But text messages were another matter entirely. There was no good way to vet them unless what they said had come to pass. The problem was when they didn’t come to pass. There was no particular way to tell where they had come from. They didn’t list a seller but with digital stuff, that was easy enough to fake.
Normally this would mean that Johnny’s story wouldn’t have been one that Dylan was interested in. But Johnny had posted that he had gotten a message when it happened, so there was some way to verify, or at least verify that he was planning a hoax that far back.
The other reason that Dylan was interested was that it was one of those stories where the angels were specific enough that you could say one of their messages actually didn’t come to pass. There were lots of people with stories about stuff that hadn’t happened yet, and lots of people with stories of stuff that did happen. But people who manage to avoid their fate, if you wanted to call it fate, where fairly thin on the ground. So he decided to take Johnny at his word. All he would be out was time if he was wrong. He had plenty of that.
“You didn’t think maybe somebody was trying to prank you?” Dylan asked.
“I did, but, man, you know what it feels like with those messages, right. I know you get them. Everyone does. You can feel that’s real. There’s nothing really like it. So, yeah, it crossed my mind that one of those assholes I hang with might have decided that was funny, but I knew better.”
Johnny slurped his coffee, his fifth cup even though they’d been there maybe fifteen minutes, and thumped his foot against the ground. Dylan didn’t think it was the coffee; he had a feeling that Johnny was just like that. Even sitting still, or mostly still, he had the look of barely contained energy.
“So you got this message and then what?”
“Well, the first think I did was think about that story. The second thing I did was threw up. Barely made it to the fucking shitter, man. I could be embarrassed about that, I guess, but I figure that I was lucky I didn’t shit myself. It’s a hell of a fucking thing, being told that you’re going to die and die soon, you know?”
“How do the other people you’ve talked to react?”
Dylan wasn’t sure he wanted to answer that. He didn’t want to influence the story anymore than he already would. On the other hand, he had a feeling that Johnny wasn’t going to keep talking if Dylan didn’t keep talking.