Flash Fiction, Shorts

What Goes Around

It was everything he could have asked for. It was great, wonderful, terrific, crazy cool. He was never going back to the old model. Thank god his mom had finally gotten him the upgrade. It had everything. It was water-proof, smash-proof, and brother-proof, you name it. And the best part about it, the absolute-one-hundred-percent-best-thing-about-it was that his brother Robbie didn’t have one.

“Come on, Jayce. Just let me see it for five minutes?” Robbie pleaded with him. His own phone was as dated as could be. An old flip-phone, which had once belonged to Jayce.

Jayce shook his head and fiddled with the touch-screen. He opened an app and began to play a tower defense game. “Not a chance, man. Maybe once I get an even better one, you can have this one.”

Jayce spent the rest of the day on the sofa, playing with his phone. Robbie sat next to him and spent his time watching. He watched as Jayce played game after game. He watched as he talked to his friends, their faces displayed on the screen. And, when Jayce got up to go to the bathroom, and left his phone on the coffee table, Robbie watched until he was out of sight. Then he went to the phone and picked it up.

The phone was locked with one of those shape-combination things. Robbie tried the first couple shapes that came to mind, a triangle, a square, a zigzag, but none of them worked. He heard the toilet flush and slapped the phone back on the coffee table. Jayce came in whistling. He plopped himself down on the couch and Robbie watched as he unlocked his phone, taking note of the shape his finger made.

That night Robbie laid down in his bed and waited the extra two hours his parents let Jayce stay up. He heard his brother walk past his room, open his bedroom door and then close it. Then he waited another hour until he was sure his parents were asleep before crawling out of bed and tip-toeing into the hall.

He was glad the floors were carpeted now. They muffled his steps and didn’t creak like the old floorboards had. Jayce’s light was off. Robbie crouched by his door and grabbed the knob with his thumb and forefinger and twisted. It squeaked a bit, and Robbie froze. If Jayce woke up and saw Robbie sneaking in his room, he’d punch him. Or give him a nasty Indian burn again. He counted thirty Mississippi-seconds before he went any further.

Jayce’s phone was on his desk near the door. The pale glow it gave off told Robbie it was charging. He crept over and unlocked it. Then he began thumbing through the apps. Right next to the “Reminder” app was one that said, “Forget” with a little blue question mark icon. Robbie clicked it, and the phone went black. Robbie panicked, and a ball of ice-cold fear shattered in his stomach. Jayce was going to kill him if his phone was broken. Literally. He would just kill him. Robbie unplugged the phone, then plugged it back in, and waited.

The phone began starting up again, and Robbie let out a sigh of relief. When it opened up, however, it wasn’t locked. In fact, it opened up to the settings and security screen. The phone had been completely wiped. Robbie began to type, then. His thumbs tapped a staccato and the light from the screen gave his wild grin a crazed look.

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