Friday, May 8, 2009

Fiction Friday - Prompt II

A great many people seemed to enjoy this last week, me especially, getting to see what creative and out-of-the-box followers I attract, so I thought we'd try it again.

Rules are the same: Flash fiction, 100 word maximum

All comments come to my email, so feel free to take your time. If you're set up to receive emails, I'll drop you a line to share my thoughts.

And now, without further ado, this week's prompt:

The voice on the phone....

(BTW -- NEVER use this as an opening for a novel. I've heard at least half a dozen agents and editors say this is the most cliched opening they can think of.)


  1. The voice on the phone was cut off without warning.

    "Steve?" Lisa said, her grip tightening on her mobile. "Steve? Are you there?" Her voice changed up a pitch as her panic grew.

    "What happened?" Sonya asked taking Lisa's spare hand.

    "The phone went dead!" Lisa exclaimed, holding it out and staring at the blank screen with widened eyes. Her breaths started coming short and sharp as panic threatened to take over.

    "Wait," Sonya said and took the phone from her friend calmly. "You told me yesterday you needed to charge it. Did you?"

    Lisa looked at her friend, comprehension dawning on her. "Nothing happened to Steve?"

    "No, your phone died," Sonya said with a laugh.

  2. How to Become a Mother at 50

    The voice on the phone was unfamiliar, but that didn’t change my response.

    “Why do you people keep calling me?”

    The voice grew frantic. “Heather is going to jail for child endangering, Tony for felony child abuse. If you don’t come get her, they’ll take her to foster care.”

    “Yeah, right.”

    “It’s true! Here, you can talk to the cop.”

    A man’s voice, muffled, said, “If she won’t come, fuck her.”

    No cop would talk that way. Another prank by Tony’s crazy family. Silently, I hung up the phone and rolled over.

    Until the next call came.

    From the jail.

    (99 words, plus title)

  3. The most cliche huh? That's good to know.

    I love reading others attempts (even if I can't handle attempting it myself this early in the morning.)

  4. Okay you know I had to restrain myself...and sorry for the long one last week :)

    The voice on the phone disappeared.

    Had she hung up, was it a glitch in the phone service?

    Anger filled my face as I slammed down the receiver for the third time.

    Enough was enough!

    This time I was going to call back and make sure they understood the urgency.

    “Fifth floor nurses station, and how may I help you” a man answered.

    Once again I was put on hold.

    After a few seconds the line went dead.

    I quickly dressed to make a personal appearance on my attitudes behalf.

    I began to walk out the door…my home phone rang.

  5. The Fallout

    The voice on the phone said, “Goodbye”.

    I had spent last night with Megan again.

    Linda knew Megan would be traveling with the group this week. My focus on work usually kept me busy, but today my emotions took over when this latest situation blew up in my face.

    Megan told me, “This isn’t your fault", but she knew I was leaving her for good. She cried as I told her how much Linda means to me.

    With broken tether, oxygen failing, I watched Atlantis fade away. At least Hubble was fixed. I told Megan , “ Goodbye.”

  6. Uh.... can I get a re-do???

    The Fallout

    The voice on the phone said, “Goodbye”.

    I had spent last night with Megan again.

    My wife, Linda, knew Megan would be traveling with the group this week. Work usually keeps me focused, but today my emotions took over when this latest situation blew up in my face.

    Megan cried when she could see I was leaving her for good. She cried harder when I told her how much Linda means to me.

    With broken tether, oxygen failing, Atlantis faded away slowly. At least Hubble was finally repaired. I told First Officer Megan , “Goodbye”, then floated away.

  7. The voice on the phone was strangely familiar yet, I could not put a name to it right away ... slowly it came to me. I felt that hairs on my arms bristle and my stomach churn as I recognized the voice I heard was a voice I had heard everyday for the last forty plus years. The voice on the phone was me! Time came to a full stop for a moment as I attempted to discern if this was a dream or what I deemed as reality. No, this is not a dream I thought as I quickly surveyed the events that had led up to this moment. It is amazing how quickly you mind works for in what was surely seconds the events of the past week unfolded in my mind as I tried to make sense of this situation. The voice, my voice on the other end of the line continued to talk as it told me to pull it together, that I was somehow calling myself from the future to warn myself about what was to soon transpire. Of course as soon as I accepted the reality of what I was about to tell myself ... the line went dead because the mere fact that I was about to warn myself altered the future me in someway and the call never was completed ... but why? What could have happened that I needed to warned about?

  8. Love these prompts! It's so interesting to see all the different directions that people go with it! :)

  9. I suck. All my efforts are true not fiction. I think I need to come back later. I am so disappointed in me.......

  10. Title: Close Call

    The voice on the phone was barely audible.

    “I saw you.”

    “Hello? Who is this?”

    “I saw you. I'm going to tell.”

    Oh, my god. Who could have seen her? No, if you're going to murder your husband, you had best make sure you aren't observed – and as murderers go, Melanie was smart. She bluffed.

    “Get off the phone. Leave me alone, or I'll call the police.”

    “Go ahead, Sarah. Call them,” came the whisper. “Save me the trouble.”

    Sarah? What the hell?

    “This isn't Sarah. Who are you?”

    Silence, then the voice again, louder this time.

    “Sorry. Wrong number.”

  11. The voice on the phone sounded oddly familiar. Almost like my oldest daughter but different.
    "Is this Elaine Hollis"?
    "Yes. How can I help you"?
    "My name is Andrea. Andrea Hollis. My mother used to work with your late husband. I am his daughter. He always told me that I could count on him if I needed him. Well I need him. I am very ill and I understand that I have sisters. I need them to be tested to see if they are a match. They could save my life".
    My world collapsed with this phone call.

  12. The voice on the phone always repeated the same thing.
    My wife fell to the floor screaming in mental anguish. I knew what was happening. It’s happened before always at dinnertime. My wife crumbled to the floor sobbing uncontrollably. We tried to tell her not to answer the phone. We warned her not to answer. We were being stalked, the unrelenting calls everyday. What started out as a mere nuisance has become an agonizing ritual.

    Please, please don’t you understand? I don’t want to change my long distance carrier!

  13. Appropriated Words:

    The voice on the phone asked, "May I call you Ishamel?" in her honey smoked tones.

    She continued, "It is the best of times, it is the worst of times, and shouldn't your insurance coverage reflect that?"

    She had given me much upon this midnight dreary, to ponder weak and weary,
    while she continued I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, as of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. To the door I went to find a small gecko who wished to review my needs.

    Which would I choose the lady or the lizard?

  14. 100 words

    The Long Wait

    The voice on the phone sounded familiar.

    Deep and raspy with a strong Glaswegian accent.

    It couldn't be. My heart was pounding.

    " Jimmy?” I cried.

    I heard several sharp intakes of breath before he answered.

    "Ach no love, it’s Gordon, Jimmy's brother. I am sorry to have to tell you this but..”, his voice faltered...

    “ What is it, where is Jimmy, do you know where Jimmy is?” I cried.

    Gordon continued, his voice barely audible, “Natalie, Jimmy's body was found this morning in Lochness. He was murdered”.

    Five years of waiting ended with those words.

  15. Unclear on the concept

    The voice on the phone was low. Unfamiliar.

    "Mrs. White?"

    "Yes," I replied, half-listening.

    "Mrs. White, we have kidnapped your husband." The world stopped.

    "Who is this?!"

    "You don't need to know. Do you want to see him again?"

    Panic rose in my throat, then I heard our front door open. Clasping the phone to my chest, I leapt into the hallway. I saw his face coming through the door and nearly burst into tears.

    “What?” he asked, perplexed.

    I spit the words into the phone.

    “My husband is here – and your number is on my caller ID. Idiot.”

    (100 words)

    My wife, the Middle-Aged Woman, gets at least half the credit for this story. She posted a version of this tale on her blog - but failed to do what she was told (as usual) and include it in the comments here.

    Hope someone enjoyed my attempt.


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