Untitled by Candice Payne

Today had started like any normal day. I woke up. I went to work. I worked until 6:00 P.M. because I was behind on things. I walked home. I saw a phone at my doormat. I shouldn’t have picked it up. I knew something was off with it just sitting there, but my curiosity had gotten the better of me. I picked it up and examined it carefully. It was dead. I should have just taken it to the police station and let them deal with it. Instead, I brought it into my home and plugged it up to my charger. I wanted to know why it was left at my doorstep. I didn’t realize what I was getting myself into. 

I went to my kitchen and made myself food before I went back to the phone.  I turned it on and watched as the screen turned bright. It didn’t take long for it to reach the homescreen. I was confused when I saw the lock screen. The lock screen was all broken. It was strange because the screen isn’t cracked or anything. Then a pop up appeared on the screen and suddenly the lock screen was back to normal. It happened so fast that it freaked me out for a second. I dropped the phone on the table. I took a minute to recover, eating some of my food before I picked up the phone again. The phone didn’t have a password so I was able to get to the home screen just fine. I first went to the contact list and saw that there was no one on the contact list. The phone screen would keep glitching out. It was unnerving at first, but slowly I became used to the glitches that would appear. 

I found it strange that there were no contacts until a pop up appeared that said there was some missing data. “I guess they got a virus on it and threw it out.” I murmured, trying to come up with a reason as to why everything on the phone was so strange. A message suddenly popped on the screen from someone. I clicked on it as it was my only clue to who this phone belonged to. The person, who I assumed was a man by the language he was using, was angry. 

“Whose phone is this?’ I texted the number. 

“Don’t play dumb with me, Jess. You know who this is.”

“Well, for one, I’m not Jess. My name is Austin. I found this phone by my door when I got home from work.” I explained, hoping that the man would believe me. 

“Wait, really?” The guy said before he immediately tried calling me. I panicked for a moment, unsure of whether I should really answer it. I slowly answered it. 

“Hello…” I greeted. 

“Oh crap, you weren’t kidding. What the heck did you do to my girlfriend?” His voice was very deep and would sound very nice if he was speaking calmly, but much like his text, he was furious. He was very intimidating to speak to. 

“Um, well, sir, like I was saying before. I don’t know. Her phone showed up at my doorstep. I don’t know how long it’s been here. I got home around 6:30 and it was just lying there.” I explained again, hoping to get the message across to the man that I had no idea where his girlfriend was. 

“Why did it end up at your doorstep?” He asked. He didn’t sound like he trusted me and I couldn’t really blame him. I was a random person that he never met who mysteriously had his girlfriend’s phone. 

“I don’t know. It was just here. I turned it on and the screen was all glitchy. I think it might have a virus or something on it. I couldn’t see her contact list. I could see her other text messages when you texted me, but I didn’t go through them cause I was hoping you could give me more information about who the phone belonged to and how to return it.” I answered him to the best of my ability. 

“Well, can you look through her messages and try to figure out where she is or something.” The man asked. “I have to go. I need to get to work. Text me with anything you find. My name’s Mike by the way.”

“Alright. I can do that.”  I agreed to his request. I honestly wasn’t too keen on the idea because I didn’t know who this man was or who this girl was. I didn’t want to be involved in this, but I was too afraid to say no to the request. We got off the phone and I began looking into what I could. I first began looking into her text messages. I had to admit it felt like I shouldn’t be looking through her phone. It was a huge invasion of privacy. I suppose it would have been worse if I actually knew the girl. It still felt wrong. 

I was able to see the names of who she had been texting despite the missing contact list. I opened up a conversation that she had with some girl named Ashley. The two seemed close. Jess talked about how she was unsure about going on a date so soon after breaking up with Mike. When I saw that, I stopped for a moment. The man, Mike, had lied to me. Why had he done that? Everything felt wrong. 

I wasn’t sure if I could trust the man anymore. I looked more into the conversation between Ashley and Jess. Apparently Jess had decided to go on a date with some man she met on an app called Relove. His name was Matt. I closed the messaging app and looked on her phone for Relove. I saw it and opened the thing. I shouldn’t have opened it. That was my downfall. As soon as I opened I got a message from Matt.

“You’re not supposed to be around here anymore.” As soon as I read those words my stomach dropped, followed by the phone. I was frozen in fear. He sent another text.  “Though I suppose you’re not Jess are you? She’s not really around anywhere anymore.” I panicked for a moment. I shouldn’t have brought the phone in. I tried to calm down, but I couldn’t. I grabbed the phone and immediately tried dialing 911.  

Beep Beep Beep was the only thing I heard when I dialed the number. I tried calling on my phone only for the same results. 

“No one’s there. That’s a shame. Don’t worry, I’ll be there shortly.” A message appeared on my phone from an unknown number, When I saw the message I ran out of my home. I knew I had to get out of there. I knew I was in danger. I headed towards the police station. “There’s no escaping from this.”

I hurriedly scurried to the station. I saw it ahead of me. I was so close to it. Then in the next moment, all I saw was darkness. There was nothing. “What? What’s happening?” I spoke aloud to myself. Why had I gotten myself in this mess? I saw a figure in front of me. It didn’t look human. It was a dark, purple being. My heart pounded loudly as the figure staggered close to me. A part of it would move one way and then back to the other like it was glitching. 

“I told you there’s no escaping me.” Its voice sounded demonic. It eventually made its way towards me. 

“Please, no,” I tried to plead with the being only to find myself being silent. It seemed to have a smirk on its face as it touched me. The moment it did, I felt immense pain. I couldn’t move or speak. I could hear the faint sound of someone talking. They sounded normal. It sounded like they were having a conversation about boys. They just downloaded Relove. I let out protests, trying to warn the person. It didn’t work. 

Suddenly, I saw the person. She was staring at me with such intensity, and I didn’t realize why until she started posing, and then it hit me.

I was trapped in the phone.

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