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.