>Little motes of dust floated through the air, dancing across thin rays of sunlight that peek through the curtains, as the sun sits comfortably on the horizon.
>I rolled around on the bed, suddenly realizing there was more room on the bed than usual.
>I get up and look around the room to see my slippery sweetheart from childhood is no where to be found.
>Cindy and I were friends way before the "connection," when all the extra-dimensional creatures moved in and pushed, somewhat passive aggressively, to integrate to our world.
>She ended up "morphing," but the changing process wasn't as scary as it looked according to her.
>She loathed our impoverished upbringings though, because even though she's no longer human, she really wanted some pictures of us together when we were kids, and cameras were too expensive for either of our families.
>Getting out of bed, I make my way to the kitchen to see breakfast is laid out, along with a note.
<"Had to leave for work early, honey. Help yourself to what I made <3"
>I took the cold plate of eggs and bacon to the microwave and heat it up.
>She's a psychiatrist by trade, something that being morphed had surprisingly made easier for her with her improved empathic abilities and whatnot.
>I ate the classic breakfast quickly, but suddenly realized just how hungry I've been.
>Not knowing how to cook and still hungry, I went downstairs into the basement to grab a microwavable meal from the freezer.
>After grabbing a frozen linguini entree, I shut the door and heard a light humming sound.
>Following the sound, I'm brought to Cindy's office; her screen asleep and hard drive whirring.
>Her computer was off-limits to me; she apparently needed it for a bunch of her work, and patient confidentiality was an utmost priority in her profession.
>However we'd been together for years, yet I've never actually seen what's on her computer.
>Curiosity got the better of me, and I shook the mouse, the screen activating in response to show some video processing software left open.
>I minimized the screen full of buttons, bars and audio effects to see a few folders were left open by her.
>I ignored the mundane open folders, minimizing the one with tax documents, the one with my baby pictures, and the one with saved news articles, and was left with one filled with .mov files with serial numbers followed by the numbers 1-4, presumably to show files in a series.
>I suddenly felt that I was staring at files I was really not suppose to open, but I comforted myself with the fact that I highly doubted I would ever encounter any of these patients, nor did I intend to speak of whatever I found, so I put on the big pair of headphones and began to watch a random video ending in "1".
>The first video was over an hour long, and was from a camera about shoulder height filming a professional looking room with two arm chairs and a couch.
>Cindy shortly came in with a woman. Cindy interviewed her, asking some basic questions about her life, with intermittent small talk, but the woman becomes more anxious as the interview proceeded.
>The questions eventually become a matter about how satisfied she was with her life, how she felt about the "connection", and the cross-dimensional people.
>The nervous woman answered honestly about her opinions and how her life had not exactly improved, noting how things as they have been since have made her uncomfortable.
>Cindy replied that change can sometimes be hard to accept, and that
<Sometimes a simple change in perspective can turn a frown upside down.
>The video ended on a peaceful note, though Cindy seemed to have a couple of disapproving looks toward the end.
>The second video started in a similar way and, to save time, I just skimmed it, skipping several minutes at a time.
>It seemed to start similarly, but once I skimmed towards the end, there was shouting.
>The woman began to physically distance herself and by the end was screaming about invaders, and stormed out of the room.
>Instead of finding the point where things started to escalate, I decided to just see where it was going, since there were two others in the series.
>The third video had the patient dragged in by two burly extra-dimensionals with horns. The patient struggled as the red one held her down against the couch while the green one reached under the couch and retrieved some hidden restraining belts built into the furniture.
>Whilst all this was happening, Cindy was calmly sitting in her armchair watching it unfold, with a rather professional poker face.
>Once the patient was finally tied down to the couch, the burly extra-dimensionals exited, leaving Cindy and the tied down woman.
>The woman continued to struggle against the restraints, but to no avail as Cindy tried to make her relax.
>The woman flipped between insulting Cindy and pleading with her, who calmly walked up behind her and told her
<It's alright… in just a bit, we're going to make the world a little bit of a happier place.
>I couldn't figure out what Cindy meant by that, but before I could fully process it, she probed a tentacle into the woman's ear.
>The woman began screaming and convulsing for about half a minute, when her movements began to slow and relax as Cindy knelt behind her and pet her head like a cat, and whispering things the microphone didn't pick up.
>The woman sat with a blank expression, twitching every now and again, for about twenty minutes.
>By the end, the same two extra-dimensionals came in, unrestrained her, and carried her limp body out.
>I sat there in horror for a few minutes, unsure of what had just happened, and as if I had no other choice, I felt compelled to move the mouse onto the fourth video.
>It was only fifteen minutes long, this one. Cindy was already in her chair, and the patient, almost eagerly walked in and laid down on the couch. Cindy asked some simple questions, some a repeat from the first video, and she responded eagerly how happy she was. She found a partner, made a couple of friends with extra-dimensionals, and wasn't just considering morphing; she was scheduled to undergo it next week.
>The word for what I thought was happening right in front of my very eyes escaped me, but disturbed me no less.
>Cindy then walked up behind her, inserted a tentacle into her ear, and the two sit in silence for the next few minutes until she walked out with a goodbye; the calm atmosphere perhaps terrifying me more than the previous video.
>I skimmed a couple of third and fourth videos from other series to see mostly similar results, and I only stopped myself from watching more as I looked out the basement window to see it was nightfall already.
>There were tens of series in here, and rather than see the individual fates of all these people, I decided to check out the one subfolder before shutting this off and calling the authorities: "favourite."
>There were at least a couple dozen videos, each title was the date and time of recording. Each was more than an hour long, and some went on for more than six hours.
>I opened the most recent one, dated this morning, unsure of what awaits me.
>The video opens with a dark room, and for several minutes there was nothing but the sounds of foot steps, and everyday household happenings such as the screech of chair legs against a floor, or the beep of a microwave.
>I skipped ahead, unaware of how long I had until Cindy would be home, and paused when a frame I skimmed over showed the room suddenly lit up.
>It was Cindy's office, but the thick, black blinds were now opened. I was on screen, sitting at the desk, watching a different video in pure terror.
>I slowly turned around to the corner behind me to see a camcorder with a tiny red light on.
>I slowly took off the headphones in shock and turned, suddenly facing Cindy, standing right in the doorway, with a terrifyingly wide smile on her face.
Hope you enjoyed. I've always loved horror, but I find it can be hard to do properly in a setting that is, well, a bit of a hugbox. It is a bit dystopic, but it's a theme I haven't scene in a long time on /monster/. You may notice a handful of oddities throughout the story, rest assured most of them are intentional. I somewhat challenge you to find them.