"Dude, my phone’s listening," said Brice.
"Oh, ya?" said Johan as he tugged at his ridiculous beard. They were standing in the shade of a fig tree in Johan’s front yard. Brice hadn’t even opened the beer that Johan had handed him from his Pelican ice chest yet.
"Ya,’’ said Brice. "My feet have been bothering me terribly lately. My doctor said to get inserts, and I did, but it hasn’t helped. The bottom of my feet feel like they have a goddamned sun burn. I’ve been bitchin’ about it for a few days now, and all the sudden I start seeing advertisements for this Gold Bond medicated foot lotion, popping up on social media sites and whenever I search anything on my phone."
"So?" questioned Johan.
"So, it showed up on my front porch last week. I didn’t order it, but I was charged for it," admitted Brice.
"You really think your phone placed an order for you? I think you were just hammered and forgot you ordered it," explained Johan as he took a drink of his IPA.
"I know it did. It’s listening and it is taking action. I should have just returned it, but dammit, the adds popping up on my phone even when I’m playing stupid games are convincing," said Brice.
"Did you use it?" asked Johan.
"Ya, and it worked, God help me!" exclaimed Brice.
"Don’t get so excited," said Johan, "Everyone knows our phones are tracking everything we say and do. I guarantee you; the government has documents on both of our activities that are over a million pages long, all from our phones, and we're nobody. It sounds like what your phone did was beneficial so relax and open your beer for Christ sakes," admonished Johan.
Brice glared at him intensely, then he pulled his keys off his belt loop and used his Russian River opener to pop his IPA. He drank about half the beer in one pull and gasped with pleasure.
"Hey," said Brice, "Do you have your phone on you right now?" Brice had a slightly fearful look on his face.
"No," said Johan, "its on the charger. The kids smoked the battery playing games this morning."
Brice visibly relaxed and said, "Good, good, I smashed mine."
"Dude, you are losing your shit!" exclaimed Johan, "It’s not that big of a deal if your phone ordered you some fucking foot lotion. Maybe it should order you some Preparation H so you’ll stop being such an asshole!"
"You may be right," agreed Brice, "but it didn’t stop with the foot lotion, and I wish I got some ass cream instead of what happened." Brice continued in a lower voice and Johan had to lean towards him as Brice continued, "Remember when we were hammered last weekend and we were joking about what single life would be like again?"
"Oh ya, I was so drunk I pissed the bed, but Karla was more pissed than anyone. She’s finally just now talking to me again," said Johan, "What she doesn’t know is we only act like we don’t like the silent treatment!" laughed Johan.
Brice wasn’t laughing. He glared at Johan and said, "Dude, my wife’s dead. I found her on the kitchen floor. She dropped the coffee pot. There was glass and coffee everywhere. Her phone was in her other hand smoking, and the side of her face was gone. I can’t get the vision of her blood mixing with the coffee on the floor out of my mind."
The color drained from Johan’s face as he said, "That can’t be true."
"It is," confirmed Brice, "She is dead and now I’m worried. Where is Karla?" Before Johan could respond they heard a muffled pop from inside the house and Karla’s scream.