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

TITLE: The Voice
By Kristen Hester
07/23/08


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It’s been three years since I’ve heard the strange voice that changed my life, yet the circumstances surrounding it remain a mystery. Initially his words haunted me, but upon reflecting back one thing is clear. In the end they made me a better person.

I first heard The Voice when I was complaining on the phone to my friend, Dana. “The teachers are giving the kids entirely too much homework.”

“I agree,” Dana answered.

“Max had two hours of math homework before studying for spelling or Latin.” I sighed. “It’s exhausting.”

“Poor Baby!” a deep voice–certainly not Dana’s–said.

“Who’s that?” I questioned.

Dana seemed puzzled. “I don’t know. I’m home alone.”

We spent a few minutes on the mystery, then continued our gripe session without another interruption.

Three days later The Voice spoke again during a conversation with my mother.

“Any news from Kayla?” I asked. Both of us were eager for my sister to get pregnant and often speculated between ourselves the condition of her uterus.

“Nope.”

“I know the problem,” I began. “She came to visit me last weekend. I think the time she spent with my wild children drove her back to taking birth control pills.”

The sound I heard sent chills done my arms. It was laughter. Male laughter.

“Who is that?” my mother asked.

“It wasn’t me. Are you alone?”

“Yea.”

I was disturbed but tried to forget the incident. However, the next day things got even stranger. My daughter invited a friend from her soccer team to attend our church’s youth group. I was giving her mother directions to our church.

“Turn right on Highway....” I paused as I tried to recall the correct highway number.

“1791,” The Voice offered.


I barely slept that night. Frightening urban legends about psychopaths calling from inside the house filled my mind. I insisted my husband search the attic and closets before bed. The next morning I called the phone company.

“Someone is listening in on my phone calls,” I insisted. The technician checked my service and assured me that no one could be on the line with me.

“Then who am I hearing?” He wasn’t able to offer an explanation, and I got the feeling he thought I was a crazy housewife with too much time on my hands. Subsequent calls resulted in similar responses.

Soon I was hearing The Voice almost daily. He never said much. He just laughed at a joke or offered one or two word comments. After my initial fear of The Voice, I began to get irritated. How dare someone invade my privacy? There were times I had important and private matters to discuss with my friends. The Voice started affecting the things I said.

When Tiffany called to complain about our mutual friend Martha, I had a lot of juicy information I wanted to share with her. I started to add to Tiffany’s list of criticisms when I remembered The Voice. I didn’t know who it belonged to and didn’t feel comfortable sharing what I wanted to say knowing another set of ears might be listening.

“Martha has good intentions,” I told Tiffany, and then changed the subject. “What are you wearing to Ladies Night Out?”

The next day I ran into Tiffany at the grocery store. Her eyes were misty when she hugged me. “You were such an example of Christ yesterday when I was gossiping about Martha. Thank you.”

Her words convicted me to my soul. How many times had I blabbed unnecessary information over the phone? Even though I knew God was always listening to my words, it took a stranger’s presence to shut my mouth.

That’s when I began to think of my mystery voice differently. When a friend needed encouragement, I wondered if perhaps my stranger needed the same encouragement. I often shared scripture with someone over the phone, hoping they ministered to two people, not just one. When I was tempted to gossip or complain, his presence stopped me.

One day I got a call from Mandy, the single mother that lived down the street.

“I’m sorry to bother you, but I need someone to talk to,” she began in tears.

That day I had the privilege of introducing Mandy to Christ. After she hung up, just before I disconnected, I heard a soft, male voice say, “Thanks.”

That was the last time I heard The Voice, but I have never forgotten what he taught me.


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This article has been read 578 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Schultz 07/24/08
Ohhhh, a mystery! The lesson is right on. Well done.
Joanne Sher 07/26/08
Oh so creative and engaging. Love the idea, and the message here. Wonderful voice too. Great stuff!
Sharlyn Guthrie07/27/08
Great suspense, but with a lesson built in, too. I love it!
Edy T Johnson 07/28/08
This is so good, I don't know where to begin. I love a mystery, and this is spooky. Of course, you hooked this reader completely. And, you worked in such a wonderful message along with the MC's shifting emotions that it all felt chillingly real. And, I loved the ending. Sure would like to know how The Voice did what he did!
Shirley McClay 07/30/08
I thought at the beginning it was going to be a God thing... but wow... it was really frightening. Especially as you know someone who actually has this happening. Sheesh.
Mariane Holbrook07/30/08
Oh my goodnes! Go ahead and scare me to death! This was a great story and I was glued to my screen! You're good! Kudos!
Marlene Austin07/30/08
What a powerful story. Your conversations were so real that I felt that I, too, was "eavesdropping". :)
Laury Hubrich 07/30/08
What an eerie story but also an amazing one, too! Thanks for sharing...
Laury
Verna Cole Mitchell 07/30/08
The suspense, the eerieness, the message--all just right.
Sara Harricharan 07/30/08
Oh my. This gave me goosebumps. Made me actually look over my shoulder before typing this. Wow. What a story. There is so much inside of here, really awesome writing. The details, the characters and the message. just wow. ^_^
Lauryn Abbott07/30/08
What a scary situation! Makes for a good story though! Good job in the telling.
Pamela Kliewer07/30/08
What an impact of a lesson! Mysterious and intriguing. God using a mystery caller, to stop one from gossiping... AND to encourage others.. wow!
Joshua Janoski07/31/08
Whoa! This sent chills down my spine. How creepy, and yet the ending was awesome. I liked the moral of the story. God is always watching us, so we need to be careful what we speak. Excellent story!