Friday, April 15, 2011

the Red Dress Club: Phone Call

It was a regular routine evening for my family and I. I felt accomplished with being able to get the kids to bed at a reasonable hour and settled down to read some of my latest book. I lost track of the time after a few hours of page turning drama and woke my husband from his slumber in his recliner. We headed to our room to finish sleeping in our bed. I was over tired by this point and listened to the radio playing softly in the background and drifted off.

Once I fall asleep, I am like the dead. I've told people that I could sleep through a Mack truck driving through my bedroom and not stir. But this evening, it was different.
It woke me immediately. What is that? Is that the phone?

I rub my eyes and look at my alarm clock across the room and see it says 3:35am. I jump up out of the bed and try to grab the phone before the answering machine picks it up. A thousand thoughts run through my head. Are my parents ok? Did my brother in law have another seizure and he's in the hospital? Has some one been in an accident? Or worse, a wrong number maybe.?
"Hello." The voice on the other end of the receiver says. " Tiffany, it's Christina. I am so sorry to call you so late. But I couldn't think of anyone else to call. Honestly I have no one else to call and I need your help."
"Is this a joke? It's 3:35 in the morning and I haven't spoken to you in what, three years. Where are you?"
"I am sitting in my car on the side of the road. I'm terrified. I can't go home, my husband.. he. he.. he's not breathing. There's blood, lots of blood.
"What happened? Did you call 911? " I'm fully awake by this point and I'm pacing the floor in my bedroom. My husband has woken up to question who I am talking to at this hour.
I shoot him a look and mouth the words I'll tell you in a minute.

"No. I can't. I can't do that. If I call them, I'll go to jail. I need your help to figure this out." She is sobbing into the phone now and it's starting to sound irrational.

"What do you want me to do?" By this point I'm thinking she's crazy. Why would she want to involve me in something unlawful. I'm debating whether to hang up because it sounds like a sick joke. " I really think you need to calm down and call the police. What did you do Christine?"

"We were having an argument and I grabbed his gun. He has always said that it was unloaded. I.. I don't know anything about guns. I was crying and he was yelling and I pointed it at him. I didn't know.. I didn't know." She is uncontrollably sobbing now and if I don't get her to calm down this may get worse. Where is the gun now? What is she thinking? Is she going to hurt herself?
I need to get her to calm down and get answers soon before some one else gets hurt.

"Ok, so what happened next?" I have to remain calm so I can find out what her address is and get some help to her husband. This is far beyond what I'm used to dealing with but she called me for a reason.

"He was telling me to put it down but I was so scared. I knew if I did he was going to get really mad after wards. Then he stepped forward and I pulled the trigger. I expected a click. I wanted to shock him.. I just wanted to scare him. Oh what have I done??!! Oh my God!!"

Then the phone clicks.

"Hello.. Hello Christine?? Christine??!"
Then the beep beep beeping of a disconnected line.

This story is a fictional story written for the prompt "In the middle of the night, you get an urgent call from a friend you haven’t talked to in years. Something terrible has happened. What is it and why is he/she calling you?" for the red dress club. Comments are welcome and constructive criticism is encouraged. What could have I done different? Did you like it? I am trying to stretch my wings in the fictional writing.


Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Whew! At first I thought this was nonfiction. Glad it's fiction ;-)

We 2 Bees said...

I thought it was non-fiction as well, and I was scared for you! Good writing! I didn't like being left to hang though :-) I wanted more of the story!

Shell said...

Oh, I like it! That would definitely be a scary wake up call!

Anonymous said...

That would be a scary middle of the night phone call! My only concrit would be that your last line conflicts with the image of her sitting on the side of the road (on a cell phone) because only land line would make that beep beep. :)

Stopping by from trdc!