By Scott Wade
He sets his reading glasses by the clock
11:51 in LCD red
I’m going to call her
Don’t. She said she’d be home at midnight
Why didn’t she call?
She said she’d be home
Who is she with?
Friends. I told you already
You don’t know their names?
What’s that supposed to mean?
It means even if I told you, you don’t know her friends, Mr. Super Dad
I’ve been busy
I’m sure you’re a very important person
He picks up his glasses and his book. He opens it. Closes it.
He sets his reading glasses by the clock
11:54 in LCD red
I’m going to call her
Don’t do it.

Illicit Text
By Scott Wade
Melvin can always feel his heart thumping in his plump chest when he sits down after going up a few steps, and that’s what was happening when he hooked his meaty paw into his too small popcorn box just as the movie started.
He’s already getting worked up, not for the movie, but because he know it’s  going to happen, and then it does. Five seats over and one row in front, he sees the LCD rectangle light up, and in that spooky blue light of movie theaters he sees the pale, teen-age thumbs go to work.
“Miss,” he stage whispers, to no response. The thumb work continues. “Miss!”
A young couple in front of him looks back. The man, with spiked hair on his square head, raises a finger to his lips. “Shhh!”
Melvin is always watching, like a righteous vigilante. He’s the Lone Ranger, fighting against the spread of the most damnable device ever invented, the corrupter of the young, the end of humanity.
At the stoplight later, he counts the cars with drivers committing illicit texting. “One, two, three ... Oh,’’ he mumbles. “Turning left while texting. Nice.” He grunts and shakes his head toward a young man, who inserts his earbuds and stares into his cell phone.
Inside the coffee shop, Melvin’s watching. The 20-year old daughter is texting, the mother is on the cell phone. “I’m just spending some time with Jenny,’’ the woman says. “She’s back from college.”
A gorgeous baby with blue marble eyes made by angels sits in a baby chair on a table. Her mom is texting, her dad is on the cell phone, both oblivious to the child.
Melvin sits down and he can feel his heart thumping. He writes on a napkin. “What have we become?”

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