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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1635485-Close-Call
Rated: 13+ · Fiction · Dark · #1635485
The phone is ringing and you are dreading the message on the end of the line... why?
My cell phone vibrates when it rings. I like it that way. Since I'm built like a misshapen He-Man figure with a bum right ear, I rarely hear my phone when it's ringing from my pocket. I put the ringer all the way down and the vibration all the way up.

My life is as organized as my dresser, upon which lies the typical single guy stuff. Loose change. Chap sticks. Condoms. Pirated CDs. Receipts.

As the phone sits on this cornucopia of shit, someone from The Outside tries to reach me. The vibration passes through everything evoking a quick memory of making out, all whiskey-breathed, with that crazy girl the first time I heard The National play "Mr. November".

Tonight, though, the ring is very different, ominous.

When the phone rings like that, it can only mean one of three things:

1) The credit card company is mad at me.
2) A girl is mad at me.
3) Mom is mad that I haven't called.

To solve the mystery and steel myself, I first thank Alex Bell for caller ID and I glare at the phone.

UNKNOWN
555-223-1214

Well, shit. Somehow voice mails sound angrier than a live conversation, as though the voice is alive, exasperated at having to repeat its message. So, I pick up, pulse quickening.

"Helllllo?", I inquire, semi-disguising my voice so as to sound like a reincarnation of John Wayne.
"Is this Mark?", a shaky-voiced female inquires.
"Yes," I respond. "Who's this, now?"

No response, just hesitation. Women don't prank call men. Women aren't usually perverted like men, so I repeat myself.

"Who is this?"
"Mark, there's been an accident. My name is Joyce, I found your number in your mother's wallet." Her voice was gaining speed.

I am dead. Mom is dead. Suddenly I feel like a fetus whose mother just drove head-on into a school bus while texting...just floating in fluid, helpless.

Oops.
Woooooosh.
Black.

"Is she okay? What is your last name?" I am shaking with a fear that could scramble eggs.
I can hear traffic braking. This is a fresh accident.

"We've called 9-1-1. They're not here yet, so my boyfriend is checking her out."
Why doesn't this girl give me any direct answers? "Is she breathing?!"
"Yes, but her dog is dead."

"Dog?", I asked.
"Yes, a small Dandie Dinmont Terrier"

What the hell? What the hell kind of person owns a dog breed like that? Moreover, what the hell kind of person can identify one in the middle of a car wreck?

"Joy-Joyce? My mother doesn't have a dog." My pulse is slowing, but my heart is still ready to get me to a hospital. "What number did you call"?

"Yes she does. Snipper is his name."
"What number did you call?"
"Mark? I dialed 555-223-4517"

"My number is 4571. 4571, not 4517! Call that woman's goddamn son!"

I hang up and keep my thumb on the END button. That was too close.

The screen flashes, signing off before going silent like Mark's mom; still breathing, unconscious, next to Snipper, her dead Dandie Dinmont Terrier.

At least I will sleep tonight.
© Copyright 2010 Renaud Jackson (mer191 at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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