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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Telephone (07/17/08)

TITLE: Where are you?
By T. F. Chezum
07/20/08


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Greg fumbled for the phone on his cluttered nightstand. “Hello.”

“Where are you?” an indignant woman’s voice blurted.

He winced at the alarm clock. “Who… Wha…”

“You said you’d be here already.” She heaved an exasperated grunt. “I really don’t appreciate this. And you…”

Static interrupted.

Greg sat on the edge of his bed. “Hello?” Puzzlement echoed in his voice. “Who is this?”

Silence hissed in his ear.

“Are you still there?”

The line went dead.

Bewildered, the young man gawked at the receiver. “Weird,” he muttered. “Two in the morning. Fantastic.”

He flopped backward, lying sideways across the bed. Staring at the ceiling, he wiggled the phone in his hand. “I bet it was Megan,” he chuckled. “Good one Meg.” A yawn interrupted his train of thought. “Bet you’re laughin’…” His voice tapered off as his eyes fluttered shut.



Greg sat rigid at the shrill sound of the ringer; the handset tumbled to the floor. He scrambled to retrieve it. “Hey… Hello, Meg?”

“You have some nerve.” The female’s voice sounded angrier than earlier.

“Who is…”

“First you leave me abandoned, then you hang up on me?”

“Wait. I didn’t,” Greg retorted. “You’ve got a wrong…”

“You better get down here,” she snapped.

The sound of a train whistle resonated through the earpiece.

“Who is this?” He ran his hand through his already mussed hair. “Where are you? Hello?”

Silence answered his inquiry.

“Are you there?”

The connection terminated.

Greg slumped forward, his forehead resting on his left palm; the phone bobbled in his twitching right hand. “I can’t take this.” He rubbed his temples as his right thumb pressed the numbers with deliberate motions. With great intent he listened for the other party to answer. “C’mon, Meg. Pick it up.”

“Hello?” slurred a weary sounding Megan.

“Hey Megan.” He took a deep breath. “Have you… were you…”

“Greg?” Uncertainty echoed in Megan’s voice. “It’s after two. Couldn’t this wait?”

“Somebody’s been calling. I don’t know…”

“Well it wasn’t me!” The confusion in her words evolved to anger. “I’ve got to go to work today.”

“Sorry, Meg.”

Silence met his reply.

“Megan?”

The call disconnected.

The young man dropped the phone on his pillow and stumbled to the bathroom. Splashing cool water on his face, he glanced at the mirror over the sink. “I look just wonderful.” He took a sip from his cupped hands. He flinched at the sound of the phone. Water splashed across the floor.

Greg dashed back to the bed. “Hello?”

“My stupid battery went dead.” Aggravation gushed from the now familiar voice. “I had to find a pay phone.”

“Who are you?” Greg stomped his foot in frustration. “How did you get my num…”

“I don’t like being here. When are you coming to get me?” A public address announcement resonated in the background. “These guys are giving me the creeps.”

“Where are you? What do you want me to do?” He released an agitated groan.

Silence greeted his pleas.

“Hello?”

The dial tone droned.

He pressed a button on the keypad and stared at the display. “Blocked call… figures.” He scrolled through the call history to an unfamiliar number and pressed dial. “C’mon… C’mon.”

“The cellular customer you are trying to reach is not available,” a computerized voice recited.

He rested the phone on his chest as he leaned back on his pillow. “What should I do?” His eyelids refused to stay open.



Greg gazed through sleep-encrusted lashes at the numbers on his clock. “It can’t be eight already.” He blinked.

“And our weather forecast looks great for the next few days,” the radio blared from his nightstand.

He sat up, the phone falling to the rumpled covers. “No more calls.”

“And locally, a woman’s body was discovered early this morning,” the newsman stated. “She was found by railroad workers near the passenger platform at the downtown station.”

The young man turned toward the radio in stunned silence.

“The body has not been identified,” the announcer continued. “The coroner estimates time of death between two and three this morning. Nobody seems to know who she is or why she was even there at that hour of the night.”

Disbelief tormented Greg’s thoughts.

He snatched the phone from his bed and depressed the redial button. “Answer it. Whoever you are, please answer.”

An eternity of silence passed.

“The cellular customer you are trying to reach is not available.”

Greg dropped the phone, uncertainty numbing his mind.


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This article has been read 666 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Schultz 07/24/08
Ohhhh, this leaves me wanting to know more—that's a good thing.
Joanne Sher 07/24/08
Just haunting. I don't think I breathed until it was over. Excellent job with the suspense. Very well done.
Verna Cole Mitchell 07/27/08
You created some powerful suspense in your well written entry.
Sharlyn Guthrie07/27/08
Chilling!
Joy Faire Stewart07/28/08
Excellent job keeping the reader engaged throughout the story. Very chilling.
Chely Roach07/28/08
Suspenseful, gripping, and creepy. Cool. Right up my alley:)
Helen Dowd 07/28/08
Wow! You sure do leave a person hanging!!!! This phone call left me sitting on the edge of my seat, wondering who it was going to be in the end. Who WAS the mysterious caller? Guess I'll just have to CONSENTRATE on that one...Maybe next week's challenge you'll finish your story??? Hope so...Helen
Betty Castleberry07/28/08
Whoa! Very suspenseful. I like that you left the ending up to the reader. Well done.
Lyn Churchyard07/28/08
This left me wanting to know more. Great story. Well done.
Catrina Bradley 07/28/08
Edge of your seat suspense - the atmosphere grows more and more tense until the ending that you expect but hope isn't coming.
Lynda Lee Schab 07/29/08
Seriously, I was riveted. I don't often hang on every word, but this story was a wonderful exception. I loved it and like others commented, it definitely left me wanting more. Great entry for the topic. :-)
beatrice Russo07/29/08
Bonjour, My son and I really loved your story and would love to know what happen next....
George Parler 07/29/08
Talk about suspense!

Good job. Definitely left the reader wanting more. What started out seemingly as a light hearted joke by "Meg" soon turned dark with a seamless shift into suspense. Well done.
LaNaye Perkins08/14/08
Whoa, talk about leaving us hanging on every word! Great writing my friend. WELL DONE!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 10/12/10
You are a master! I loved every word. I'm curious if you had more of the story in your head, but I really liked the open ending. Not every story needs to be tied up in a neat little package.