“Hiya, babes! It’s Laura!”
“Hello! It’s Laura! We hit a thousand, babes! We did it!
Laura was just another small time girl trying to hit it big with YouTube. There was hundreds of Youtubers like her out there. They put on makeup. They play video games. They review movies. They vlog about their day. They try weird products and make comedy shorts.
I found Laura on a late night. She’d made a comedy short with Katherine Short, a YouTuber I had followed for a few years. Laura caught my attention with her low voice, sweet smile, and odd eyes- she had heterochromia. One eye was dark brown, like her hair. The other was like a husky dog’s. Piercing blue.
Laura was new, she barely had a hundred followers when I first clicked subscribe. After that collaboration with Katherine, you could see her confidence soar. I had fun with her wit and hey, if someone’s entertaining, I’m gonna hit that magic red button.
“Babes! It’s Laura! Someone from my work recognized me! Crazy, huh?”
“Whooo, babes! Before we get started, gotta tell you who’s sponsoring this video! There’s this really cute dating app, I’m on it now actually, maybe we’ll get matched up, haha! Anyway…”
When you start on YouTube, I figure it feels like screaming into the void. Maybe someone you’re friends with watches. Maybe they show two or three of their friends. But it’s nothing for so long. Then you set off a spark, and something happens. Say the right thing at the right time, do something with the right people, and you no longer have to scream at the void. There’s someone out there. Listening
I did sign up for that dating app, and yeah. I got matched up with Laura. We actually talked, for a good week. I dropped contact first. I was shy. She was confident in every message, and I just couldn’t keep up. Plus I used a picture from me five years ago, ten pounds lighter, airbrushing out the acne scars. Hey, I’m a superficial bastard. Bite me.
“Five. Thousand. Babes, we’ve done so much! I love you!”
“I’m doing YouTube full time. I’ve just handed in my two weeks notice, I’m gonna be a STAR, babes!”
I think that’s where things went… wrong. Laura quitting her job, that felt premature, but I wasn’t gonna judge. She was pretty good. Just. Not that good.
The follower count started to go stale when it came to going up. Videos came out more often, sure, but they started to feel more and more like a rehash of the same jokes. I almost felt second hand embarrassment. Almost.
I think things really got rough when Laura and Katherine had a fall out on Twitter.
It started when Laura tweeted something that… well, it lacked tact to say the least. Katherine immediately called her out on it, and it started up the cat fight. I won’t lie, I was watching it unfold while eating potato chips. It was entertaining.
But oh boy. It was messy to watch a friendship fall to pieces for the world to watch. Messy, but fun.
Unfortunately for Laura, Katherine had the force of one hundred fifty thousand subscribers behind her. Laura didn’t even hit ten thousand when this happened.
She lost subscribers, and things went where you’d expect. Katherine’s followers, running to her ‘aid’, starting slamming the thumbs down button on every video. Every one. Hateful comments poured in, things I won’t repeat and would definitely get these kids bitch slapped by their parents.
“Sorry that it took so long for the video this week, babes! Had to slay a bitch…”
“Look. All I gotta say was I wasn’t wrong! Katherine just believes every word should be scrubbed in case of ‘triggers’, you know?”
However, sponsors don’t like a bad attitude. Unless it’s funny. And Laura wasn’t being funny.
They dropped her one by one, and you could see desperation sink in Laura’s face with every new update.
“This is my apology video. I… I might’ve reacted a bit harshly to Katherine’s comments, and I shouldn’t have responded to someone trying to pick a fight. The way I’ve acted lately is not okay.”
“Heheh. Ramen for lunch this week, babes. But hey, I’m gonna start putting out more videos! That’s cool, right?
Oh, she did. She got into the Let’s Play culture, picking out the newest and hottest horrors. More sketches. Dozens of more vlogs. It quickly became obvious she was documenting every moment of her day to share with her followers.
But little too late, you know? Besides, her stuff wasn’t getting any fresher. If anything it got worse, since no one would work with her anymore. The spat with Katherine ruined that.
Laura started looking awful. Her hair was unbrushed. She’d wear the same clothes for several days in a row. She was losing weight, her eyes got dark circles. It was bad to say the least. But even I was getting bored of it. Her vlogs turned into her sobbing over bowls of instant noodles or darkly staring at the camera. Sometimes it was spiced out with insane rambles about ‘the whore’, aka Katherine. But yeah.
The day I almost hit the unsubscribe button was the day she put out the video entitled ‘NEW SERIES: HUNTER’. I figured it was a letsplay.
But no, Laura was outside, and she looked happier than she had in days. But not a good kind of happy. The absolutely batshit nutty kind of happy.
“Hi babes! I know I’ve been in a rut lately. But this is what’s gonna bring all you miserable fuckers back to me! You’re gonna love this…”
I rolled my eyes and sat back in my chair, the camera had been dropped to Laura’s side as she ran up the pavement. I heard a window open and the camera was lifted back up. Suddenly the room felt very, very cold.
This wasn’t Laura’s house.
It was Katherine’s. She always does vlogs in her bedroom. And right now, she was asleep, sprawled across her bed and unaware that Laura had invaded her house.
“This isn’t my fault. It’s hers. She never… never appreciated me.”
The camera was set on the desk, and I caught a glimpse of Laura’s mad, grinning face… and the glint of the kitchen knife in her hand. She was excited.
“Hold on tight babes!”
Katherine stirred. Laura pounced. The knife went up in the air before stabbing Katherine’s throat.
When Katherine screamed, it was mixed with the burbling of drowning in her own blood.
I couldn’t move. Couldn’t hit stop. Just watched Laura stab Katherine over and over again, through the chest, her genitals, her face. Didn’t stop until she fell off the bed. Everything was silent for ten, long minutes.
Then Laura stood up, shivering. She picked up the camera and panned it down Katherine’s mutilated body. I nearly hurled. Katherine’s insides has pooled over the bed, she was nearly sliced entirely in half with the amount of force that had been put into it.
“This what you wanna see, huh babes? Is this it? Is this new enough? Is this good enough for you, an idea that will impress you? It better. It fucking better.”
She turned the camera back to her face.
“See you all next time, I’ll try making those galaxy cake pops! Byebye, Babes!”
The video ended.
I immediately clicked back to her channel, mouse driving up to the unsubscribe button. I couldn’t deal with this. The bitch had snapped. Katherine was dead.
Then I saw the numbers were different.
Fifteen thousand subscribers.
I refreshed the page.
Twenty three thousand subscribers. More than what she had started with.
I went to bed, figuring I’d wake up to a takedown notice and a nonexistent channel.
She was up to sixty one thousand subscribers and the video had gone viral.
I couldn’t believe it. Was it a joke, a prank? Or had Laura truly murdered someone on camera, and the whole world was going to eat it up? Something that was finally unique on this godforsaken website?
Either way… I won’t be missing Laura’s next update.