It was just this Christmas that went by, and things were getting busy. I had to start buying presents for the family. I had finished shopping, but I still needed to grab a present for my little cousin. She is not very hard to shop for since she is 4. She likes shows such as Peppa Pig and My Little Pony.
She really liked, and I say liked for a reason, Max & Ruby. So when I decided to go looking for a present, I figured something like a Max & Ruby DVD would have been perfect, since she liked to watch it on a daily basis. However, Christmas meant that most of the online DVDs were sold out on most places. I went to look on eBay as well, but figured I could not trust what condition the DVDs would have been in. So I was stuck in a rut for a while, until that package arrived.
I was at home still scrolling for a stupid DVD, until I heard the sound of something being pushed into my letter box. I caught a hold of it before my dog did, and looked at the package.
It seemed to be wrapped fairly badly, with what looked like grease marks and stains on it. Naturally, like anyone would, I decided to open the package. Inside was something that I couldn't explain.
It was a Max & Ruby DVD, but I had not seen one like it online. It was like some little kid had drawn on the front cover with a marker. The title was just "MAX AND RUBY", with what looked like a poorly drawn illustration of Max and Ruby on the front. There were no names or anything, but on the back it had a list of 4 episodes, all with blunt titles.
I gave the DVD a watch over, and to my surprise the episodes were all perfect quality, and seemed to have no flaws. It was as if it was a real DVD, just with a home made cover. The only thing I thought was odd was the episode selection screen. The episodes had names, but they were all called, "MAX AND RUBY 1", with the numbers being changed as it went down the list. The actual selection screen was just a plain white screen with black text with the episode list, and nothing else.
After giving it much thought, I decided to change the cover to something a little nicer by printing out a DVD cover that I had found on Google and tracked down the names of the episodes so they were labeled right. I left the episode list screen alone, because I figured it was self-explanatory.
Christmas went by and things were fine. I gave my little cousin her DVD and she was happy with it all through Christmas, but that was only because she had not watched it yet.
On Boxing Day, the family had gone out for a meal, and left me to babysit my cousin. I was not too bothered about being left at home. I figured now was a good time to put on the DVD for her. I had put the DVD in and let it play, while I was in the kitchen eating my dinner. From what I could hear, she had watched episodes 1 to 3 so far. I was just about to finish off my noodles when I heard my cousin screaming from the other room. Dropping everything, I had ran into the living room and saw my cousin curled up on the floor screaming. I had looked up at the TV and I felt my heart in my throat.
What I caught a glimpse of was one of the most horrifying things I had ever seen. It was what appeared to be a frame of Max and Ruby standing next to each-other, in complete darkness. But what made it so horrible was their lack of faces. They had lost their noses and mouths, and their eyes were replaced with big black holes. The colors were a disgusting blood red, and there was faint static in the background.
The sound was replaced with what sounded like the Max & Ruby theme playing backwards, with the faint sound of static in the mix of it all.
It had to be the most disturbing thing I had ever seen, and it must have been on screen for at least twenty seconds before the screen went black and the DVD turned off, which alone was weird because DVDs don't usually turn off by themselves.
I was able to calm my cousin down, telling her it was not real, and she had just had a nightmare as she had fallen asleep in front of the DVD. However, I knew in my mind it was completely real.
My parents had rung me up and told me they were going to be out all night, so this was going to be the best opportunity to look at this DVD more closely. I did not mention it to them, and as soon as the hung up I grabbed the DVD and stuck it on my laptop. As soon as it loaded, I noticed that "Episode_0004" had now been replaced with "R.I.P. MOMMY AND DADDY", which sent a deep chill down my back. Since my cousin was now asleep, I plugged in my earbuds so she could sleep without having to hear anything.
Normally an episode of Max & Ruby would have three short stories, but this episode only had one. It started off quite light-hearted. Max and Ruby were playing tag in the garden, and their parents were on the porch watching them play. However, something was off. The sound was playing in reverse, and the parents' faces were that of sadness. It panned to the mother and father, and in a voice of deep sorrow, the father spoke.
"It's such a shame," he sighed.
It then cut short to the sound of static and a loud scream, followed by the sound of two people choking. The sounds felt so real, it made me almost physically sick.
The scene then switched to Max and Ruby standing in front of what looked like a gravestone labeled, "R.I.P. MOMMY AND DADDY". The two of them had no faces. At this point, there was also no sound, apart from faint static. This scene remained on screen for about a minute and a half, before it cut away into black. It then changed scene again, now showing Max and Ruby sitting in Ruby's room. Both of them were sobbing. The sobs were so realistic and heart wrenching that it sounded like it was taken from a real person mourning.
What happened next was probably the most disgusting, yet saddest thing I have ever witnessed. The scene had changed to Max sitting in his room. He was standing on a chair with a noose hanging from the ceiling. He had brought it around his neck. The scene faded to black and the static got louder. Almost instantly, it then cut to Ruby walking in on her brother.
She let out a gut twisting scream. The camera was panned on her face as the sound of the chair being kicked and the same choking from before began to play. The picture of Ruby's face stayed on screen for a good five minutes. This time, her eyes had returned as the same gaping holes. Ruby then started crying, and as before, there were no other facial features. The static slowly grew louder and drowned out the sound of her cries.
The scene cut to black with loud static. And when the screen returned, Ruby was standing, now on her own, in the garden by two gravestones. One was labeled, "R.I.P. MOMMY AND DADDY", and the other, "R.I.P. BROTHER".
At this point, I had already been sick and was sitting all shaken. The episode seemed to have come to an end at last, as the Max and Ruby theme song played slowly in reverse. I was about to eject the DVD when the same image came up like it did on the TV. This time however, there was text above the two rabbits that said, "DEATH IS OUR ONLY RELEASE". There were no credits or anything else. It stayed on this for a few seconds before the DVD finally popped out of my laptop.
I sat there trying to contemplate what had happened. In my shock and fear, I made the stupid decision to break the DVD up as much as I could before leaving the house. Afterwards, I shoved the pieces down the drain.
Thankfully, I kept a few screenshots and saved them to my laptop. The next couple of days went past without anything unusual happening. I had a few nightmares about the DVD, but luckily that was all. My cousin had gone back home along with the rest of the family.
It was a late night, and my parents had gone out for dinner, leaving me to watch TV. I heard what sounded like someone posting something through the door. At this point, the DVD had left my mind since I hadn't told anyone about it. However, it all came flooding back when I looked down at the letter in front of me. It was just messily folded up and it read:
"Death is our only release."