1) Their offering to the bog witch was insufficient. Even know, their mouth is filling with mud, their gift– maybe a $10 iTunes card?– chucked under the roots of a mangrove, a crone’s cracked heel on their back, pushing them down into the muck. Bog witches prefer physical media!
2) Our friend’s phone is possessed. An 18th century dandy has entered it by mistake, distracted by its bauble-esque qualities. S/he knows nothing of texting!
3) Did we text the wrong person?
4) Our friends don’t exist when they’re not physically present. This entire world is an illusion. Or their phone died?