This post was written for a writing prompt titled: “You discover an online, supposedly random “Yes/No” generator. But, after playfully using it for a short while, you find it to be 100% accurate in foretelling the future.”
I’m in my car, waiting for Sara—my Tinder date—to get ready for our night out. A Reddit post shows up on my feed: “This Miracle Crystal Ball app can predict your future!” Yeah, sounds like garbage, but Sara’s not ready, and I have time to kill.
I visit the site, and the only thing on it is an empty field with an ‘Ask’ button. I type: “Will dinner with Sara be fun?”
Good to know.
“Am I a guy?”
Meh, lucky guess.
As a programmer, I’ve always been told to run sanity checks before actually moving on to write the rest of the code. At least then when things go wrong, you’ll get a hint of what’s broken and what’s not. I continue my sanity check on this app, and it seems to get everything right, despite me purposely asking ‘yes’ questions.
“Am I 35 years old?”
“Do I live in Canada?”
“Am I a programmer?”
I’m impressed, but not quite. A 50/50 chance is still quite huge odds for the app anyway. So I ask a ‘no’ question to mix things up.
“Am I taller than six feet?”
Jesus. Okay. Fine. How bout this:
“Will Sara be wearing an orange dress?”
There you have it. Now all Sara has to do is show up in a dress that’s anything but blu—she’s at the door. In a blue dress. What. The. Fuck.
Sara hops in and I slide my phone into my pocket. The app gets pushed to the back of my mind for a while.
Dinner goes well, as predicted, and when we reach Sara’s house, she invites me in for drinks. I fish for my phone when she’s in the kitchen making drinks and type: “Am I gonna get lucky?”
Hah, I knew it. The app’s a sham. There’s no way I’m not getting lucky tonight. Sara appears with two screwdrivers. We clink glasses and continue our conversation over drinks. She must think I’m a heavy drinker, because there’s so much vodka in my drink I can’t even taste the orange juice.
Sara excuses herself to go freshen up, and I’m giddy with anticipation. Or maybe I’m just giddy. Either way, the app can suck it. I check my breath and armpits for anything that might kill the mood, but the only thing I smell is the sharp tang of alcohol.
I’m feeling tipsy, which is weird because it takes me six drinks before I even feel a mild buzz. I take out my phone again. “Am I drunk?”
Wrong again, buddy.
The screen shakes and divides into two, then doubles again, like bacteria reproducing. This is weird. Might need to see a doctor. I call out to Sara, but there’s no answer. I try calling my friend Josh, but I can’t make out where the keypad on my phone is. What the fuck is going on?
“Did I drink too much?” I ask aloud.
“No,” says my phone. I’m not sure if I’m even seeing this right.
“Am I going to be all right?”
Now I’m really starting to freak out, but Sara comes through the door, and I feel slightly comforted. Maybe she can take me to the doctor. Something glimmers in her hand, and I’m not liking the way she’s staring at me. She steps closer, and I get a better look at the object. It’s a fucking knife.
She sits beside me and just stares—all four of her. She takes my phone from my hand and rests it on the coffee table. I’m too weak to fight back.
“Am I going to die now?”
As Sara’s hand clamps over my mouth, and as the cold steel rests against my neck, my phone lights up, bright against the pressing darkness.
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