I was at work when I had a realization. It was early August and I had just started my job working in the film industry. My life was good: college was done, I was making money, my cats were plump and healthy – what could go wrong?

Every morning I would stroll into work at a major television network that was in charge of playing the movies and shows that flow through your tubes. It was great there. I felt safe. For 12 hours a day, I used my $40,000 Stony Brook University degree, and it was glorious… but then I started to feel weary.

It was October. Clowns were surfacing in the woods surrounding Long Island. Murderers were crawling out of their crypts near the already haunted Pilgrim State. Halloween was approaching – a holiday made famous for its tricks and treats. But no. Not there. Not at that job.

I saw the leaves on the trees outside turn from a potent green to beautiful shades of orange, brown and red. Red. Like blood. Fake blood like in the 2015 film, Blood Sand.

A b-list flick that had only one star that looked vaguely familiar, Mitchel Musso, (of the famous Hannah Montana franchise), and a surprise cameo appearance by Jamie Kennedy. The film was meant to be a new, terrifying tale of horror that we began  showcasing often at my place of work.

My job plays movies on all 12 of our networks over… and over… and over again. I get to watch the same things over… and over… and over. Blood Sand is always on – especially in the spooky season of fall. It was on so often that it became real.

The movie starts off with a group of college kids partying on the beach during spring break. But then, something goes wrong. Their black Saab convertible 9-3 mysteriously dies overnight. The group is asleep inside the car. One person gets out. He gets sucked into the sand, screaming, crying “NO.” The sand eats him whole.

The acting is horrid, as is the fake blood. Everyone always jokes with me when it comes on to play, “Hey Julianne… That’s your car!”

It was my car. I had the same vehicle outside in the parking lot.

Nothing could go wrong, though… right?

Wrong. Things began to get weird. My car started to make a humming noise as I drove to work that horrible, horrible day.

It was a Monday morning. I settled into my hub and began to look through the day’s paperwork. I put the weird sounds my sad little Saab was making out of my mind. It was nothing.

I started to look through the log and began to notice Blood Sand on back-to-back. That’s strange I thought to myself. Aren’t we going to at least break it up a little bit? Why not throw something else into the mix like we usually do?

But I shrugged it off.

It was 12 p.m., and I was on my fourth feature of Blood Sand. The lights started to flicker and the room fell dark. I turned around and nobody was there. Everyone had left. I felt uneasy and heard my co-worker scream in the distance, “GET OUT WHILE YOU CAN!”

What’s going on!? What is happening! I started to scream internally. I felt my heart beating faster and faster as the screens surrounding me showed nothing but static. This isn’t supposed to be happening. Who is fucking with my networks!?

The room went pitch black. I felt a cold breeze graze across my arm. Channel one turned back on. A scene from Gone in 60 Seconds appeared on the one screen.

Nick Cage’s face smoldered at me.

What the fu… another screen turned on. Nick Cage in Stolen showed up. Then again in Valley Girl. Then again in Next. Then again in National Treasure. Over and over Nicolas Cage was staring, deep into my soul, surrounding me on every single screen from one of his 8,000 movies. I was alone. I was scared.

I ran out. I busted down the door of the abandoned office and ran to the parking lot. I could hear Cage’s voice trailing behind me, “You will not be saaaaaved.”

Then it was morning. I woke up startled and confused, breathing heavily and shaking. It was just a dream. Thank God, Nick Cage wasn’t after me. I clearly must have been working too much.

I got into my car and drove to work. I played Blood Sand again and watched the plot unfold. The sand wasn’t actually the bad guy in it. It was the weird sea monster with glowing tentacles that pulled the poor assholes into their demise. How stupid. How far-fetched.

It was 7 p.m., and I was the last one to leave the office. The parking lot was deserted and I climbed into my little convertible and put the key into the ignition.

She purred, but didn’t start.

I tried again. She wouldn’t kick over.

All of a sudden in the darkness of the networks parking lot, I saw the glowing green tentacles of the Blood Sand monster crackling out from the pavement.

Oh my God, I’m going to die. What is happening? Who is doing this!?

Then… I heard it. I heard Nicolas Cage’s hearty and robust laugh in the distance. He was coming for me.

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