Consumer Warning

Joe Stanley's Consumer Warning Flash Fiction

NOT TOO LONG AGO, A REVOLUTIONARY MOBILE DEVICE was released to the public for testing. They no longer manufacture this particular model. This was not due to obsolescence, however.

A young lady was among the few that received it. According to her best friend, the woman was very pleased with its light-weight, sleek design, its numerous features and apps, and its ability to find a signal, even in places other phones would fail. Her favorite detail was the incredible picture quality which out-performed even the most advanced models available now.

She was constantly playing with this electronic toy, talking, texting, and snapping pictures and videos, especially selfies. Shortly after receiving it, she attended a wedding where, like many others, she took numerous pictures of the bride, groom, wedding party and their families, as well as the beautiful scenery surrounding the ceremony’s site.

That evening, as she looked through her pictures for any she might send to the bride, she noticed something odd in the background. A shadowy figure, far in the distance, seemed to be observing the wedding party. It leaned out from behind trees, peeked around corners, and gradually drew closer to the happy celebration.

Concerned that this might be a stalker, perhaps an ex-boyfriend, the woman immediately contacted the bride and forwarded the photos. The bride, however, was unimpressed by the pictures and neither she nor the groom knew of anyone holding a grudge toward them or of anyone who had been acting in such a strange manner.

Later that same night, the woman made a chilling call to her best friend. It seems it was not the newlyweds that were the subject of the figure’s interest, as she had found the same person lurking in every picture she had taken. Further, she began receiving strange and frightening texts from this unknown individual. A picture forwarded to the best friend showed someone peering through a window behind the woman in one of her selfies.

Her friend advised her to contact the police immediately, and the woman hung up to do just that. The friend became worried as first an hour, then another, passed and the woman had not called her back and could not be reached by phone. Quickly driving to the woman’s apartment, she found it dark and quiet and the door unanswered by her frantic knocks.

Summoning the police, they and the landlord entered the apartment. Finding no trace of the woman or any sign of foul play, they advised her friend that it all might be an elaborate hoax but wouldn’t let her enter the apartment as it could be a crime scene.

The woman has never been seen or heard from since.

However, shortly afterwards, strange stories began to circulate. According to these, the phone had been recovered from the kitchen trashcan. In addition to the images there were dozens of inexplicable texts which read such things as…

I’m coming for you

closer and closer

soon now

I want your life

These communications were not recorded by any of the nearby cell-towers and somehow simply appeared in the device’s memory. But far more disturbing were the rumors about the images the mobile contained.

The last photos that the missing woman appeared in showed her aging with each subsequent picture. The shadowy ‘person’ became more and more clear with each snap. The final image, apparently taken accidentally as the woman threw the device into the trash, showed an elderly woman being assaulted, not by a person, but by something that appeared to be a decomposing corpse.

Coincidentally, very soon after, the device was recalled due to “a dangerous, defective battery.”

While most of them have been returned, dozens remain unaccounted for.

NOTE: I have been contacted by a lawyer who informed me that should I mention the company or the specific model, I will be sued for libel. But I feel that the public should be aware of what is happening, so I’m posting this story anyway.

Please be careful should you come across a strange mobile and, whatever you do, DO NOT take a selfie with it.


report by Joe Stanley

The Ghostly World Fictional Ghost Stories

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