When I was young, there was this show I used to watch called "Theodore Tugboat". It's basically a show where this tugboat called Theodore pulls barges, ships and makes friends with other ships and vehicles in the harbour. It was a very light hearted show, detailing the meaning of friendship, and solving problems. The show ended production in 2001, and episodes from the series have been uploaded to YouTube.
One day, I was at a car boot not far from my house. It was packed with sellers and buyers, purchasing stuff here and others selling that. I came across a stall that had a few toys on and DVDs. I walked over to the stall and had a look. Most of the toys were either broken or had some extensive use, while some looked brand new. I came across a DVD in a plastic case called "Theodore Tugboat"
I'm sure I watched this as a kid, I thought to myself. Maybe I'll buy it; it will be good for the kids.
"Excuse me," I asked the seller, who immediately walked over "How much do you want for this DVD?"
"Eighty seven cents darling." She said.
So I handed her eighty seven cents, thanked her and walked away. I looked at a few more stalls before setting off for home.
I arrived home and placed what I bought on the table. I then turned on the TV. I waited for the TV to boot up first. Then I switched it to the DVD player. I opened the DVD tray and placed the DVD I bought into it. The DVD tray closed and began whirring inside. I sat down on my seat and waited for it to start.
This is where things started to seem off.
The video started with the normal Theodore Tugboat intro, all the tugboats going to and fro. But when Theodore came on the screen, only the logo appeared, and not the little rainbow that goes over him.
"Strange," I said "That never happened."
The episode skipped straight to the Dispatcher talking to the tugboats; the Harbour Master never seen. The camera panned to the tugboats, huddled in a group near the dispatcher. The episode was called "Theodore's Bad Day".
"Tugboats," He started "A oil ship is coming into the harbour today. George and Emily, I want you two to dock him into Dock 12."
George and Emily vroomed their engines in approval.
"Theodore, you will be pulling Barrington, as usual." He added.
Theodore whistled to say "Yes, sir!"
"Foduck, you will do your normal Safety patrol." the Dispatcher said.
"OK!" Foduck said happily.
"Hank, there is no work for you at the moment. So you must stay in your dock.
Hank looked a little disappointed "No work?" He asked.
"Not at the moment." the Dispatcher said "But if there is, you'll be told."
"That is all." the Dispatcher finished and turned away from the tugs.
Then the camera shot to all the tugboats leaving. As they were leaving, a picture of something flashed for a frame before disappearing.
"'Ey. What was that?" I said, puzzled.
I wound the video back to where the tugboats began to leave. I moved frame by frame until the picture came up. It was Theodore from the opening sequence, but his eyes were full black, no pupils inside, and the picture was black and white.
"Well...ok then." I said and continued the video.
The next scene showed Emily and George bringing in the oil ship. It was just a repainted version of Cumberland.
"You'll like our harbour!" Emily said.
"Yes!" George added "The friendliest harbour around!"
"This is indeed a very good harbour!" the oil ship said.
Theodore had finished pulling Barrington barge and was heading over to see the big oil ship.
Wow, Theodore thought, This is a very big ship!
This is where the horror begins.
The camera then zoomed into the deck of the oil ship and transitioned into a live action segment. A man was lying on the floor, crying. What was disturbing was that this wasn't acting crying...it sounded like genuine crying. He began to slowly get up. Then he revealed his face. It was covered in bruises, cuts, blood was everywhere and his eyes were bloodshot. He struggled to his feet, grabbing the decks railing as he got up. He then looked directly into the camera, I began to feel uncomfortable.
"What...?" I said to myself.
Then he spoke; and oh god, it traumatizes me to this day. His voice was very low pitched, and demon sounding.
"I'M TAKING EVERYONE TO HELL" He spoke.
He then produced a matchbox and got a match out. The camera zoomed in and he lit the match.
He then staggered to a oil tank and turned to the camera. The camera zoomed into his eyes and he said "THIS IS TRUE SUFFERING"
The scene changed back to the models. The tugboats were in the harbour.
"This is my dock, I suppose." the oil ship said.
"Indeed it is." George said.
The tugboats began to move away from the ship. Then something flashed up for a frame. I paused, re-winded and played frame by frame up to the picture. It was the same picture as before, but this time, Theodore's mouth was missing, and blood was streaming down his face. A message was at the bottom. It read "death is imminent"
"What the fuck is this mess?" I said.
Suddenly, it shot to one of the oil tanks on fire. Emily looked up and saw it.
"Fire! Fire!" Emily shouted "We must get Foduck!"
George then sped away. Then a black screen popped up with some text on it.
It read: "But it was too late..."
It then shot to an entire view of the harbour. Then there was a massive explosion. It engulfed the set and sent the camera shaking violently. I jumped at the explosion; I wasn't expecting it at all. The video faded to black. Nothing happened for 5 minutes. At first, I thought the video has finished.
"Thank fucking god." I said and walked to the DVD player.
As I was about to get the DVD out, I could hear some faint screaming coming out of the TV speakers.
"Oh, so it isn't finished? Well fuck." I said and sat back down.
The scene faded back into the same view as before, but this time, the Big Harbour was no where to be seen. All that could be seen was a cloud of smoke. The smoke then lifted and then revealed a horrific sight. The Big Harbour was destroyed. The only things left were Benjamin Bridge, some docks and a few of the background buildings, which were all burnt up. The screaming was getting more and more audible.
The camera then panned round the harbour, showing the destruction. The Dispatcher was almost destroyed, and only a few remains of his shell were remaining. It then panned to a heap of boats, all destroyed, with their eyes missing and completely burnt up. It was unsettling because some of the main boats where in the pile, like Petra, Digby and Rebecca. Then along with the screaming came a moaning noise, something similar to the fan made Suicidemouse video. The camera then faded to where the oil ship was docked. Only his hull was floating in the water, and the rest of the area was destroyed. Then the video went into static. It stayed static for twenty seconds before showing the same Theodore picture from before. This time, it was a lot worse. More blood was coming out his eyes, and his mouth was still missing. Then I noticed that small, red pupils were showing in his eyes. As the picture was shown the sound of a heartbeat could be heard and an off sound violin could also heard. Then some small text faded on the bottom; it read "This is true suffering."
At that moment, I wanted to stop the video. But curiosity got the better of me and I continued to watch.
Then another picture flashed up for a frame. I paused, and went back to the picture. It was a destroyed version of Theodore, he was so mangled and broken, he was almost unrecognizable.
I continued on and suddenly more images flashed on the screen. I paused and went back to look at the images.
I wish I hadn't.
The pictures consisted of dead children, either decapitated, mangled or missing body parts.
At the last image, I ran up to the toilet and threw up. I thought to myself as I vomited, This has to be fake. It has to be.
But it was too real to be fake...
I went back to the TV and continued.
The video stayed on the image of Theodore for a few more seconds, before changing to black. A loud scream came from the speakers, which made me jump.
Then the end credits began.
I immediately stopped the video, and ejected the disc.
"What the fuck is this?!" I shouted to myself.
I immediately went on the computer. I had to find out what was going on.
I searched in Google "Theodore tugboat lost episode" No results. I then typed "Theodore tugboat deleted episode" Nothing. I decided to search Wikipedia. I went onto Wikipedia and searched for Theodore Tugboat. I browsed the page. Eventually I found something:
One episode of the show was never aired due to it being unsuitable for children. The episode has never been discovered to this day.
My heart skipped a beat. Could what I had just watched be just that?
I immediately called the people who owned the show. We talked about Theodore Tugboat for a while, saying how good it was and how I enjoyed it as a kid. Then I mentioned the episode "Theodore's Bad Day" The person talking immediately changed his tone.
"Where did you get that video?" He said urgently.
"From a car boot." I said "What the fuck were they thinking?"
"I swear we destroyed all evidence of that episode." He said sighing.
"But I want to know why it was made." I said "That's the purpose of this call."
"It is confidential business. I cannot tell you anything." The person said "Listen. Destroy the DVD and forget it ever existed."
"But why was it made?" I asked again.
"I'm not telling you." He said and cut me off.
I put down the phone and looked at the disc.
"This is too important to destroy." I said.
I placed the DVD back into its cased and placed it at the back of the cupboard. I then sat back down and watched the news.
A few years have passed, and the DVD is still at the back of the cupboard and I haven't touched it since. I think no one cares about it anymore. Well, I certainly don't. So I'll probably throw it away later today.
But even if it is gone, I will still have the memories of the video. The harbour exploding, the destroyed boats and the dead children. But the last image of Theodore is the one that has been stuck in my head for years. Those red pupils in his black, soulless, eyes and the black and white of the image are truly terrifying. It is truly one thing I will never forget for years to come.