“They” are in the sky? Joe was confused, as usual after these sort of things. “If that’s how they watched, they have no problem seeing through ceilings with great clarity.”
But who? Joe thought of absurd explanations such as aliens. He thought of obvious explanations such as surveilance satellites. In any case, these individuals had an ever-watchful top-down view of everyone. And everything. All funneled into action data for the app. It was almost god-like in its design (he recalled the “omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient God” from Sunday School in his youth). Joe couldn’t help but admire the workmanship it must have taken to write such a terrible program. Not to mention the physical resources likely involved…
Joe stopped musing. Time to go home. He had made plans to visit with his father the next day. He spent the evening processing everything that happened during the day.
Buzz. A text. From Claire.
“hiii! i take it email is no longer safe to talk on? totally got you!”
Another buzz. “is texting safe??”
Joe added her to his contacts and began composing a reply. He hoped texting was safe, and added “thank you so much for responding”. Texts sent +1. Joe felt immense relief to hear from her. He also noted that the sent +1 alert from the text could very well mean that texts were being monitored as well.
He asked her the question that he had earlier. Sent +1. Buzz. “no big notifs other than the usual regular stuff, why?”
Joe informed Claire of his grandmother’s death as well as the preceding notification. Sent +1. Buzz. “oh my god. that is terrible. i am so sorry. this app must like rubbing salt in the wound.”
Joe was nervous about telling her about Watch’s messages and the electric pink light in the sky. He had kept shooting glances up during his walk home (he did not drive his new-to-him car).
“Life changing event Reversed -1; now at 4 [Ok] [Go to Stats app]”
“Excuse me?” Joe spat at his phone. The app was surely not telling him that his grandmother had returned from the dead.
A text from his father: “Son! You’re not going to believe this, Jolt is back! A friend of mine saw him at the pound and gave me a call! Can you believe the luck, after 2 years of him … [part 2] missing! It’s a miracle, especially right now! Come say hi to us tomorrow!”
Joe had nearly dropped his phone at the news. Jolt. His old canine buddy from his teenage years. Family devastated when he ran away. Now found and returned.
And he had received the reversal notification. He had completely forgotten about that addition to the app. He recalled that he had controlled a number of two reversals. This one happened outside of his control.
“****** watchers,” he thought. He pictured them laughing. Whoever they were.
Joe had had the foresight to inform his boss of possibly taking a personal half-day the next day for family time. His boss had been very understanding and simply told him to take the day. As grisly as Joe felt about it, he walked back to work (periodically throwing a glance up into the auburn dusk sky) to acquire his newly endowed car. He’d have time for busses the next day, however Joe very much appreciated the luxuries of a vehicle. And he was unsure of just how wide the lengths of this app were.
Joe still found himself hesitant to inform Claire about what he saw in the sky. Watch warned nothing about texts, and would have by now. He was communicating through alerts on Joe’s very phone. Joe’s loyalty to Claire quickly overpowered his paranoia. Sent +1. Joe prayed to whatever deity existed above. Joe wondered if said God knew what was going on here.
Buzz. “you’re ******* me”
Buzz. “this is getting really scary”
Buzz. “i don’t ever want to leave my house again”
Joe empathized with Claire. Moments passed and no alerts from Watch. Joe felt a little more at ease. He got ready for bed.
BUZZ BUZZ BUZZ. Tuesday morning. Joe had been able to sleep in but had forgotten to turn off his phone alarm. He cursed himself and grabbed his phone to swipe off the alarm (which he did) and noticed two texts from Claire (he swiped away the Stats alert).
“i got a weird one… it said friend-in-need helped +1, i laughed when i saw it”
“of course it has to be you”
Joe laughed as well, but not at what Claire found funny. This app seemed to employ a different agenda for every person who had acquired it.
And it seemed like Joe had been drawn the wrong card.