the office to gather my things I wondered "is there any way to find out who is behind this". I wanted to prove to everybody that it wasn't me. Not because I wanted my job back, believe me I am done working for these morons, I just wanted to make that douchebag Eric look stupid. As I get to the front step of the door that was once my office I see a package. I assumed it was a dismissal package for being fired, so I took it back to my apartment without thinking anything of it.
When I got to my apartment I opened the package and saw that three stuffed animals. A skunk, a fox, and a raccoon. Each covered in blood. A note in the package read "Stop trying to find out who did it, you never will". All 3 stuffed animals and the note immediatley went into the trash.