“Unknown Sender” by Ryan Lanz starts as a somewhat predictable tale of a young college student haunted by a series of text messages from an anonymous source. The texter seems to know everything about our protagonist, Jessica, from the clothes she’s wearing to what she’s doing at a specific moment.
Jessica, naturally, goes through a gamut of emotions, from curiosity to straight-on fear. Her suspicions grow as the texts continue to the point she starts lashing out at anyone who might be her mysterious texter. Her roommate tries to calm her down and offers a getaway for the weekend to a secluded cabin, where no one can bother her. Of course, the unknown sender somehow still manages to get his messages through, even though there is no cell signal.
It all leads up to a surprising plot twist and a shocking ending that can’t be shared here or the story itself would be ruined.
Lanz does a good job of building tension and suspense as the story unravels. The reader can easily sympathize with Jessica in the face of this unusual cyber attack.
At just 23 pages, the story is a quick, entertaining read. Given all its buildup, however, the ending felt somewhat rushed and left me wanting something more. Perhaps there’s sequel in the making?