A Poltergeist: A Short, Real Story

Rain trampling upon the roof like reindeer. Day turned to night by the thickest storm-clouds. Thunder clapping, seemingly, out on the street. I occupied the house, alone.

I was in the middle of my third attempt at beating Bowser in 18 holes of Mario Golf 64. Frustrated by the iconic dragon’s unrelenting ability to golf with ironic prowess, the scores became tied yet again, but I was determined. This time, the mighty, spiked beast would fall in defeat before my dainty female character named Maple (she’s more fierce than you think). The match was quickly approaching an end, the lead swinging back and forth. Then, in the midst of an intense moment before my next stroke, there was something more than the game’s catchy, electronic jingle that found its way to my ears. There was another tune filling space somewhere. It was that sudden gripping moment when you realize there is a noise being made, but not by yourself. I ceased all movement and strained to identify the noise and it’s source…

A television? …no, there’s no TV in that room. It sounds like music. But my phone is right here. I looked down at the coffee-table in front of me to see my phone sitting silent and still. My thoughts deductively shifted to my computer, but it was in the kitchen behind me, closed; my Spotify dance-session ended hours ago… Setting the translucent, purple controller down, I stood up. The match could wait. Trying to sniff out the sound with my ears, I stalked down the hallway with haste. Glancing into the bathroom and then my bedroom as I passed, the sound pulled me into the back room of the house, where my niece would sleep whenever she stays over. It was undeniable now; I had moved from “cold” to “on fire.” A tune so familiar was emanating invisibly right under my nose.

The cellphone box!

For as long as we have had cellphones, we would keep all the old ones we no longer used. In case one of the new ones broke is my best guess. I hurriedly picked up the two small boxes of tangled cables. The left one! Digging through old bricks and fancy flip-phones, I came to one of my super high-tech slide-phones. What is happening? kept throbbing in my brain as I lifted the device. And then, as sudden as it came, the tune stopped…

I stood there, looking absurd, clutching a lifeless cellphone warily at eye level all alone in my house. No lights, no powering-on. Sliding the phone open again and again, pushing all the buttons. Nothing. In hindsight, I probably would have been more unsettled if the phone had actually turned on. It has easily been a few years since any of them were used. With that said, I think I would have had to toss my sleek iPhone 5s in exchange for something with such an outstanding battery-life…

Bewildered, I took the phone and set it on the kitchen counter. My first thought was that maybe an alarm had never been shut off inside the phone, but the issue of battery-life quickly derailed that train of thought. I began second-guessing everything that just took place. Had I gone mad for an entire minute? Was the phone every really making noise? Was it something else in the room? Did my mind create something that was not there?   

I have never experienced anything as confusing or seemingly paranormal as what I had today, but it is a unique experience I felt was worth sharing. It is not typical to receive posthumous calls from long-dead phones. I have accepted the thought that I may never truly know what actually took place today. So, for me, it would suffice to say that a lonely poltergeist had simply called to say hello, but I did not pick up in time and he had no more quarters to feed the payphone on his end. I do hope he is well off…

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