Texts From Nancy Drew

by Mallory Ortberg

Nancy? Are you coming?
I’ve been waiting by the old oak in the park for almost an hour
I tried calling your father and he said you went out to the lake with Bess and George
but Bess came back ages ago
I guess maybe you didn’t take your phone with you
anyhow the picnic is here
and I am here too
whenever you get here
no rush!
I miss you
oh Ned
I’m so sorry
but I am so close to figuring out who the jewel thieves are
I think it has something to do with the ghostly figure that frightened Ms. Martin after the gala
and the twins are pretty sure they saw something out on the island
what did they see?
could be anything
or anything
anyhow so it’s really important that I go sailing with them
if you really think it will help you solve the mystery
oh absolutely
couldn’t solve it without them
just let me know when you get back
maybe I can see you afterwards?
i don’t know if i’ll have reception on the lake
it’s really hard for cell phone signals to cross running water so
yeah I know
hey I love you
don’t you have anything to say back to me?
Ned you know I can’t talk openly when I’m on a case
we don’t know who’s listening in
right, right
of course

heyyyyy where are you right now
At home
do you think you could come get me?
are you tied up again?
i’m just over at the cave
by the old mill
so you’re tied up
in a cave
you know
near the burned-down orphanage
please just answer the question
you should probably bring some scissors
for the rope?
there appears to be some rope here, yes
are you tied up with it?
Ned look
it’s really hard for me to text with my hands all tied up like this
so please just stop asking so many questions and get over here ok

Nancy I can see that’s you
it’s Ned
I’m on the other side of the baccarat table
You don’t have to let on that you know me if you’re working
I’m sorry
who is this?
Nancy, I can see that it’s you
You’re just wearing bangs
Please leave me alone
I am a troubled heiress who wants only to play baccarat
and forget her troubles
are you in disguise?
My only disguise are my troubles
is my troubles
Please excuse the English
who’s that man you’re with?

I’m sorry I wanted to follow the kidnappers into the cave, Ned
That’s all right
I really am sorry though
I know
I’m sorry we got tied up again
It’s okay
I’m can’t believe what they did to your face
I had no idea they were so desperate
I know
I really don’t know how we’re going to get out of this one
Me neither
this is worse than when George murdered Bess
remember that?
yeah I remember
that was horrible
it really was
no it was really horrible
it just came out of nowhere
you know I haven’t been able to sleep alone since that night?
Oh wow
no I didn’t know that
I asked Hannah if she wouldn’t mind moving in for a while
it’s easier knowing she’s in the room with me
I’m sure
It was so hard to believe that George would ever do something like that
I heard she’s getting her GED by correspondence now
do you talk to her?
we write sometimes

Previously: Texts From Sweet Valley High.

Mallory Ortberg is a writer in the Bay Area. Her work has also appeared on Slacktory and Ecosalon.