Betty pulled up the app that George had written for their group on her tablet. George built a backdoor into Twitter with the help of the official API and some code he lifted from a website in the Ukraine. The end result of his hours of programming expertise was a private room within Twitter that Betty and her 12 closest friends could play in with impunity, free from prying eyes.
Betty listened intently. The house was silent, her parents slept two doors down, just past her annoying little brother’s room. They had gone to bed almost an hour ago; there was little chance she’d be caught.
She kept her eyes on the clock glowing in the corner of her room until the numbers shifted from 11:59 to 12:00 and then typed on the virtual keyboard.
BetBets @bettyb: Midnight. Party time. Who’s there?
One by one a dozen replies scrolled across her screen; everyone was in the chat room.
BetBets @bettyb: What u want do? Game?
Variations of: yes, yeah, yup and other affirmatives filled the screen.
Progman @progman: I can run RPG.
That was George. His game scenarios were always the best. He spent a lot of time in his own head or with his nose buried in fantasy books. Not a lot of the other kids would dare be seen with Georgie in public. He was the stereotypical overweight, pimply nerd and it would be social suicide for most to be seen socializing. Betty had taken pity on him one day and it had been the best risk she had ever taken. Her own popularity was secure enough to weather the looks from the ‘it’ crowd. She and her group became instant friends with the burgeoning programmer. He had tutored them through math and science and they had given him an outlet for his creativity and also given him something he had never had, friends.
BetBets @bettyb: Go for it G-man.
LDonovan @ldonovan: Awesome
Wilywill @wilywill: Kewl
Gothgal @gothicy: #vocavivos
Wilywill @wilywill: What does that mean?
Gothgal @gothicy: Typo I guess. Dunno. You a grammar Nazi?
Progman @progman: Don’t use hashtags in the room Lucy. It can kick off other code.
Jennijean @jennijean: It looks like Latin.
Gothgal @gothicy: Jesus, F off all y’all.
Betty’s tablet face flickered as the snarky banter flowed back and forth. The battery power was topped off. What the hell? The damn thing better not die. She smacked it lightly on the side.
ErnieG @ernieg: What the hell was that? Did your screens just go nuts?
Positive replies began to flow across the screen which suddenly turned deep red. The lines of text flowed like they were melting and created a vortex of swirling black in the center of the red screen.
Betty dropped her tablet in shock. Had Lucy’s hashtag kicked off some kind of virus George didn’t know about?
A deep laugh issued from the quad speakers at the corners of her tablet. The fine hairs on Betty’s arms stood on end. That wasn’t any of her friends. It sounded like a bad movie psycho, laughing just before burying an axe in a co-ed’s head.
The screen on Betty’s tablet stretched upward like a sheet of rubber.
What the hell? Betty scrambled to the far side of the bed.
The screen stretched upward again. It warped and conformed to what looked like a hand pressing upward from within. A second hand began to push against the center of her screen expanding it beyond the edges of the tablet. Why wasn’t it breaking?
Higher and higher it stretched.
“You have summoned me,” the deep, animalistic voice said from the speakers.
“Your souls now belong to me.”
The screen finally broke, It popped like an overinflated balloon. Red light and a sick smell like rotting garbage erupted from the remains of her tablet. Red clawed hands grabbed the sides of the tablet and flexed. Betty saw a pair of horns emerge from the tablet followed by a red skinned head. The creature glared at her with glowing yellow eyes and pushed itself further into the room.
“So young, so tasty,” the demon said around a mouthful of fangs.
Betty screamed. Twelve other voices simultaneously screamed from her tablet’s speakers.