Wrong Number

“Hello?” Sandra said into the phone.

“G’day. I’m calling to speak to Mike.” Said the voice on the other end.

“Sorry, mate. Wrong number. There’s no Mike here.”  She answered before hanging up the phone.

Thirty seconds later, the phone rang again. It was the same bloke, still looking for Mike.

“Look, I already told you, there isn’t anybody here by that name. He obviously gave you the wrong number.” She hung up again.

Almost as soon she replaced the receiver, it was ringing again. “Look mate,” she snapped. “I already told you, I don’t know this Mike of yours. Now don’t call again!”

“Actually,” a soft voice spoke. “This is Mike. I just called to give you a heads up that I gave this number to a particularly persistent guy at the club last night. I take it he’s called you already?”

Sandra was annoyed and told him so. Mike was apologetic and told her so. He’d made up a number on the spot, and only later did it occur to him that it might actually be a real number. While still annoyed, Sandra was impressed that Mike was willing to own up to his mistake. She commiserated with him about overly persistent suitors, as well.

Mike and Sandra chatted for nearly an hour. They had a lot in common and never seemed to run out of things to say. Before ending their conversation, they had agreed to meet for coffee the next day. As she hung up the phone, Sandra mused that maybe wrong numbers weren’t all bad.

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OK, this week’s story is very short and not very good. I apologise. I ran out of time before leaving for my holiday and figured something was better than nothing, so there you go. The prompt for this story was “It all started with a wrong number…”. I can’t remember where I got it from.

Gone

The first time I disappeared, I was six. One moment, I was sitting at the table eating spaghetti with my family, the next moment I was gone. Just like that; now you see me, now you don’t. Continue reading

Imaginary Friends

The first time I saw my friends was right after we moved into our new house. I didn’t like the house my parents bought. It was old and dirty, with grime on the windows and doors that creaked and redbacks under the stairs. The yard was practically a jungle with overgrown gardens and grass up to my knees. I just knew I would be stuck cleaning that mess up even though there was bound to be mice and snakes and who knows what else living there.

The kitchen was old. It had one of those orange laminate bench-tops that were popular when my mum was a kid. The wallpaper was faded and peeling and there was only one sink. There was a little square table and two uncomfortable looking chairs in the corner that the previous owners had left behind. Continue reading

Christmas Comes But Once A Year

Karen woke to the sound of whispering. Rolling over and glancing at the window, she groaned as she saw it was still dark out.

“It’s too damned early,” she grumbled to herself. Hoping to get some more rest, she closed her eyes and tried to go back to sleep, ignoring the sounds of feet racing up and down the hallway and the quiet rustling of toys being removed from stockings. She sighed as her body gradually relaxed. She was just about to drift into slumber, when the loud flush of the toilet jerked her back into wakefulness. Continue reading

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

‘’Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.’

I wish.  It sure as hell isn’t that quiet in our house, let me tell you. There’s no popping off to bed early, dreaming of sugar plums (whatever the hell they are) and waiting for good old St Nick here. No, here it’s all noise and bickering and chaos. Continue reading

Sleigh Bells in the Snow

Snow. It means so many things to so many different people. It speaks of magic and Christmas and the sound of children’s laughter; it speaks of cold and darkness and death. Continue reading

The Sound of Falling Snow

Trigger Warning: Suicide

I never knew snow had a sound. Oh, I knew about the crunch it makes as you walk over it and the irritating nails on chalkboard sound of skis passing over the top. I have even heard the dull thud of snowballs hitting my brother once when we visited Charlotte Pass. Nothing in my life, though, prepared me for the near silent whisper of snowflakes floating gently to the ground, a sound so quiet it is almost felt rather than heard. Continue reading

Better

I knew this would happen. Granted I hadn’t expected it to be quite so soon, but I had expected it. And I told them. Repeatedly. I tried to warn them; tried to prepare them for this moment, but they refused to listen; refused to believe. I’m not so crazy now, though, am I?

I’m no longer the strange woman parents warn their children about; no more crossing the street to avoid me now. No. Now it’s “I always knew there was something to your theories, Mrs Kelly”, and “I never believed what they said about you, Mrs Kelly”. Oh no. The shit’s hit the fan and suddenly I’m the bees’ knees; queen of the hill; everyone’s best mate. Continue reading

Marked

I was marked at the moment of my birth. My mother lay screaming on her birthing blanket, tears leaking from her eyes, her forehead beaded with sweat, my slimy head dangling from her body while the priests placed the tattoos on my cheeks. She wanted to keep me, my mother, wanted to take me and run, but the elders caught her as they almost always do, and they took me from her.

The moment I was pulled from her body, my mother was killed. She had birthed a fatherless babe. She was unclean and could not be allowed to corrupt the other girls. Her body was burned with cleansing fire and her ashes scattered in the Valley of Shame. There was no grave, no place for me to visit in remembrance. I don’t even know her name.

I think of her sometimes, when I am alone. I wonder what she was like. Was she pretty? Was she kind? Do I look like her? Would she have loved me? I do not discuss these thoughts in our daily cleansings. They are my secret shame. Continue reading

Spirit

When the photo was developed, he was shocked to find her face staring out at him sadly. He had been unaware that she was at the party and had not noticed her hovering nearby when the snapshot was taken. Continue reading