Select Page

Town Startles — Episode 1 — The Ghost of Wen

October 21, 2021
Spread the love

On a hazy autumn evening when the lights of Halloween decorations had just begun their nightly glimmer throughout the neighborhood and the first leaves had fallen from the trees, a Gala gamer was absorbed in the eerie glow of her computer’s screen. With a sudden shiver, she realized the time had finally come and approached the thermostat on the wall. With a deafening click that echoed through the halls of her sparsely furnished house, she flipped the switch from “cool” to “heat” and a grim rumble began to issue from beneath the floor. She would feel its dry warmth soon, but for now she reached for the nearest blanket she could find. It was a sharp and wiry monstrosity of wool that scratched the bare skin of her arms, but the temporary discomfort was worth it for the warmth it provided.

After a long day of playing to earn with an expertly crafted Town Star town that she had perfected over the last two weeks, the gamer was ready to ship the evening’s last load of cakes and call it a day. This shipment was enough to break her into the leaderboard, which was a good place to stop until tomorrow. Even after closing her Town Star town, a peculiar shade of green washed over her Twitter and Reddit feeds, neither of which contained any exciting news for the evening. Finally, she headed to Discord for her last check-in of the day with her favorite online home: The Gala Games community. Little did this gamer know, she was heading straight for an encounter with the Ghost of Wen.

With a glass of wine in her hand and armed with a generous supply of GIFs, memes and witty responses at the ready, she jumped into the discussion. This was a place where she was always welcomed and appreciated. From her Town Star expertise to her likable demeanor, to the pictures of her cats she frequently shared, she was a Discord star. After answering a few simple noob questions about Town Star strategy and directing a few more to for more information, she noticed that the chat room was oddly quiet for this normally bustling time of evening. These were usually the hours when gamers on her side of the world were settling down for the night, but also the hours when the other side of the world was having their morning coffee or tea, getting started for the day. She relished in the amusing chaos that often resulted from this cultural intersection of chatters. But tonight was different.

After a few minutes of strange silence, she started with the GIFs. First a cricket, the universal sign of awkward silence. Then she searched “/tenor hello” to find an adorable animated meme of a cartoon mouse banging on a wall, thinking it would at least elicit some emoji responses. Not a single one. Beginning to panic, she reached for the big guns: “Anyone there?” She thought that this Thor meme was bound to get some reactions, but there was still nothing. Her connection was fine, and all systems were functioning correctly. She sat there motionless, breathlessly waiting for someone to respond, even to the point of ignoring her cat as it asked for a meal. Beyond the cat’s meows, there was silence and stillness. She could hardly bear it.

Suddenly a familiar tone sounded, and an avatar she had never seen before with the name Ghost_of_Wen appeared at the top of her direct messages. Hoping for a meaningful discussion, she took a closer look at the avatar image. It was a strange closeup picture of a hand cupped around an ear, as if listening closely for something. Half expecting some kind of auto-spammed server invite, the gamer clicked the avatar to reveal a single word message followed by a question mark.


This was clearly not the correct spelling of the word, but anyone who had spent any time in the Gala Games community would know about this inside joke. Wen game? Wen leak? Wen drop? She chuckled inelegantly to herself in acknowledgement of the strangely placed joke, then responded to the message. “Wen what? 😜”. The response came almost instantly…


Even though central heat was finally filling the room, she shivered again. With a sudden bad feeling about this strange messenger, she quickly moved to block them from contacting her further. After the deed was done, she sighed a sigh of relief and fed her impatient cat the rest of a can of tuna from earlier in the day. When she returned to her screen, there were no new messages, which was more of a relief than she expected. However, looking at the various channels in the Gala Games community, she noticed a strange new channel called 🔊WEN_VOICE. There appeared to be two users currently chatting in this channel, which she had never noticed before. One of them was Ghost_of_Wen, and the other was her. Ghost_of_Wen’s name was blinking white to indicate that they were currently speaking.

Reaching for her headphones and quite fed up with what she now assumed was an inappropriate prank, she listened. As soon as she brought the headphones to her ears, the speaking abruptly stopped. There was a silence that seemed to last for several minutes, then suddenly Ghost_of_Wen loudly whispered…


With a startled scream, the gamer threw down her headphones and disconnected herself from the voice chat. With sweaty palms she logged out of Discord and opened Twitter, where she could not believe her eyes. One after another, her feed was filled with tweets from the same avatar and the same name: Ghost_of_Wen. Each tweet tagged her directly, followed by the 3-letter question that made her skin crawl: Wen? Scrolling down, she realized these tweets went on for many pages. She could not find the bottom. Her direct messages shared the same chilling story. Her email, Facebook, and Reddit feed were all overrun with the same message of torment.


Finally the gamer could take no more. She shut down her machine and backed to the opposite corner of the room. It was completely dark now, and a full moon could be seen outside her front window. As sweat rolled down her brow, she was struggling to catch her breath when a text notification came in. Relieved at the sudden distraction from the real world, she reached for her phone wondering who had texted. Then in a moment of sheer spine-chilling terror, she realized that her phone had been powered off and out of charge. Wishing she had never stopped playing Town Star, she tapped the phone’s face to see the incoming message…

🎃 Happy Galaween! 🎃
Join the Discussion