The season two finale of Nothing Is Wrong will be out as soon as possible, but I also do a lot of other things, like D&D supplements and Indie TTRPGs.

If you like that sort of thing you can check them out on my itch page.

Episode 019

The Shower Curtain People

September 1980

“Take a bath.” said Mom, “You smell like a polecat!”

Marie hadn’t bathed in two days. “Can you come with me?”

“I gotta make dinner.” said Mom, “You’re six years old. You can take a bath on your own. I’ll start the water for you.” 

Mom ran the bath and led Marie to the tub. “Be sure to wash behind your ears. Daddy will be home in a little bit. When you come down, dinner will be on the table.”

Marie didn’t like being alone in the house, especially in the bathroom. There were always...noises...and...shadows.

One night she woke up screaming because there were lions growling in the hallway outside her room. When mommy finally came she said it was just her brothers snoring in the other room. But Marie knew what she heard. Marie knew what she saw. 

The house had eyes. Faces in all of the walls. Sad faces, angry ones, but mostly faces in pain. She talked about it once with her brother Christopher.

“I don’t like the boy that stares at me when I eat my Cheerios” she told him. “He has scary eyes.”

“That’s just your mind playing tricks on you.” said Christopher. He didn’t know the word “pareidolia”, but he understood the concept. “Anything can look like a face.”

“But it scares me.” she said.

“Everything scares you.”

Marie sat in the tub for a minute before it dawned on her that Mommy had forgotten the bubbles. There had to be bubbles for her to take a bath. It just wasn’t a bath without them.

The bottle of bubble bath mix sat at the other end of the tub, behind the shower curtain. Marie got up on her knees to wade over to it when she caught motion through the corner of her eye. A silhouette on the curtain as if a person were standing behind it.

“Christopher!” she said, “Get out you queerdo! I’m in the tub!”

No response came, but the figure moved to one side as another appeared next to it. 

“Who’s there?” she asked, her voice cracking in fear. The shadowy figures remained silent.

“Chris...Johnny?” she said, hoping to hear one of her brothers own up to goofing around in the bathroom. Still hearing no answer, Marie poked her head around the shower curtain only to find no one standing there.

Trembling slightly, Marie reached for the bottle of bubble bath, her fingers shaking as she poured it into the water. The familiar scent of the pink liquid filled the air, but it offered little comfort against the chill that had settled over her.

Steeling herself, Marie looked once more at the curtain. The two shadowy shapes remained in plain view. One had assumed a crouching position as if it were trying to look her in the eye.

“Who are you?” she cried. “What do you want?”

The figure on the left moved. It held up a hand as if reaching out to her. Marie’s eyes grew wide and she jumped out of the tub, barely stopping to grab her bathrobe and ran downstairs at full clip.

“Mommmmmy!” she screamed all the way to the kitchen.

“What the frig are you doing?” asked mom. “You’re bare ass naked!”

“I have my robe!”

“Honey, I put your pajamas on the hamper in the bathroom. Go get ‘em”

“Un-uh” said Marie. “I ain’t goin’ up there again.”

“Fine. Eat in your robe. We’re having spaghetti and meatballs.”

“Yay! Puh-sgetti!” Marie exclaimed, promptly forgetting about her experience in the bathroom.

Christopher went to use the toilet and noticed the tub almost overflowing. Not wanting to get in trouble for it, he turned off the tap and pulled out the drain plug. As he sat on the bowl, Christopher heard a noise coming from the hallway. It sounded like the  low growl of a jungle cat- a sound he’d only ever heard in movies. It startled him for a moment until he heard the gurgle of the last of the water draining from the bathtub. Obviously that must have been what he’d heard the whole time. Christopher quickly finished his business and slipped off to his room to play with his Micronauts until Mom called him down for dinner.

Dad was only a little drunk when he got home and the family had a peaceful dinner. Afterwards, they watched a Muppet Show rerun featuring Brooke Shields as Alice in Wonderland. Marie dozed off and Dad carried her to bed. 

In the dark of night, the sound of a creaky floorboard stirred her from slumber. She pulled the blanket over her head for protection, but could still hear the sound.

“Who’s there?” She called out.

“Marie?” responded a familiar voice. It sounded like her classmate, Michelle.

“Shelly?” she called out her friend’s nickname, “Why are you in my house?”

“Marie! It’s you. I’m in the woods! The lions are coming! They got all the other kids. I’m hiding!”

“Shelly.” said Marie, pulling the cover off her head, “Don’t be silly, you’re in my house. Not the woods.”

Standing silhouetted in her doorway Marie saw her friend wreathed in the light from the hall. She wore a princess dress, complete with tiara.

“Shelly? What are you doing here?”

“I just wanted to go trick or treat!” said Michelle. “The ice cream man drove us out to the woods.”

“You’re scaring me.” Marie said, tears already welling up in her eyes.

“Be quiet.” whispered Michelle, “Or they’ll hear us.”

“Who’ll hear us?”

“The lions.”

“You see the lions too? I knew it.” said Marie, vindicated in spite of the uncanny feeling creeping over her. 

Marie patted her bed, “C’mere, Shel. Come sit and be safe with me.”

“Marie? I didn’t see you on the truck? Why are you here?”

“I live here, silly.” said Marie, “This is MY house you’re in.”

“It’s not a house. It’s a cold cold forest. We’re lost Marie. They got them all. I’m the only one left.”

“Don’t be so sad, come sit with me.” Marie implored. “We can have a sleepover! My mommy makes pancakes sometimes!”

“Marie!” gasped Michelle, “Marie, where are you? I can’t see you no more!”

“I’m right here in front of you!”

“MARIE?!” the other girl shouted. “MARIEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!” her call turning into a scream.

Marie climbed out of the bed and approached Michelle, grabbing her hand. Pulling her friend closer, Marie saw Michelle’s face.

Her eyes were black and hollow sockets, her face soaked red with blood. 

Marie tried to scream for her mother but her voice came out only as a squeak. 

She stumbled backwards, tripping over a toy and landed on her back.

Tears streamed down Marie’s face as she lay there with her eyes clamped shut, but the image of her friend’s dead face remained burned into her eyelids.

Marie felt a hot breath on her cheek. Opening her eyes she saw a dark shape above her.

The lion! She thought, but she couldn’t move, paralyzed with fear. 

The beast towered over her and sniffed Marie’s hair. It didn’t look like lions in picture books or movies. It had no mane on its head and gazed down at her with wide eyes, its maw stained with a dark red liquid. 

Don’t eat me. Don’t eat me. Don’t eat me don’t eat me donteatmedonteatmedonteatme! She said over and over in her mind.

The lion nudged her with its bloody snout, then opened its jaws to chomp down on her.

Marie closed her eyes and winced in fear, waiting for the beast to strike.

Her fear was suddenly interrupted by the rushing roar of the toilet flushing.

Opening her eyes once more, Marie saw that the lion had disappeared and gazing into the hall could see her big brother, Johnny, stepping out of the bathroom.

“Johnny!” she yelped.

The young teenager spun around to see Marie splayed out on the floor.

“Did you fall out of bed?” he asked her.

“No. Shelly was here, but her face was all red and there was a lion and and and...Shelly didn’t have eyes and I’m scared.”

“You’re having a bad dream. Go back to sleep.” her brother said.

“No! It’s real.” she demanded, “There’s lions in this house!”

“There’s no such thing as lions. Go to bed.”

The next day at school Marie saw Michelle. She ran up to her friend and squeezed her until Michelle’s eyes bugged out.

“What is up with you?” asked Michelle.

“I thought the lions got you!” Marie exclaimed.


“You were at my house last night. You wanted to go trick or treat, but a lion got you and ate your eyes out!”

“Oh my god, Marie. You have the most crazy dreams!”

“It wasn’t a dream!” Marie insisted. “You were dressed like a princess!”

“I ALWAYS am a princess for Halloween.” declared Michelle.

“Well,” said Marie, “be careful. There are LIONS in the world.”

“They don’t have lions in Amon Heights. That’s only a jungle thing. Like in Africa. Or the ZOO!”

“Girls!” interrupted Mrs. Dempsey, “Stop chit-chatting in the hallway and go to your classroom!”

The rest of the day, Marie didn’t let Michelle out of her sight. Just to make sure her friend was safe, after school she invited Michelle over to play. They made mud pies for their dolls and rolled around in the grass. 

 That night at bathtime Marie refused to go.

“Honey,” said Mom, “You have to take a bath. You’ve been running around all day and rolling in dirt. You're filthy.”

“No.  I can’t take a bath because of the shower curtain people!”

Christopher overheard this and snickered. “The shower curtain people? Oh god. Just take your bath already.”

“THEY’RE REAL! They watch me when I’m in the tub!”

“You’re just making excuses because you like to smell like pee!” her brother retorted.

“Christopher!” said Mom, “Go to your room. I’ll deal with little miss Marie.”

Mom stayed with her through the bath and the shadowy figures did not show up. There came another dinner followed by a night of tv before Marie once more woke up alone in her bed. 

She opened her eyes to see a baby snoozing on the pillow beside her. 

“How did you get here?” she said to it. “No answer, huh? But you sure are the cutes-”

Her voice cut short as the thing wriggled around beside her, its face turned toward hers. The thing in the bed with her was not an infant at all. It looked like a gigantic squirming white worm, with no eyes. But it had teeth. So many teeth in its wide mouth that opened and snapped at Marie as it drew close to her throat.

“Aaah!” the girl cried, scooting to the edge of her bed, away from that...thing.

It moved blindly toward her, writhing on the mattress like a fat snake. Marie screamed and squealed, but no one seemed to hear her. She stood up on the bed as the toothy worm thing nudged at her feet.

Pressing up against the wall, Marie felt something cold grab a hold of her hand. Looking down she saw black fingers intertwined with hers. She could barely make it out through the moonlight that streamed in her window, but it seemed as if the black hand extended from the wall itself.

Her eyes widened as she lifted her hand up to her eyes. The black hand came up with hers. It weighed nothing. Marie turned toward the wall to see who or what was attached to the obsidian fingers and suddenly felt herself pulled toward it.

In a flash she found herself pressed flat against the wall. Literally flat, as if she’d become a shadow on the wall of her bedroom.

She could see the light pouring in from the hallway, her toys scattered across the floor, and her bed with that fat little maggot twisting around aimlessly upon it. However, Marie found it impossible to glance to her left or her right. Nevertheless, she felt a force PULL her to the right. 

Everything turned black, but she heard a voice in her mind saying, “This way! Come! You will be safe!”

The thing that grasped her hand whisked Marie sidewards into the chilly darkness. 

When she could see again, she was in the hallway. She saw the attic door and stairway down to the living room across from her, but still Marie was flat against the wall, like a painting. 

Marie tried to gasp when that chubby wriggling worm came into her peripheral vision, exiting her room, into the hall. It crawled slowly across the floor. No sound could escape her as the disgusting little creature came into full view, its eyeless face turning this way and that. As if trying to sense something.

A roar came from the bathroom. Once again the loud flush of the toilet interrupted Marie’s nightly terror. Johnny stumbled into the hall, half asleep, and nearly tripped over the maggot.

“What!” he exclaimed as he looked down at the thing. “No! No. I got them. I got them all!”

Johnny ran away into the bedroom he shared with Christopher. There came a loud clattering of metal on wood followed by his stomping footsteps before Johnny tore back into the hallway wielding an aluminum bat.


Marie couldn’t close her eyes as she witnessed her brother splattering the hideous little monster against the floor until it was nothing more than a sickening pile of red and gray puss. 

Johnny collapsed to the floor and caught his breath before Dad called out from his room.

“What the fuck is going on out there? Go to bed!”

“Sorry!” said Johnny, “I had to I tripped.”

“Well, be quiet. I got work in the morning!”

Johnny sat there for a long while before gathering a dirty towel from the hamper and scooping up the remains of the creature. Marie saw him disappear down the stairs and heard him slip out the front door. Eventually he came back and crept into his bed.

The voice in her head spoke to her once more. It is over. You will be safe now. The p̶̧̛͚̥̤̫̲ͅa̸̠̰̼̜̦͈̓͂̓́͌͋͂r̶̳̬̙̭͇̹̆̊̒̎a̴̘̖̫̫̐s̶̬̠̲͖̼̞͙̿͋ḭ̵͈̲͉͕̜͔͗t̶̡̹̼̥͂̐́e̸̥͕̤͚̞͇͋͘͘̕ will no longer trouble you.

What? She thought.

The p̶̧̛͚̥̤̫̲ͅa̸̠̰̼̜̦͈̓͂̓́͌͋͂r̶̳̬̙̭͇̹̆̊̒̎a̴̘̖̫̫̐s̶̬̠̲͖̼̞͙̿͋ḭ̵͈̲͉͕̜͔͗t̶̡̹̼̥͂̐́e̸̥͕̤͚̞͇͋͘͘̕ . For want of a better term. It brought things that it should not have.

It brought the lions.

It brought many things. Things from a past that has not yet happened. But your sibling has destroyed it. It cannot cause further harm.

What are you?  She asked without saying a word.

We do not have a name. Said the voice in her mind. We are...beings who have come to observe you. We do not know our origin.

Are you the shower curtain people?

We do not reside in your bathing shield. But yes, that was us. We meant no harm. 

Why am I stuck in a wall?

We brought you to this space for protection. We return you now.

No! Wait!  Marie thought urgently.

The next thing Marie knew, she awoke in her bed. It had been a dream. Maybe all of it had. Shower curtain people, lions, worm babies. Just a long nightmare.

She went downstairs to the smell of pancakes. Christopher sat on the floor watching a cartoon about a teenage Dracula. 

In the kitchen she found Johnny standing in front of the stove.

“What are you doing?” she asked him.

“Making pancakes. Dad’s working today and Mom’s at the store.”


“I can make pancakes.” he said.

“Hey little puss puss.” he called out to Christopher, “Come and get it!”

Marie sat at the table with her brothers and ate pancakes. They were burned on the outside and gooey in the middle, but the syrup tasted sweet.


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Intro and outro theme 

Music Provided By Mediacharger

Artist: Darren Curtis

Track: Demented Nightmare


Background Music Provided By Mediacharger

Music Created By : Myuu

Song Title: Growing Shadows


Nothing Is Wrong is written and recorded in New Jersey on Lenapehoking territory.

Episode 018

The Devourer

March 1984

Adam had a pocket full of quarters and a plan. He would finally get his initials in the number one spot on an arcade game at The Machine Shop- the local video game arcade. It stood next to the Olde English Tavern on Westfield, across from the Five and Dime. 

He stepped into the dimly lit arcade with its sticky floors and aroma of stale popcorn and B.O. The manager, Mike, grunted a half-hearted greeting at him from behind the counter before sticking his face back into a magazine. 

Adam had his heart set on achieving the high score on Joust. So far he had made it to the list of “Daily Buzzards” - a leaderboard of the highest scores for a particular day. But his dream remained to place his initials at the top of the permanent list of “Champions”. 

Walking to the back of the Machine Shop, Adam almost dropped to the floor in shock when he saw the Joust game had been moved. Nearly running around the place twice to find where his favorite game had gotten to, Adam could not believe that it was nowhere to be seen.

“Mike! MIKE!” he said to the manager, who barely lifted his gaze from the periodical, “What happened to Joust?”

“What?” said Mike, his mouth half full of a chocolate bar.

“Joust! The game. It’s missing!”

“Oh. Yeah. The owner took it out. He put a new game in.”

“I don’t want to play a new game. I want to play JOUST.” said Adam.

“Well, sucks to be you then.” replied Mike before going back to his magazine, marking the conversation finished.

Frustrated, Adam walked around the arcade in search of another game on which to mark his legacy. Mario Bros was too popular. He knew that he’d never get to the top of the board on a game that all the bigger kids played. Joust was the only game he was really good at. He briefly considered Burger Time, but remembered he always got stuck between the hotdog and the pickle. 

After making three trips around the shop, he finally decided to investigate the new game the owner used to replace Joust. 

It sat in a matte black cabinet with very little artwork other than sharp teeth painted across the top of the frame beneath bold crimson letters that read “The Devourer”. 

Unlike the other games, no colorful graphics danced upon the screen. Just the words “Insert Payment” in blocky, white, pixelated letters that flickered ever so slightly. Placing his hand on the control panel of the cabinet, Adam found it to be strangely warm. Not the warmth of an electronic device, but more like...body heat. 

The buttons glistened with an eerie sheen, and the joystick, encased in a dark, polished material, felt as if it were made from something other than plastic or metal.

The instant Adam inserted a quarter, the screen sprang to life with an ominous glow. The stark graphics depicted a cavernous abyss of reddish rocky terrain adorned with jagged, teeth-like formations lining the walls. A discordant chiptune soundtrack permeated the air through unseen speakers in the machine. The synthesized music felt more like  guttural growls and agonizing groans than the typical arcade game melodies.

As he grasped the joystick, Adam felt it vibrate a little in his hand. Pressing the fire button caused a pair of fists to appear in first-person perspective. Adam had never played a game like this before, but he’d seen things like it in video game and computer magazines. When he pushed the joystick forward, the scenery moved toward him, but the hands stayed in place. This gave the illusion of moving forward through the rocky landscape. 

Pressing onward, Adam noticed that the tooth-like shapes circling the rim of the tunnel remained in place, hovering above and below his digital avatar. As he continued, they seemed to move inward, as if slowly biting down on him.

“Hey Mike!” Adam called out, “What’s the point of this game?”

Without looking up Mike replied, “I don’t play ‘em. I just pluck the quarters out at the end of the night.”

Is it just a maze? thought Adam, plunging forward through the strangely pulsating tunnels of The Devourer. This is pretty easy so far, but kind of stupid too. Then he saw

A squat pixelated beast lurked behind a stalagmite in the tunnel. It resembled a massive pink brain on legs with two meaty arms sticking out of its side and a gaping toothy maw. The matter of the brain quivered and pulsated as the digital creature lunged toward Adam.

The boy yelped and ducked out of the way before remembering it was just a video game and could not actually hurt him. Still, the thing made a terrible noise as it leapt repeatedly at his avatar, each time causing the screen to flicker and the cabinet itself to shake and rumble. With each attack from the creature the monitor became tinted with a darker and darker shade of red and the teeth surrounding the avatar moved closer and closer inward. 

Adam used the joystick to maneuver his character past the attacker and continued through the tunnels, turning left and right periodically as if navigating a labyrinth. Before long he encountered another of the pink creatures. This time Adam tried slapping the buttons on the control panel to find that they caused his avatar to strike out with its fists against the enemies. A few of the creature’s attacks landed, but eventually Adam managed to defeat it.

Usually in games the enemy creatures disappear upon death, but this one lingered in front of Adam’s avatar. What do I do? He thought. The creature’s corpse blocked his path and he found himself unable to move forward. 

Bold black letters appeared across the screen, “CONSUME or be CONSUMED!” they said before fading away..

“What?” Adam gasped out loud.

“CONSUME!” flashed on the screen once more. 

Adam pressed down on the fire button atop the joystick and the perspective of his character lowered over the dead creature. The game let out a series of digital grunts and various other noises as the creature’s body disappeared, piece by piece.

“Oh my god! I’m...eating it!” he cried, almost sickened as if he truly were gobbling up the squishy pink remains of his vanquished foe.

When the thing was fully ingested, the red tint to the screen subsided and the encroaching teeth settled back into their original position. 

Adam stopped to catch his breath. Looking around the arcade he thought it odd that no other kids had entered since he’d been there. The only other occupant was Mike, who seemed to have dozed off beneath his magazine. 

Where is everyone?  He thought. By this time of day the place is usually packed.

Before Adam could ponder any further the game roared with sound. A new creature had started attacking him while he looked away from the screen. This one was much larger than the previous two, with a heavily muscled body and no head. Its green torso contained a massive mouth filled with sharp, pixelated teeth. 

Adam tried mashing the attack buttons repeatedly, but to no avail, the thing assailed him over and over. With each devastating blow the screen grew a darker shade of red as the pointed teeth closed in on his avatar.

After several agonizing seconds of trying to defeat the beast, the teeth closed on Adam’s avatar and the screen went black. 

GAME OVER appeared in scarlet text that dripped like blood.

“Is that it?” said Adam. “What a rip off!”

After a moment the screen faded to black and the words “Continue?” and “Insert Payment” appeared.

Eager to keep playing this strange new game, Adam tossed another quarter into the machine, but the phrase remained on the display. He smashed the buttons and clicked the joystick, but to no reward. He pushed coin after coin into the machine, depleting his entire reserve but it still said “Continue?” and “Insert Payment”.

“Hey!” he called out to Mike, “This thing is broken! It took my money!”

“No refunds.” responded a groggy Mike, without removing the periodical from his face. 

Embittered, Adam slammed his hand against the coin slot.

“C’mon! Let me play! I paid you!”

Beneath the text on the monitor a countdown appeared.


“Come on!” he said, smacking the coin return button.


He hit it harder.


“What the heck?” Adam spat at the machine.


“I just want to play the stupid game!”


Adam wailed and punched the machine with his fist then howled in pain as his hand quivered. It was stupid to punch the metal plating of the arcade cabinet and he knew it. His agonized knuckles started to drip blood.


Adam spit on the machine, tears welling up in his eyes.


“I lost all of my quarters.” he cried. “All my money.”


He tried one more time to press the coin return button with his trembling, damaged finger. 


A bit of blood dripped into the coin slot.


“I give up.” said Adam, spent.

The machine whirred to life. The music began and Adam’s avatar hands were once more in the center of the display, with the strange labyrinth before it.  The green creature that had killed him was nowhere to be seen.

“I did it!” shouted Adam. “I did it! I got a second life!”

This time around he exercised caution, refusing to glance away from the screen for even a second. He began to notice that the electronic grunts and groans of the machine were not arbitrary, but rather indicators of the proximity of the monsters. He used that to his advantage, avoiding the strong creatures and seeking out the weaker ones to defeat and devour. With time he knew he was getting stronger in the game. In real life, the pain in his hand subsided until he no longer noticed it. 

After a while  navigating the tunnels Adam came across the muscular green torso beast again. Fighting it with his newfound strength proved helpful. He still took a lot of damage from the creature, but managed to defeat it. After the battle, his head ringing from the rhythmic pulsing of the dark red screen, Adam ate the corpse of his enemy. Each bite caused the pounding of his heart to quell along with the imminent doom of the gnashing teeth around him. Buried within the guts of the monster, Adam found a solid object- the hilt of a weapon. Pulling it out, revealed it to be a gleaming longsword.

Armed with the radiant blade Adam pushed his avatar onward through the strange corridors. The sword shed a sphere of light, which showed him more of his surroundings. The walls of the cavern were made of reddish stone marbled with white veins and covered here and there with rust-colored vines. As he walked, his unseen feet made squelching noises as if stepping through thick mud. 

The enemies came more frequently now, but Adam had grown equipped to deal with them. Little by little he made his way through the game until coming to a set of massive double doors. Scrawled across them was the phrase “Insert Payment”.

Adam attempted to open the doors, but they did not budge. He battered them with his digital fists and slashed at them with his sword, but no marks were left upon their surface. 

“Insert payment?” he pondered out loud, “But I already gave you all my money. I didn’t die. You can’t charge me to finish the game.”

Adam glanced around the arcade to find it pitch black and silent. All of the other machines had been turned off. Only The Devourer remained operating. 

“Mike?” he called out into the darkness. After a moment without response he called the name again. 

“Mike? Anybody?” his voice echoed in the empty arcade. 

The Devourer cabinet lit the room with a dull reddish tint. Adam managed to circle the arcade using the light it provided. The large exterior window looked out onto Westfield, revealing the desolation of a street in the late evening. Dim streetlamps barely managed to illuminate the empty avenue.

“How late is it?” Adam spoke out loud to himself, “It’s super dark outside. Mom’s gonna be mad.”

The emptiness of the arcade made his voice feel louder than normal. Adam went to open the front door, but it was locked from the outside. He shook the latch, but the door failed to budge.

Adam spun around and dashed to the back door that led to the alley behind the Machine Shop. The doorknob refused to turn in his hand. Instead of a lock switch the knob contained a keyhole. Like the front door, it seemed locked from the outside.

“I’m trapped in here!” Adam continued to speak to himself. “How do I get out?” 

From behind Mike’s counter, Adam heard a rustling noise.

“Who’s there?” he called out, cautiously moving toward the counter to investigate. The rustling noise paused for a moment, then continued.

“I hear you back there! You aren’t supposed to be here after closing!” said Adam, noting the irony silently to himself. 

A small shadow emerged from the darkness, a fat little rat, its sleek fur illuminated by the glow of the machine. Adam's stomach churned as he watched the rodent saunter out from its hiding place. Its beady eyes glinted as it dragged a half-wrapped chocolate bar across the sticky carpet of the arcade. 

“Oh gross!” he spat, sickened at the sight of the rat. Determined to not spend another minute in the arcade, Adam whirled around toward the exit and nearly smashed directly into an arcade cabinet. 

The Devourer stood in front of him with its painted-on teeth bared.

“What!?” he cried. The machine had been back against the rear wall of the arcade. Why was it suddenly nearer to the counter than it had been? The screen remained as he’d left it, with the double-doors and the words “Insert Payment” now flashing intensely.

Adam stumbled backward. The machine stood before him, croaking digital squelching noises and low growling sounds. His body pressed against the counter, Adam looked back and saw something on the floor behind him. A pair of legs sticking out from behind the counter.

Mike’s legs. 

“Mike!” shouted Adam, but the man didn’t stir. “MIKE!” he cried, to no answer.  

Adam climbed on top of the counter to peer over it. Mike’s body lay slumped on the floor beside his chair. His glassy eyes peered up at the ceiling. He didn’t move. Didn’t breathe. 

“Mike?” said Adam, tears streaming down his face. He’d never seen a dead body before, but was pretty sure this was what one looked like.

Adam crouched down on the counter to get a closer look, thinking maybe Mike was just messing with him. As he leaned in closer, Adam felt a presence behind him. Slowly, Adam turned, the pulsing lights of the arcade machine dancing in his vision.

Pressed up against the counter stood The Devourer. Adam gazed wide-eyed at its mouth-like screen. The phrase “Insert Payment” flashed bright red as the game roared digitally. 

(insert roaring noise)

Adam fell back behind the counter onto Mike.

Mike’s body was stiff and cold to the touch. Adam quickly clambered off it, feeling something hard on the floor as he climbed to his feet. 

A keychain. Mike’s keys.

Maybe I can open the door with these. Thought Adam. But as he stood, the arcade cabinet was somehow behind the counter, blocking his passage.

“INSERT PAYMENT” blazed across the screen.

Adam yelped and ran back, nearly tripping over Mike’s corpse.

He hopped up onto the counter.

The machine stood above the remains of the arcade manager.

“CONSUME!” flashed the screen. “CONSUME!”

What?  Thought Adam once more. What am I supposed to do? The arcade game’s come to life. I just wanted to get the high score on Joust. That’s all I wanted!

The display on the screen had changed. Instead of the strange reddish cave it now showed a pixelated rendition of the interior of the Machine Shop. On the floor an 8-bit image of a corpse that vaguely resembled Mike. 

“CONSUME” said the screen, “CONSUME or be CONSUMED!”

Adam scooted backwards on the counter, edging away from the machine.

It slid toward him, continuing its refrain, “CONSUME! CONSUME!”

Tears and snot gushing out of his face, Adam cried. “No! I can’t! I won’t!”


The room went dark until all Adam could see was the screen of The Devourer.

“You can’t make me do it!” said Adam, but his body moved toward the arcade cabinet, compelled.

“CONSUME!” came a crackling bellow from the machine’s speakers.

“No.” cried Adam as his hand gripped the joystick, “No, no no.” as his thumb pressed down on the fire button. 

“Mike-” he started to say, but he retched as the name came out of his mouth. 

I’m sorry Adam thought as the digital corpse disappeared, one bite at a time.

The room lit up once more, the reddish glow of the game reflecting off Adam's tear-streaked face. The ominous music continued to play, echoing through the empty arcade. Adam collapsed to the floor, his chest heaving in hyperventilation. 

When he arose, Adam found himself standing at the back of the arcade, in front of the familiar Joust cabinet. He stumbled quickly around the place. Finding no sign of The Devourer nor of Mike. On the floor, behind the counter sat a crumpled up chocolate bar wrapper and a set of keys.

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Intro and outro theme 

Music Provided By Mediacharger

Artist: Darren Curtis

Track: Demented Nightmare


Background Music Provided By Mediacharger

Music Created By : Myuu

Song Title: Growing Shadows


Nothing Is Wrong is written and recorded in New Jersey on Lenapehoking territory.