October 28th
Lost Phone
by lou gonzalez

7:03am: Manny's alarm continues to blare, waking him from his sleep. He sees next to his alarm his apple watch and wallet. He hits snooze on his alarm and fades back to sleep.

7:45am: Manny rushes out of his apartment and checks his pockets for his essentials. He has his wallet. He has his keys. He forgot his phone. "Fuck," he mutters as he reopens his apartment door. He does a quick pass through his apartment but he does not see it. He can't afford to be late to work again so he decides to leave his apartment sans phone.

8:15am: Manny is waiting for the train when his iWatch gets the notification that he recieved a text message. It says "WTF dude?!" Manny's iWatch cannot get text messages unless his iphone is nearby. He checks his pants pockets. No phone. He checks his jacket pockets. No phone. He checks his satchel. No phone. It must have been a delay text from last night, Manny thinks to himself.

9:03am: As Manny is reading his work emails his iWatch vibrates. A new text message appears. "Stop playing this is not funny," it says. Manny checks his desk for his phone, but it is not there. He hears the subtle yet distinct sound of a text notification. He looks behind his computer. He looks under his desk. No phone. His iWatch vibrates and reads "I told you I don't like spooky shit. STOP." The message is from Manny's boyfriend, Derek. Manny goes to gmail to see if he could gchat Derek so he could understand what the text means. Unfortunately, Derek isn't online. Manny sends Derek an email to ask what is going on.

9:14am: Manny's office friend Alex arrives and greets him. "What the fuck was up with those texts this morning?" Alex says. It has become clear to Manny. Someone stole his phone and they are fucking with people in his contact list. "I don't know, man. I think someone stole my phone. What did they text you?" Alex show him his phone the exchange reads as follows

Manny 7:05am: To smile at my face means to snarl at my back
Alex 7:07am: Um ok
Manny 7:07am: Another smile
Alex 7:08am: Idk what you are talking about
Manny 7:08am: I am gone and only he remains.
Alex 7:09am: Well tell him he is being a fuckn creep

9:16am: Manny is on his webrowser with Find My Phone. His password is not working. He is pissed. He decides to call Verizon during lunch. His iWatch vibrates. "Is everything ok?" reads a text from his father. Manny is furious. It's one thing to text his friend, it's another to fuck with his family.

9:35am: "Manny what the shit was that!" his father barks over the phone. Manny is on Alex's phone in the employee bathroom.

"Dad someone stole my phone," Manny replies.

"Well, that shit wasn't nice!" his father snaps back.

"Dad, I'm sorry but I have to go back to work," Manny pleads with his father as he hangs up on him. Alex's phone gets another text from Manny

Manny 9:37am: Smiles to ur face and snarls to ur back. He needs to know who I am

That text is then followed by an upside-down smile emoji. Manny is furous. He calls his phone to talk to this asshole. A phone rings from inside the bathroom. Manny's adrenaline is rushing, his heart is beating rapidly. His palms have developed a film of sweat. Manny is a state of panic, fear, and rage. He flings open every bathroom stall. No one is there. Manny follows the ringing. It leads him to the mirror. As Manny approaches the mirror, fear and confusion consume him. Manny looks in the mirror. He just see his reflection. The phone continues to blare. It stops. He recieves another text

Manny 9:39am: It is his time 😆

The phone rings again. Manny looks in the mirror and sees a phone ringing in the reflection. His phone. The phone is not where the relection shows it to be.

Manny 9:40am: Answer me

Manny reaches for the ringing phone in the mirror. As his hand disappears in the mirror, a chill runs up his arm. He feels the phone on the other side and grabs it. He slides the screen of his iphone and puts it to his ear. A ringing blares from the phone. Darkness clouds his pupils and fill his eyes. The darkness spills over his face and into his mouth. Manny is frozen as the ringing gets louder. He sees two red eyes. They blur and shift as a soft light surrounds him. The light warms him as the darkness fades.

7:30am: The red eyes softly morph into numbers that read 7:30. Manny is in his bedroom. His alarm is blaring. He is covered in sweat. Next to his alarm is his iWatch and wallet. Next to his wallet is his phone. Manny hesitates before grabbing it.

9:01am: Manny walks to his work desk when he notices somone sitting at his chair. It is a dark figure. Manny is freaking out when he sees his friend Alex. "Alex tell me you see this shit?!" Manny pleads. Alex looks through Manny and says, "Hey, Manny!" The figure sitting in his chair turns to Alex. Manny panicking swings a punch at the figure but his fist passes right through him.

9:47am: Manny is trying to understand what is happening. He knows no one can see him or hear him. He knows he can walk through objects. He knows everyone at the office thinks that shadow bitch is him. HIS PHONE! Manny reaches for it and calls Alex. He runs to Alex's desk and sees that he is answering it. Manny screams, "Alex!" Before he can continue, he notices Alex cover his ears. Alex turns to the shadow. "Not funny, man. Calling me and blasting that screeching sound is not cool." The Shadow Figure turns to Alex. All Manny can hear is screeching.

"My phone was stolen last month, and I was lost without it, so I can empathize."

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