Ever heard of a little flash game called Swapples? It's a minigame on a site called OMGPOP, where you play a bunch of games and earn points to buy virtual items.

Swapples has a dark secret, though.

Everything on the exterior seems so happy...

But it's a lie.

I logged on to OMGPOP on another dull day. I had never really liked Swapples all too much, it was too cheery for my tastes. A couple of my friends, who we'll call H and C, to keep anonymity, particularly enjoyed Swapples and found it to be an immensely pleasurable game. Basically, Swapples revolved around taking these happy guys that are themed around the elements and swapping them in any of the four base directions to meet with three other Swapples and clear them, causing more to drop down. Kind of like a more restricted version of Tetris Attack.

We proceeded to make a Swapples room and I begrudgingly played a couple of matches with H and C, doing poorly, sub-1000 as always as those two soared into the highest realms of scores, always getting upwards of fifteen thousand. Even a new player of the game did much better than me. Their happy faces... It was like they were sucking me in. Into a vortex of love and smiles. Something I didn't want. They wanted me. I didn't want them.

Then, it happened.

We finished the round right as H had pushed a rainbow block into a set of Bolty swapples. Basically, the rainbow block eliminates all Swapples of the type it touched whenever it's swapped. All of the lightning Swapples disappeared from the board immediately as the Final Swapdown, the moment of the game where all of the remaining combos on the board are taken, began. H and C's combos both proceeded as normal, but I got nothing. I sat there, sulking. I hated the game, but couldn't I at least be good at it?

The game hung after the combos had finished.

"Dammit, that glitch happened again." I posted in the chat room that lies to the side of the game. I moused over the game and clicked a couple of times, seeing if the coders had simply forgotten to include an automatic transition whenever the Swapdown is engaged with a rainbow block.

I clicked on a Bolty Swapple.

His face...

It became a straight scowl. Almost as if he was disappointed in me.

A flurry of strange noises began to enter my headphones, seemingly all of the game's sound effects played at once. The Bolty that I had clicked slowly began to inch over to the other Swapples. He gave a demented smile as he reached the Swapple next to him.

"What the fuck is going on? Are you guys seeing any of this?" I posted in the chat.

"Nope." C replied.

"no" H posted. "our game is going fine actually"

"...What...?" I said outloud after reading his post.

A quick sound of a scream entered my ear. The Lovel Swapple next to Bolty was gone. In its place rested a pile of blood with a jarring smile, like a slasher.

"You know..." said a voice, pouring from my headphones. It was a squeaky, happy voice. I looked over to see Bolty speaking. "What I did to Lovels... I can do to you."

I felt a shock enter my veins and I fell backwards out of my seat.

The goldenrod, illuminated Swapple emerged from my monitor, pushing towards me. He crept forwards, his dull face changing into a very happy face. He began to smile as the tip of his body touched against my heart.



"My work here is done!" Bolty gleefully said. He hopped into the chair I had been sitting in.

"What was going on," read an IM from H.

"Oh, nothing," Bolty typed. "Just a little game bug. Let's continue!"

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