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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Chain Text

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The lonely wind howled outside my window, like a lost, friendless soul wanting to get in. I gazed at my ceiling, full of sullen darkness—inky and black. I listened as the sounds of the night as they cascaded around me, nestled under a warm comforter. As I closed my eyes to take in the hours of sleep awaiting me, my phone beeped, an indicator that I had just received a text message.

I glanced blearily at the clock; now just who would be texting me at 10:20? I looked at the number and immediately knew that it wasn’t someone that I spoke to on a regular basis; after all, their number didn’t show up in my contacts.

The text read:

FWD: FWD: FWD: FWD: Brake this chain u will c a lil dead BOY in ur room 2nite. In 53 secs someone will say they lov u.send 2. 10

What in the world? Now who would send a text like this at such a late hour? I remembered getting a chain letter in the mail once when I was a kid, promising that I’d be rich in a couple days if I copied the letter and sent it to ten other people; I also remembered not getting rich after doing so. However, this text was entirely different, I was being threatened with seeing dead people in my room if I didn’t send the text onward and curse 10 of my friends or family members with the same thing.

What was this, The Sixth Sense?

I waited for 53 seconds. Nobody said that they loved me…odd. Could the text have been wrong?

Well, I decided to find out who the mysterious culprit was who’d sent it, and dialed the return phone number.

The phone rang six times and then reverted over to the voicemail, which was a recording of the number I’d just dialed in the ‘telephone operator’ voice.

I hung up the phone and turned over to go to get back to sleep when my phone rang.

I answered.

“You called me?” came a vaguely familiar voice.

“That all depends,” I replied. “Just who is this?”

It turns out; it was a boy who was in my class two or three years ago. I’ll call him ‘Joey’ just for the sake of this post. It just so happens that he’d copied my number from his mom’s cell phone back when she was a volunteer in our classroom, and had added it to his own phone.

“Did you just send me a text telling me that a dead kid was going to visit me?”

His voice turned desperate, “I had to send it, Mr. Z!”


“Well, I didn’t want that dead kid to show up in my room so I sent it to ten people.”

“Ah, so you decided punish the rest of us with curses of dead people if we don’t do it?”

His voice was quiet. “Well, yeah…”

I thought for a moment then said, “I’ll tell you what; I’ll take the chance. I won’t send this text to ten people to see what happens…if the dead kid shows up, I’ll let you know, okay?”

“Actually, I don’t want to know if he does, Mr. Z.”

“Oh. Well, would you like me to deliver any messages to him for you?”


“Alright. Well, you have a great evening, sir.”

“You too, Mr. Z.” He said with a yawn. “And Mr. Z?”


“I miss being in your class.”

“Yeah, I miss having you there, too.”

I hung up the phone and waited for my ghostly visitor to arrive. I had a trove of questions I wanted to ask, messages I wanted delivered to loved ones who’d passed on, and I wanted to get to know this apparition. Look out Ghost Hunters!

After a few minutes…nothing.

I finally turned over and fell in to the warm pillow and cozy blankets as the wind continued to moan outside. I wondered, just to whom does one complain when these things don’t work out as advertised? I know that I felt like I was ripped off…


♥Miya said...

Bummer... I was really hoping that dead kid would show up in the end!

Richard & Natalie said...

Lol. I think its great you are still the saver of students (esp. from a dead kid) even when they have 'passed' on from your class. Even though it may have been a bother at the time I think you should feel priviledged to have been one whom he chose to curse.

Linn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Teachinfourth said...

Miya - I was hoping so, too. I can't tell you how bummed I was that he didn't. Ah well, maybe next time Bill Gates will share his fortune with me because of the tracking email...

Natalie - I guess the cursing could be taken two different ways, really. Wouldn't it be better to send those texts to people you don't like instead? At least I knew he missed me, right?

Linn - I'm glad to hear that you didn't die from that email nonforwarding...strange how some people really believe that stuff, isn't it? However, in a sense I'm glad that he ended up sending the text to me; I was drawing a blank for my post today, and this little text sparked that 'just gotta tell people about this' blog post.

Mamma has spoken said...

Never heard of getting a chain text before but have received many of chain e-mails and letters. Like Linn, I've never answered them and I'm still here too. But then, I've never won anything, had a great fortune, or any magical miracles happening either.

Gerb said...

Chain texts?! That is yet another reason to add to my list of reasons that I'm okay without texting. (Right?)

mywest said...

We just have to love those Joey's in our lives. It's nice that Joey kept your phone number in his phone, he must know he can count on you when things go bad. You go beyond just being a teacher.

Rachel said...

I do believe 'mywest' said it all. I say Amen and Ditto!

"You go beyond just being a teacher." Someone my son knows he can turn to when his kid brothers zipper in his coat is stuck and he can't get it out.....

I asked Mr. M why he came to you and he gave me this look like, "well duh mom, why wouldn't I?"

I told you, we've no family around so we adopt. We have Grandma K over at the school (Mrs. Eldredge) and it looks like The Natives have Uncle Z! :D Welcome to the family!!

Farscaper said...

I hate it when people freak about nonsense like that. Just delete the dang thing and move on with life.

PS... I love texting. I use it all the time with my husband. I use it like an intercom. Rather than running all over the house trying to find him for whatever I need.. text. It comes in handy when I'm nursing the baby to sleep and our 3 year old comes to play with the baby. I can quietly call for help without waking the baby.

Most beautiful girl in the whole wide room said...

Classic! Thanks for the laugh! If the dead child shows up...Let me know. I have a few questions myself. :)

Teachinfourth said...

Bonnie - I hadn't heard of them before Monday night either. The funny thing is, I did see 'Joey' today. He happened to be at my school (little brothers) and I mentioned to him that there was no ghost after all. I asked him if he knew where to lodge a complaint or get a refund...he didn't know either.

Gerb - I guess you are...however, this is the 21st century.

Dad - Yeah, he's a good kid...

Rachel - I forgot all about that. It wasn't a big deal though, it just needed a little 'force' to get it to work. I'm glad that he felt he could come to me for help though.

Wait, part of the family? Does this mean that I'm in the will, too?

Farscaper - Yeah, if we were all punished for not sending those texts along, the world would be in a sorry state.

MBGITR - Thanks for stopping by. I will let you know if the ghost of Christmas past, present, or future shows up...

Rachel said...

Why yes actually. It means if something happens to Brian and I you get the kids! :D

Lars said...

Why were you up at 10:20...from previous posts I thought you cashed in your chips at like 9 pm? I always delete the chain emails and texts without reading them...

Lori said...

You bust me up! You're totally like Andy Griffith or the dad in Leave it To Beaver or something, just way cooler and younger. And a little more warped.

Teachinfourth said...

Rachel - Say WHAT? How does one go about getting emancipated? ;)

Lars - Sometimes, it's later than I think. I usually hit the hat by 9:30ish...that was just an off-night.

Lori - Does that mean that I've lost all my color?

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