Late Night Phone Call - 8/24

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Late Night Phone Call - 8/24

Postby Brian » Tue Aug 24, 2010 6:43 am

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Late Night Phone Call - 8/24

Postby Brian » Tue Aug 24, 2010 6:43 am

In the middle of the night, you get an urgent call from a friend you haven’t talked to in years. Something terrible has happened. What is it and why is he/she calling you?

You can post your response (750 words or fewer) here.

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Re: Late Night Phone Call - 8/24

Postby Carolv » Wed Aug 25, 2010 12:49 am

“It’s 3am, goddamn you!”

“ Just calm down, for one moment, please Angie. Listen. It’s important.”

“Who are you? How d’you know my name?”

“ Sarah, Sarah Robinson. We were friends at school together twenty or so years ago. But, it’s about your brother.”

“ Oh yeah, Jimmy. Weren’t you the one who dumped him and drove him to cocaine addiction? Well, thanks to you he’s seen the inside of prison a few times since and who knows where he’s run off to now. We haven’t seen him in at least twelve years.”

“Angie, do please listen. He started on drugs before I went with him, but that’s beside the point now. He’s been clean for years. Jimmy was going a stag party with some friends last night. They’d got hold of some crack and Jimmy just collapsed in his friend’s flat before the guys even left for the club. The ambulance arrived in minutes and rushed him to emergency. They don’t know yet if it was from the drugs or something else. Angie…he’s in a coma.”

“How do you know all this? How did you get my number? Where is Jimmy?”

“We’ve been married for six years and have two sons. The hospital called me immediately. I’m with him. He’s in intensive care in Brentwood General. We live near there.”

“I should be there within an hour. Please Jimmy don’t die. You need to know how much I still love you and how I’ve worried about you all this time”

“We both love him. I need to go back in to him now. I’ll see you soon.”


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RE: Late Night Phone Call - 8/24

Postby Tristan » Wed Aug 25, 2010 4:11 am

"Maryanne's dead, Katie." Lisa was trembling as she spoke. I said nothing, I couldn't think of anything. "For God's sake."

"Lisa, how did you get my number?" My thoughts were fuzzy, like I was looking at them through a greasy window.

I hadn't spoken to Lisa in over fifteen years. Our group, the one you cling to in high school and then never see again, had drifted apart as all of them do.

"Katie are you listening to me?" She was shrieking now and that did nothing for my grip on the situation. I felt as if I was floating farther and farther away from the phone, from my cozy little studio. The air around me was dimming, the temperature rapidly dropping. "I can't find it. Katie, I can't stay here. I want to go home, Katie."

I nodded, not at all aware that she couldn't see me. Maryanne was dead.


"Well, we have to find the key, obviously."

"No, Lisa, how did she die?"

"What? It was a car accident. Katie, it could happen to any of us. Any of us, any second. We have to leave. Katie, please, help me."

"Where are you?" She gave me the address and I hung up the phone.

Numb, I barely managed to find my keys on the table right in front of me. Maryanne had kept her word and stayed close to the old school. None of us were supposed to move more than a few hours away. I got to her place in two. I stood by my car for what seemed like years, looking up at the two-story farmhouse look-alike. Yellow and white with a picket fence, white and yellow rose bushes, a garden with violets and some blue and pink things I didn't know, the place was right out of a magazine. Like Maryanne herself, really. She'd fallen in love with this world, with it's tight grasp on little details like dinners and neighbors, dresses and shoes, gardening and interior decorating. This place suited her well.

I went through the little gate and up the walk, rang the doorbell. It seemed Lisa had been waiting right on the other side, because the door flew open before the chime silenced. Lisa flung herself at me, arms clenching tight around my shoulders. She sobbed.

"I can't find it. I want to go home."

"I know." I could barely manage a whisper. "We'll find it." I pushed my way inside and looked around. The place was just as I had pictured when I saw the outside. Everything sweet, fashionable, tidy.

We searched the house for hours and the doorbell rang again. Kent and Geri greeted us blank-faced. The whole gang was together now. Except for Maryanne.

It was Geri who eventually found the key. I smiled a little when she came out of the guest bedroom with it, the little faceted crystal sphere dangling on its delicate silver chain. She had always had such a knack for finding things. Kent called upstairs for Lisa and we gathered in the living room, forming our little circle, now one member short.

"Will it work without Maryanne?" I asked.

Geri nodded. I hadn't been ready for something like this, hadn't even entertained the possibility of death. Clearly I wasn't the only one.

"I don't want to die," Lisa sobbed again. "This wasn't that fun anyway. I want to go home. Please, let's just go home."

Geri pulled a piece of chalk from her pocket and got down on her knees. Carefully she outlined our circle, scribbling words in a language that now looked so strange and alien to me. She drew lines from each of us into the center, finishing with another circle little bigger than the crystal she held. She placed the crystal gingerly in the center and the whole diagram began to glow. Geri took her place again and we all bowed our heads.

"He won't be happy," Kent said.

"The Master is ever merciful, ever forgiving," Geri intoned.

"I want to go home," Lisa sobbed.

And in a brief flash of light, we did.

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RE: Late Night Phone Call - 8/24

Postby Ignolopi » Wed Aug 25, 2010 5:12 am

The ring jerked me out of a pleasant dream of sledding across a shining Alaskan landscape, and it was with some trepidation I chose to accept the call. The display didn't show a name, but the number looked vaguely familiar. "Hello?" My voice came out surprisingly normal considering I could still see snow in the edges of my vision.

During the pause that followed I wondered why my troublesome cell phone decided it was going to pick up calls in the dead of night when it only did it about half the time during the day. I bought the thing at a garage sale so I can't complain. Much. I then started to hope it was a wrong number.


Drat. "...Yeah? I don't know where you are, kid, but here it's like..." I squinted at the radio display. "...3 in the morning." Although I bought that at a garage sale too.

"Uh... it's Lemin."

"Lemon? Who or what is 'lemon'?"

"Lemin Francie." He sounds much too hopeful.

"Say again?"

He sighed. "I used to hang with your brother. Silly string?"

"Oh yeah you. What the hell are you calling for? And how'd you get this number anyway? I don't even know it."

"Uh... actually, Tevvi, I need your help."

"Go figure." And he totally avoided answering the other question. "Fine, what? Though why I'd go to any effort to help you is--"

"I destroyed the world."

... "Come again?

"I destroyed the world." Now he sounds really miserable.

"I heard that. I didn't hear the interpretation. 'Cause if this is the Global Pursuits world I don't give a damn. Build another map."

"Uh, no. I mean the world."

"So what is this, limbo?"

"Not the world you are in, the other one."

"I see, the other one."

"With the Great Ones."

That woke me up. "Great Ones?" I asked tentatively.

"You climbed one to search for the potion of Immortality."

The Great Ones. The mountains that towered over the primitive village where they were worshipped as gods, in a world I literally fell into. I could count the people in this world who knew where I'd gone with my pointer finger. "How the hell do you know about that? Wait... you destroyed it?" I could feel the blood flooding from my face as I thought of all the friends I'd made, of the serious Monk who supported me in the background, of the cheerful servant girl I'd befriended, of the big-ego guardsman who confessed his love to me....

"I... well, not by myself, but..."

"You idiot! How do you destroy a world, dammit?!"

"Wow. Um. With the book."

"The-- the book?" That caught me in the middle of what could have been a sizable rage. What book?

"Didn't you know? The book is the portal... kind of. It's complicated."

"Then get telling, bud."

"It wasn't my-- well, it was kind of my fault, but -- it may be recoverable. But I need your help if I'm going to fix it. Can I come by tomorrow?"

"Yes, and you'd better have a good story for me."

"I will. Good night." The tone went dead. I spent a couple minutes staring at the phone in my hand, wondering if it was real. I'd thought that part of my life was gone. I'd tried everything to get back to that other world, almost as desperately as I'd tried to get home when I first fell into it, but that was two years ago. My unremarkable poop unicorns and rainbows college life had continued as if I'd never been gone, and it was hard to convince myself that it hadn't all been an incredible figment of my imagination. 

I started to shake.

In unease, again wondering if I was sane.

In rage, that all those things I held precious might be gone.

In fear, that I wouldn't be able to save it.

In excitement, that another adventure was starting. 

No way I'm going back to sleep now.

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RE: Late Night Phone Call - 8/24

Postby theSkilled » Wed Aug 25, 2010 1:28 pm

Ellen's breath was heavy as she bawled on the other line. Her heaving sounded forced and I knew that she was shaking rapidly. I hadn't heard from my best friend in eight months, ever since she married that snobby Henry Ballard. My palms started to sweat and I started to hear ringing in my ears. I always heard ringing when I was nervous, upset or, yes, even scared.
"Please, Ellen, calm down." I didn't sound very convincing. There was more sobs on the other line. "Everything is going to be alright." That time I didn't sound very sure of myself. The day my older brother told me Ellen had eloped, I was so angry with her that I deleted her phone number and never replied to her messages. By the second month of her departure I had calmed down and came to my senses. All of my hatred towards her melted away like cool stick of butter sliding down a hot plate. When Ellen's crying got even worse, I began to shush her like a baby. Memories flooded back. I remembered when the two of us played tag in primary school. That time Benny Hathoway pulled her ponytail and I sucker-punched him right in his lip. I remember in junior high when we started wearing make-up and I wore way too much eye liner. In high school when her boyfriend could drive and mine didn't even have a car, how embarressed I felt. I could still feel her pencil tap my arm during an exam in college, begging for the answer to question number three. I stilled loved Ellen. Up until now I didn't realize that. For eight months I hated my best friend, maybe because I was jelous. She had a good paying job of being a nurse in a children's hospital. She had a husband (even if I dislike him) and she was far more prettier than me. I was a plain-jane with no special someone and since I flunked out of college I was a waitress at an old-styled diner. The truth was, I was willing to help my friend even though she left me. I finally heard her breathing level and checked the time. It was excactly one o'clock, three minutes since Ellen had first called me saying she was in trouble. I asked her what was the matter. Their was a long pause and several sniffs before she answered.
"Samantha," she choked, "it's the police. I've done something terrible and you need to help me out."
I was shocked. Not Ellen. Not my Ellen.
"What did you do?" I waited eagerly on my side of the line. Playing tag, standing up for her, pretending to be grown up and risking everything for her all flashed back again. Was it all for nothing? Has she ever done anything for me?
"I...I've...just help me out, okay?"
"No." I stated firmly. I needed to know. No more games.
"Samantha, look outside."
I walked over to my window in my living room and peered out.
Playing tag.
Standing up for her.
Pretending to be grown up.
Risking everying.
I gasped. It had gone to waste. Outside fifty police cars flashed their lights boldly and I saw Ellen behind my bush, holding her cell phone. In her other hand, her arm wrapped around his neck, was my older brother. The ringing in my ears got louder.

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RE: Late Night Phone Call - 8/24

Postby LV72382 » Thu Aug 26, 2010 7:27 am

My cell phone rang right as I placed my hand on it. I’d woken up a second earlier, like I’d known it was about to ring just then. The light from the screen lit up my dark bedroom. I didn’t need to look at the caller ID.
“Liz. I know it’s late. I’m sorry.”
I didn’t speak.
“It’s been a long time. Four years. I’m sorry it’s under these circumstances.”
I stayed silent.
Cameron cleared his throat before he continued. “He’s bad, Liz. He’s almost out of time.”
“I don’t care.” The statement came out flat but strong - emotionless.
I could hear Cameron’s sharp intake of breath before he went on, trying to keep his temper even. “He’s like my brother, too, Liz. You’re not the only one who…”
I cut him off before he could continue. “He made the choice not to be my brother - my family - a long time ago. I’ve accepted it. Now, at the end, he wants to make amends and die with a clear conscious…I’m not willing to help him with that. I’m not going to coddle him anymore the way everyone else always did. I won’t tell him I forgive him, because I don’t. No, Cameron.”
“You’ll let him die, then. And you don’t think allowing that won’t put you on the same level as him?” The anger was starting to soak into Cameron’s words the way blood soaked through a bandage.
“Don’t play that card with me, Cameron.” My voice was very even. “It won’t work. Nothing I could ever do would put me on that same level. I won’t feel guilty or ashamed, and I’ll never regret my decision. That’s the one thing he taught me, Cameron – it’s possible to ignore the guilt. He was a master at it. If you think that makes me a bad person, then I’m in good company.”
He didn’t respond. He wouldn’t argue with that for several reasons.
“He’s not getting anything else from me, Cameron. He took enough. Enough from me, my parents, everyone he ever met. You included. Tell me why you or I or anyone else should care anymore?”
I knew he was trying to find a justifiable answer that didn’t exist, but he gave it his best shot. “Because it’s the right thing to do,” he finally said.
“In whose eyes, Cameron? Not mine. My dead parents? Don’t tell me God’s.” The whole while I was very calm. I suppose I didn’t have anything left for the fight. I wasn’t forfeiting. I just wasn’t going in for another round.
A long minute passed before Cameron finally spoke again. His voice was thick.
“Liz…he will be dead by tomorrow night. Can you really live with that?”
I didn’t hesitate. “Yes.”
I heard him inhale. “Then I’m sorry.”
“I’m not.”
The call ended and I placed the phone back on my nightstand. I lay alone in the dark - no regrets, no guilt. I’d been subjected to enough unwarranted pain and suffering from my brother. I wasn’t willing to subject myself to anymore at my own or any doctor’s hand. It was my decision, and I’d made it.
When the phone rang and my eyes snapped open, that’s when it washed over me like a tidal wave. My face was wet from sweat and tears. My heart was in my throat, cutting off the oxygen.
I let the phone continue to ring, sobbing quietly. I already knew who would be on the other end, what he would tell me, and what I desperately wanted to say. I couldn’t answer the phone because I knew I’d never be able to bring myself to actually say the words. Deep in my heart, I knew it was how I truly felt, but I’d never be able to get the words out without hating myself, as I knew I would for the rest of my life if I actually spoke them.
My subconscious mind had given me the closure I’d been looking for, what I needed in order to move on, and it wasn’t necessary for me to say my peace out loud for anyone else to hear. No one but myself needed to understand how I felt. I did, and I was grateful that I did.
The ringing stopped. The phone beeped, telling me I had a missed call and a voicemail. I let the relief replace the sorrow and the guilt as I closed my eyes and went back to sleep.

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RE: Late Night Phone Call - 8/24

Postby pooch0619 » Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:57 am

The melody of Sublime's "Badfish" echoing through my room at such an awkward hour could not be good. I don't have any friends, so, it was obvious something terrible had happened. It was then I decided to answer the phone; only to hear the news that my highschool sweetheart had met her demise. I had not seen her since the last time I visited. The time when it became to much to bare. The time when false hope was no longer enough to hide behind my insecurities. She had made some progress after the accident. The biggest step was coming out of that three month coma. Eventually she was able to breathe on her own, which is always a good thing.
I clear my throat and thank the caller. I make the journey into the kitchen and grab another beer which had replaced her void some time ago. What's the harm; It's not like it's a beer for breakfast. I wasn't really asleep anyway. I haven't been able to sleep, really. Not since, the accident. I would love to sleep again. I would love to be with her. I went to the medicine cabinet and chased my beer with a bottle of percocet. My legs feel numb. I feel like Im floating. I close my eyes and reach out for my soulmate.

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Re: Late Night Phone Call - 8/24

Postby erinbenko » Thu Aug 26, 2010 8:02 pm

The receiver was silent, cold and static. My husband lay quietly beside me, so stiffly still. I knew he was still awake, waiting to know what had precipitated the late night call. It was hard to explain and I was pretty sure he wouldn’t understand. The Blackthorn Pub was gone.
I’m not sure what had spurred Jimmy to call. We hadn’t spoken in years. I left the crazy night life to find love and contentment with a family and a secure job. From what I had heard from the occasional encounter with an old acquaintance, Jimmy continued to migrate from job to job, eternally on a mission to find himself. But the Blackthorn had been special to both of us, and maybe that was why he felt the need to be the one to tell me.
The Blackthorn left this earth in a dramatic cataclysm of flame and all that was left was the stone wall surrounding the courtyard. It was a fitting end. Bars and restaurants came and went through the turnstile college district. Success was hard to grasp in a place that wanted to both embrace and buck the trends. The one constant on the block had been the Blackthorn.
I was a proud regular. I could walk through the door and a beer would be waiting for me in the hands of the on duty bartender. The place would be so packed it was a miracle to get a drink within the first ten minutes of waiting at the bar. Front line privilege was the regular’s reward.
I would mingle, talking to one group or another and then end up in the corner table snuggled up next to Jimmy and the boys. Things never got real personal with Jimmy or the boys. I think we liked it this way. It was comfortable, friendly, and lacked drama. Why mess with clumsy sex and hurt feelings? It would ruin the Blackthorn Pub experience.
We would stay all night and walk out the door with the staff, laughing and planning the after parties. Sometimes we’d cruise from one house party to the next. Other times we would end up listening to Classic rock and playing dice at Jimmy’s. Sleep was not much of a concern. I spent more mornings waking up on a strange couch then I did in my own bed.
Waking up we would go to our day jobs and then start it over again. It still amazes me that I could function living that way. My motor skills were always at half a tank and my mind was often taking a siesta while the rest of me worked. I am not sure what gave out first, my body or my mind. Whichever it was, it had had enough, and I walked away from the Blackthorn.
I look back sometimes with fondness. The place had been the center of my existence during a time when I was just trying to figure out how to be an adult. I had learned a lot from it. Most were lessons on what I did not want out of life, some on what I did. I would never want to go back and yet, I wouldn’t have done it differently.
Now it was gone. I felt like some piece of me was moving away quietly, like a photo album being put on the closet shelf, too valuable to give up, but not relevant enough to keep in the front rooms. I looked down at my husband and thought of our two boys in the next room. I might mourn the death of the Blackthorn in a quite part of my heart, but the biggest piece had been transferred to the place I most wanted to be.
I slid back down beneath the covers and reached for my husband. “Is everything ok?”
“An old friend died. But it’s ok, it was his time.”

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RE: Late Night Phone Call - 8/24

Postby Woodsong » Fri Aug 27, 2010 4:54 am

My cell phone started ringing, dragging me awake.

I checked the number, but it was unknown. It was 3:15 AM. Who would be calling me at 3:15 in the morning. I pressed end and tried to return to sleep.

A few minutes later it rang again. Number Unknown. This time I answered.


"Andre, its me." It was a woman. Her voice sounded hollow, must have been a bad connection.


"It's Rene."

Rene? I tried to recall who she was, if I knew her. I had once had a one night stand with a woman named Rene, but that was years ago. Why would she call me?

"Rene?" Could I be dreaming?

"I just wanted to tell you I love you. I have loved you since we met at my house. Remember the ham sandwich I made you?"

"Yes, I remember. What do you want?" Rene had made me a ham sandwich for lunch after we had sex in her living room floor.

"I just thought you should know I love you. That's all."

I did not say anything, I just listened. I had met Rene in a Yahoo chat room and finally we met in real live one time. And I will admit it was an enjoyable meeting. Rene was a small woman with very large breasts.

"Andre, I would lave left my husband for you, if you would have asked."

I was married at the time I met with Rene and I was just interested in sex. I slept with several women back then, but I have not slept with any since.

After a moment of silence, I said, "Why are you calling me now?"

"This will be the last chance I get to tell you."

"What do you mean, Last chance?"

"I did something terrible tonight."

"What ever it is, it can't be that bad."

"Will you love me no matter what I have done?"

"Rene, just tell me what you've done." I did not want to hear what Rene was going to say. I did not want to get involved with her. But, what could I do.

"I shot my husband."

I was stunned. What could I say in response to that? What could I say that would make a difference?

"Why? Why did you do that?"

"So I could be with you."

"Rene, I haven't seen you in years. What made you think we could be together?"

"You don't love me?" What a loaded question. "If you don't love me, just tell me so."

"It's ...... It's not that I don't love you, but, what made you think I loved you?"

"We made love. You made me.....feel wanted. All my husband does is beat me."

"You need to call someone to help you. We, I, I mean, what can I do?

"You can love me, make love to me."

"Rene, we can't be together, not like that. I am not the man I used to be."

"Your just like him. Just like my husband. I hate you."

Over the phone I heard a loud crack, like the sound of a gunshot. Then a clattering as the phone fell to the floor.

I prayed that it was a dream..........


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