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- Story Listed as: Fiction For Adults
- Theme: Horror Stories / Scary Stories
- Subject: Horror / Scary Stories
- Published: 01/25/2019
Hearts OnlineBorn 1964, F, from Gordon, ACT, Australia
Cameron Broderick lifted one meaty thigh and farted, a loud and stinky blast. He casually waved a fat freckled hand in front of his face to clear some breathing space while he considered his new Hearts Online dating profile.
The picture he was using this month was taken from an online advert for the Hot Sands Beach Resort. There was a candid shot of a tall, handsome young man in the background standing on a beach in three-quarter profile while studying the ocean, his dark curly hair ruffled by the sea breeze. One muscled arm was slung around a surfboard, the other propped confidently on his hip. A tight stomach disappeared into his blue boardshorts, and his strong brown legs were planted firmly in the sand. All in all, a very manly package. Cameron was pleased. He cropped and zoomed the page, trying to get a picture of this Adonis without too much background, but with his limited computer skills, Cameron couldn’t remove the resort sign without removing half the man’s head. Never mind, that would do fine.
His pudgy fingers jabbed at the keyboard as he wrote his introduction.
“Hello out there! My name is Boyd, I am 26 years old and like to keep fit. I enjoy the outdoors, I like watching movies and reading books. I don’t have work at the moment because I’m caring for my sick mother, but I keep myself busy volunteering at ...”
Cameron thought for a moment. What would reel the chicks in. Animals? Children? Old farts? Meh, chuck ‘em all in.
“.. volunteering at children’s hospitals, old people’s homes, and of course animal shelters. I have two cats …”
Hmm. Hmm. Don’t want to alienate any dog lovers out there.
“I have two cats and a dog. I am longing to settle down with someone special who shares my values.”
He quickly reviewed his profile and pressed the Submit button. And now we wait.
Cameron opened up his previous profile as Manuel Rodriguez, an exotically handsome 32 year old who liked to keep fit, loved animals and children, and was longing to settle down with someone special who shared his values.
There had only been two new hits since yesterday. Things were slowing down, it might be time to let Manuel go.
The first heart message was from a lovely lady in her late twenties. Her husband had died tragically young, leaving her independently wealthy. Unfortunately, it was going to cost a thousand dollars to release his estate and get the money out of the country. Could Manuel see his way to lending her …
Wait, what?? Was this a scam? Was Marguerite from Morrocco scamming him? Cameron re-read the message, his mouth gaping open in shock. Outrageous! Unbelievable! Some people … He shook his head in disgust and blocked the scamming wench. Geez.
The second message was from Kevin Estefan. He demanded to know if he had an identical twin he didn’t know about, and if not then why was his image being used on a dating site. Uh oh. Definitely time to retire Manuel. But with any luck, it shouldn’t take too long for Boyd to snag some lonely lovelies with purses as big and open as their hearts.
He quickly deleted Manuel and disconnected the two ladies who had been sending him generous sums of money to facilitate a visit to their country. Too bad. He briefly hoped their hearts weren’t too badly broken, then promptly forgot about Manuel and his complicated love life.
Cameron leaned back in his chair, satisfied with the afternoon’s work, then hauled himself to his feet. Food crumbs tumbled over his large gut and scattered on the filthy carpet. He grabbed a beer and settled in front of his state-of-the-art home viewing system where he fell asleep while sharply defined football players on a 65 inch screen chased a muddy ball from one end of an oval to the other.
He half-woke in the early hours to empty his bladder, mostly into the toilet bowl, and crawl into bed, not waking until the sun was high in the sky.
After a quick shower, Cameron checked Boyd’s account while scooping milky Fruit Loops into his mouth and down his t-shirt. Overnight, Boyd had received thirteen hearts and twelve messages. Not bad. Not bad at all. Cameron quickly skimmed through the messages and found four potential relationships that might bear him some financial fruit. The rest of them weren’t worth considering, mostly based on their economic standing. No matter how hard they tried to hide behind a successful profile, Cameron had a knack for weeding out the charity cases.
And hello, Marguerite from Morocco. Fancy seeing you here. Let’s just block you right now and save both of us some time.
He settled back to read the messages.
“Dear Boyd,” wrote Prudence Cooper from London. “You are so hot, I’d love to get to know you better. I may be getting on in years, but I’m still dynamite in the sack! Please message back if you’re interested.” Cameron looked at Prudence’s picture and pictured this wrinkled old bag getting it on with the hot, young Boyd. Eww. However, her profile stunk of money and he figured Boyd might be able to chisel a comfortable sum out of her so he could find someone to look after his ailing mother in order to visit the elderly Ms Cooper. One day never!
“My darling Boyd, my name is Kennedy Spiros from Athens, and I am the CEO of a multinational company. I would like to look after you and show you a good time. Please respond.” Kennedy Spiros looked suspiciously like a man dressed in women’s clothes, but for all Cameron knew about Greek women, they might all look like that. Hmm, CEO of a multinational company sounded good, probably worth enough bucks to make up the lack of looks. And it wasn’t like he actually had to meet the woman. If it was a woman.
Cameron almost felt sorry for Boyd as he read Prissy Gardner’s message. The woman looked as old as God, but dressed like a prostitute, white flesh bulging where the flimsy material strained to hold her together. Her greasy red lips pouted gruesomely at the poor photographer, and her message left him in no doubt as to her intentions once she got her hands on the unfortunate Boyd. But the country estate in the background did make her look almost attractive. If you squinted hard enough and dimmed the screen. To black.
Ah, but here was a nice change. Misty Delaroux. Dark curls framed an attractively interesting face, her clothes and tastefully subtle jewellery looked expensive, and she carried it as one who is used to having plenty of money. “Hi Boyd, I am so lonely, just like you. What is the point of having everything if you have no-one special to share it with? You are obviously such a caring man, and I would be lucky to have you in my life. Let me know if you’re interested. Please.” Cameron felt his heart beat faster, and felt an irrational jealousy that Boyd could attract a woman like this. He futilely wished that this was real, that he was really starting a relationship with this beautiful, strong woman.
Cameron quickly sent heartnotes to Prudence, Kennedy, and Prissy. He told them how touched he was that they found the time to reach out to such a lonely young man, and how much he hoped for a future together with them.
He hesitated with Misty, though, still feeling that strange, unfamiliar attraction. For the first time in his life, Cameron felt a flush of shame at what he was doing. He saw himself as a leech attaching himself to rich hosts and feeding off them until he was satisfied enough to let go. Not a comfortable feeling. Still, someone had to pay for the roof over his head. He sighed and started typing. “My dear Misty. I have to say you are one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen, and I would dearly like to get to know you better. I am humbled that such a beautiful woman chose me.” Send.
His computer notification bink-binked at him. He had a message already from Prissy. He opened the attachment and his heart nearly stopped. Dear God, what was that? He peered closer and immediately wished he hadn’t. He could make out what looked like a nipple, and elongated breasts stretching almost to Prissy’s … Oh God. Oh God. Cameron slapped his hands over his eyes. This wasn’t happening. He kept one hand over his eyes while he fumbled with the other hand to close the attachment. Another message binked at him. “Prissy by name, but definitely not by nature! Howdya like that, handsome??”
Cameron swallowed his nausea and messaged her back. “That was a massively unexpected surprise!” he wrote. “I will carry that image in my mind for many days to come.” Unless there’s an operation to remove it, he thought glumly.
He quickly shut down the computer before Prissy could send him further intimate pictures. His heart could only take so much in one day.
Cameron sat back with a sigh and looked around his apartment, feeling suddenly restless. The sun streaming through the window illuminated golden dust motes floating lazily in the air. The dishes had probably soaked for long enough, given the grey, mouldy scum floating on the water. Dirty dishes, empty beer bottles, pizza boxes and chip packets littered every horizontal surface. He’d probably need to empty the vacuum ten times once he got started on the carpet. Hell, he might even mop the sticky kitchen floor. He looked down at his stained t-shirt and mourned the state of his body. Time to get into shape, eat better, walk, stuff like that.
Four hours later, a squeaky clean Cameron sat in his clean apartment, feeling quietly satisfied. He logged into his Hearts Online account with some trepidation. There were a few new hearts, a couple of new messages as well as messages from Prudence and Kennedy. And a message from Misty. Cameron’s heart started beating faster, and the other correspondence faded into the background as he eagerly clicked on Misty’s message.
The afternoon passed by in a blur of tender correspondence, everything else faded into the background. There was only him and Misty. Cameron thought he might be falling in love. And Misty … well Misty might be falling in love, but with an attractive tanned man with perfect smile and perfect hair. Rats.
Cameron came back to earth with a bump, he wished Misty a good night and logged out. Dammit, now what? If this was going to turn into something, it couldn’t start with a lie.
He logged back in and sent Misty one last message. “My dearest Misty. You are a very special person, and I think I could easily fall in love with you. But I have lied to you, and I need to make it right. My name is Cameron, not Boyd. And I don’t really look that much like my profile picture. Please give me a chance, but if you don’t reply I’ll understand.” He logged out again, his guts tied up in a sick knot. He had the feeling he would never hear from Misty again. Sighing heavily, Cameron went to bed and eventually slept.
Just before dawn, he got up to use the bathroom and check his messages. Nothing. He went back to bed.
Several hours later, he got up for the day and headed straight for his computer. Still nothing from Misty. He felt tears burning his eyes, and the thought of eating breakfast make him feel like puking.
He forced down some toast and washed it down with coffee so it didn’t stick in his throat. Back to the computer.
He took a deep breath and sent another message. “My dearest Misty. I understand if you don’t want to have anything to do with me, but please let me know one way or the other. This is killing me. Please.”
He waited around for a few minutes while he finished his coffee, then went out for a walk to kill some time.
A message was waiting for him by the time he got home.
Cameron felt himself break out in a sweat, his face suddenly burning red. He could barely bring himself to open it, but his sweaty hands slipped over the mouse and clicked the message open. “I am so sorry I couldn’t get back to you earlier. Thank you for being honest with me. I have feelings for you, too, and I am so glad you don’t actually look like your profile picture. I find handsome men quite intimidating and untrustworthy. I feel like I know you so well, I don’t even need to know what you really look like. I’ve got to go now, we’ll chat later. Love xxx.”
Cameron sat for a minute while his heartbeat returned to normal, an idiot grin spreading over his flushed face. That was the moment he started to believe he truly had a future, and someone special to share it with. A surge of unaccustomed well-being swept through him, paralysing in its intensity.
He took a deep breath and committed himself. “I have to meet you,” he tapped out. “I’m so in love with you I can’t stand it!”
He waited for an eon for an answer, unable to breathe. His heart was pounding so hard that his whole body was shaking.
“I feel the same way, sweetheart. Let’s meet as soon as possible. Maybe this weekend?”
Cameron’s breath whooshed out of him and he breathed deeply for a few moments. He felt quite dizzy, couldn’t believe this was actually happening. To him, of all people!
“How about dinner on Saturday night. You tell me the time and the place.”
“Yes! That would be perfect. How about 7 o’clock at the place in your profile picture. Grin.”
Cameron quickly checked his profile. The Hot Sands Beach Resort. A google search told him it was a mere two hour drive from his home.
“Perfect. Completely perfect. I’ll see you there.”
“Should I book a room for the night? Wink.”
Cameron’s mouth fell open and he felt his face burn with red heat.
“Sure, but I’m feeling nervous already. Let’s see how things go. I really don’t mind taking it slow, if you know what I mean.” He pictured Misty laughing her arse off and shaking her head.
“That’s okay, I’ll book a room and we’ll see what happens. I am so excited!”
Cameron nodded to himself in sympathy. He, himself, was so excited that he couldn’t stand up.
The rest of the week passed in a daze of sleepless nights. Saturday saw him take a shower, spray too much cologne, have another shower, then another one when he sweated big wet patches into his shirt. He finally dressed in normal clothes and packed a nice outfit to change into when he got to the Resort. Maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea to have a room, he could have another shower before he met Misty. He felt a little breathless again at the thought that he was going to meet his dream woman. The woman he was going to spend the rest of his life with.
By 3 o’clock he was bouncing off the walls and decided to leave early. Which was just as well, as there were roadworks on the way, and he got there only an hour and a half early instead of two hours.
He checked in at the resort and found to his delight that there was, indeed, a room booked in his name. He dropped off his good clothes and overnight bag and walked down to the beach. It was easy to find the spot where his profile picture had been taken, and he grinned as he looked at the Hot Sands Beach Resort sign. There was no sign of “Boyd Richards”, for which he was guiltily grateful.
By 6.30pm, he was sitting in the bar nursing a ginger ale, weirdly disappointed that Misty wasn’t already there waiting for him.
7pm rolled around. He ordered a real beer and ate a packet of chips while he waited.
By 7.15pm, Cameron decided that Misty had come to her senses and wasn’t going to show. He felt like crying. Knew it was too good to be true.
A young boy wandered up to him. “You Cameron?”
Cameron nodded miserably.
The boy drew a breath and recited his lines. “Some chick asked me to pass you this.” He solemnly handed over a note.
Cameron automatically took the note, but the boy stood his ground. “Said you’d give me five bucks for delivering the message.”
Cameron delved into his wallet and gave the boy a tenner. “Keep the change,” he said dully.
He unfolded the note. “My dearest Cameron. I am so sorry for being late, but my ex-husband is in the restaurant. He is a very bad man. Please come and meet me at the historic boat shed, it’s on the beach near the harbour, about half a kilometre from the resort. I am so sorry, I will explain everything when I see you.”
Cameron breathed a sigh of relief. This emotional see-saw was doing his nerves no good at all. He looked around the restaurant trying to spot the ex-husband, but there were so many players there that he couldn’t decide which one was the bad guy.
He rose to his feet and asked the boy to point him in the right direction, then strode down to the beach, feeling like a hero.
The historic boat shed was in complete darkness, and he slowed his footsteps as he neared. There was a dim light turned on for the tourists, and he peered into the darkness, looking for his beloved. He heard the creak of old floorboards giving way beneath someone’s tread, and he ventured further in.
He could see nothing but an old wooden chair in the middle of the room. Curious, he approached the chair, and touched the damp wood, looking into the corners of the room.
He heard a sound behind him, but before he could turn, a strong arm gripped him around the neck, and a damp cloth was slapped over his face. He breathed in before he could help himself, and his world went dark.
Cameron came to some time later, finding himself strapped firmly into the wooden chair. He tested his bonds, but there was no movement at all. He looked around wildly, worried for Misty’s safety.
To his horror, Boyd Richards stepped out from the darkness and crouched in front of him.
“So, Cameron. We meet at last.”
“What? Where’s Misty? What have you done?”
Boyd laughed. “You’re looking at her, lover!”
Cameron shook his head. “I don’t understand.” Tears burned his eyes before overflowing and trickling down his cheeks.
Boyd stood up. “You have no idea what you’ve done, you stupid, stupid man.”
He walked away, then came back and peered into Cameron’s face.
“My name, you imbecile, is Richard Lombardo. I was with the Marconi family before I was caught and turned informer. I am in witness protection, or was until you plastered my face and address all over the damned internet!” He turned away and breathed heavily with rage before swinging back to face Cameron.
“You know what they called me in the Family?” he asked. “The called me The Bear. Do you want to know why they called me The Bear?”
Cameron really didn’t want to know, but had a sinking feeling that this maniac was going to tell him anyway.
Richard Lombardo turned away and started strapping something on his hands. When he turned back, Cameron was horrified to see The Bear’s hands strapped in some metal contraption with wickedly glinting stainless steel claws protruding from his fingers.
The Bear stooped and grinned into Cameron’s pleading face.
“Say your prayers, fool.” he whispered, a gleam of desperate pleasure in his eyes. “Say your prayers.”
Cameron felt the gloves slash his face, back and forth, before the claws mercifully slashed through his throat, his arterial spray draining his pathetic life from his body.