Tell A Tale — Gothic Fiction

The App By Gerry Langton

His new iPhone was amazing, so many uses. Then a friend introduced him to the App Store and suddenly his phone could do anything.

Take the noisy bloody leaf blower next door. A quick search and App Store had provided DecibelMeter. It measured noise level through the iPhone’s microphone. According to DecibelMeter the leaf blower was way over the council’s limit for noise pollution. He had reported it, but no response yet.

Idly scrolling through he noticed a button labelled ‘Arcane Apps’, currently off.

“Let’s try it” he thought.

New apps appeared, but unlike anything he’d ever seen. There were apps for Alchemy, black magic, clairvoyance, divination, necromancy….

A free app caught his attention. Séance 3.0. The icon was a black skull with piercing red eyes.

He read the description: 3.0 corrects previous version channelling errors. New features - In addition to phone, and text you can now leave voicemail messages and use WhatsApp to converse with the departed.

There was a disclaimer at the bottom in tiny yellow letters on a white background; he could just make out the words “.. take no responsibility…” and “..possession..”.

“Probably OK” he said, and hit install.

Then the usual setup questions, plus one or two he didn’t really understand.

Ectoplasmic manifestation? (Recommended).

Automatic Writing? (Recommended).

“Oh well, if they’re recommended” he thought, and ticked all the remaining options without reading them.

The next question required a little more thought.

“With whom do you wish to communicate? For deceased in your contacts list simply enter their name. Otherwise use the search function to enter their name and date of passing.”

There was no one he really wanted to contact. He hadn’t lost any of his friends and his only family had been his mother.

She had been a piece of work. An evil, and sadistic woman; she had made his life a living hell. Counselling had helped him forget most of the mental and physical cruelty, but he was still plagued by nightmares of a pitch black cellar infested by spiders.

He shivered; “As if I’d ever want to contact her?”

The app’s logo caught his attention. The skull’s red eyes had begun to grow in size. Now they filled the screen. He started to feel dizzy.

His head jerked up and he looked at the screen.

‘Mother – 13/11/2007 connecting …..’.

“No” he screamed desperately trying to switch off the phone.

“Hello dear”, a voice like a fingernail scratching a coffin lid, “I hope you’ve been behaving while I’ve been away?”

He looked down; a dark stain was spreading from his crotch.

“What do you want?” he whispered.

“Not what dear; who! It’s time I moved back in with you. Won’t that be nice?”

“Dear God no” he screamed, as liquid fire surged through his brain.

“There” said a voice inside his head. “That wasn’t so bad, was it? Now if you behave we’re going to have such a lovely time together”.


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