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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Oops (01/14/10)

TITLE: Dumfounded
By lynn potter
01/20/10


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Dumfounded

I gently laid the phone down and walked over to the window. It was amazing. I could still hear her screaming from across the room. I looked at the phone and for a minute I thought I saw it jump. Of course it was my imagination. I chuckled inside thankful that I was not that phone.

She had been going on in a tirade for about five minutes before I decided I had had enough. Words a hardened sailor wouldn’t dare speak entered what was a peaceful atmosphere invading my space. Rather than hang up on her, I simply distanced myself and walked across the room.

“Do you understand?” The voice bellowed. “How utterly stupid you all must be. Do you realize what you have done? I have had friends and family calling all day long. I’m telling you…”

I really didn’t understand because she kept saying the same thing over and over. Her hysteria wasn’t helping either.

I leaned against the wall peering out the window. This was not the first of this kind of call. I was the customer service manager of our local newspaper. We held to the highest standards of reporting and prided ourselves in offering a quality newspaper for our small community. “What’s this all about?” I wondered.

My thoughts were interrupted by the demanding voice.

“Hello? Hello! Are you listening?”

Reluctantly I made my way back to my desk and picked up the phone. “Yes?”

“I said, are you listening?”

“I am, but perhaps I could understand better if you spoke a little slower.”

“Do you have a copy of today’s paper that you idiots have already circulated?”

“Yes Ma’am, I do.”

“Well, get it and open up to the obits. Look for the name Sarah Collins.”

“OK.”

“You see it?”

“Yes.”

“Well, you’re speaking to her.”

“Excuse me?”

“I said, you’re speaking to her. I am Sarah Collins. I live at 28 Dover Lane. That is me you are reading about. Obviously, I am NOT DEAD!”

I was dumfounded. How could this have happened? What could I say to her to calm her down?

In disbelief I read, “Sarah Collins of 28 Dover Lane died unexpectedly at her home last evening. She was found on the living room floor by her daughter. It appears there was a bone stuck in her throat and she choked to death. Preparations for her burial are being planned by her long time friend Sophie. She will be laid to rest in her favorite place behind the family‘s house in the woods.”

I was speechless.

Taking opportunity to break the silence she threw in the last dagger. “You idiots! That was my dog that choked to death and Sophie was her name.”


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This article has been read 346 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Mary Knoll Santos01/22/10
Hilarious! (I know it wasn't funny then). Well-written. I hope restitutions were made with Sarah Collins after.

Cheers!
Jan Ackerson 01/25/10
Funny situation! Small town newspapers have to deal with lots of interesting characters.

A few things struck me as unlikely--the obit was odd if the writer thought he/she was writing about a person, and the woman's reaction seemed a bit over the top. A few tweaks might polish this up a bit.

I've started a thread in the message boards specifically for Beginner and Intermediate writers, and I'd love to have you stop by. http://www.faithwriters.com/Boards/phpBB2/viewforum.php?f=67

Love your narrator's patience and humor!
Amanda Brogan01/25/10
HaHa! I love how the main character just sets the phone down and lets the lady go on and on. That newspaper made a major oops!
Patricia Herchenroether01/28/10
Talk about a mistake! I had fun reading this.
02/06/10
What a humorous read, though devastating for the poor lady who was indeed alive. I had to chuckle as I read this because it does really happen. Good job!