Woman Receives Message From Her Late Son’s Phone — Story of the Day

For nearly a month, Julia struggled to accept her son’s passing, until one day, she received a message from his phone: “Help! I’m sending a geolocation!” A spark of hope ignited in her, especially because…she never saw his body.

Laughter used to echo through Julia’s house, but all that happiness had been replaced by a suffocating silence. She sat at the kitchen table with a mug of forgotten coffee growing cold in her hands.

Across from her, her husband, Martin, mirrored her grief, his eyes kind but weary. They hadn’t slept much since their son, Arnold, vanished.

“Julia,” Martin began gently, “I know it’s hard. It’s been hard for all of us. But we have to try to find a way to… to live with this.”

Julia looked up, her eyes red-rimmed. “How, Martin? How do we live like nothing’s happened? Our boy… he’s gone.”

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pixabay

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pixabay

He reached across the table to engulf his hand in hers. “He wouldn’t want us to fall apart, Jules. We have to be strong, for him. And for each other.”

The memory of their ill-fated vacation flickered in Julia’s mind. They had been the picture of happiness then, brimming with plans for the future.

Their visit to a famous canyon site had been breathtaking. Their boy had been excited to explore every nook and cranny.

“That night, the campsite was quiet,” Julia recalled, her voice dropping to a whisper. “I woke up to find Arnold’s tent empty. I just…panicked. I knew something was off.”

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pixabay

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pixabay

They had called his name and searched the nearby trails, but there was no sign of him. When dawn arrived, and Arnold remained missing, they had called the police.

The investigation was thorough but yielded no answers. The forensics team pieced together Arnold’s likely path, concluding he had wandered too close to the edge in the darkness, plunging into the river below.

Search teams scoured the area, divers braved the icy waters, but there was no trace of Arnold.

Julia remembered what a police officer told her. “We’re sorry, Mrs. Thomas,” he had said, his voice steady but soft. “We’ve done everything we can, but… it’s unlikely Arnold survived the fall. He may be…dead.”

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pixabay

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pixabay

The word had hit Julia like a physical blow. Dead. Her vibrant, laughing boy, was gone. She had collapsed then, and Martin had caught her before she hit the ground as his own tears surfaced.

“I just can’t believe he’s gone, Martin,” Julia choked out back in their silent kitchen. “There’s a part of me that feels like he’s still out there.”

Martin squeezed her hands tighter. “I know, Jules. I feel it too. But we have to live with this uncertainty together.”

They sat in silence for a while, lost in their thoughts and memories of Arnold, while the world outside continued, oblivious to their grief.

The ringing of the phone pierced the silence, making Julia flinch. Martin reached for it quickly, as if hoping to ward off any more bad news.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pixabay

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pixabay

Julia watched him, her spoon suspended in midair, as he answered with a hesitant, “Hello?”

She couldn’t hear the words from the other end, but the deepening lines on Martin’s forehead told her enough.

When he finally hung up, there was a solemn look in his eyes that Julia had come to dread. “That was the police,” he said, his voice strained.

“The police talked to the forester. There was nothing strange in his words. He said he hadn’t seen any boys in the area for the past month,” Martin explained.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pixabay

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pixabay

Julia’s heart plummeted. She had held onto a sliver of hope that the forester, being so familiar with the area, might have seen Arnold, or at least noticed something out of the ordinary that night.

“But… but what about his son? The one who disappeared a few years ago? It’s too much of a coincidence,” Julia grasped at straws, her voice tinged with desperation.

Martin sighed, passing a hand through his hair. “I know, I thought about that too. The police did suspect the forester because of it, but it seems there’s no evidence to link him to Arnold’s disappearance. And now… they’re closing the case, stopping the search.”

Julia pressed her head against her arms on the kitchen table and sobbed loudly. Martin comforted for a while before he had to leave again.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pixabay

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pixabay

Hours later, Julia’s sobs had stopped, but that was only temporary. She contemplated cleaning the house as a distraction when her phone started buzzing with an incoming message. It read:

“Your contact is signed on this phone as MOM, and I think it’s my phone. I don’t remember anything. I am kept in a hut in the forest. I am attaching geolocation. HELP!”

Julia’s hands trembled as she read and reread the message. Her mind raced with questions and doubts, but the glimmer of hope was enough to cut through the fog of her grief.

She was frozen for only a few seconds before she checked the geolocation and discovered it led to the forester’s house. This had to be a sign!

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pixabay

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pixabay

She called Martin immediately and said when he said he be home soon. Minutes stretched into an eternity afterward as Julia paced by the window, watching out for Martin’s car.

Finally, her phone rang. His voice came through, but not with the news she craved. He’d been in a car accident, but she couldn’t wait for him.

Julia called a taxi despite the fear that gnawed at her. What if this was a trap?

But the thought of Arnold, alone and scared, propelled her forward. Minutes later, she was outside the forester’s hut. The door creaked as she opened it, but only shadows stretched across the dim interior.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pixabay

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pixabay

“Arnold?” she called, her voice echoing.

Still, Julia searched each room. Then, she saw a glint in a corner – Arnold’s blue hat. Tears welled up as she clutched it desperately.

However, she didn’t have time to cry much more. Smoke appeared from somewhere and flames were quickly licking the sides of the hut.

It was then that Julia saw a figure darting in the forest. She tried to chase after it, coughing through the smoke, but whoever it was vanished.

Sirens wailed in the distance, and a short while later, Julia stood before Detective Harris, one of the people working on her son’s case.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pixabay

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pixabay

“Mrs. Thomas, what happened?” he asked.

Tears streamed down Julia’s face as she recounted everything – the message, the hut, the fleeing figure, the fire, and her husband’s car accident.

Harris frowned, checking his radio. “No record of an accident involving your husband’s car today.”

“What? That doesn’t make sense,” Julia asked, her tears seizing with the confusion.

“We understand this is overwhelming,” Harris said, placing a hand on her shoulder. “However, we found evidence linking the forester to your son. We’re reopening the case, and we will find Arnold.”

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pixabay

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pixabay

Relief mingled with a new fear. Why would Martin lie?

Regardless, Julia clung to Detective Harris’ promise. The fire died down, the investigation began anew, and a new resolve hardened within her.

She wouldn’t rest until the truth – about the night Arnold vanished, Martin’s lie, and the forester’s involvement – was brought to light.

***

“That’s… that’s unbelievable,” Martin said, shaking his head while eating his dinner. “I’m so glad you’re safe, Julia.”

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pixabay

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pixabay

Julia had just finished telling him everything that happened. She asked him about the car accident, but Martin brushed it off, wanting to focus only on what Julia had seen in the forester’s hut.

They continued eating until Martin’s phone buzzed. He glanced at it and sighed. “It’s work. Something urgent has come up at the school. I need to go,” he said, cleaning his mouth with a napkin.

Julia nodded and suggested going to visit her friend, Sarah, for a while. Martin thought that was a great idea, but he was distracted by his phone.

In the end, Julia left the house earlier because she wasn’t visiting anyone. She quietly opened the trunk of Martin’s car and climbed in, settling herself among the spare tire and emergency kit.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pixabay

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pixabay

The car lurched forward, the muffled sounds of the city filtering through the trunk. Trapped in the darkness, Julia grappled with a whirlwind of emotions.

Fear for Arnold, anger at Martin’s betrayal, and a gnawing sense of loss threatened to consume her. Every turn the car took amplified her anxiety. Where was he going?

When the car finally stopped, she cautiously peered through a hole in one of the taillights, her breath catching at the sight of Martin speaking with three imposing figures.

The muffled conversation that followed was a punch to the gut. Martin owed these men a substantial sum, and Arnold was alive. Martin had taken care of the forester, burning down the hut to deflect suspicion.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pixabay

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pixabay

The leader’s voice was cold as he threatened Martin if he couldn’t repay his gambling debt to them. Suddenly, one of the other men came forward with a chilling proposition— stage a kidnapping, frame the forester, who was already under suspicion, and demand a ransom from Julia.

Martin seemed hesitant, but the leader assured him, “We’ve got someone on the inside. A good friend who’ll make sure things go smoothly.”

The revelation of a mole within the police sent a shiver down Julia’s spine. This wasn’t just about Martin’s gambling debts; it was a tangled web of corruption ensnaring her family.

As they finalized the plan, a desperate resolve hardened in Julia’s heart. She had to act, and escape was the first step. When the men were distracted enough, she got out of the trunk and ran into the starless night.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pixabay

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pixabay

The sudden ring of the phone shattered the silence and startled her just as she was reaching her house. Julia answered cautiously and heard a strangely distorted voice on the other end.

“We have your son. He’s alive. But it will cost you $500,000.”

Despite the software they used, Julia knew it was Martin.

But knowing she had to play along, Julia feigned fear and desperation. “Please, just bring him back. I’ll do anything,” she choked out.

Instructions followed. They wanted a hefty ransom dropped at a specific location. When the call cut off, she called Martin’s actual number.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash

With a shaky voice, Julia relayed what they had requested and shook her head as her husband put on a convincing show of shock and concern, promising to call the police.

By the time he arrived at their home, the area was surrounded by cops. The officers outlined a plan to track the kidnapper with a hidden device in the bag with the money.

Julia didn’t trust the plan too blindly. She knew one or more of them were working with the bad guys. They wouldn’t find Arnold like this.

Yet, she had no choice but to cooperate and wait for a chance to twist their plot in her favor.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pixabay

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pixabay

***

A sharp noise jolted Julia awake. Martin’s side of the bed was empty. Curiosity warped with dread propelled her forward. In the dim light, she witnessed a chilling scene – Martin transferring the ransom money to a different bag and placing fake money in the one with the tracker.

She knew what he was planning right away. He intended to double-cross the kidnappers, vanish with the real money after distracting the officers, and leave everyone else hanging.

Fury surged within her. Martin wasn’t just betraying their family; he was placing them all in grave danger. But this realization presented an opportunity.

Confronting him now was risky; she needed a plan. A plan to expose Martin and his accomplices, to find Arnold, and to finally break free from the web of lies ensnaring them.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash

***

At dawn, with Martin in the bathroom, Julia seized her chance. Taking the ransom bag, she replaced the fake money he’d switched with the real money again.

When Martin came out to their bedroom, he acted like nothing was wrong, only making Julia wonder how many times he had lied over the years.

He also suggested, as the detective advised, that he stay away from the drop-off location to avoid suspicion. Julia saw through his lie but played along, her voice betraying no emotion.

The hours crawled by, each burdened with the weight to come. Julia steeled herself, not just for the drop-off, but for the inevitable confrontation.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pixabay

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pixabay

The danger wasn’t just Martin, but the criminals he was entangled with.

At two o’clock, Julia left for the drop-off. Her steps were sure, her mind calculating every move.

Julia’s heart was pounding as she approached the designated location. Placing the bag in the trash can, she couldn’t help but glance around, wondering if Martin was watching.

Then, she hurried to a nearby café, where the undercover officers mingled, their focus clear. A bus with backup sat right outside.

Julia approached an officer monitoring the tracker. Suddenly, the tracker pinged, jolting Detective Harris.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pixabay

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pixabay

“This can’t be. This must be a mistake!” he exclaimed and argued with the monitoring officer. His voice and demeanor had Julia frowning. Could he be the inside man?

Ignoring Harris for a second, Julia questioned a waiter about the trash can’s placement. Her heart sank as the young man confirmed it was new.

Intuition hit her like a wave, and she raised the alarm about the sewer hatch below the trash can. Detective Harris tried to dissuade, but someone else had taken notice of the situation.

Detective Laurence took action and signaled for the officers to act. They moved the trash can only to discover the open sewer hatch that led directly to the city’s intricate network

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pixabay

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pixabay

The officers moved quickly, descending into the darkness. A few minutes later, they emerged, escorting a handcuffed figure, and Julia’s breath hitched.

They removed the figure’s mask and revealed Martin, who immediately accused Detective Harris of being a mole in the force and helping with this plan.

Laurence swiftly detained both men, while Julia stood amidst the chaos.

***

In a sterile interrogation room, Martin confessed while Julia watched through the mirror. His voice, once familiar, was now distant, recounting his actions with chilling detachment.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pixabay

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pixabay

He explained how his plan – to kill off Arnold and eventually Julia for their family inheritance – unraveled when the boy survived the fall.

The boy’s message from his almost dead phone had forced Martin to improvise another way to get money from Julia. However, the message was strange because Arnold had lost his memories after the incident.

Fortunately, Martin told the cops where he had left Arnold, and Julia was escorted in a police cruiser to reach him. In a rundown cabin, she found Arnold and the forester, both confused but alive.

Afterward, Julia dedicated herself to Arnold’s recovery. It was slow, but they were together and alive and well.

As for Martin, his fate was sealed by his own actions, and Julia refused to let his shadow darken their future.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pixabay

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pixabay

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