Saturday, October 1, 2016

Tauy Creek Digest #26: Status Update

Every morning was a routine for Owen. He would get up and go downstairs, get some coffee made, and sit down to check his social media on his phone. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, he'd check them all. His wife, Emma, usually came down shortly after him and today was no different. "Morning, honey. Do you remember that funeral we went to last February?"

"You mean the one for your Mom?" she asked.

"Yeah, that's the one."

"Of course I do, why?"

"This," Owen held his phone out for Emma. Pulled up on the screen was a Facebook status reading: "There is no better donut in town better than Joe's. MMmmmm."

"Oh, that is weird," Emma said. "Maybe it's a scheduled post."

"Pfft. Mom barely knew how to use Facebook let alone a site that could schedule something. Also, why would she schedule something almost two years ago? And, why an update about eating? How would she know she'd be eating Joe's doughnuts two years into the future?"

"I don't know. Comment or Like it and see what happens. Maybe it's a Facebook glitch. Maybe Facebook reposted a status she had already posted."

"That's a very disturbing glitch then," Owen looked back at his phone. "Should I report it?"

"You do what you want, honey."

"She's dead, right? We buried her."

"Do you want to go to the cemetery and make sure she didn't dig her way out and shuffle to the library to use their computers?"

"She also stopped to get doughnuts. Don't forget that. Also, she doesn't need to get out of the grave. Does cell signal go six feet underground?"

"And through a thick wooden casket and whatever they use as a casket vault?"

"Is that a 'no?'"

"Maybe her account was hacked. I say report it. Send her a chat message and see if someone responds."

"What if someone does respond and it's really her?"

"I don't think it will actually be her," Emma said. "If someone starts talking to you, ask them a question only she would know."

Owen stared at his phone and his Mom's status update. "Corey never updated his status after he died."

"What?"

"My Facebook friend who died five years ago. He's never updated his status."

"I guess you just want to sit there and act surprised about this," Emma sighed. "I've already given you ideas of what to do. Do them or don't. I don't care."

"Aah! Someone just Liked the status!" Owen exclaimed.

"Do they not realize she's dead?"

"Either that or they didn't notice whose profile it was," Owen locked his phone and stood up. "I'm going out. I need to check out a couple things before I go ahead and report this."

Owen left the house and started driving. After driving across town, he pulled into the parking lot of an apartment complex. He went upstairs to what used to be his Mom's apartment and knocked on the door. The new occupant answered and looked questioningly at Owen. "Yes?"

"Hi, my name is Owen and my Mom used to live here. She died a couple years ago and I wanted to ask you if you've seen her around lately. Has your computer mysteriously turned on or have you felt any cold spots in your apartment?"

The person closed the door on Owen.

"Thank you for your time."

After the apartment, Owen drove to the cemetery and parked near the row his mother was in. Her name, birth and death dates were carved into the stone. Grass grew evenly over the grave and hadn't been disturbed since it was filled. He got out his phone and went back to the post. There was now five Likes under the update.

Owen returned home and tossed his phone onto the counter. "I don't know," he said, frustrated. "I guess I'll report it. Their Help section says to contact them so we'll see what they say."

"I can't imagine what you must be feeling with all of this," Emma said. "You seem to be handling this well."

"It's just some weird hack or something. Instead of posting spammy malware-laden articles about celebrity nip slips, they post legitimate sounding status update to confuse people. It makes perfect sense. There. Email sent. Facebook will get back to me as soon as possible," Owen went back to the status update and smiled. "Heh, look at this."

Underneath the update was a comment that read 'Aren't you dead?' Both Owen and Emma chuckled at it. Owen then Liked the comment.

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