Texting the Dead
by Michael C.
a ghost in the new machine.
Martha Lambert was
devastated by the death of her husband of thirty-five
years. For weeks she would not leave the house,
and then suddenly her children noticed a
remarkable change in her mood. She was bright and
cheery and seemed almost like her old self.
Whats up, Mom?
You seem so much . . .? asked Marthas
youngest child, Carol.
Yeah, Id say,
said Carols older brother, Jonathan.
Well, I feel much
Ah . . . why? I mean
just yesterday you were so . . .
Miserable, Carol? Yes,
I was, but then something changed that, and Im
really feeling . . . well, less depressed and
wonderful to see you like this. Mom. We were so
worried about you. What happened to . . .?
A message, said
Message? Who from?
Well, maybe you two
better sit down.
Jonathan and Carol
did as their mother suggested, taking a seat on
going on, Mom? This all sounds so mysterious.
Your father . .
. I got a text from your father,
said Martha, her eyes welling up with tears of
Huh? A text?
Mom, are you all right? Maybe we should take you
to see the doctor.
been under a lot of stress since dad died. It can
cause you to imagine things, added Jonathan,
looking at his mother with growing concern.
going crazy, kids. Im getting texts
from your father, protested Martha.
Look . . . get
your coat, Mom. Well take you to see
someone to make sure nothing . . .
go right now. Maybe youve had a mini-stroke,
having hallucinations, for Heavens sake!
Your father really did send me a . . .
Well get you checked out, said Carol,
fetching her mothers coat from the hall
cellphone began pinging and she looked at its
There, you two.
See! said Martha, smiling and holding
her phone up for her children to see.
instantly changed to one of incredulity as they
read the text.
own damn business, Dad!