“Salem! Not now!” Harvey said, shoving his cat away from his laptop. Salem always had a way of picking the best times to jump into his owner’s lap, lie down, and start to purr. Scorned, he walked over to the corner of the room and settled into his bed.
Harvey frowned. He couldn’t understand why his computer chose today, of all days, to not recognize his headset. The semifinals of the Counterstrike clan wars he was taking part in were in just a few hours. Without his microphone, Harvey wouldn’t be able to communicate with his team and that was a liability they simply couldn’t afford.
“Work you fucking thing!” The boy shouted, slapping his computer in a vain attempt to make it connect with his failing hardware. Still refusing to connect the headset, Harvey’s laptop sat there, mocking him. He could only shake his head and sigh in frustration before finally closing out his open programs and restarting his computer, hoping this would be the solution he needed.
When the machine finally finished rebooting, Harvey let out a whoop of joy. His computer finally recognized his microphone. Just to make sure everything was in working order, he loaded up Audacity and hit record.
Harvey sat for a moment, trying to think of something simple to say… “We are so beating The Philosiraptors tonight and heading to the finals. GO MISKATONIC U!” He hit stop, and played back the message.
A burst of ear-raping static slapped his ears, much louder than anything his computer had ever played before. Harvey tossed off his headset, grimacing in pain. Even from across his bedroom, he could hear the static as if it was still on his head. He jammed his finger into his laptop’s mute button, and breathed a sigh of relief when silence filled his room.
After stopping the playback and deleting it, Harvey picked back up his headset and put it back on. After making sure his volume was set properly. He recorded another short message and played it. This time, there was no static. Instead, his voice was skippy and distorted, alternating between very high and low.
Groaning in frustration, he reset his mic and recorded again. This time, the recording came back clean. Harvey cried out in victory. Finally! Tonight The Philosiraptors would fall.
Harvey couldn’t understand it. Everything had gone so well in the match until the very end. His teammates were blaming him for the mistakes. Over his mic, talking over every other member, was a voice saying only one thing, over and over again.
“You shouldn’t have done that.”