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Remember to Smile

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You've all heard of the smile dog, that supposedly horrid photo that makes you insane if you refuse to "spread the word"? Well, what if, just for curiosity's sake, you were already insane when you chanced across it? What effect would it have then? Just think: If the image itself is already enough to drive even the sanest of individuals into a state of epilepsy and paranoia just by looking at it, what would it do to someone who was already seriously afflicted with such issues? I'm going to level with you: Truth is, I DO know what would happen. Because I have seen the smile dog, and I am very mentally ill.

I first began reading creepypastas quite by accident. I was on YouTube and another video I saw made mention to the first ever creepypasta I was ever subjected to. Sonic.exe. I was a sonic fan back in the day, but not so much anymore. No. Now, my life consists of regular visits from my doctor, and proper measures must be taken so that I NEVER leave my house; under any circumstances. I'm essentially on permanent house arrest due to my condition, and thus I cannot purchase a console on which to play the original sonic games. But I digress. Sonic.exe was but a mere introduction into the world known as creepypastas for me. I spent much of that afternoon reading many of them, including Candle Cove, Squidward's Suicide, and Jeff the Killer. All very good stories, I still re-read them even to this day. Eventually I chanced upon a story that read "The curious case of Smile.jpg " Intrigued, I gave it a read. The story centered around a mysterious image of a husky with human teeth curled back into a disturbing human grin. I must admit, while the story did genuinely bother me, the image attached did not. I love huskies, always have. If I wasn't so ill, I would probably get one myself. Part of my mental illness however, is that I develop a strong, almost obsessive interest about things that I enjoy. I loved this creepypasta so much, that I had to know more. More specifically, I had to know if the infamous smile dog image ever truly existed at all. The first thing I remembered in my search was that the story mentioned there is no mention of smile dog on the wiki. I figured that this could be the authors way of trying to make his or her story seem more realistic, because obviously there probably wouldn't be a wiki made over just one creepypasta, at least not until it became really popular, or if the author created one. However, this story has been out long enough for a wiki to be made by a fan, so I gave it a look. I typed "Smile.jpg" on the wiki search engine. The result was an article titled "List of Internet phenomena", but neither Smile.jpg, or Smile.dog were mentioned anywhere. Or perhaps in my ill state I overlooked it. Yeah, that's got to be it...

Intrigued, my next step was to try and find the real smile dog image. This took some time, and to this day, I remain unsure as to which of the images I saw was the real thing. I must have seen thousands of them, ranging from fanmade chibis, to genuinely frightening photos. However, one thing remains a definite: I did see it. How do I know? After spending nearly all day on that search engine, browsing thousands of smile dog images, I was beginning to feel increasingly paranoid. More than I usually do. That night, I swore I could see ominous shadows out of the corner of my eye. During my evening shower, I bathed with the curtain open because I swore that I was not alone in that bathroom. But it wasn't until days later, that the nightmares began. Smile dog came to me, he was dark red, almost black. He didn't look anything like he did in the photos; this was a genuine monster. His body was large, mangy and sick. He stank, like rotten meat. His tail was tangled, matted with dried blood and bits of gore. But the most disturbing feature of all, was his face. He stared at me, his long face filled with sharp, crooked, and chipped human teeth. His eyes wide with an insanity that rivaled my own, and his breath was hot and stale. In a raspy and gutteral tone, he spoke to me. I was almost expecting it. In the story, it was said that the smile dog will tell his victims to "spread the word", ie: to e-mail the true picture along to another potential victim. However, the abomination did not tell ME this. Instead,

"Do it..." I awoke in a pool of sweat, my long and unkempt hair glued to my forehead and the back of my neck. Do it? I thought. Then, I remembered. I had been having certain dark, "urges" lately. Urges that I would never have dared to tell the nurses that came to check on me and bring me my pills and meals every day. For they would have locked my in an institution for sure. Because I had been having urges to kill people, namely my live in caregiver. He's a good man, almost too good. How I hate the way he always watches me, always asking how I'm feeling. It isn't like he really wants to know, he's just making conversation. I rose from my bed and threw off the covers. As I walked down the hallway towards the kitchen, I could hear my caregiver snoring in the back room. I grinned in a way that would envy the smile dog.

"Stupid fool. You picked a bad night to sleep." I walked into the kitchen and grabbed for the meat cleaver and a regular kitchen knife. I'm not sure why my caregiver left those out for me, I guess it's because I didn't tell him that I've been feeling homicidal. I walked back down the hall towards his room. As I turned the handle to his bedroom door, I could hear him stirring. It was pitch black inside, save for the glow of moonlight filtering in through the window. He shot up straight in his bed; I guess I must have startled him.

"Hey, is something the matter? Would you like a pill to help you sleep?" He asked with a genuine tremble in his voice. I didn't bother to answer him. I just came forward, and pinned his unsuspecting body to the bed. He yelped and tried to fight back, but strangely, I had an unnatural strength that evening. It was as if another being was there with me, helping me to pin this innocent man down before slicing open his throat. I raised the kitchen knife and raked it across his neck. He coughed and sputtered as his artery was slashed, and warm blood began to gush across my arm and hand. In the light of the moon I could see his face pale. I watched him struggle for air, and then cease to move. As he fell limp across the expanse of the bed, I began to smile. A wide grin covered my face as I pulled out the meat cleaver. I chopped and chopped, his flesh turning to a thick, meaty pulp. When I was finished, I ran my hands through the mess of organs, entrails and human flesh upon the bed, all that remained of my once devoted caretaker. I began to laugh almost uncontrollably, until I slid my body down the wall of the bedroom. I sat there until the wee hours of morning, when I must have fallen asleep. Again, I was visited by the smile dog. This time the beast did not appear intimidating, but rather welcoming; beckoning. I suddenly remembered the other aspect of the creepypasta story; the beckoning hand. I looked the entity dead in the eyes, and reached out for it. The smile dog did not move, nor try to bite, however my hand went right through its form and the beast's eyes flashed as his smile grew. I then began to understand. Smile dog's true purpose is more than just a mere chain letter or a cheap internet scare. The real smile dog wishes to mentally incapacitate people, to the point of insanity. In such a state, people are irrational, spontaneous, and unpredictable. Smile dog can then torment these individuals in their dreams, until they do one of three things: Give into their darker nature and commit foul, unspeakable acts. Spread the word, allowing the smile dog to find a more impressionable victim. Or if all else fails, cause the useless victim to commit suicide. The smile dog is not picky. He will take hold of any and all who see his true face. But his most desired victims are those who are already insane, like myself. Such victims are already molded and ready. He needs only put them to use.

I awoke early the next day, my throat dry and my hands sticky with blood. From the front of the house, I could hear harsh banging on the front door. It was no doubt another of my caregivers, wondering where I was. Well, I couldn't just sit there and let them find out what I had done, now could I? I got to my feet and picked up the kitchen knife and cleaver from the gory bed and slowly progressed out of the room and towards the constant knocking. On my way, I thought I heard a very faint, very deep voice whisper:

"Remember to smile..."

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