It began with my obituary.
Everyone googles themselves, right? Filling the gap between what you should be doing and thinking about what to have for dinner. Games have been played, work postponed, and the news is another blunt instrument on your head. So, idly, you type in your name.
My name, Michael Seidel, is bitterly common, bitterly because that makes it forgetful, except for the weather guy, what’s his name (see what I did there?). Google returned pages of Michael Seidel in their vaunted search results. Most were dead, except for real estate agents.
“Get more granular, dummy.” I played with search parameters. City, state, birthday.
Obit, obit, obit.
“Fuck.” What did the net know about me? My lust had to be sated. All that turned up, though, were obituaries. With some vinegar, I clicked on one to address the question, who is this imposter?
There was my photo and details.
I’d died the day before.
“Malware.” Had to be. Some new variation on ransom ware, doxxing, or cat fishing.
Loud rapping on the front door burst my concentration and triggered a sphincter clench. I hadn’t heard a car, I wasn’t expecting a package or a person, and visitors were as rare as snow in summer in this age of COVID-19.
Screw it; I wasn’t answering the door.
Then I was standing in the office door, looking in at me, me all the way from the disheveled, thinning, graying, fleeing fucking hair, navy shirt, beige shorts and clothes that I now wore.
Sweat ran down his flushed face and neck. He was panting. “Come on, let’s go.”
The natural retorts skittered through my head without reaching my lips because ‘I’ dashed across the room and peered out the window. “The shadows are coming.”