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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: On the Telephone (11/18/10)

TITLE: Brad's worries
By Ken Ebright


A raspy voice was on the answering machine made Brad curious, “Hey Brad, this is your brother Bruce. I don’t have a reason to live anymore. I wish I could be dead,” then the answering machine went dead.

Brad, who lived in Illinois, called his brother in Texas, and left a voice message. “Bruce, this is your brother Brad, I need you to call me immediately. Please don‘t kill yourself. I love you very much. I don‘t want to loose you.”

Shaken by the message, Brad called his accountability partner from church, “Hey, this is Arnold.”

“Arnold, this is Brad, I just got a call from my brother Bruce. He left a voice message where he sounded suicidal. I tried to call him back; I couldn’t get him at all, just his voice mail. I don’t know what to do. He’s has tried to commit suicide at least twice before.”

Arnold, with a calm voice, tried to calm Brad down, “It is 5:30 now, I would keep trying to call him back. If he doesn’t answer by 10:30 call the police. The second thing I would do is pray, and I too will be praying for you and your brother.”

Brad called his brother at least 10 times that night. At 10:30 he called the police in Texas. “Houston Police Department,” answered the voice on the other line.

“Hey, I am concerned about my brother, Bruce, being suicidal. Could you go over to his house and see if he is okay. I would do that but I live in Illinois.”

“Sure we can, first off what is your name? Does he live in Houston?”

“I am sorry my name is Brad, and yes he lives in Houston.”

“What is his address?” asked the police officer.

“104 Maple Road.”

You could hear the officer banging away at the computer, “Okay, we’ll check it out and we will call you back. Is 618-555-5800 a good number call you back at?”

Brad sounded a little more relieved. “Yes it is, thank you,” He sat down on the sofa and relaxed.

Twenty-four hours later, the Houston police called back. “Hello this is Brad.”

“This is Detective Jankowski with the Houston Police Department. I was assigned to go over to your brother’s house. I went over there several times in the past 24 hours, he was not home. I don’t know what more we can do unless you give us an idea where he might possibly be. “

Brad spoke fast, “He has tried to commit suicide before. I know he lost his job. I’ll have to give that some thought and get back to you. Although, before I called you, I tried calling him. He apparently has gotten his voice messages because his voice mail box is not full anymore. I called so many times yesterday that maybe I filled it up.”

“Maybe that is a good sign. Again, if you have any leads my number is 701-555-6864.”

Brad felt sad and worried he sighed when he said, "I just talked to someone from the Houston Police Department. They went there, he was not home. Apparently he received his voice messages. I am really worried I don’t know what to do.”

“Brad, all you can do at this point is pray. The good thing is he has gotten his voice messages. That probably means that he is still living. You need to pray and trust the Lord.”

“Okay I will do that,” as Brad hung up the phone.

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This article has been read 343 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/25/10
You took on a tough topic and did a good job showing some of Brad's fear. Try working on making the dialog just a tad more realistic. Listen to peole and watch their movements this week. Then try to describe what you see and hear. You are doing a great job. Keep writing. Your story has a lot of suspense and is important for a lot of people to read during difficult times.
Verna Mull 11/26/10
This is well-written, but oh how I hate cliff-hangers! Wouldn't be so bad if it were continued after 20 minutes of advertising! :)
Lillian Rhoades 11/29/10
You stayed on topic. I would also suggest you read other articles perhaps from Level 4 to see how to make your dialgoue a bit more realistic.

Also, as you develop your story, try to make it more authentic.
In the real world, I'm not sure if waiting three or four hours to follow-up on a suicide occurs very often, if at all. I encourage you to continue writing.