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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Phone Call

This one was it. Janie knew as soon as she dialed the number. Her big pay-off was about to happen. The phone chord, stretched taut to reach into the pantry, was quivering in the excitement of Janie’s big moment. The tiresome research and endless waiting, the patient vigils, the cutting and pasting were done. She had put off the phone call until all the stars were aligned, the pieces of the puzzle -the enigma of Janie- were in place. More than once she had taken a deep breath, considering the risks, and held that breath while she recalled all her past disappointments, reliving those carefully constructed dreams that had been dashed in an instant. Success, fulfilment, happiness: nudged just beyond her reach. Was this yet one more beguiling rainbow about to be smudged grey?
Janie wanted to hang up, wanted to press her finger against the button, put the phone quickly back in place, but she knew this was it. This was her crowning glory, her longed-for triumph. She remained curled around the receiver, squatting inside the dark pantry, the door jammed shut on the phone chord. The quivering phone chord. Janie held her breath between rings.
On the third ring she coughed. A tickly cough that she knew was just beginning. She could feel it working up into a coughing fit that would not stop just because the person at the other end of the line was about to answer the telephone.
Holding the receiver close against her ear, Janie wrapped the trembling phone chord, the quivering coil about her neck and pulled. Slowly she tightened it, choking back the cough. Tighter. Cough. Tight. Ring.




40 comments:

  1. This is so scary.Janie should'nt have done this.

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    1. Sorry for the scary, but thanks for reading, Kalpana!

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  2. oh what an agonizing post. At first it reminded me of my teen years as I grew up curled up on the couch chatting by the hour on cord phones....

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    1. I was thinking so hard about modern phones that the cord ended up taking over the story...
      Sorry for the agony, Sandra!

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  3. I was not expecting the end. Terrifyingly good! I recall twisting those cords so I got the tension buildup here.

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    1. Actually, I wasn't expecting that ending either.
      Thanks so much, Gina!

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  4. Oh, I love the turn this took. The tension was perfectly built, I wanted to know what the big moment was for her and then to realize what was happening was wonderful/horrifying.

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    1. Haha Curiosity killed the cat, as it were.
      Thanks for the love, Jennifer!

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  5. That was a horrifying and unexpected ending.

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    1. Sorry for the horrifying, Janna. The ending was unexpected for me, too, if it's any consolation : )

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  6. Oh what an unexpected ending!! Loved it Kymm

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for the love, Dhriti!

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  7. NO! What are you doing? Great last paragraph...I want more

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    1. Who, me? Oh, Janie. lol Thanks, Lance!

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  8. Quick concrit: taught = taut

    Ummm, we're going to need another few hundred words, please. I love how everyone remembers the curling phone cords. :-) This is expertly suspenseful.

    Thanks for linking up!

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    1. Argh! That one always gets away from me. Fixing.
      Remembers the cord...??? I still have them. *will stop ignoring kids' requests for new phones*
      Thanks, Tri!

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  9. My, that was totally unexpected! I gather that the story kind of took you for a turn as you were writing it? Definitely gripping, though very, very sad.

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    1. Yup, took me there all by itself. But my version is wholly metaphorical : )
      Thanks, Sandra!

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  10. No no no I wanted to know what she had found out, who she was calling, why she had gone through so much....Argh! haha So frustratingly good.

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    1. No, really you don't. It's so much more mundane. lol Thanks, Draug!

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  11. Unexpected end...more words please! Great take on the prompt, Kymm.

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  12. I loved this Kymm, because I happen to love phones that have cords (especially old black phones.) I've also had those times where I felt a coughing fit coming on at the worst possible time-but not while I've been on the phone. Here, in this deliciously suspenseful piece of genius, it all came together! Bravo!!

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    1. I just had this vision of this total loser (not me, nothing like me, ever) and of course it all just has to end badly. lol
      Thanks for the love, Valerie!

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  13. oooh, well. I wasn't expecting that ending at all. good stuff! :)

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    1. I don't think she was expecting it either.
      Thanks so much, Christina!

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  14. Never expected that horrible ending. Well written and powerful. I could feel the cord around my neck.

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    1. Sorry for the feel of the cord around your neck (hope you could get it off).
      Thanks, lumdog!

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  15. Very tense, and on edge all the time. Yes, the ending masterful, suspense to surprise.

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    1. Glad to hear it kept you on edge. And thanks, Pirate!

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  16. I felt like that phone cord by the end of the story - tense, tense, tense.

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    1. Hahaha Hope you managed to unwind.
      Thank you kindly, Jean!

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  17. Why? what?..I am a bit clueless...I hope u pick up the story in your next post.

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    1. Nope, just gonna leave Janie hanging there... lol
      Thanks for reading, Sini! (and you're not clueless, probably just much less cynical than I am.)

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  18. putting my little knowledge of forensic medicine into use, i doubt she'll die.... or would she?

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    1. Well, technically I didn't actually kill her, but with the phone cord jammed in the door, an uncontrollable coughing fit and the cord wrapped around her neck...
      lol Thanks for considering it, Habiba!

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  19. Argh-no!Why the hell is Janie doing this?Who is she calling?What about her past?Is she a teenager or not?Did the chord get wrapped around her neck in the excitement?Am plagued with questions Kymm-answers please-curiosity will definitely kill this cat ;-)Great build up here :-)

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    1. Hahaha I really know no more than you do, Atreyee. Thanks for your enthusiasm!

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  20. Yes! I want to know more! I love the snippet of a scene you showed here. The amount of detail was great. The suspenseful build up even better. While I love where you ended it, I want more!

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    1. Hahaha Thanks for the love, Wisper.
      I don't think I'm brave enough to try to find out any more!

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