Tide Pod Worried Next Kill Won’t Provide Same Release

LAUNDRY ROOM — Stowing his trophies in an ever-growing pile of lint, a local Tide Pod expressed his anxiety that the next time he kills a teen it won’t provide quite the same sense of release. “The first time I did it, I was high for days,” said the Tide Pod, gurgling with grotesque glee. “Leading up to it, I was a razor wire of emotion, meticulous in every detail, and then after—a kind of ecstasy I’d never known before.” Widely known for his part in the much-decried Tide Pod Challenge scandal of 2017, the Pod continues to work in secret, persuading teens of the clout and views to be gained by swallowing him. “I want to feel close to them before they swallow me,” explained the Pod. “That part of it is absolutely necessary. Who they see, what they’re posting, all of it.”

The Tide Pod’s lair, a dingy basement laundry room in a Wicker Park apartment building, is hidden in plain sight. “These people have no idea who’s living underneath them,” burbled the Tide Pod in a self-satisfied tone. “They come down here once a week to wash their towels and their socks, but they never have time to look over and notice all my little trinkets.”

The space, sparkling clean and organized with near-military precision, consists mostly of a series of hidey-holes, which contain a number of trophies from the teens he destroyed. Stains torn from cheap Forever 21 tank tops lay in Ziplock bags, stacked according to severity of stain and number of concerned Facebook posts following the Tide Pod murder. “The media gets everyone riled up every time I convince a 17-year-old to swallow me, but they have no idea who’s pulling the strings,” said the Tide Pod. “They have no idea who’s really in control.”

Though the Tide Pod has big plans for his next kill, local detectives are bearing down on him. “Only a Tide Pod could’ve done these,” said Detective Peter Mendelsson, 35, as his partner, Brit Saunders, 42, nodded in agreement. “We’ve been following cases like this since the first Tide Pod Challenge video was posted. Happens all the time, sadly. The question is which one of those sacks of slime pulled the trigger.” The detectives, who arrived at the initial crime scene to find goo and other laundry detritus meticulously arranged around an otherwise clean room, feared the worst. “These pods are bad news, I keep telling my kids that,” Saunders said, a defeated look in her eyes. “They have no conscience, no expiration date. They’ll just keep going and going until someone catches them. So that’s what we plan to do.”

“People keep saying that the Tide Pod Challenge was just a thing the media made up to scare parents,” said the Tide Pod, carefully stowing night vision goggles and several large knives in their rucksack. “Everyone would feel a whole lot better if that were true, wouldn’t they? But I have a challenge for all the teens out there: survive the night.” And with that, the Pod was gone, leaving only a lingering scent of freshness.

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