Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Phone Call

The house is on fire! There was a break-in! Who’s dead?

Better get out of here. Don’t panic. Where are my car keys?

Somehow, I make it home intact. I walk in the front door - all is calm. Hubby looks up as the dog greets me. “What are you doing home so early?” he asks. “I thought your writing class ended at 1:00.

I catch my breath and pull out my cellphone - a new one, which I just started carrying with me. I check the “last call” memory box. Damn! I erased it in my mad panic. Who could have called me with that urgent message? Couldn’t have been Mom - she would have called my sister in an emergency. Or would she have? Maybe she hit the wrong speed dial button?

Heart thumping, I quickly dial her number and get her answering machine. Uh oh! Better call Sis at work and make sure everything is alright. I dial her office. “Please leave a message…” is what I hear.

Oh my God. Something is wrong! Who else can I call? I don’t have Sis’s cellphone number; maybe Harvey is home? Another message machine. Damn! Why can’t I reach anyone? Better try Mom again - just in case. This time, the phone picks up and I hear my sister's voice. “What are you doing there on a weekday?” I exclaim. “What’s wrong with Mom?

Wrong?” she asks. “What makes you think something is wrong? We’re all here celebrating. Mom just won the lottery!

Oh,” I manage to squeak feebly, “that’s nice.”

As I hang up the phone, Hubby looks up at me again. “What was all that about?” he asks. “And what are you doing home so early?

Just a wrong number,” I reply, as I sit down beside him and pat the dog. “By the way,” I add, “my mother won the lottery.

That’s nice. How did you find out?”

I shrug in reply. “The family grapevine, of course.

©2013 Phyllis Entis. All rights reserved.

A Note of Explanation: The prompt was to build a story around an urgent phone message from an unknown number.


  1. A real case of broken telephone, eh?

  2. A good one, Phyllis! Somehow the grapevine works its magic in these newfangled times. L.