Known for their daring pranks on social media, best friends Todd and Tristan wanted to go viral in their latest attempt at humiliating someone.
To them, they had the perfect formula, and soon enough, they watched with glee as their followers reached the one million mark.
But not everyone was happy about what they were doing.
How Far Could They Go?
What started off innocently enough, the two friends wanted to push the envelope to see how far they could go to amass more followers.
Their online channel was all about pulling the most daring and outrageous pranks, and in the beginning, they were the guinea pigs.
But now that people were actually tuning in to watch them, they wanted to be more daring.
It was about how many followers they could accumulate and how many laughs and outrage they could generate. Nothing was off limits for them.
They wanted to shock people with their next daring stunt, and it was Todd who came up with the ideas.
“Man, we need that shock factor. I know what we have to do.”
Tristan became skeptical. Although he liked doing the pranks with his friend, he knew that Todd was the daring one between the two of them.
“Sure, we can try and be more daring, but I don’t want to hurt any animals or children,”
Tristan affirmed. He knew that sometimes Todd took things a little too far.
Todd seemed to have an idea. “Okay, hear me out. Let’s approach homeless people and film ourselves doing something to them. Not anything too bad, of course.”
Tristan breathed out. It sounded very risky, but he reluctantly agreed.
All he wanted was fame and the followers, and both of them had stars in their eyes.
Todd assured him that it would be easy.
All they had to do was go down to various parks and do some funny pranks with the homeless people and then pay them for their trouble.
In their minds, they were doing something good. Even though they were going out of their way to bother some people, paying them afterward made up for it, they thought.
One morning, they set out to do just that. It didn’t take them long to locate a couple of homeless people who were lying on different park benches.
Most of them were willing to partake in the pranks solely because Todd and Tristan promised to pay them for their trouble and humiliation.
But what the friends didn’t know was that they were about to go viral in a different way.
While Todd mostly did the pranks, Tristan was the one behind the camera. And it looked like their efforts were paying off.
In just one week, they had amassed over a hundred thousand more followers.
Now, at a staggering 960,000 followers, they had almost reached their goal of one million. And that’s when Todd started getting more ideas.
Push It To The Limit
“We need to push it, man. We’re almost there. We’ve got to push it to the limit,” Todd said. Tristan scratched his head.
He knew they could reach the target. He didn’t think they needed to do any more than what they were already doing.
“I don’t know. We’ll get there, we just have to be patient.”
An Older Man
But there was no stopping Todd. He had been eyeing someone as their next target. An older gentleman whom they had seen in the park numerous times.
“Nah, man, I think we should rather leave him alone. He’s older,” Tristan said. He was very worried.
He didn’t think their followers would appreciate them trodding on an older man.
“Don’t worry about it. We’ll give him double if we have to.
It just looks like he’s going to get us to that one million mark,” said Todd. But Tristan wasn’t convinced.
Tristan reluctantly followed Todd as they approached the old man. It looked like he didn’t want to be bothered. Tristan felt bad already.
Worth Your While
“Good afternoon, Sir. We’re shooting something for our channel, and we’d like to know if you would like to be in it.
We’ll make it worth your while, of course.” Todd was very charming.
But even though Todd promised to reward the man, Tristan could see that he was not interested. “Uh, no thanks, boys. I’m not interested. An old-timer like me just needs his rest. You have a good day now.”
But Todd hated to be turned down. He had an arrogant nature now that they were semi-famous.
He wasn’t going to let their ticket to one million followers just walk away from them.
“Listen here, old man. I promised you I would give you something. Here! Now stand up and participate!” Todd demanded as he kicked the few dollars that he threw on the ground.
“Hey, what the hell is wrong with you kids? I just want to be left in peace. Take your money and scram. I don’t want it!’ the man replied.
Tristan was shocked at Todd’s behavior but not at all surprised. “Todd, let’s just leave this man alone.
We can do something else instead,” Tristan tried to convince him.
But Todd was not having it. “No! Start recording, and let’s do this now!” he demanded.
Tristan started recording even though he didn’t want to. Soon enough, they were joined by a friend of theirs, and then the real trouble started.
The other friend, Luke, joined Todd in teasing and hurling unspeakable insults at the man.
Leave Him Alone
But unbeknownst to Todd and Luke, Tristan had already stopped recording and had deleted the video.
He wasn’t going to stand for this. “Hey Todd, leave him alone. Let’s just go!” Tristan demanded.
But Todd saw red. “Why aren’t you recording this? You are costing us. We would probably be at one million followers if it wasn’t for you! I’ll make you pay!”
Luke then whipped out his phone and started recording everything. Tristan helped the old man get up so that they could run away, but it was too late.
Todd came in fast with another kick to the old man’s gut. “Get out of this park if you don’t want to participate, old man!” Todd threatened.
“Have you lost it? You could kill him. Do you want to go to jail for the rest of your life?” Tristan yelled.
The old man winced in pain, clutching his stomach. The park-goers who had witnessed the altercation began to intervene.
They rushed towards Todd and Luke, yelling for them to stop. A few brave souls stood in front of the injured man, forming a protective barrier.
Tristan, filled with guilt and anger at his friends, shouted at them, “Enough, guys! This has gone too far!” He joined the bystanders, pleading with Todd and Luke to leave the old man alone.
In Deep Trouble
The crowd was growing, and a sense of justice prevailed among the onlookers. Some people started calling the police, while others recorded the incident as evidence.
Todd and Luke, realizing they were outnumbered, began to back away, realizing the gravity of their actions.
As Todd and Luke retreated, the police sirens could be heard approaching the park. Panic filled their eyes as they realized they were in deep trouble. Tristan, in a final act of defiance against his once-close friends, gave the police a detailed account of what had transpired.
The Police Arrives
The police arrived and assessed the situation. They took statements from the old man and the witnesses who had come to his aid.
Todd and Luke were apprehended, their faces etched with regret as they were placed in handcuffs. They had gone from internet pranksters to criminals in a matter of minutes.
The old man held onto Tristan’s hand, not wanting to let go. Tristan felt his heart sink.
Social Media Attention
News of the incident quickly spread through social media, but not in the way Todd and Tristan had hoped.
Instead of gaining followers, their names were now associated with cruelty and violence. Their online presence plummeted as people turned against them, condemning their actions.
Tristan couldn’t believe that he allowed everything to go so far.
A Decorated War Veteran
The old man, whose name was revealed to be James, received medical attention and was taken to a nearby shelter for the homeless.
As it turned out, James was a decorated war veteran who had fallen on hard times.
His story touched the hearts of many, and an outpouring of support and donations flooded in to help him get back on his feet.
In the days that followed, Todd and Luke faced legal consequences for their actions. They were charged with assault and disorderly conduct.
Their once-promising futures were now marred by a criminal record, and their dreams of internet stardom had crumbled.
Their faces were splashed all over social media. They were made examples of something so that it could never happen again.
Feeling Immense Guilt
Tristan, on the other hand, felt immense guilt for his role in the incident but also a sense of relief that he had ultimately done the right thing by stopping the recording and helping James.
He decided to use his online presence for good, sharing James’s story and advocating for social causes that helped the homeless and veterans.
Receiving Much-Needed Support
As for James, the unexpected attention and support he received led to a remarkable turnaround in his life.
He found a job, secured stable housing, and reconnected with his estranged family. The incident in the park had inadvertently given him a second chance at life.
The incident served as a sobering reminder to everyone about the power and responsibility that comes with social media influence. Todd and Luke’s downfall was a cautionary tale of how seeking fame at any cost could lead to dire consequences.
A Life-Changing Encounter
Tristan couldn’t shake off the guilt that gnawed at him, and he made it a point to visit James regularly.
What had started as a horrific encounter had transformed into an unexpected friendship. They shared stories, laughed, and found solace in each other’s company.
James became the grandfather Tristan had never had. He imparted wisdom, shared his life experiences, and helped Tristan see the world through a different lens. Through James, Tristan discovered the importance of kindness, empathy, and the value of human connection.
Tristan decided it was time to make amends for his past actions. He took to social media to apologize for his involvement in the cruel prank and to condemn the behavior he and Todd had displayed that day.
He used his platform to raise awareness about the issues facing homeless veterans and encouraged his followers to get involved in charitable activities.
His sincerity and newfound dedication to making a positive impact resonated with many, and some of his old followers began to return. Tristan’s online presence was no longer about seeking fame but about using his voice for a purpose greater than himself.
Tristan and James became a powerful duo in their community.
They organized fundraisers and charity events to support homeless veterans, drawing the attention of local news outlets and influencers who wanted to join their cause.
The park where the incident had occurred was transformed into a space for community gatherings and outreach programs where the two friends hosted side by side.
Redemption and Forgiveness
As for Todd and Luke, their legal troubles had significant consequences. They were required to perform community service and attend anger management classes as part of their punishment.
While some people still held them in contempt, others saw their efforts to change and acknowledged that people could learn from their mistakes.
Tristan even reached out to them with a message of forgiveness, urging them to use their experiences to make amends and contribute positively to society. It was a long road to redemption, but Tristan believed that everyone deserved a chance to change.
A Second Chance
Tristan’s life had taken an unexpected turn, leading him away from the path of notoriety and towards one of purpose and redemption. He had found an unlikely mentor and friend in James, and together, they were making a meaningful difference in the lives of others.
Their story served as a reminder that even in the darkest moments, redemption and forgiveness were possible and that genuine connections with others could lead to a more fulfilling and meaningful life. Tristan had learned that true fame was not measured in followers, but in the positive impact one could have on the world and the lives of those in need.
Disclaimer: In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.