The Return of bonbibonkers
Alex ashed his cigarette and fidgeted with his earbuds, trying to get the right one to fit more snugly in his ear. It was cold out on the front porch of his and his parents' suburban home. One forty five A.M. in mid-November in Pennyslvania, of course it was cold. He took a drag of his cigarette, ashed it again, and looked down at the bright blue glow in his hand. His phone.
He'd already been through this whole thread. In fact, before this thread was even posted he had already seen all the lip syncing clips that would be contained therein. And he had seen every video in every one of these threads that had been posted since he had first seen bonbi.
bonbibonkers. He left it lowercase in his head, that was her handle right? Some internet thing, not her real name. bonbi. Alex had actually been looking for porn when he chanced upon bonbi by accident. Or rather, bonbi's world. He had been browsing the catalog of 4chan's /gif/ board, an internet imageboard where people share animated pornographic .gifs and .webms, among other things. There was a thread titled "Overwatch related?" or something of that nature. He was no stranger to Overwatch SFM porn, so naturally he was curious about this thread.
The thumbnail representing the video attached to the original post was not a computer-animated clip of witch Mercy riding a dick though. It was a girl. A young girl cosplaying as D.Va, standing and looking to the side. Alex had clicked on the webm, and mentally braced himself for something horrible, as he often did when clicking unknown videos on the internet. Despite the bracing, he still felt a twinge of disgust as he watched it.
*Maybe I'll be tracer. I'm already tracer...*
He laughed a bit and wondered "what the fuck is this?" He went through the next few replies, and wondered "seriously what the fuck is this?" It was the same audio for each clip, just different people lip syncing it in various poses, with various facial expressions. There was something odd about it. Hypnotic, almost. He watched each one 6 or 7 times, despite thinking "what the fuck is this cancerous bullshit?" the entire time.
Alex had kept reading, and learned the videos were from tik tok, or musical.ly, a popular app where people (mostly teenagers) lip synced to various audio clips. He had remembered his little preteen cousins being into musical.ly the last time he had seen them, 2 or 3 years ago. Then he laughed as he realized it took 2 or 3 years for the 4chan nerds to catch on to "normie" trends.
Over the next week or so, Alex had seen a few more tik tok threads pop up, though he had switched to /wsg/ to find them (a safe for work version of 4chan's /gif/ board), so he wouldn't have to look at dicks when he wasn't in a porn-watching mood. He kept coming back to them because some of the tik toks got stuck in his head. They were like earworms. Both the music and the video, he found himself thinking of them hours later, and went back to the thread to watch them again. Brainworms. It was like... It was like a very mellow and unimpactful drug addiction. He would remember the musical.ly shit, then go watch it. Like if you were going about your day and realized you forgot your daily dose of adderall or something, and you took it. Like a boring and not really life changing addiction, but ever constant. Unescapable.
One clip had so bewitched him he had watched it 20 times, then came back the next day to watch it 20 more times, then came back a few hours after that to watch it at least 20 more times. It was a young girl in a costume, white facepaint, black lipstick, black hair, some kind of orange horn things on her head.
*Hey! Hey! Hey! Come come kitty kitty you're so pretty pretty...*
It was more than addicting. The eyes, the swaying from side to side. He could not stop watching. The eyes! Something about the way her eyes moved, big bug eyes looking at him within all the various facial expressions. He was infatuated. He sooned learned her name: bonbibonkers. He downloaded the tik tok app, looked up her account, and watched every video from newest to oldest. Then he did the same thing the next day, except liked or upvoted or whatever'd each one of his favorites, so he could watch them all from his own profile and skip the lame ones.
An anonymous user in one of the subsequent bonbi or tik tok threads shared their thoughts on why the videos were so hard to not watch, and Alex thought they were an accurate representation of the reason for his addiction, if not just a piece. The anon said they were small bursts of pure feminity, 10 seconds of cuteness, exaggerated facial expressions and movements, cute outfits and costumes. Of course something like this would appeal to the lonely, mostly male 4chan users. They had never seen, and most likely would never get to see, something so pretty and perfect in real life.
One clip really cemented this explanation to Alex, bonbi in her brown anime girl costume.
*Exes, and the ohhhhhh oh oh ohhs they haunt me...*
The arm movements, the eyes. Pretty and perfect feminine energy in a concentrated burst, right to his brain.
bonbi did not keep making tik toks. She became afraid of all the attention she was getting on the internet, and closed up shop. The threads became a bit weird, got a tad out control, as to be expected with drama of this sort. 4chan blamed 2chan, a Russian imageboard, for scaring bonbi off the internet by working to learn her real name and location. They in turn came and shitposted in their native language and English in the bonbi threads on /wsg/, saying they did nothing wrong and spamming odd Russian copypastas, at least he hoped they were copypastas.
Igor, you? Remember me? I'm your classmate. I recognized you by your schizoid words and vysery. Do you remember how the whole
class pissed you into a mug in the third grade, on a sweet tooth? ...
It was a sad day for Alex and the rest of 4chan when they learned she wouldn't be making any more videos. A sad couple of days turning into a sad couple weeks. Many lamented. They started making their own bonbi content, editing her videos together, changing the audio around. They shared their love for bonbi over and over again, connecting with each other as they wished they could connect with her.
All in all, October was weird for Alex. He had learned of, loved, and lost an electronic idol all in the span of a few weeks. Now it was just apathy, numbness. He knew she was gone, and knew she would do what was right for her, but he still watched the videos. Every day.
He flicked his cigarette into the street and went inside to bed. Before falling asleep, he put his headphones back in his ears and watched a fair few more of his favorite bonbis.
Eric Delfin glanced out the window of his Lexus at the teenagers on the street corner and snorted. Stupid looking clothes, weird hairstyles. One was smoking a cigarette. He shook his head and looked away, thanking God he had not turned out like that. At 29, he was on the cusp of "that" generation. Millennials, generation Z, whatever. Weirdos, freaks, rejects.
He shook his head again and pondered as the Lexus rolled back towards his work by his guidance. He wondered how he had escaped the fate of becoming some walking internet "meme" like some of his peers? He had grown up playing pokemon like them, watching the same cartoons, just like them. Sports, he thought, it must've been football that kept him from siphoning himself in and out of the internet. Plus, the kids these days had different cartoons. Different weird shit that they watched nonstop on the internet. Youtubers, e-celebrities.
Eric rode the elevator up to the 23rd floor, where Fintech housed most of it's marketing division. He was the head of social marketing, and he was important. He felt important as he strolled to his glass office at the back of the floor. He had reached this high position at his firm so early in his career because he had a certain talent. He was spectacular at manipulating those weird internet nerds that he looked down on. Fintech had a series of financial applications; e-trading apps, money management apps, etc. Eric's job was to get those mostly male 20-something video game playing, anime watching weirdos to give their (albeit relatively low amounts of) money to Fintech. Of course, they also marketed to "normies," but he left that for other people at the company.
Within an hour, Eric was seated at the head of the table in the conference room. It was time for the weekly meeting with his interns, or his trolls as he privately called them. It was their job to troll the internet for ways to exploit said weirdos. He knew that internet troll had a different meaning, but he didn't care. They spent most of their time browsing 4chan and Reddit. They didn't post; that was for the next level up, his "marketing associates." They just watched for trends, "memes," that sort of nonsense.
"So, what's going on on the internet this week?" Eric asked the group. The trolls told him about various outrages on Reddit from the communities of various video games. He snorted for the second time that day.
"Don't care. Next?" he had tried to abuse these outrages in the past, the problem was it was hard to relate politics or other issues in video games with financial applications. Even with the average 4chan user's compulsion to buy anything that sticks it to the evil SJWs, it was difficult to associate his software with getting minorities out of video games. It was usually much easier to find a viral video, write up his thoughts on it, and send it to the advertising guys to make their own "response" video.
"Well, sir, this tik tok stuff is getting pretty popular..." the trolls showed him the front page (or catalog or whatever those virgins call it) of a board on 4chan on one of their laptops that they spent the day on. Half of the threads were about tik tok or its users.
"This is it! This is gold. Who's this?" he jammed his finger at a thread titled "bonbi thread?" She seemed to be the most prevalent.
"That's bonbibonkers sir. A very popular cosplayer on tik tok."
"Go find her. Drop everything your doing, track her down and get her on our team. Or at least our payroll."
"Sir, I think she's underage."
"Does it look like I care? This is our ticket right into their hearts. See what they are saying about her? See what they are posting? Track her down immediately. Offer her exorbitant amounts of money, offer her parents exorbitant amounts of money. This is our next big break kids. This is our strongest lead since cryptos."
Alex was again laying in bed, again watching his favorite bonbi's. He was in a thread for various tik toks, so there were others in there too. Nyan, ash, grace. Some anons tried to claim they were better than bonbi. But bonbi was still the best, in his opinion. Or perhaps objectively. Eyes, smile, she felt so comforting to him. Inspiring as well. A pure feminine force, something to strive for. Something worth trying for, worth living for. Eyes and a smile that could make anything okay.
The posts he was looking at were from yesterday, it was a relatively slow board and this was his first visit in a while. As he got closer to present timestamps on the posts though, his heart stopped.
BONBI IS BACK!
BONBI IS BACK!
BONBI IS BACK!
NEW THREAD >>2532080 →
NEW THREAD >>2532080 →
He mashed the link to the new thread. The thumbnail of the original post was indeed a bonbi he had never seen before. A completely new cosplay even, zero suit Samus? A blonde ponytail wig, blue bodysuit. That's what it looked like to him. Could be some anime character though.
He mashed his thumb on the .webm even harder than he had mashed the new thread. He hoped it was one of those cute, bubbly, flirtatious audios or at least a funny meme one. But it was an audio he had never heard before.
"Ummmmm...." bonbi was mouthing along to a stereotypical teenage valley girl voice. After the umm there was a pause and bonbi finally looked into the camera. She raised an eyebrow in a pure bonbi way, exaggerated and perfect.
"Ummmmmmmm......" she mouthed with her eyebrows still raised.
"You mean you DON'T have any money in Finvest? HAHAHAHA!" bonbi mimed movements of laughter and covered her mouth.
"Hey Chad! Chad! This loser doesn't have any money invested! Not even a portfolio!" she moved her hand from the laughter position to a cupped, yelling position, as if yelling for Chad offscreen.
The audio devolved into male and female laughter, and smug sounding meme music building up to the beat of that laughter. bonbi mouthed the female laugh sounds, eventually ending in her bent over as if she had a stitch in her side from laughing. Still looking at the camera though.
He watched it again, and again, and again. It was a new bonbi. It was bonbi. But something was wrong... The facial expressions were still awesome, still the same. Almost. Something was wrong. The eyes... the eyes were different. That's what it boiled down to. Something in her eyes was different. She was smiling, but her eyes weren't smiling. They were big, wide, bug-eyes, it was still bonbi, they were matching with the facial expressions. But when she smiled while lip syncing to the laughter, the eyes didn't smile with her.
He scrolled through the thread. Some anons were echoing his sentiments, others were saying there was no problem. They were posting old bonbi's, saying look at the eyes or look she's the same! Nobody could figure out where the audio was from either. The word shilling was thrown around a lot. Shilling. bonbi shilling? bonbi, paid to market some bullshit app?
He watched it again, and again, and again, and again. But it didn't entrance him. It disgusted him. It reminded Alex of those weird commercials where they try to force memes or just fill the commercial with random internet shit, or those cringey "internet" episodes of TV shows. Cop shows where the killer was a 4chan autist, or sitcoms where they discuss memes or show memes on screen, or anything at all on TV that mentions the word meme. It was like that. Forced, unpleasant.
An hour later and Alex's world was crumbling. He had no idea that this shit could make him feel this horrible. It disturbed him, disgusted him, that they bought her. It disturbed him even moreso that she said yes. But it wasn't her fault, never her fault. It was like a betrayal, or a cardinal sin, it was murder. Murder, what they did to bonbi. He bought a handle of vodka with his parent's credit card, hoping that getting piss drunk would help him forget. Forget about bonbi, forget about the world and what it did to things that mattered. What it always did. What it never stopped doing to that things that were wholesome and real and good. The bottle was a 3rd of the way gone as he pounded at his keyboard, screaming at /wsg/, telling them to fucking look at her, it's wrong, it's different.
The vodka level in the glass bottle continued to lower. It was pathetic. "I'm pathetic," he thought, as he watched his favorite bonbi's and cried his fucking eyes out. "Can't seperate myself from this? Can't think about literally anything else?"
"Your fucking pathetic, but you've always been pathetic. Always running away, always hiding. Always afraid. Pathetic," a voice in his head laughed as bonbi laughed in the ad. Her face swam in his eyes as the voice continued to laugh.
Alex stumbled towards the bathroom. It was hatred he felt. Hatred of himself, hatred of the entire world. He fumbled open the medicine cabinet and wrapped his drunken fingers around a prescription bottle. Heart medication, leftover from his mom's surgery. He shook every pill into his mouth and downed them with a swig of the vodka. He had not even noticed he had brought the bottle into the bathroom.
He stumbled out of the bathroom and towards the front door. He wanted to die outside; away from his parents, maybe they wouldn't have to find his body. Away from his computer, where he spent his whole life. He didn't want to see his whole life. He didn't want to be his whole life.
But his phone was still in his pocket. He lit a cigarette and tried not to vomit as his stomach writhed. He knew he was about to be in immense pain.
He couldn't get his headphones into his ears, so he ripped the cord out of the phone and just played it out loud at max volume as he sat down in the grass. It, them, the videos. The fucking bonbis.
He cried, then screamed. Her eyes. He whipped the phone away from him out into the street. He didn't want to see her anymore. He didn't want to see anything anymore.
He was terrified as his abdomen erupted in splitting pain. His lit cigarette fell out of his shaking hand into the grass. He soon followed it, keeling over and clutching his stomach.
The world faded and he felt more afraid than he had ever felt before.
Afraid of life, afraid of death.
Alex stopped moving. Blood dripped out of his open mouth. Laying next to him was a cigarette that continued to burn. And laying out in the street was a phone. Tinny but bubbly and flirtatious music came out of the speakers in a loop. And on the screen was a girl in a costume, lip syncing and dancing to the music.