It was a warm, late autumn morning that Deidrick looked out on. There was nothing particularly odd about the weather or particularly odd about the day, at least not to start with. It wasn’t until he logged onto his Facebook that this fact began to change.
The top post was what first caught his eye. It was from his co-worker Frank. “It happened so fast. I just saw him Friday. I can’t believe he’s gone! R.I.P. My friend!”
Odd, Deidrick thought, he must have lost someone close. Then Deidrick began to scroll down through the rest of the page. All the posts were variations on the first post, many mentioning the person passing by name. The first time he saw his name as the deceased, he paused, his hand frozen on the mouse.
This must be some kind of practical joke. Deidrick thought. If it was though, it was a pretty sick joke. None of his friends, he knew, were practical jokers, at least none that would take it to this level.
Deidrick continued, his morbid curiosity aroused. The messages were varied. They were from his Aunt Amy, Lester his neighbor and John the guy who fixed his car. Some with memories, others offering condolences to his family.
Finally toward the bottom of the page he saw a link to the mysterious death notice that he assumed must have triggered this outpouring of sympathy. Clicking on the link he thought, there must be another Deidrick Franz in the world. If there was another who had existed, then they both shared some eerie similarities. They both had the same birth date, grew up in the same small town and lived in the same apartment building. It was as if a shadow almost, had been following him his whole life.
This phantom Deidrick was single and worked at the same company as the real Deidrick did. Yet neither had met. Which seemed unlikely, unless the phantom was a new hire or one of the traveling salesmen who flitted in and out of the office randomly. Whoever he was, the poor sod seemed to have died in his sleep.
Deidrick glanced at the clock in the kitchen. It was 7:45. The newspaper wouldn’t open until at least 8:30. Then he could have them write a correction or at least a clarification. Until then he’s have to clarify for himself.
He clicked back to his Facebook page and smiled as he clicked on to the “What’s on your mind?” section. Oh there was a whole lot on his mind. None of it made sense, it was nothing you could explain in a paragraph but most of it was definitely on his mind.
He’d keep it simple. What was that Twain quote? “The reports of my death has been greatly exaggerated.” That should explain everything. Deidrick began to type and yet he didn’t. He hit the keys yet the letters, the words, never appeared on the page. The words What’s on your mind blinked calmly back at him, waiting for a response that he couldn’t give. And then he knew that something was wrong. Something was very terribly wrong indeed.