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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Digital Detox (04/24/14)

TITLE: He Has My Number
By Christina Banks


Twos and fours hover before my face. I swipe at them, trying to clear the field. Up, down, side to side. As they combine, forming larger numbers, more fill the empty places. I shift in bed, plump the pillow, and squeeze my eyes closed again. The numbers are gone. Finally, I can get some rest.

I’ve never had trouble sleeping. I’m usually out within minutes of my head hitting the pillow, but this last week has been different. Ever since Jan introduced me to that stupid game, all I can think about are numbers.

Two in the morning. I stare at the clock in disbelief. Wasn’t I just dreaming about twos? My bladder screams for relief. I grab my phone as I go to take care of business.

A wrong move starts a chain reaction I can’t stop. I need a two, but the game gives me a four. I’m not going to make it. Ugh. So close to beating my high score. I’ll just play one more game before returning to bed.

Hubby knocks on the bathroom door. “Are you alright?” he whispers.

“Yeah. Just a moment.” My bum is numb. How long have I been sitting here?

I hide my phone in the waistband of my pajama pants before exiting. Hubby doesn’t need to know what the holdup is. He wouldn’t understand. He kisses me as I pass him in the hall.

My side of the bed is cold. Exhaustion tugs at my body, but my brain will not stop. I close my eyes and force my breathing to regulate and my heart to calm.

The house is silent when I finally wake up and stretch. I feel more tired now than I did when I went to bed last night. I rub my eyes and grope for my phone. It isn’t on the bedside table. I know I put it back. Didn’t I?

Adrenaline pumps through my veins as I jump up and pull the bed apart. It isn’t here. I have to have my phone. I check the floor and on the night stand again, but there is no sign of it. It couldn’t have just disappeared.

A through search of the bedroom, the hall, and the bathroom leave me empty handed. I’d call Hubby at work, but I can’t. I need my phone to do that.

Frustration wells as I take a shower and get dressed. Where could the phone be? It’s never out of my sight. No answers come.

While I pour my cereal, I see the note taped to the back of the box.

Consider this an intervention. I love you!

He included a crude sketch of my phone in his pocket. He can’t do this to me. I need that phone. I need my numbers! I fume through breakfast. How dare he?

But my anger fades as I face the day. I wander around the house, unfocused. I feel like a jack-in-the-box, popping up every few moment, unable to stay still. I try to use my energy for good but I can’t stay on track. I keep thinking about my numbers. How am I going to reach 2048 if I don’t have a chance to play?

The house sparkles by the time our car pulls in the driveway.

“Where is it?” I demand as Hubby walks in the door.

He gives me that innocent look, and pretends not to understand.

“I need my phone.”

“You didn’t get a call all day.” He says. “Your sister texted you about the party next weekend. You can use my phone to call her back.” He fishes his dinosaur flip phone from his pocket.

I refuse to take it.

“You might as well use mine. I left yours at work.” There isn’t a bit of remorse in his statement.

“You forgot it?” I know my mouth is gaping open.

“No.” He hands me his phone again. “We’re trading.”

“You can’t do that.”

“I already did.” He places the phone on the counter and kisses my forehead before walking away.

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This article has been read 338 times
Member Comments
Member Date
JK Stenger05/04/14
Excellent writing.
I did enjoy your article immensely. Well done. As far as technical critique I would not know what to write, as I am nowhere near your good writing.
If I would have to mention anything at all it would be that the ending left me somewhat dissatisfied. I was really into your story, but suddenly it was over without (at least tom me) any indication of the issue being resolved. Although the hubby was certainly justified in taking action, I would have liked to hear more about the MC coming to grips with the problem or at least recognising it. Anyway, that's my 2 cents, andit really is only that, 2 cents.
God bless you in your good writing.
C D Swanson 05/04/14
Great delivery, powerful content and wonderful job with the topic.

Well done.

God bless~
Sara Harricharan 05/07/14
oh LOL! I know the feeling of being without your phone, it's a rather odd, strange sort of feeling. You captured that perfectly!

(and I completely understand about wanting to reach that next level.) Wonderful characterizations, though I didn't quite catch the end, until the hubby said he was "trading" and then I realized they'd switched phones. Could just be me though.

Great job! Thanks for sharing!
Tracy Nunes 05/08/14
Congratulations Christina! Great writing!
Lillian Rhoades 05/08/14
Well-crafted story with lots of action. Loved the title! Congratulations!!