I first heard about ‘The World of the Macabre’ about a week ago.
It was in a post by one of my favorite horror writers, Melody Madness.
She’s a rather niche writer. I found her work half a year ago and loved it ever since. You could say I’m a bit obsessed with her work.
Melody is great, fantastic even, but as I said, she’s still mostly unknown. It’s a shame. She really deserves more recognition.
The moment she announced she’d be featured in a new, upcoming podcast I was as excited as she seemed to be about it. On Facebook, she wrote that the creators reached out to her and wanted to feature her story in the pilot episode. The name of the podcast was ‘The World of the Macabre.’
The pilot episode was to be a special event done live on air at first. Later on, it would be distributed online as well. It was an interesting idea.
Melody wrote that she’d do a live reaction stream on Facebook to help with the promotion.
The moment I read this looked up. Melody liked to play around with Meta elements to give her audience a bit of an extra edge. Many times before she’d posted random updates about her day or her life in general, only for things to get a bit strange as she kept updating. You’d only realize after a while that you were actually reading another one of her stories. I loved the style. So the moment I read about a live reaction, I was sure she’d planned a bit more.
When the day of the stream arrived, a happy, bouncy Melody greeted me and the handful of other fans that had joined. She said the podcast was scheduled to start in about twenty minutes. Until then, she’d talk a bit about future plans and upcoming stories.
Sipping from a cup of coffee she told us about new ideas and a novella she was working on. It was mostly incoherent ramblings due to her excitement.
“God,” she laughed, “I’m so scatterbrained today.”
After a while, she decided to tell us a bit more about the podcast.
One day an email arrived in her inbox, asking if she wanted one of her stories featured on an upcoming podcast. When she checked out the website, everything looked fine and professional. So she wrote back almost instantly that she’d be happy to contribute. After a bit of back and force, she sent them a few of her stories and let them pick one of them.
“You’ve got no idea how excited I am about this! They even said they are going to pay me $50 for it! Maybe this can be the start of something big!”
Can you link the website? I typed in the chat.
“Sure, hold on, Megan. I’m going to copy it!”
She clicked around for a while and then posted the link in the chat.
“Hm, that’s strange, it doesn’t seem to work anymore,” she said, scratching her head.
When I tried to open the link all I got was a blank page.
They are new? I typed once more.
“Yes, the creator was in touch with me and told me it was a sort of passion project for him. They created the website only recently. He told me they got in contact with quite a few writers, but I was their first choice!”
Congratulations and thumbs up flooded the chat.
“So, do you guys think-”
Melody broke up when the podcast suddenly started.
“Friends of the macabre, welcome to the very first episode of our special podcast, The World of the Macabre!”
The voice of the man was loud and booming, almost thunderous. He had a weird accent, stretching some of the vowels a bit too much.
“Today, on this very first episode, we’re honored to feature a very special, writer, Melody Madness!”
Melody was beaming when she heard her name spoken out loud.
“This is it, everyone! God, I’m so excited!” she called out.
“The story we’re going to feature this evening can be best described as a true crime, murder mystery,” the host continued.
“I guess you could call it that,” Melody said frowning for a moment. As soon as the host started narrating though, she was all smiles again.
“Night had descended, and the sun had handed over the world to her nocturnal sister. In the glimmer of the moonlight, hidden between long shadows, a man followed a lonely road. There’s but one thing on his mind, the thirst for blood. As this ghastly abomination in human form made his way…”
The production of the show wasn’t the best. It was rather amateurish, to be honest. The voice of the narrator, however, made up for it. His accent worked exceptionally well to put you into the right mood. As the minutes went by, and the story continued, I could see that Melody’s expression changed. From a happy and excited one, it turned to one of confusion.
“Wait a moment, I didn’t write that! That’s not my story!” Melody called out all of a sudden.
Not your story? I thought they said yours would be featured? Maybe they’ll narrate it after this one?
“No, it is my story, at least the beginning, but they changed the rest!” she exclaimed.
“Why are they doing this? I should write them another email and-”
Suddenly a low noise could be heard in the background. It sounded almost like scratching. The moment Melody heard it, she looked up.
“What was that? Y-you guys heard it, right?”
“Slowly ever so slowly our hunter stalked his prey.”
People were quick to reply in the chat, asking if something was wrong. As I watched on, I started to smile. Melody was doing it again. This had to be another one of her shenanigans. I knew a live reaction was a bit too lame and straightforward for her. I leaned in closer and watched the stream with double the interest.
“He didn’t open the door just yet. The night was still young, and it was still too early to make a move.”
“Alright guys, I don’t know what’s going on here, but this is getting creepy. You heard that noise, didn’t you?”
“From afar the hunter kept track of his prey. His victim was still there, still oblivious and still… moving. For you see, a coffee is not always just a coffee. There are many ways to make someone compliant, but as our Melody here knows, some are better than others.”
Melody jerked around and picked up the cup of coffee she’d finished right before the start of the podcast.
“No way, it was just a story,” she pressed out. She picked up her phone, but right then something hit the window, and the phone slipped from her hands.
“Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god,” she said over and over again.
The chat exploded with activity. No one knew what was going on.
Once more noises could be heard in the background. Melody’s eyes were wide, terrified. That’s some pretty good acting, Melody, I thought.
“Lease all the olice,” Melody mumbled. Her voice was weird, muffled, and she swallowed half the words.
Once more, she tried to pick up the phone, but it slipped from her shaking hands again.
As the creaking of a door was heard, she turned from the camera towards the door of her room. She took one shaking step, then another before her legs gave way and she crashed to the floor. Soon enough, she wasn’t moving anymore.
Only moments later a figure stepped into the room.
“Finally, our nocturnal hunter was ready to catch his prey,” the narrator continued with the story.
With that, the figure stared directly into the camera. I cringed back at the sight before I realized that the man was wearing a creepy mask.
He refocused the camera on Melody and meticulously started to bind her arms and legs as well as putting a gag into her mouth.
“Hungry, oh so hungry, the hunter was for the flesh of another human.”
The man grabbed hold of Melody and pulled her away from the camera and out of the room.
“The blade was old, dull and rusty, but enough to finish the job.”
There was a sickening sound somewhere of camera followed by muffled screams.
“In ecstasy, our hunter sank his fangs into the prey. Flesh tore, and bones broke as he started to devour the body.”
I was sitting there, staring at the stream. I could hear the muffled screams and a disgusting, wet, sound. This was still fake, right? It was yet another one of Melody’s tricks. It had to be!
“Well then, friends of the macabre. With this today’s episode comes to an end,” the narrator spoke over the muffled screams off camera. “We want to thank our writer Melody Madness for her contribution to our new show. Hopefully, other writers are interested in working with us as well. The World of the Macabre is always looking for young and enthusiastic contributors!”
After that, the narrator went quiet. All that was left was a low static and the sounds off camera. By now there were no muffled screams anymore. All that could be heard was heavy breathing the tearing of flesh.
Then, a minute or so later, the same figure, now covered in blood, walked into the room and ended the stream.
It had to be fake, I told myself. There was no freaking way any of this was real. She’d got me good, I thought.
People started to comment on Melody’s profile and timeline. Many were as confused as me. Others were unsure what they’d seen. A few even said they’d be calling the police.
I entered the podcast’s name into Google, but nothing came up. When I clicked the link she’d shared again, it was still a blank page.
For long minutes I stared at my computer.
With shaking hands, I wrote a message to Melody.
Hey Melody, that stream was really something else. You’re okay, though, right? It looked so real! People are even calling the cops. Are you sure you didn’t take it a bit too far?
I waited and waited and waited, but even after an hour, the message was still unread. She’s just keeping up the facade, I told myself. She’s just playing along.
When the message was still unread the next day, I told myself the same thing. After another day had passed; however, I started to have doubts.
By now it’s been almost a week. My message is still unread. There have been no new updates by Melody at all. In the last days, I reached out to her via email but got no answer either.
Yesterday I contacted the police and explained the whole thing. The woman on the line listened intently before she connected me to another officer. The man informed me that they’d received multiple calls about this stream already. There was an ongoing investigation, but as of now, he couldn’t give me any more details. I kept asking him what was going on, but he only repeated the same thing. In the end, I hung up in frustration.
An investigation, I thought. Did it mean what I’d seen was real? I thought back to Melody’s expression, the fear visible on her face and her passing out. If this was real, then… dear god had I actually watched as she was murdered?
I’m so lost right now. I tried to find out more about Melody, about what happened, but I don’t even know where she’s from! There’s nothing on the internet about it yet.
I’m writing this down now because this is a place for aspiring horror writers. I remembered what Melody had said. The producers of ‘The World of the Macabre’ had reached out to quite a few writers. I don’t know what exactly is going on here, but if they reached out to any of you, don’t reply. Don’t submit any stories. If you did, call the cops. You might be in grave danger.