Narrator: Stephanie Cannon, Mark Meadows, and John Guerrasio
Publisher: Audible Originals
Release Date: 4 August 2017
Length: 1hr and 17mins
Eighteen year-old Jessica’s life is turned upside down the day the police knock on her door to deliver the news that her parents have been in a fatal accident. Her late father’s gambling and reckless lifestyle leave her finances in turmoil and threaten to leave her homeless…until a chance meeting with a 30-year-old stranger means that her life changes forever.
Finding herself an unofficial ward of a mysterious, serious man, our American heroine and her enigmatic British ‘Guardian’ get used to living with each other…with all of the tensions, pitfalls and excitement that entails….
Like most people I let my imagination run wild when I first heard about the Dark Web – the seedier side of the Internet only accessible with a special browser like TOR.
A simple search on YouTube will uncover creepypastas, “true” stories of people venturing into the unknown, and mystery boxes purchased on the Dark Web. You’ll hear stories of people buying narcotics, hiring hit-men, and things only meant for the most depraved – Red Rooms and more. We built a monster out it. But are surprised by this outcome? After all, it was Lovecraft who said, The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” And what is more unknown than that which lurks behind the screen?
Curiosity – as it usually does – got the better of me. Before long I was searching through online forums in order to gain access to the Hidden Wiki – an online index of some of the more popular onion sites. As the page loaded, I didn’t know what I expected. My paranoia got the better of me. I taped the lens of my laptop’s webcam before entering.
When its secrets were presented before me, it was anticlimactic to say the least. Sure the links to hit-men existed. And yes, there were sites in which you could purchase drugs – at this time, the Silk Road was still operational. Links that sent you to cannibal cookbooks and one detailing human experimenting. Marketplaces for stolen credit cards and identities. And several links leading you straight to scams. Because on the Dark Web, it’s hard to trace a conman looking for his mark – the unsuspecting noob looking for a cheap (rather expensive, actually) thrill.
I didn’t, however, find links to any red rooms, a virtual urban legend where you can watch – even participate in – a person’s torture and eventual death at the hands of a sadistic executioner. Using bitcoin, you can have a man’s eyelids sliced off and salt poured on his face as he screams in agony.
While red rooms are stuff of urban legend, in Jessica Frey’s world they have become her escape. One in particular, however: The Silent Red Room Show. From a distance, Jessica began to admire Father Paul. He filled her fantasies, the man – the butcher – behind the mask. What she wouldn’t give to be part of that world. A world where you can put those who have tormented you on the hot seat. Strap them in and watch the master fillet them to an inch of their lives for the entertainment of strangers online. But this isn’t the only dark secret Jessica Frey carries with her. There are much darkness inside her and all she needs is a mentor like Father Paul to help her set it free.
Dale Tilson, on the other hand, is looking for a new beginning. Taking the advice of his younger sister, Diane, he’s making an attempt on a second chance. Using a dating app, he meets Marla at her place. But after a drink of wine, things begin to feel wrong for Dale. And only gets worse when Marla attacks him.
And so the story begins, a three-part saga written by K. T. Rose. A story where Dale Tilson and Jessica Frey are fated to encounter Father Paul and his Silent Red Room cult. The trilogy keeps the reader on the edge of their seat, while sprinkling a few silly name brand products and restaurant names.
On the other spectrum of the Dark Web, sits Moritz Zimmermann whose girlfriend, Lisa Novak, has returned from her trip abroad a completely different person. She’s hanging out with Daniel Riffert, the high school ecstasy dealer. In a brash attempt to win Lisa back, Mortiz buys – and blackmails – Daniel’s ecstasy supplier. When things go sideways, he’s only left with one thing to do – sell the drugs online. Fast.
Of course, nothing is ever that easy. With a new found purpose in life, Moritz and company are thrown
The only thing that got me on my nerves is the dubbing. Because the original series was German, the English voices and sync can be off putting. This is, of course, a superficial issue which I can ignore easily – sometimes.
While the Dark Web is shrouded in a created mystery, we can all agree that the best fruit it bears are the stories that come out of it. Until next time, keep on huntin’.
With the endless source of entertainment at my fingertips, on my TV, and even on this thing that I’m currently typing on, it’s become nearly impossible to feel it. And we’re not doing anything creative with that lack of boredom. We’re just filling up the voids in conversation with minor chuckles to memes.
I typed the original draft of this post early in the day. A frenzy sort of typing because the temptation to check Twitter raged on. Even now, I combat the urge to open TikTok. Or see if anyone of my subscribed YouTubers have posted something creepy or interesting.
Boredom led me to writing. Led me to reading. A fraction of which is done on a screen. It’s why I chose something simple like a Kindle Paperwhite rather than the Kindle Fire. None of those flashy apps to rob my attention away. However, with a Kindle Unlimited subscription, other problems arise.
What’s worse: Owning several books and not finding anything to read, or having this unlimited number of stories at my fingertips and still not finding something to read. And don’t get me started on the amount of books priced under $5.
I tried writing something every day since COVID-19 has taken over the world. With nothing else to do, it seemed the most reasonable. But every time I start, it’s backspaced into oblivion. (Writing to complain about not being able to write is still writing, right? The mental gymnastics on that thought. I would have won the gold trying to suss that out.)
I’m off work for a week. I still get paid, which is more than I can say for others right now. Several people are out of work as business shutter their doors until further notice, leaving workers furloughed—which is something I still don’t quite understand, so let me take a break from my typing to look it up on the dictionary app on my phone.
Once upon a time, I wrote long hand on a whim. I crafted stories out blank pages with a phrase like shoulder meat echoing through my head. I wrote about people I passed on the streets, in hallways, at stores. People I’ve never met. I wrote about the world outside my window, something impossible considering the artificial night constructed within my bedroom.
Boredom led me to clean, which my bedroom desperately needs. It led me to explore things in my own thoughts. Draft characters. Create scenes. Influenced my wildest imaginations because I’d rather be there than whatever dull situations I found myself. I explored the horror, the beautiful, and the grotesque.
But every Super Mario coin chime robs me away from that. Every notification telling me so-and-so liked my Instagram picture or you-got-mail or my favorite creator just posted a new video plunges me deeper into a state of un-boredom. Where my thoughts aren’t being preoccupied with figuring out a solution to a problem, drafting dialogue. A state that leaves my thirst for attention unsated.