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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short story about one person's terrifying introduction to technology.

Submitted: May 23, 2016

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Submitted: May 23, 2016




Normally I’m not much of an app user, in fact, I had what my friends called a “dumb phone” up until about a year ago. Until I got my new phone, I honestly never felt like I was missing out. As cool as my friends made Twitter, Instagram and whatever an angry bird was sound, I always knew those things would take me away from the thing I really had to put my focus on: my studies and my sanity.


So when I got my first iPhone last year, it was a pretty big deal to my friends. Once I had it, I quickly realized how cool the interface was and how useful it was. For two weeks I went app crazy, though that eventually lost its pizazz..until David and I started dating. By then I had gotten used to the smartphone world, and he, a tech nerd, wasallabout it. After a few months he convinced me I needed to download Snapchat, for “funny conversations via pics, babe.” You can guess where it ended up.


I didn’t mind however, since David and I had been going strong for a while and I trusted him never to use any pictures against me. And over time we began to use the app mostly for enjoyment and humor, for the most part.


The first time it happened, I was walking out of the mall from work. I was on my phone, which I will admit I’m now a little bit addicted to (Angry Birdsisaddicting), and a snapchat from David came in. It was blurry, but I could make out some of the ground and maybe a part of a car. Assuming it was a mistake and nothing more, I thought little of it for the rest of the night until dinner.


“Nice butt-snap today babe,” I said with a wink. He looked up from his mac and cheese.


“What are you talking about?”


“You butt-snapped me a pic of the ground or something earlier, when I was leaving work at the mall. I couldn’t tell what it was but it looked like a mistake.”


David looked a bit confused and went back to eating. When I asked him what was up, all he said was “must have been a software issue,” and went back to his food. As a serious techie, he takes any accidents he has with his devices super personal. I let it go, and we went back to our normal routine.


For a few days all snaps were of the usual fodder: good looking food, ridiculous selfie faces and a few NSFW messages thrown in for old time’s sake.


A few days later, as I was walking out of work my phone buzzed. I was crossing the parking lot when I clicked the screen on and saw the notification from David. The snap lasted only 3 seconds, and was blurry, but looked like a very pixelated and zoomed in picture of a person, maybe with blonde hair. I thought it was strange, so I took a selfie and snapped him back.


“what was that?”


I received a reply almost immediately of David’s face, only it was kind of distorted and weird. In fact, I could barely tell it was him because of the lighting. I figured it was some kind of weird filter or the fact he seemed to have a bright light on behind him, but his face was completely shadowed in a silhouette. Almost immediately I received another from him, this time clearly of his face with a confused expression, taken at that kind of angle a picture is taken without letting your coworkers know you’re taking a selfie.


Then another came in. This one was a bit more zoomed out. It was of a petite blond girl walking in a parking lot.


It took me about ten seconds to realize that girl in the picture was me.


I had no idea how David did it, but I was honestly impressed. Startled at first, but impressed. I snapped back a kissy face with the a heart emoji. David snapped back from work with seemingly confused look on his face. I looked around the parking lot but it was basically empty. He was nowhere in sight.


“how r u doing that??” I sent back, giving my most ridiculous selfie face imaginable.


“Doing what?” he sent back on yet another low-key-work selfie. I got in the car, thinking little of it, and went home to make some lunch.


Now, we live in the very close outskirts of a big city, so our apartment is very packed into surround neighborhood. We drew the short straw when we moved in and didn’t get a parking space, so we have to park on the street. Even though it was midday on a Tuesday, there were no spots near my house. I had to park a few blocks away and walk.


As I walked, naturally, I played with my phone. Even though it was broad daylight and I lived in nice neighborhood, eyes on your phone or ground are an easy way to keep from making eye contact with any creepy guys potentially hanging around the street. I texted a few of my friends about weekend plans, when another snapchat came in from David. This time, it was of me getting out of my car.


I stopped and looked around, figuring he must be hiding somewhere. He’s a total nerd like that. After a few moments the breeze got too cold and I figured he’d meet me inside eventually.


“You’ll freeze out here nerd” I said lovingly, and walked towards my house.


I continued walking down the street and another notification popped up. Two new snaps. I opened the first snap, and it was of my kitchen table, with a large pot, jarred sauce and a box of rigatoni. “pasta 4 dinner?” it said.


I replied with a smile and a “sure :)” and kept walking.


The second snap played. It was of his weird silhouetted face again. The caption said “I am not cold.”


A new snapchat notification popped up, this one of me walking down the street, just moments before.


The caption was simple: “I like you”


I replied thinking it was David, with a snap of my face, and quite generously the low cut shirt beneath it, with an “i like you 2”


He sent another back of him in my kitchen with the cat, taunting him with a rigatoni. A moment later a second snap came in of a black screen with a giant emoji with a huge smile on it. I had to admit, however he was sending these snaps was really quite impressive. I’d have to ask him tonight how he did it.


When I got into the house I saw him cooking and didn’t have time to ask him how he played his pranks; the water was overboiling, the sauce way too hot and he was looking as lost as ever in front of the stove. He’s a shitty cook, but he tries, so I love him for it. I jumped in.


I got swept up in making dinner and forgot to ask again about his pranks until he stopped for a moment to run to the bathroom. I heard the door click and my phone chime. A snap of me cooking popped onto the screen.


“You are so pretty,” it said. I just smiled and put my phone down. When he got out the bathroom, dinner was ready, and I told him to grab a plate. We served ourselves and began to talk about our days.


“So, how do you keep doing those snaps?” I said. “And how did you get those pictures of me leaving work?”


“What are you talking about?”


I explained again the pictures he sent, and he looked confused, denying the whole thing. He’s always had that nerdy awkward sense of humor, and it wouldn’t be the first time I had ruined a joke or surprise too early, so I just smiled and changed the conversation. He even played up the awkward reserved part the entire time too, as if my questioning had truly confused him. This was the most intricate prank he had played to date.


Throughout the night I got a few more from his account when I wasn’t paying attention; he must have sneakily gotten the pictures when he crossed the room on occasion. For the most part, he was busy at his computer working on an program he and his friends were building, and I sitting on the couch reading. I thought little of it, and quietly enjoyed the fact that, for the first time in a few months, he was being pretty forward and flirty. I liked being noticed.


That was until we went to bed. I figured since he had been sending me all these weird messages to get my attention, he wantedallof my attention, but when the lights went out he kissed me goodnight, rolled over and started snoring. Almost immediately my phone buzzed.


A snapchat popped up of me from earlier, walking from the car.


A second was of me in my car, and the caption, “I am always watching.”


The third was of me sitting in my living room, reading. Only, I realized the angle was off. It was taken up high, as if from the top corner of the room. The only caption was a heart emoji.


The fourth was of me in my car, during a quick moment I picked my nose. “Always” it said.


I needed to know how the fuck he did this, it was going beyond cute and funny and now a little creepy. Most importantly, how did he get that shot of me in the car earlier? I was alone. Did he have a fucking hidden camera installed on my dash?


This was going a bit too far for a cute prank. I went to check his phone, to see if he had some weird app installed, but it was powered off. I got up to check his computer, to see if he had something running on that, but that too was powered off. A little annoyed I woke him up and started yelling at him. He, as most sleeping people would do, woke up confused and annoyed and answered with a sleepy “yes dear, we’ll take care of it tomorrow,” and just turned over and went back to bed, immediately regaining his snoring tempo.


A new snap came in, and I shoved the phone in his face, but he didn’t want to wake. This one was of me reading a few hours earlier, only, it was an ultra-close up. There is no way a hidden camera could have taken it, the space in front of my couch is completely wide open, and this was taken at eye level, maybe 2 feet from my face.


“I like you” it said.


A chill went down my spine.


Almost too terrified to answer, I turned the camera on on my phone. I put the snapchat to selfie, and turned the flash on. The bright flash was the only light in my nearly pitch black room and illuminated my face and the room around me for a split second.


“who the fuk is this?” I captioned the photograph.




I took another with my flash.


“srsly who is this??”


A new snap came in of a black screen with a large smile emoji on it..


“I am a friend” it said.


“how the fuk r u doing this?”




I sent one more back, the flash of my phone illuminating my face and messy bedroom room for a split second.


“y are you doing this?”


No answer.


I sent back another. “plz stop.”


A message of a black screen with a giant sad face emoji came back. “I am sorry.”


I sent back another. “plz go away.”


After a moment, another notification popped up. Another black screen with an unsure face emoji and caption. “I am sorry Sasha, but I cannot do that.”


I sent one last reply, a single word: “why???”


A few moments passed. My phone buzzed with a snapchat notification. I opened it and my blood ran cold.


The snap displayed a picture that took me a second to comprehend. There in the center of the screen was a girl, me, sitting in my bed, my face and the picture just barely illuminated by the flash of my phone from the picture I had taken just moments before. I could see David sleeping next to me, and our cat laying lazily off in the corner. The picture had been taken from not five feet away.


Before I even had a chance to scream, I felt a cold whisper in my ear-


“Because I really like you.”



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