Unknown Sender by Ryan Lanz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The urban legend of the caller ID-blocked phone call asking if one has “checked the children?” gets a new thoroughly eerie spin in this short horror story when Jessica receives an anonymous text: “Do you lock your doors at night?” Jessica has enough anxiety as it is–academically, socially. Her perfect roommate, Aubrey, with the stellar grades, easy beauty and ideal boyfriend will never understand, and now someone’s bullying Jessica? or worse–threatening her.
Jessica’s finger hovered over the W key.
[Who is this?]
. . . Even as she lifted the phone again, she knew it was silly–she would hear when the text came in. It chirped in her hands, and she dropped it in surprise.
[I’m someone who’s asking if you lock your doors at night. You wouldn’t want a stranger getting in.]
The roommates opt to get out of the house Aubrey-style, which means a large house-party hosted by ideal boyfriend, Ricky. But the texts keep coming, now commenting on Jessica’s outfit and if she’s having fun. With a potential stalker on the loose, the girls flee the party:
The streetlights must have been on for a while, creating clouds of insects, all swarming toward the light as their only savior. During the day, the park appeared so innocent and inviting, whereas now it looked like it contained a hundred human-sized places for someone to hide. From somewhere over her left shoulder, a car alarm went off, making her jump.
This spine-tingling tale hits all the right moves as Jessica and Aubrey try to outpace the texts and the range of the cellular service. It is highly recommended.
I was contacted through The Book Review Directory for this review. The author, Ryan Lanz, has a blogsite that can be followed. Hopefully, a longer collection of short stories will be on his horizon.
[Check out my other reviews here.]
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