Literary Corner: Swipe Right

He should have known better than to swipe right. He had known better, in fact. The24 swipe right entire time he’d been composing a witty introduction, he’d thought to himself, this is a bad idea, Todd.

The post had sounded too good to be true, and so, of course, it was. But it hadn’t had the usual harbingers, like egregious grammatical errors or overwrought descriptions of moon rituals or even a single mention of the one. It was crafty, that post.

He’d believed it when he’d exchanged clever email banter for over a month with the poster. He’d trusted it when he’d Google-stalked the girl and found threads of her existence everywhere, even dating back to an embarrassing YouTube channel she’d started in 2011. He’d even been fool enough to agree to meet her in her remote little town deep in the swamps of Louisiana.

And now look at him, dangling upside down by his feet from a fraying rope over a lagoon full of alligators. She’d said, when he came to, that it wasn’t personal. Just a human sacrifice to appease the family demons. Of course, she hadn’t looked anything like her online picture, so she was obviously comfortable with bending the truth.

Honestly, he’d be more scared, except he felt like such an idiot for succumbing to the oldest trick on the Internet that there was little room left for fear. At least he wouldn’t have to pay the stupid app subscription fee anymore.

Take that, you piece-of-crap app developers, he thought, as the rope slowly lowered him to the roiling water below.

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Mary Elizabeth Summer is the author of the young-adult Trust Me mystery series. She lives in Beaverton with her wife, their daughter, their dog, and their evil overlor—er, cats.