A Haunting Short Story—Part 3 (Cont’d)
John took the iPhone and looked it over. “You said it was a communication device. Where are the wires? How does it work without wires?”
“It’s wireless. I don’t have time to bring you up to date on all the progress made in 150 years. You just have to accept what I tell you. Okay?”
John nodded. “Okay. What do I do now?”
“Good,” Eston said. “We haunt these things now I’ll show you how to enter the operating system and tell you the type of things you can do there.” Eston spent the next thirty minutes explaining how an iPhone works. Finally, he said. “Most of the apps on the iPhone are paid for by advertisements. These ads pop up here and there; some from the top down, some from the bottom up and some from the sides. They can be very annoying. To drive a person mad, just make ads pop up one after the other.”
John didn’t know what an ‘app’ was but decided to hold his question. “It’s that easy?” he asked.
“Oh, yes. You can also mess with their e-mails.”
This time he had to ask. “What’s an e-mail?
Eston smiled. “It means electronic mail. People use it to send messages to each other. All you do is mess with the addresses. Just change the address to someone else. If the message says something intimate, send it to everyone in their address book. I once sent a bunch of emails from Hillary Clinton to the WikiLeaks.”
“I don’t know who those people are.”
Eston smiled, “That bring me to sexting.”
Eston smiled even wider. “Sexting means taking a naked picture or picture of one’s privates and sending it to a boy or girlfriend.”
“Good. I’m a private. Take my picture.”
Eston laughed. Not that kind of private. It’s a picture of your… you know… your thing.”
John blushed. “I would never do that.”
“Not your thing. People…live people do that.” Eston saw that this news puzzled John. “Don’t ask me why, they just do, and we can haunt that.”
“How do I do that?” John asked.
“Simple. Whenever you see someone sexting, you change the address to someone else. I like to use a parent, if I know it, but just about anyone will do.”
“And that works?”
“Oh, yeah,” answered Eston. “You should see what I did to Anthony Weiner. But the best haunting is with selfies.”
“What are selfies?” John asked.
“People now days, especially, young ones, like to take pictures of themselves alone or with someone and send to other people. When you see that they’re about to take a selfie, you jump into the background and manifest yourself in true ghostly fashion. We call it photobombing, and it will freak them out.”
John had seen only one camera in his entire life, but at least he knew what a photograph was. “Anything else?” he asked.
“Are you kidding? There are a million ways to possess a cellphone. One of my favorites uses the GPS.”
John sighed. “And what, pray tell is a ‘GPS’?”
“It stands for Global Positioning System. It uses satellites to triangulate the position of a cellphone.”
John had no idea what ‘satellites’ were or what it meant to’ triangulate’, but he was overwhelmed and let it pass. “So, what do you do to the GPS?”
“Whenever someone asks for directions, you change them. You know, send them the wrong way on a one-way street or take them miles out of the way. It drives people crazy.”
“Anything else? I can’t handle much more.”
“Okay, one more and you’ll love it. Some cellphones use artificial intelligence and an artificial voice. People can talk to them and they talk back. Two popular ones are Siri and Cortana. All you do is take over the voice and talk in a creepy, voice and maybe with a hideous laugh. It will freak people out.”
John laughed. “Now I like that. I’ll try it.”
“Well, that’s enough for now. That’s the basics. “Oh, before I forget, Halloween is October 31. All the ghosts in the city get together and ride the subways all night. I’ll come to get you after sundown. Happy haunting and welcome to New York City”
John said, “Thanks.”