I’m not great with electronics. I know how to use most of them since I grew up around computers and cell phones like every other kid in their twenties — but I still prefer writing with a pen and notepad. I have a goal tracker inside of my paper planner. I have a wall calendar where I keep track of my appointments. I send my bills through the mail instead of sending payments over the internet. I’m old-fashioned. An old soul. Born in the wrong generation.
I never really use the apps on my electronics. I use my phone for texting. I use my computer for typing out documents. I use my smart TV for streaming videos. If I need a calculator, I grab an actual calculator. If I need to jot down notes, I grab the pad attached to my refrigerator.
That’s why it was so freakishly strange when an alert blared on my phone. It was a reminder that said: PHONE CALL WITH LUCY AT 6.
I don’t know how to set calendar alerts on my phone. Not to mention, I don’t know any Lucys. But I work at a big company. I know most people by their last names. I could be completely forgetting about someone.
I didn’t want to get fired over something stupid, so I shot off a text to one of my bosses (who is much more of a social butterfly than me). I asked whether anyone at the company went by that name. They told me no. I asked them whether I was forgetting about any meeting today. No again.
I shrugged off the weirdness and turned my phone to silent. If my phone was malfunctioning, I didn’t want to embarrass myself in the office when it started blaring again.
The workday was normal. Nothing else weird went down.
But the next day, I received an actual phone call from Lucy. It was around the same time, six in the morning, right when I was slipping a Poptart into the toaster.
I answered the phone and heard static. Like a broken television. No one said a word. I was forced to hang up because there was nothing on the other side. No breathing. No rustling. No indication of another person.
This time, I asked a few co-workers who had the same type of phone whether or not they had any issues lately. They each had complaints, but not about the same issues I was experiencing. A part of me wondered whether I was getting harassed by an ex or old client. Maybe it wasn’t a glitch. Maybe someone was fucking with me.
The rest of the day went on without a problem. But the next morning was a Saturday morning. I have insomnia, so I’m always up before the sun, even when my day consists of lounging on the couch eating fruit snacks.
I had the television turned on, binge-watching some cringey dating show since I didn’t have a love life of my own. All of a sudden, the show zipped away. A video call overtook the screen.
I had never used my smart TV for a video call, but considering this one was from the mysterious Lucy, I picked right up. I planned to curse her out. Tell her to stop bothering me. Put her in her place.
Except, that’s not what happened at all. When I answered it, a man filled the screen. He was sitting in darkness. More shadow than human. I couldn’t make out any of the features on his face, but I could see the outlines of horns on his head. The type you would buy at the dollar store for a Halloween costume.
And I understood.
It wasn’t Lucy. It was Lucifer.
Rattled, I hung up the call, did a quick Google search, and called the police. Apparently, there’s a man going around cosplaying as the devil to scare women who live alone. Some people say he’s harmless, he’s just a troll and a hacker and a lonely old man with nothing better to do with his time. Other people say he’s dangerous, that he matches the profile of a killer that’s never been caught. I don’t really care who he is. I don’t want to find out. I don’t want to see him ever again. I’m just hoping the police do their jobs and protect me.