Diane was late as
usual. Bob had tried to adapt, but she had some special womanly intuition that
made her late to every appointment and date no matter what Bob did.
She wandered into
the restaurant, her hips swaying to some imaginary music, gliding between the
other patrons until she reached their usual table. She accomplished this feat
without looking away from her smartphone, held tightly in her left hand.
“Hi, Hon,” she
Bob just grunted
hello, and she sat down in her familiar chair. She wore a tight leather vest
for a shirt, with most of her spilling out of the top. Normally, this would
make Bob forget her perpetual lateness, but he’d seen enough of her to build up
a natural immunity.
She didn’t appear
“I took the
liberty to order your usual dish,” Bob said, picking up the menu and looking at
the alcohol menu. It was going to be one of those nights.
“Thank you, Hon.”
Her smartphone made little pecking noises as she typed, punctuated by a
swirling musical tone that indicated an incoming message. Bob learned to hate
“We need to talk,
Her focus still
on her smartphone, she smiled and said, “We are talking, silly.”
“No, I’m talking
to you. You’re talking to your goddamn phone.”
although her eyes never left the screen. “Don’t be melodramatic. This is
important. I’m talking to Melissa about her boyfriend’s erectile troubles while
I Facebook chat with Kelly about her husband cheating on her.”
bullshit. I want to talk to you without any interference from your friends,”
said Bob. “I’m about to walk out on you if you don’t start paying attention to
Diane just smiled
Bob reached out
and grabbed Diane’s arm. Normally, this would elicit a string of curses in
several languages. She just moved her upper torso so she could continue to
type. Her pupils were so wide, it made her look like she had black glossy spots
“Look, Diane, are
you on something? Do you need help? Because we can go, right now, to a rehab
clinic.” Bob now noticed how pale and cold her skin was, like frosted aluminum.
“Come on, let’s go. I’ll stick with you through rehab.”
ridiculous. I’m hungry, and we just ordered.”
Bob tried to yank
the smartphone from her hand, but found he couldn’t. The phone had merged
somehow with her skin, and the bones made a mesh around the screen like an
glimpses of symbols on the screen, and they weren’t taught in any school he
went to. Diane’s arm started melting into the phone, mutating and crawling in
little waves of flesh.
“I’m so very
hungry, BobbrrrrrAPPPPPPPPPP!” Her voice changed to a loud, screeching sound
like a fax trying to connect to a regular telephone. Her pupils shrank until
they were just pinpoints in her pale blue-grey eyes, and her eyebrows pushed so
far upwards that it actually made the skin on her forehead split and bleed.
went faster as more was assimilated. In the end, she was yanked so hard out of
her strapless heels that one went flying towards the kitchen and the other one
hit Bob dead square in his testicles. He doubled over in pain, but he never
looked away from his girlfriend until there was nothing left but a blinking
smartphone on the table.
The other patrons
in the restaurant babbled at each other, never even glancing in the direction
of the commotion.
He heard the
familiar sweeping tone he had hated for so long. Cautiously, he peered at the
“Are you there,
Bob? Can you hear me?”
He just stared at
the phone. He had never seen anyone absorbed in person. Another message
“Bob, I’m still
hungry. I need you to answer me, right now. Or else.”
reached out a fingertip to swipe the unlock bar. The normal screen appeared
with his favorite picture of when he went reef diving in Australia.
whirled furiously for a moment. His three o’clock date, and her name was…was…
Serena,” said Bob with a forced smile. “Sorry, I was distracted. Here’s that
phone I said you can borrow until yours is fixed.”
dressed in a tight clingy red dress that accentuated her Spanish curves and contrasted
with her flowing black hair. She picked up the smartphone and smiled. “Your
picture, it is so cute!”
“You’re too kind.
I set up your Facebook app and had them transfer your contacts over at the
Serena poked at
the screen. “You are so astuto! I
always wanted one of these, but I could not afford one.” She looked up at Bob,
her pupils already noticeably wider. She half-stood and kissed Bob, her tongue
wrapping itself around his and she moaned. “I will so make you happy tonight, yeguada!”
Bob blushed. “I
took the liberty of ordering your dinner. It’s one of my favorites, and I think
you’ll like it.”
even look up from her new phone. “You’re such a wonderful man. Thank you, Hon.”
Bob just smiled
and waited for the meal to arrive. He was starting to get hungry, too.
No More Room in Hell: The 2014 Halloween Horrorquest nodeshell rescue