Beth pointed at the browser window. “I don’t know how he got there.” She shook her head, teeth mangling her bottom lip. She wasn’t sure what she wanted Dave to do about it but it felt good to tell someone, even if it was just the guy from down the hall.

“You must have added him,” said Dave. “People can’t just add themselves to your friends.” He had knocked on the door to ask if she’d spare some milk. One look at her stainedred eyes and he’d asked what was wrong, why was she crying, what could he do to help. In desperation, she showed him the Facebook page.

“Yeah, I guess I must have.” She didn’t look convinced. “Maybe I wasn’t paying attention. I sure didn’t notice when he got added to my friends.”

“What did you notice?” His eyes were full of sympathy.

Beth got up and paced the room.

“His status updates. Originally it was something ineffectual, “Darren is going out,” or something like that. But it was at 2 AM, I was just looking at Facebook before bed. And I thought, who do I know who goes out at two in the morning? That’s when I saw his name.”

Dave’s eyes followed her. “You could have removed him at that point.”

“Could I? Is that even possible?” Beth shrugged. “I don’t know. Anyway, I didn’t even try. I thought, hey, Darren Miller probably isn’t that rare a name, right? So it’s coincidence.”

She stopped at the desk and fingered the faded piece of newspaper, as if trying to rub out the headline.

“I mean, it just seemed so paranoid. It couldn’t possibly be THAT Miller, right?” She resumed her pacing.

Dave stood up and walked over to the cabinet. “Do you mind?” he said, not bothering to wait for a response before getting out a bottle of brandy. He poured them both a measure of the amber liquid and then sat back down at the computer. “So how do you know it is him? You’ve never seen this guy, right?”

“No, just the descriptions from the paper. They never showed his face because there was never a case, everything was circumstantial.” She took a sip of the brandy and then gulped the rest. “And he doesn’t use a photo on the site anyway, just some black and white cartoon face. But his status updates were all about my sister. They were sort of vague at first, Darren is thinking about Susan, that sort of thing. I wrote it off as coincidence.”

Dave nodded. “There are lots of Susans in the world.”

“Well, yeah. But then they got more specific. Darren is dreaming about Susan’s auburn hair. Darren is looking at his photographs of Susan. Darren is remembering how Susan used to look straight through him. And then it got really freaky: Darren can still hear her screams.

Dave got up and refilled her glass. “But you still didn’t say anything.” It wasn’t a question.

“Like what? Beth thinks the psychopath who murdered her sister is on Facebook? I couldn’t really think of what to say. But I started watching his profile page and he was adding links to news story about the case. I couldn’t really call it coincidence anymore. And then, today, that’s when he mentioned me.

“Are you sure it was you?”

“I don’t know.” She took a deep breath to repress the whine. “Here, let me show you, see what you think.”

She strode over to the computer and clicked at the Facebook page. “Oh, wait, it’s changed again.”

Her face went pale as she read the words.

Darren is going over to Beth’s to ask for some milk.

Sylvia Spruck Wrigley is a German-American living in Spain who writes about things she sees in a room which isn’t there.

Rate this story:
 average 4.2 stars • 15 reader(s) rated this

Every Day Fiction

  • I got the end before I got there but it’s still scarey.

  • Creepy, Sylvia; very creepy. 😉

  • gkwhite

    Excellent. The ending was a nice surprise and made me laugh in a ‘gotcha’ sorta way.

  • I’m not a great fan of the twist ending in general, but this one works very very nicely. Extremely effective short.

  • Fionnuala

    oooh creepy. Great twist.

  • Jay

    Great start to my day. Very good work!

  • angela

    Halloween freaky-good. I like the whole facebook concept so part of today’s world…thanks.

  • I’m with Oonah. I suspected the end, but it was still creepy and it gave me the shivers. Well done!

  • I wondered if Dave might be Darren, just because they had the same initial, but the ending still totally creeped me out. Really well done, Sylvia. I loved it!

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  • Sylvia, this is a classic horror story. Five stars. Congratulations on getting it right, even for a technophobe like me.

  • Jen

    Wow, I loved it! I actually had to go back to the begining to see if Darren was Dave. I couldn’t remember if he’d borrowed milk or not. I love the way you worked that little detail. Five out of five.

  • this guy spends way too much time on facebook

  • Harley

    Actual goosebumps. I mean it.

  • It’s been a long time since a story sent a shiver down my spine like that.

  • Now, what if there’s a real Darren who is setting Dave up? Or if Beth is a psycho who doesn’t realise she did those things herself, and is projecting on Dave (who is about to get it in “self defence”)?

  • I can’t help it, but I keep wondering just why did Sylvia sprike Wrigley?


    That is an awesome story. I want to see a movie of it. I’m going to go read it again, even though I know the end now.

  • Justine

    Too tired right now to think of anything more witty than what Kevin said – but all that, from me too. Wonderful.

  • This was creepy, glad I didn’t read it last night! Good read! -:)

  • Jen

    Oh my God! I still can’t believe that ending, it was just awesome!

  • Thank you so much for all the wonderful comments. I was unexpectedly called away and it was great to come back and read the great response from EDF readers.

    I knew some people would get it before the end but it’s a bit of a tightrope and I didn’t want to actively mislead. I’m pleased that those who did enjoyed it anyway.

    “This guy spends way too much time on Facebook” made me laugh aloud. And a quick note to PM Lawrence – I’m not sure on your conjugation! Sprick Sprike Spruck? Thus Spruck Zarahustra….

    Thanks again, this made my day.

    I guess I better write something else, now…

  • Strike, struck, stricken.

  • Of course. Funny how I didn’t see the correlation because I was still looking at it as a name. 🙂

  • Oh, that’s excellent. Really neat story.

  • Mark Turner

    Somehow that one gave me shivers up the spine not once but twice whilst reading it. Superb.

  • Thanks for the kind comments.

    I wish those who have recently voted this down had also left comments. 🙁

  • Jen

    People voted this *down?* Some people have no taste, I guess.

  • Fred Meyer

    5 stars for a GREAT piece of flash fiction! MORE, MORE, MORE!

  • Case

    This is really good!

  • That’s very creepy! (In a good way.)

  • Thanks 🙂

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  • I’m so glad I started trolling the top stories list today, otherwise I would have missed this fabulous piece! Wow. I’ve got huge goosebumps! Very well done!

  • Sarah

    Fabulous !?!? Simplistic.

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  • danny

    That was poorly written.

  • Here is a flash fiction piece posted almost two years ago and–like fewer than ha;f a dozen others–has stayed with me all this time. I despaired having to search it out, cut and paste, convert to Adobe, and download to me e-reader.

    The reason it’s embedded itself in my DNA is partly that it’s well-constructed. But more important, it uncovers a latterday horror of unintended effects from our culture. THAT is a reason writers write. To interpret our experiences, share them and–one hopes–see the words resonate into a universal understanding. Again, five stars.

  • Thank you for the comments, both good and bad. This piece has been interesting in terms of the reactions to it. I’m glad to see people are still reading it after all this time.

  • Chelsey

    Oh my God, that was so creepy. Very well written. A mistake on my part to read it before going to bed. Still, wow. I haven’t felt chills like that in years.

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  • Mother(re)

    I seriously hope Beth keeps pepper spray under her keyboard. Awesome, Sylvia!

  • indy

    That gave me a chill!

  • lizziebeth

    holy crap, so creepy, my name is Beth and i know a Darren Miller!!!!!!! never trusting anyone who asks to borrow some milk………

  • EzRin

    Boo! Didn’t see that coming, silly girl. I got shivers.
    Nice work

  • Joshua

    It was well written, though I’ve heard/read that twist many times before. Maybe I’m not in the right mood for a creepy pasta, but it just didn’t seem to build up enough for me. Just, “here’s this, then this happens, and oh, guess what? This.” It seemed like you wanted to surprise the reader, but didn’t want to waste time getting there, like a surprise party recipient showing up too early and seeing the guests hiding. Sorry if you think I’m being too harsh. Just my opinion.

  • Shigger

    Seemed a little bit sterile and predictable in my opinion. Try a more original plot line when writing horror based on new technology.

  • Rose Gardener

    Outstanding twist. Blind as a bat, I was, right up to the last drop of milk. Excellent story!

  • Sugaboo

    Outstanding story, I thought it was very relevant for the times and I did not expect the twist at all!!

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  • Simone

    Holy crap! This story made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Awesome writing!

  • plato

    Excellent – I feel quite sick!

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  • andrea

    Five stars, first time I’ve marked so high, this was well deserved. Darwin in action, oops, Darren!

  • Kathy

    It’s great that stories are archived on this site because I would not have seen this otherwise. I really liked it!