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

TITLE: Those Darn Hearing Aids
By Johnna Stein


“Hello. Gladys speaking.”

“Hi Sweetie. It’s Betty. Just wanted to catch you up on the latest.”

“Oh, hi Patty. Haven’t talked to you in ages. How’s Bert?”

“Gladys. It’s Betty. Betty Smith. I’m married to Harry.”

“Oh, silly me. I thought you said you were Patty. Haven’t talked to her since our 50th high school reunion. I’m not even sure she’s still around. Heard anything from her?”

“No. We really weren’t that close. Anyhow, just wanted to update you on Dan. He passed by the other day on his way to the hospital. It’s just so sad, but his wife, Peggy, is quite the fighter. They think she’ll beat the cancer.”

“Oh dear, I’m so sorry to hear that. Do you want me to pass the news on to Julie?”

“If you would. I’ve got a thousand things to do today and never enough time. Jenny’s coming over with the girls for ice cream. I’ll talk to you later in the week. Bye now.”

“Bye, Betty. Thanks for calling.”



“Hi, Julie. Gladys here. Betty had some sad news she wanted me to share with you.”

“Why I haven’t heard from Patty in ages. Why the last time was at our 50th reunion. How is she? She’s not ill?”

“No. no. I mean I don’t actually know anything about Patty…”

“You’re not making a bit of sense. How can you not know anything if she just called you?”

“It wasn’t Patty who called. It was Betty. Betty Smith. Betty who’s married to Harry.”

“Oh, sorry. These darn hearing aids are for the birds. Just yesterday I thought John asked me to get him some new colorful pants for the yard. So I bought him two new pair of bright Bermudas. He sure did look surprised seeing as he meant azaleas and rose bushes.”

“I do understand! Anyhow, before I forget, let me pass on the message from Betty. Poor old Dan passed away yesterday. Didn’t even make it to the hospital. But, she said Peggy is quite the fighter and will defeat the cancer.”

“Oh, my. That’s just dreadful. Poor Peggy. Let me know when you hear about the funeral arrangements. Shall I pass the news on to Elly?”

“Please do. I’ll call you back as soon as I hear something. Bye. And don’t forget to water your Bermudas!”

“Ha ha. Talk to you soon.”


“Hello. Elly’s not home. After the beep, tell me all.
Soon as I can, I’ll return your call… Beep………………”

“Hi Elly, Julie here. Betty shared some terrible news. I hate to leave it on your voicemail, but I know you’d want to know as soon as possible. Brace yourself. Dan just passed away. Peggy’s fighting. And she’s got cancer in her feet, strangely enough. Anyway, I’ll call or you call me if you hear about the funeral.”


“Hello, Peggy speaking.”

“Hi, Peggy. This is Elly. I just received the terrible news from Judy on my answering machine. I’m devastated. How are you holding up?”

“Well, the prognosis is good. The doctors are positive I can beat this.”

“Are you able to walk at all?”

“Of course. It’s not like the cancer has spread from my breast to my legs or anything.”

“Oh, somehow I must have heard wrong. Well, that’s a relief.”

“With a few months of radiation and chemo, I’ll be all set.”

“Peggy, I hate to be the one to ask, but it’s been two days and everyone is wondering…”

“Oh, just come out with it. You’re never one to mince words.”

“Okay then, when’s the funeral?”

“What? The funeral? You trying to bury me while I’m still fighting for my life? I can’t believe people are wondering about my funeral.”

“Not your funeral. Dan’s funeral. There hasn’t been a word in the paper and no one knows anything. Even Pastor Ray hasn’t heard from you.”

“Hey Dan! You gotta hear this! People want to know when your funeral’s gonna be?”

“When the Good Lord calls me home I guess!”

“Why I can’t believe I’m hearing his voice. Judy heard from Gladys and Gladys heard from Patty that Dan had passed.”

“Well, he’s standing in the flesh right here next to me. Did you say Patty? Haven’t seen her since our 50th reunion. That’s odd. Anyhow, can I trust you to pass on the good news.”

“Yes, I’ll make sure everyone knows Dan is alive and well. Sorry about that. Hey, you hang in there and keep fighting.”

“Bye, Allie.”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 07/26/08
LOL - just like playing "telephone," eh? This was loads of fun, and I adored the read.
Amy Michelle Wiley 07/27/08
Haha, the funniest thing is that I thought Dan passed away before he even got to the hospital on my first read, too! Very easy to see how rumors get started. ;-)