Saturday, October 22, 2016


The Yellow Text

My cell played a snippet of “Night on Bald Mountain.”

“Hav u seen th yellow text?”

The zombie kid, fingers flying, was staring at me. I shivered. I know we are supposed to not be prejudiced, but he really creeps me out. It's not the green flaky skin, or the hair, so much as the stare. Like he's looking at me from the other side, and inviting me to come home with him after school. No freakin' way! I didn't answer.

My phone again. Him again. I deleted it unread. He sent a few more texts and I deleted all of them. Then I heard Charlotte's cell from the back of the room. I knew it was hers; it plays part of that new Franz Ferdinand song. I couldn't see her without being really obvious, but I could see the zombie staring in her direction. Oh no he wasn't! She was too good for him. And, thinking about the two of them together ... ick! Then his phone beeped. He answered. Her ring tone again. This made me mad. If Charlotte's going to spend time with anyone, it's me. They went back and forth a couple more times and then the bell rang. Charlotte brushed by as I stood up. I called her name, but she didn't stop.

Last period I have French and she has history. I texted her three or four times, but she didn't answer. As soon as class ended I hustled down to the history room. I got there just in time to see her and the zombie leaving together. He was talking. I couldn't see her face, but she was shuffling along just like the zombie does.

I pushed through the crowd to the exit, but outside, I couldn't find her anywhere, and she didn't answer her cell. About an hour later, I heard “Night on Bald Mountain.” It was Charlotte. I opened the text. NOW she answers!

“Hav u seen th yellow text?”

A chill went up my spine, honest to god. I didn't answer, and she didn't text again.

About three in the morning a patrolman found her on a bench in the park. She was cold and so badly decayed he thought she must have been dead for weeks. They didn't find her cell phone, or the zombie kid. He didn't come back to school and I haven't been able to find him.

But there's just one thing. I still have those texts he sent me. I deleted them, but they're not gone until you delete them twice. I'm thinking of taking a look at the second one. Just that one. Then we'll see.

The end

Publ. The Simian Transcript, 2010

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