If You Ever Get A Call From Blackfish Media, Do Not Answer

Matthew Hurst

Sylvia sat on the edge of the bed pretending the beeping sound she heard moments before was still rolling through the room like music on a summer day; but it only continued in her imagination. She held her mother’s cold hand as she lied there. Even though thirty minutes had passed, she could still feel the warmth of her mother’s touch. Tears filled her eyes as the nurse came in and told her it was time. “Time for what?” she wondered. “They can’t take her away yet.”

Thirty minutes just wasn’t enough, hell, a lifetime wasn’t enough. The nurse touched her shoulders, symbolizing her departure. She nodded her head as she wiped her crusted infused eyes. As she got up, she leaned towards her mother one last time and kissed her now pale cheek.

“We will let you know when she makes it to the funeral home.” The quiet mousey nurse said. She nodded and left the room, shutting the door behind her.

Death is a funny thing. What is it exactly? Do we leave this god forsaken hell hole of a place and go to a paradise? Do we ended up in a fire pit burning for eternity? Sylvia guessed that all depended on what you believed. She just thought about the nurses that have to come give the news about our loved ones. Looking at this young nurse, she could only imagine what she was thinking. Her eyes as big as saucers watching her cry so hard that she couldn’t even stand up straight. How about when she had to take care of a women who couldn’t get up to take a shit because her cancer didn’t allow it? Knowing she was going to die any minute and she would have to let her family know? This was why Sylvia didn’t believe in all of this religion shit.

Damn, she wished she knew where her mom was going to be. She would do anything to have that moment back. The ones where they were laughing and joking at each other’s expense, watching her plant her sun flower bushes every summer, and even going on their annual beach trips together. She knew things weren’t going to be the same.

As Sylvia got into the elevator, she found herself crying again. A very pregnant woman entered the elevator and just looked at her. Handing her a tissue, the woman touched the number four on the keypad.

“I just lost my mom,” Sylvia said awkwardly.

“I’m sorry.” The doors opened and the pregnant woman left without any hesitation.

There is nothing like hearing “I’m sorry.” That phrase means jack shit. It is just a way for people who don’t want to communicate to get out of communicating.

Sylvia threw the now snot invested tissue on the ground as the two doors opened up to the garage. Looking around, she saw her white Ford Fiesta sitting in the same spot that she put it almost three days ago. Nothing changed, nothing had moved. Still the lonely white car was sitting still waiting for its owner to appear. As she got in her car, shutting the doors, she started banging on the steering wheel. It’s leather binding took all the force from her hands. “WHY! WHY! WHY!” she shouted over and over again. After a few minutes, and a few deep breathes, she heard her phone go off. “FUCK!” Sylvia grabbed her phone out of her leather purse that was situated beside her on the passenger seat. She had roughly twenty missed calls, fifty text messages. People can’t get the hint in the modern age.

As Sylvia got home, she immediately collapsed on the couch. Her body felt like it had been hit by a bus and she would never recover. The sound of the heat coming on made the home seem calm, hot enough to take away the winter’s frigid atmosphere. She looked at the ceiling, admiring the tiny indentions that made the home inviting. She smiled at the thought of all the memoires that were made here. The smell of bacon on a Sunday morning, how the Christmas tree looked every year, even though it looked like it came straight out of the seventies. Her mother still had those red, yellow, blue ugly lights that she would put up every year. Even though she protested, telling her she would go buy her some new lights, she insisted that we should use those damn things. The thought of this made her laugh. Before she knew it, she fell right to sleep.

Sylvia saw her mother planting her sunflowers in the garden. As she walked up to her, she gave her the warmest smile she had ever seen. She had her hair done in pin curls, which were her specialty. Her long flowy red night gown flew in the wind, making a little dance that went on forever. As she got up, she put her hand on her face. She closed her eyes, taking in the feeling forever.

“I will find you,” Her mother whispered as she leaned in to hug her.

She woke up has her phone started to vibrate across the glass table. Looking at the clock, she realized it was the middle of the night. After she gained her composure, Sylvia grabbed the still vibrating phone. “Alright, alright!” she said out loud. At first, she thought it was a phone call, so she picked up the phone to answer it. Silence. She looked at the screen and it said she had a text message from Mom. This can’t be, my mother is dead. As Sylvia looked at the message, there was link that said:

Do you want to see me again? Click here.

What is this? Thinking it was only a scam, or someone messing with her, she turned the phone off and laid back down on the couch.

The next morning, she decided she should start cleaning up the house a little. Sylvia went into her mother’s room to start cleaning out her closet that was full of her clothes. Some of the things in the closet still had tags on them. She figured she would need an outfit to place her in for the funeral, so she grabbed a green dress that was located near the back of her closet. I don’t remember this dress… She thought as she pulled it from the rack. The dress had sequins on it, shiny disks that looked like diamonds when they caught the light. Her mother could be very theatric sometimes, always trying to be the life of the party

As she continued to admire the dress, she heard her phone go off from downstairs. She ran down the hallway, through the small corridors, and down the steps to reach her phone. She figured if she didn’t answer it, her friends would think she was dead. As she went to pick up the phone again she saw the same message she received last night. But this time it said:

I want to see you, do you want to see me? Love Mom.

Her heart collapsed. Someone must be playing a joke on her. How is this possible? Without any hesitation this time she clicked on the link that was provided.

It first took her to a black screen. After a few seconds a female dressed in all white came on the screen:

Welcome to Blackfish Media. Have you recently lost someone? Are you missing someone you hold dear to your heart? We are the first media consultants that will give you back your loved ones. We will do everything for you, all you have to do is pay $599.999 and you will get your loved one back. It is as easy has using this phone and they will appear to you in a matter of minutes. You can even make them appear in your own home by using the one of a kind camera feature. All you have to do is touch this screen and we will continue on with the process.

As she clicked on the screen, it took her to a credit card page. She ran to her purse, grabbing the first card she could find. As soon as she entered her information, she hit next.

Music filled the room for a couple of minutes as she waited in anticipation to find out what this was. That same women came back on the screen.

Hi Sylvia, thank you for accepting our request. We are locating your information now. It seems like your mother Linda just passed away from Cancer, is this correct? Please click on the screen.

With all of her might, she clicked on the screen.

We understand Sylvia, thank you for choosing Blackfish Media. Your mother will be with you shortly.

She started laughing out loud. How can this be possible? She threw her phone on the table. She could still hear that haunting music playing in the background as she went to the kitchen. As she went to grab some crackers from the cabinet, that was when she heard her voice.

“Sylvia? Where are you darling? Are you home?”

She dropped the crackers on the floor, they slid like dominoes all over the white tile floors.

She slowly went into the living room as the music that had been playing rang in her ears. As she looked down at phone, that’s when she saw her. She didn’t look like the women she saw in the hospital. She had her beautiful curly red hair, not bald from the toxic chemicals of the chemo. She had muscle mass, showing the time when she worked out every day before she got her diagnosis. Most of all, she looked alive.

“Oh there you are love. I can see you. Can you see me?”

Her voice was just as lovely as she remembered. It had been a long time since she heard that angelic voice, due to the demon taking away everything she had.

“Hi, Mom.” Sylvia let out a whaling cry. A cry so deeply felt that she was pretty the neighbors could hear her.

“Don’t cry my dear Sylvia. We are back together now. Did you miss me? Doesn’t your momma look great?”

She did a dance on the screen. Something she always did whenever she got a new outfit.

“I missed you so much momma.” She didn’t know if she should laugh or continuing crying.

“There is no reason to cry my dear, we are together now.” She went up to the screen and kissed it. She felt like she was truly in the room with her.

She just sat there and looked at the screen. This was something Sylvia never thought would ever happen to her. Her mother was here and she didn’t know how to take it. Was this real? Was she dreaming? She pinched herself to see if she would wake up from this dream. As she opened her eyes again, she still saw this beautiful woman on her phone. Her mother.

“Now baby, for this to work you have to listen to me. You have to do everything I tell you to do. Do you understand?” She smiled, her white dainty teething glowing.

“I understand Momma. I will do anything you tell me to do.” Sylvia put her palm up against the phone. After a few seconds, her mother did the same. She could feel a weird warm sensation.

“Do you remember the women telling you about the video feature?” She came closer to the screen.

“Yes.” Sylvia sat down on the couch,

“Now I am going to tell you how to use it. Do you want me there with you? I want to be able to hug you.” She started nodding her head.

“Please tell me how mom.” Tears started rolling down Sylvia’s flushed cheek.

“All you have to do is press on the screen. There will be a screen that will direct you to the camera. I will have to go away now, but I will see you soon my love.” She waved goodbye as the screen turned to black.

She pressed on the screen as directed by her mother as the women in white showed up.

Thank you for wanting to activate the camera feature. This will be an additional $11,000 to use. What a great addition to our application! With this feature you will get to see Linda in real time! Wouldn’t you love to hug her again Sylvia?

“Why is this extra? I already payed!” She said back to the screen.

Thank you for using Blackfish Media. Would you like to continue?

She began to get frustrated. The tears came like a waterfall, dripping on her dark leather sofa.

Thank you for using Blackfish Media. Would you like to continue? 

Sylvia flung her phone across the room, sliding from one side to the other. “SHIT! SHIT! SHIT!” she screamed over and over. “Momma! I need you! I need you! What am I going to do? I can’t come up with this money.”

She put her head between her legs, rocking back and forth. All she wanted in this moment was her mother. The one person who could console her.

That night in bed, Sylvia thought about how she could come up with this money. Could she sell her belongings? Take out a mortgage on the house? She could feel the hot tears rolling down her face again, making a puddle on the white linen. As she wiped off her face, she heard her phone buzzing on the night stand. Sylvia turned over to see a number she didn’t recognize flashing on the screen.

“Hello?” she cleared her throat to make sure it sounded like she wasn’t crying.

“Hi Sylvia, Hi my darling. Look at the phone.” She immediately sat up in bed. “Are you there?”

Her mother’s voice sounded delicate. She could see her face on the screen in front of her.

“Hi mom,” She stuttered as the words came out of her mouth.

“Darling, did you come up with the money? I really want to be able to touch and feel you.” She could feel the sadness radiating off the telephone.

“Mom, I can’t get the money. I’m trying my hardest and I don’t know what to do.” She started weeping again from the thought.

“The company said there are options, but you have to be able to trust me.” Sylvia held on to every word she said.

“What are my options mommy?” Sylvia got out of bed and started pacing the floor, watching her mother’s every movement.

“I need someone to take my place. They said if you find someone to take my place, I can come out of here. This is the only way I will get to see you honey.” The words streamed out matter of fact.

“Anything for you.” Sylvia cleared her throat as she said those three words.

“Good girl, mommy has to go now. I will see you soon. She blew a kiss as she got closer to the screen.” The line went dead.

As she ran to her closet, Sylvia grabbed a pair of pants and a black sweatshirt. The night was breezy and cold. Her mind was racing with the thought of doing this deed. If her mother said it needed to be done, and this was the only other option, then she knew it had to be done. Any way she could see her mother again.

She pulled up to a bar that was situated between Fairfax and Main. Usually on a Saturday nights you could find a lot of people coming in and out of a place like this. Sylvia sat in her car listening to the DJ playing smooth jazz as she quietly watched all the pedestrians cross the street to enter the location. She knew she needed to find the right person for the job. The one who could take her mother’s place.

After several hours, she noticed a young woman crossing the road. The woman was slender, with just enough muscle mass, and beautiful red curly hair just like her mother’s. Sylvia started her car up and followed the woman down the street. The woman was playing with her phone, not worrying about anything or anyone around her. As she turned the corner she stopped for a moment, seemingly to look at her surroundings, but she continued on down the street. Sylvia knew if she didn’t do this now, she could lose her only opportunity. As she stopped the car, she grabbed the woman as she struggled with all her might to get away. As Sylvia got some power over her, she threw her in the back seat of the car.

When she got back to the house, she found some rope and tied the woman’s arms and legs up so she couldn’t move. She went to the kitchen and found a knife, listening to the woman’s cry from the other room. After taking a few deep breathes, Sylvia went back into living room where the woman was laying on the ground. She dropped to her knees and looked at the woman’s swollen face. As Sylvia took a took a breath in, she slid the large metallic object from right to left on the red head’s throat. Her pupils dilated as the blood splattered everywhere. The whimpering stopped.

Sylvia picked up her phone that was laying on the couch. The Blackfish Media app was centered between every other app on her phone. As Sylvia clicked on it, the infamous black screen popped up. “Come on, come on!” She said as she waited for everything to load. The female dressed in all white appeared on the phone.

“I’m sorry, Blackfish Media is not available right now. Please try again later.”

“No no no!” She said, screaming at the top of her lungs. She turned off her phone and turned it back on again, wiping the blood off her face.

“I’m sorry, Blackfish Media is not available right now. Please try again later.”

Sylvia closed her eyes as her body begin to heat up. The tears flowed down her face like a waterfall. As she opened her eyes, she saw the knife lying on the floor. She picked it up, looking at the red stains that built up around the edges. Taking one last breath, she plunged the dual blade with the hardwood handle into her own chest. The pain went like fire through her whole body. Sylvia could feel the blood rushing to the crater she made. As everything begin to grow dim, she could hear the woman’s voice repeating…

“I’m sorry, Blackfish Media is not available right now. Please try again later.” Thought Catalog Logo Mark

About the author

Nicole Long

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