Swipe Right for Love and Terror

  “It was an idea that really came from desperation.” Jason Voorhees is an odd figure in the super-clean, sleek offices of his new, business Monster Match. He wears his usual uniform of all black, though he’s broken it up slightly with a jacket I’ve been assured is only there because now he’s a businessman. His face is covered by a shiny white hockey mask, and his machete is proudly displayed on his desk behind us. “The pandemic didn’t just hit the innocent, you know. It hit the monster world pretty damn hard. One day there’s an abundance of horny kids at summer camps and the next…it was just empty.”

     “And when they closed the high schools, I wasn’t sure what to do with my time.” Freddy Krueger sits beside his partner, his long sword-like claws tipped in deference to the leather sofa I’ve been told they had to replace three times before. “I was desperate. I actually ended up fixing the damn water heater out of sheer boredom.”

      Jason chuckles. “It’s okay. He destroyed it again. But anyway, we were having a couple of beers one night and it really struck me that I’m lonely. You know, without the killings, my life felt a little hollow. So that’s when this one here was like let’s try Internet dating. Needless to say that did not go well.”

     “That’s when we realized we needed our own site,” Freddy says.

     “You know the Draculas of this world have it easy,” Jason continues. “I mean, that guy can get whatever he wants—men, women, demons. They all fall at his feet, but the rest of us need a little help. Like Leatherface isn’t just going to walk into a bar and leave with a date for the night. You know, not without attracting a lot of attention, if you know what I mean.”

     I sit back against the luxury of the office and listen as the two iconic killers discuss the most human needs of all—love and companionship. And the most capitalistic urge—how to make it pay.

     “The truth is I’m quite the matchmaker.” Freddy’s green and red sweater is looking more dapper these days. “I like to hook my friends up and watch them be happy. I knew Samara from the old days, you know. Did I watch her video? Yes. It’s totally one of my faves, and the seven days before she tried to kill me were…man, what a roller coaster ride. I couldn’t wait for that girl to come slide out of my TV. But the spark just wasn’t there for us. We were better friends, and after an epic battle she told me how lonely she was, too. I knew I had to help them all out. I consulted some of the world’s best matchmakers about how to turn this thing into a business.”

     Jason nods, and though he is wearing his mask—he is an ardent supporter of mask mandates—I can almost see a boyish grin on his face. “He stabbed a bunch of them. But not before he got the business advice we needed. He’s a total pro. That was when we decided to go the online route. You would be surprised how connected the monster world is. We’re not all troglodytes, you know.”

     “Pinhead is a surprisingly good programmer,” Freddy agrees.

     So they put together a team of truly unusual suspects. While Freddy and Jason took over the CEO and Chairman positions, Pinhead signed on as the Chief Information Officer. Samara Morgan came out of the well to serve as the head of publicity. She immediately started a TV campaign that caught the attention of the FCC for the seizures it caused to the normals, or “innocents,” as they tend to call regular humans.

     “Did we have some bumps along the way? Yes,” Jason acknowledges. “Every startup has them. It was hard to convince some monsters to open their hearts to this process. That’s why we brought in Dr. Lecter. As the head of marketing, he realized we needed more than just a good app. We needed a success story.”

     And they got it when their algorithm matched a couple of dolls.

  “I mean, just look at her.” Chucky is staring into the eyes of the female he calls his true love. “Annabelle…she’s been through so much. Did I have a wife at the time? Yes. I honestly only signed up as a favor to my buds. They wanted to see if the algo could match a dude with my odd needs. I had Tiffany sign up, too, thinking it would match us. She was made for me, after all. But this one came up as my perfect match. So I killed my wife, broke into that dumbass museum they had Annabelle in, and the rest is history.”

     Truly, Chucky and Annabelle have become something of a sensation in the monster world. The scandal might have shut down a dating site in the normal world, but in the monster world, it seemed to propel Monster Match to even greater heights.

Annabelle sits next to her fiancé in her old-timey dress, and the blank look in her eyes screams happiness.

     “So you credit Monster Match for really finding you true love?” I ask.

     “For me and a bunch of my friends,” Chucky admits, his hand sliding into Annabelle’s. 

     “I was a little apprehensive at first. I mean, I literally had a female made for me. We killed in the same way, thought the same way, did everything in perfect harmony. Harmony kind of bores me. Annabelle and I do things differently. I like to get in there and just stab away. I’m a very visceral killer. Belle is more subtle. She likes to draw it all out, make her victim hurt him or herself. But it’s good. What I learned through this process was that it doesn’t matter how you kill as long as you have murder in your heart.”

 But it wasn’t all easy for this group of matchmakers. They hit some bumps along the way.

     “Sometimes we have to deal with unrealistic expectations,” Jason admits. “The Creature from the Black Lagoon watched The Shape of Water and now he wants his own chick with gills. We tried to hook him up with a couple of mermaids but he’s picky, man.”

     “And then we’ve got people who just aren’t here for the right reasons.” Freddy frowns. “Fucking Winchesters. We lost some good clients to them.”

     “I felt for the Wendigo.” There is a sorrow in Jason’s tone that can’t be denied. “He thought he was meeting his dream skin-walker twins, and it turned out to be Sam and Dean Winchester. Shouldn’t they be in hell or something? I’d like to match those fuckers with a predator and see how that turns out.”

     Freddy seems determined to accentuate the positive. “But we also managed to take a bad situation and turn it into something good. The chick from It Follows signed up. Did she have an STD? Yes. Could that have been a scandal? Sure. But we decided to make the best of it, and anyone she sleeps with gets a twenty-five percent off discount.”

     “We had so many signups from that one chick.” Jason’s head shakes. “So many. We did the contact tracing out of sheer curiosity. It was really a turning point for us financially.”

I have so many questions for them. “Have either of you used the app to find your own match?”

     They turn to each other but Freddy is the one who blushes. Well, as much as a man with a horrifically scarred face can blush.

     “The algorithm has taught us a lot,” he says. “I learned to be way more open-minded.”

     “He thought he was strictly hetero,” Jason tosses out. “But I’ve seen his work. I always knew he was bi. When Edward showed up, I was sure they would be a match.”

     Freddy shows my photographer and I pictures of his recent wedding to Edward Scissorhands. It looks to be a beautiful affair, with some of the loveliest topiaries I have ever seen. We ooh and aah over the gorgeous couple’s photos.

     “He really reminded me of this guy I killed once,” Freddy says fondly. “You know the universe is a strange place. This marriage feels like a second chance.”

     As we wrap up the session my photographer gets a little flirty with Jason, who reminds us all that he’s still out there, still looking.

     “Monsters need love, too,” he announces. “We need a reason to get up every day and do our jobs. Revenge is great in the beginning, but I want something more. I want a wife who is invested in our family business. Maybe a couple of kids I can teach the trade too.”

     He asks my photographer if she’d like to grab a drink with him, and Jillian is more than happy to do so.

     Monsters, it seems, aren’t so bad.

     I believe that right until the moment I feel the knife in my back. I turn and my eyes widen in horror as I am confronted with new client Michael Myers.

     Freddy rolls his eyes. “Damn it, she’s a reporter, man.”

     “She’s doing a story on us.” Jason sighs as I hit the floor.

     Michael simply shrugs. “What was I supposed to do? It’s Halloween.”

     I could have had better timing…

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