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

By mick dawson



Newly retired, Phil spent much of his time harbouring his regrets over his life. There were many, the job he had was never a great one.

There was a time that he dreamt of writing books in his youth, depicting champions of old, portraying passages of the Bible but the critics were brutal. For years, he watched the shelves stocked with mundane stories on mundane characters while his were continually overlooked, until he was eventually forgotten.

The end result was that he hadn’t touched a computer keypad for the last thirty years.

‘Are you alright, there Rosie?’ he queried a grey cat, lying near him.
Satisfied, he returned to the garden, looking disdainfully at his hands, which shook uncontrollably.

Rosie was a good cat, a good companion too but it would have been nice to share his life with Karen, a woman who still dominated his thoughts, even now.

Sometimes in the quite of the evening, he asked God to take him home. He had no dreams left to live with but live, he knew he must.

His gardening fork, struck something in the soil, levering it to the surface, he saw it was a mobile phone. Brushing it off, he tossed it aside, continuing to work, believing that a worker may have left it behind in the building of the house.

It rang shrilly, jolting the one time author from his labours. In a stupor, he picked up the phone, believing that if he answered it, he may be able to return it to the owner.

‘Greetings, is that you, Phil?’ a familiar voice asked.

The phone all but shook out of his grasp, it couldn’t have been but it sounded like Togullen, chronicler to the king. He was a creation of Phil’s who worked in the Hall of Heroes as a scribe, telling the many tales of its champions.

‘Who are you?’ Phil asked.

‘It is I, Togullen.’

‘How is it you’re talking to me? You haven’t existed for over a thousand years.’

‘I am not dead, my friend. Nusalle stands as you last saw it, a mere moon after you left. You sound somewhat different.’

‘I’m sixty now.’

‘I see,’ muttered the scribe. ‘It would seem that time passes differently for you in the future.’

Phil pressed the phone closer to his ear, hoping not to miss a word.

‘I’ve missed you, Togullen.’

‘As I have, you but I speak to you now to ask but one question…did you write about us?’

Phil gripped the phone tighter, a single tear rolled from his eye.

‘I tried,’ he answered brokenly. ‘No one cared. I wish I were with you now, it was the last dream I had left.’

‘Then I will remind you of your pledge, write our story. Let not our lives be lived in vain. Tell the world of God’s love through your words and I promise you that the day will come when they will listen.’

A hissing crack sounded, ending the conversation.

In his anguish, Phil dropped to his knees, sobbing as if he lamented the passing of a friend. On touching the “redial” button, the phone crumbled into shards.

Rising to his feet, he stood, trembling, allowing the fragmented device to spill to the ground.

‘Only one dream left,’ he whispered.

Straightening, he strode with purpose for the house, not stopping until he entered the study. Tearing the white drop sheets away from the desk revealed his “ancient” computer.

Depressing the on switch compelled the desktop into life, illuminating the screen. It displayed the last story he worked on illustrating Proverbs 22:1, the value of a good name. Three pages were all it needed to complete the story.

Taking no more than an hour, he finished the piece as if he picked up where he left off yesterday.

His finger poised over the off switch for a moment in contemplation, fearful that he may switch it off for the final time.

In triumph, he depressed the button, blanking out the screen. Now that he was retired, there would be tomorrow and the next day, and the next.

‘Thanks Togullen,’ he whispered, a smile etching itself on his face. ‘I’ll see you in Heaven.’

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This article has been read 668 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lyn Churchyard07/24/08
I love this! Having the writer actually in contact with one of his favourite creations is out-of-the-box clever. How many of us have wished our characters, or the characters from books we've read were real. This was a great story and perfect for the 'telephone' topic. Well done!
Linda Grigg07/25/08
Interesting story. Whether Togullen or another human being, aren't you glad for the people who motivate us to keep on writing and having those dreams. God bless
Sunny Loomis 07/27/08
Interesting and unique story. Maybe our characters should call us more often. Thanks. Good job.
Amy Michelle Wiley 07/28/08
I think we all need a special nudge to get back to almost-forgotten characters sometimes. Creative story.