Monday Matchup Writing Challenge: The ringing phone, the lost

WRITING PROMPT: Monday Matchup #9—LOST
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Write a scene that takes place on the day after a holiday, featuring a ringing telephone and something—or someone—lost.

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Want more writing prompts and exercises? Brian Kiteley has packed more than 200 wildly original ones into his 3 A.M. Epiphany. Check it out here.


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9 thoughts on “Monday Matchup Writing Challenge: The ringing phone, the lost

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  5. Dare Gaither

    “We’ve checked everywhere. He’s not here.”
    Charlene choked back tears.

    “We’ll find him. He always turns up sooner or later.”
    Donald gently patted her hand.

    Charlene managed a brave smile.
    “You’re probably right. Maybe we should call Aunt Mavis.
    He could have gotten in her SUV while we she was here yesterday.”

    “It won’t hurt to ask. She’ll be up early for the Black Friday sales anyway.”
    Donald called the number, hoping she hadn’t already left.

    “Hello?” Aunt Mavis sounded impatient.

    “It’s Donald. Sorry to bother you, but Reginald has gone missing.
    We wondered if he might have curled up in your SUV and accidentally
    gone home with you after Thanksgiving Dinner.”

    “Reginald? I don’t know any Reginald.”
    Aunt Mavis was anxious to hit the stores.

    “You know, Charlene’s pet? She’s just devastated.
    Could you check the back of your car before you leave?”

    “Okay, but I don’t see any…….
    Aunt Mavis screamed and dropped her cell phone.
    Donald could hear the clatter of her footsteps as she ran away.
    He sighed and hung up.

    “We better get over there. I think Aunt Mavis just found Reginald.”

    Charlene’s face lit up with joy.
    “I hope she doesn’t scare him. She never did like snakes.”

  6. Lauren

    The morning after Thanksgiving, Annabella woke at 7am on the couch to the sound of her cell phone ringing on the coffee table. No one called her this early. As she reached for the phone, the events of the day before started creeping back into her sleep fogged mind. The food was still on the dining room table untouched. The dishes she prepared the holiday meal with were still in the sink. The wax from the candles had burned down spilling over onto the table. The Christmas CDs she played on repeat were still playing. He hadn’t come. He promised he would. She looked at the phone and saw it was him calling. What would his excuse be this time? Was there an accident? Did something happen with the kids? Car trouble? He had used them all already. What would he come up with this time?

    Annabella placed the phone back onto the table as the call went to voicemail. She rolled over facing the back of the couch reaching for the throw blanket, pulling it over her shoulders. As she closed her eyes she whispered quietly to herself, "I’m not ready to start this day."

  7. Tanya Brody

    I am reluctantly dragged from my dreams by the sound of my cell phone ringing. I mutter a garbled curse and roll over to fumble for the source of the noise. Just before the last ring, my hand connects with cold plastic and I push the correct button.


    “Hey, it’s me.”

    “Oh, hi.”

    “Did I wake you”

    “Yes. Whaddya need?”

    “The number of that woman we talked to last night.”


    “You know, that hot chick we met at the bar last night.”

    “I have no idea what you are talking about.”

    “Dude, you were there. Don’t you remember her? She was short, long brown dark hair, built like Pamela Anderson and kept you laughing the whole time we were talking to her.”

    “Are you sure I was with you last night?”

    “Dude, you came straight from work. Don’t you remember? You had to stay late because of some weird dinner meeting after the work Halloween party, then you met me at the bar and we ran into this woman. You two kept talking about some product or other that you’d both heard about and that your companies were interested in and you both just kept laughing and laughing. Then she gave you her card when she got up to leave.”

    “I don’t remember any of this. How much did I have to drink last night?”

    “I dunno, a beer or two?”

    “Seriously? Crap. I feel like I’ve been hit with a truck.”

    “So will you give me her number?”

    “Man, I don’t even remember this girl. How can you expect me to have her number?”

    “Dude, she gave you her card. I saw you put it in your pocket last night. Check your pants.”

    “Okay, hang on.” I rolled out of bed and fished around on the floor for the pants I had dropped there last night. “What do you want her number for anyway?”

    “Dude, she was totally hot!”

    “Do you remember her name?”

    “No, why?”

    “Because I have three different business cards in my pocket, all with women’s names on them.”

    “You’re joking, right?”

    “No, man. I’m not. I have a Sharon Wright, a Melissa Sampson and a Delilah George.”

    “So which one were we talking to last night?”

    “How the hell should I know? I don’t even remember the conversation!”

    “Do you recognize any of the company names?”

    “No, I’ve never heard of any of them. There’s one from a GE subsidiary, one that looks like a Telecom company and one that… I have no clue. Man, this is so weird.”

    “Yeah, no shit. You really don’t remember her?”

    “No. Not at all. Hang on a sec.” I fumbled through the contents of my wallet. “Oh hell.”

    “What’s wrong?”

    “My work key card is missing.”


    “Yeah, I’d better call in. Gotta go.”

    “Talk to ya later.” The line went dead on the other end, leaving me wondering how I could have lost both my work key card, and all memory of the previous evening.

  8. Mark James

    When Stone’s spacecom rang, he would have lasered it, but Picture ID showed it was his boss. He jabbed the red button over his head. “What?”

    “Stop,” Brennan said. “You’re sounding like some space pirate, a guy who’d slit my throat.”

    “I wouldn’t do you that fast.” Stone rolled off his sleep foam, mashed it into a cube, stowed it in the wall cubby. “It’s my day off. What do you want?”

    “Down planet job for you.” Brennan sounded slicker than usual. “Pays double.”

    Last night’s beer-wine was pounding Stone’s head like a meteor storm. “I don’t do ground work,” he said. “Get off my com.”

    “You have a good time last night?” A low crackling sound came from the com. Brennan had just lasered something, or someone. “I heard Planet Fall Night is real big out there in the belt. Some miners don’t find their way home.”

    After almost a decade smuggling for Brennan’s Black Pebble Market, Stone was too smart not to smell trouble. “Who didn’t make it home?”

    “No one important,” Brennan said. “But Vanlyn can’t be allowed to simply wander off.”

    Isley Vanlyn was governor of Orange Hand, the planet in the middle of the asteroid belt where Stone did his smuggling. “Where is he?”

    “If I knew that, would I be offering you double for a find and destroy?” Brennan’s voice was as cold and sharp as a poison blade.

    “F&D?” Stone rubbed grit from his eyes. “All he did was get lost.”

    “Before he did, he drank too much, talked too much,” Brennan said. “Our client wants him out of office. Permanently.”

    Stone grabbed the rigs for his knives, strapped one to his arm, the other one in the small of his back. He always went low tech on F&D. “Why don’t they just catch him blowing Glass?”

    No one knew what Glass was or where it came from, but the clear bubbles could be mined all over the belt, and one lick was enough to shoot a man into orbit. “I’ll tell you why,” Brennan said. But he didn’t. Instead he let go a stream of words that were hot enough to scorch a supernova, even from across intergalactic space.

    “Who got in your sunshine?” Stone said.

    Brennan’s laser crackled again. This time Stone heard something catch on fire. “He knows about me, you, the Pebble Market. He’s got enough to send us to Earth. How do you think a trial will go for a pirate smuggler who does F&D on the side?”

    Stone had never seen Earth, but he knew enough about prison planets to make it last on his list of places to end up. He stood on the Tube Trans and said, “Ready for transport.”

    It was daybreak on Orange Hand. Two miners, big enough to smash rock without Robo-Hammers, staggered past Stone, mumbling in low drunken voices. One of them pounded Stone on the back. “Happy Planet Fall,” he boomed.

    Stone’s headache got louder. It was going to be a long, long day.


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