I never thought I was capable of writing fiction.
Granted - I enjoy writing nonfiction stories about my life, allowing me to share my experiences with the world.
Therefore, for this Halloween, I got into the spirit of the season so much that I wrote two original horror stories.
I hope to write many more.
The first can be found here: https://www.socialmusingsbyaustin.com/post/my-favorite-childhood-ghost-story
Here is the second of the bunch, titled "Dating Apps Can Be Deadly." Enjoy either in my performance below on my Social Musings by Austin YouTube channel or in original prose underneath the video.
Julia was just about ready to give up online dating.
Every guy she seemed to connect to was a creep. It was only a matter of time until the red flags unfurled themselves to her - whether during initial back-and-forth texts with her online suitors or in the actual real world on the extremely awkward first dates.
One guy asked her how much she would charge for him to pee on her. Another guy ghosted her on the night of the date; he said he was in an Uber, but then never showed up at the restaurant. As she sat at the bar looking at her phone and waiting for him never to arrive, she noticed that he had unfriended her on Snapchat, which meant there was no future contact planned.
Ugh. And then there was the last time.
The dreaded catfish. He had connected with her using fake pictures. She had given him her phone number. Then he started calling in the middle of the night. She had to block him and thank God that he couldn’t identify her with solely her phone number. Or could he?
This was her mental state when she decided to use online dating one more time.
She had Googled “location-based dating apps” in the hope that a man in her location would at least not be creepy. Or at least she was willing to take that chance.
Here is how this particular dating app supposedly worked - Using the phone’s GPS, the app would record locations you visited, and if another person using the app also frequented that establishment, then it would recommend that person for you to connect with.
Julia had always been a socialite in her hometown of Dallas, Texas and suspected that only high-class, quality men she would be interested in would also visit her favorite spots in Highland Park Village, one of the toniest enclaves of Dallas.
One night after meeting a few friends for margaritas at the Mi Cocina mexican restaurant, the app recommended a match for her. His name was Victor.
Victor seemed pretty normal; although, in his picture he was wearing a Halloween costume, which might have been odd except it was the week before Halloween, and maybe this guy just really liked getting dressed up for the holiday.
In fact, Julia had hand-picked her Halloween outfit, based on the Netflix blockbuster “Squid Game,” which she was planning to wear to her office on October 29, 2021, the last Friday before the holiday over the weekend. If she got positive reviews on it from her co-workers, then she would wear it to the Halloween party at her apartment complex on Halloween.
She decided to accept the connection request.
A few hours later she received a message on the app.
It read: “Good evening gorgeous, how are you?”
She thought that was kind of a silly opening line, but decided to let it slide.
“Great, how are you tonight?”
Victor replied: “Fabulous. Got any plans for Halloween?”
Julia wrote back that she did, that she was going to stop by her complex’s party and compete for the top prize of best Halloween costume.
He asked to exchange phone numbers, which they did. There were only three days left until Halloween.
Julia wasn’t a big fan of the news. Foregoing papers and the nightly TV news, Julia got all of her information from Apple News on her new iPhone 13 Pro every night as she lay in bed before turning off the lights.
For whatever reason, she totally missed the small regional story running in the local news about a potential serial killer operating in the Deep Ellum neighborhood.
As Halloween approached, Julia and her mystery suitor exchanged pleasant messages and decided to meet up in Deep Ellum on the night of her Halloween party.
On Halloween night, the club Bottled Blonde was going off the hook by midnight. Having won the best costume prize earlier that night at her apartment party, Julia was now dancing with her best girlfriend, whose boyfriend had splurged on a bottle service table. The champagne was plentiful.
Julia had received a few voice memo recordings from Victor in the past few minutes. As she held the phone up to her ear struggling to hear with the EDM music blasting over the din of the partying Bottle Blonde crowd, she thought she heard screams on the other end of the line.
That couldn’t be the case, she thought. Probably just a bad recording or connection or something. To be honest, she was pretty pissed off that she had gotten all dressed up and Victor was going to be yet another no-show.
As the club let out at 2am, Victor was still nowhere to be found, and neither was Julia’s Uber.
After 30 minutes and two cancellations by different Uber drivers, she got on Lyft and apparently a Toyota Prius was en route to her.
Julia watched as the Toyota Prius pulled around the corner. The Lyft logo glowed pink, and Julia noticed that the driver was wearing a werewolf mask as he pulled up. You know, one of those rubber ones with the dark hair on top with crazy eyes, red gums and white snarling teeth.
Julia climbed into the back seat and checked her phone one more time to see if Victor had called or texted. Nothing.
On a whim, and since she was out of the club where the music made it difficult to hear, she decided to call Victor.
Then a Ring came from inside the car.
Another ring, what the hell, was it coming from the trunk?
Victor’s voicemail answered.
A low moan came from the trunk.
At this moment, Julia heard the child locks click locked in the back seat of the car.
The driver from behind the werewolf mask, said “Remember me?”
Julia started to scream. She tried frantically to open the car doors, with no success. In her terror, she looked in the back of the Prius and saw a body which appeared to be Victor’s. He was still breathing, but barely.
The driver said: “Was this your Halloween date? Were you looking forward to meeting him? Too bad you blocked me. Big Mistake. I bet you thought I would never find you. But I did.”
A week later, the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department found a burned out Toyota Prius in Oak Cliff along the banks of the Trinity River. The CSI team found a pink Lyft sticker, but when they contacted the rideshare provider, Lyft had no record of this particular vehicle in their database.
Inside the vehicle, they also found traces of blood which could not be identified, except that the samples came from one female and one male.
There was the obligatory press conference held by the police, telling young women to be careful about meeting men off the Internet. They believed that there was a certain individual in the Deep Ellum area using social media and online dating to lure his victims. To this day, he has never been found.
So, this Halloween, whatever you do, think twice when you download that dating app. It could be a matter of life and death.