Don't Hang Up!

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: The Imaginarium

Submitted: January 10, 2018

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Submitted: January 10, 2018

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Don’t Hang Up!

I’m tired, going to head off to bed. Standing up, making my way to the stairs and then the phone starts to ring. It startles me. Usually calls come on the mobile. In fact, it’s so rare for the house phone to ring I’ve been seriously considering having it removed as a waste of money.

I look at the clock. Almost midnight! Who is going to be ringing me now? There’s no caller display so there’s no way I can tell who it is. I’ll leave it – it’s more than likely just a wrong number – and as I think that, the phone stops ringing.

Decision made for me, I start up the stairs but I’m only two steps up when it starts to ring again. I jump back down and go to the phone. I’m kind of cranky, too tired, all I want is to go to sleep. I grab hold of the receiver and snap, “Hello.”

Nothing! Not a sound. Just total silence. Kids, I think, just having a laugh, dialling random numbers then saying nothing if they get an answer. I’m just about to hang up when I hear a noise. Not talking or anything, more like static. Strange! And then things go to a whole new level of weirdness when I hear, or think I hear, someone whispering my name. “Laura.....”

Bringing the phone back towards my mouth, my ear, I say, “Hello. Who is this?”

There is an almost deafening increase in the sound of static and then a voice says quite clearly, “Don’t hang up.”

I don’t recognize the voice, must be someone ringing through for someone else. And that would explain why they want me to hold the line. But why are they taking so long about it.

Hello? Is anyone there?” I ask, after what must be several minutes of silence.

Don’t hang up, Laura. Stay on the line.” The voice is much clearer now. Is it my imagination or is there some kind of threat involved here?

Look, I’m tired. I’ve had a long day and I just want to go to sleep. If’ you’ve got something to say, please get on with it.” I’m in no mood for playing games, certainly not with some nameless, unknown creep.

DO NOT HANG UP! Is that clear?”

No pretence at pleasantness now. I know I’m encouraging the whole thing. I should just put the phone down and pull the cable from the wall. Slowly, I lower my hand, together with the phone, then freeze when that voice cuts in again.

I can see you. Don’t do it. I’m warning you, DO NOT HANG UP!”

I can feel the tiny hairs stand up on the back of my neck. He said that he can see me! Where is he? There’s no one in here but me so he must be outside somewhere, looking in. I move towards the drapes and peer around, trying to keep myself hidden from view.

There is no one visible in the windows of the houses opposite and from what I can make out the parked vehicles are all empty. There are street-lights but so many shadowy places where someone could be loitering out of my sight.

Who are you? What do you want?” I wanted it to come out calmly, but even to my own ears I sound scared, cornered. No doubt I am giving this guy just the kind of kicks  he wants. “Look, I don’t know you and I’ve had enough of this game, okay.”

If I’d have dropped the phone back in place I would not have heard the raised voice. “DO.....NOT.....HANG UP......THE PHONE! I’m warning you for the last time.” He sounds angry, but in a cold and calculated way. He is not getting mad but staying in control. And I think it is that fact that makes me terrified.

Again, I lean forward, straining my eyes for just a glimpse of someone, but still, I can’t make out anybody standing there. A couple of possible shadows, but I soon work out that they are cast by things, inanimate objects, not someone who is out there trying to scare me.

And then I hear something right behind me, feel something; a breath. There is someone in the room behind me, someone that is standing really near to me. My blood runs cold and I freeze. Should I try and make a jump for it, smashing my way through the window? Should I call for help?

His reflection stares back, very, very close. He is tall, massive, like some kind of hulking monster, and he is wearing one of those masks like in that old horror movie. I literally cannot move at all.

You can hang up now, Laura. Let the games begin.”

Mirrored in the window I can see his gloved hands reaching out towards my throat. I try to scream, to make some noise, but those hands fasten their way around my neck and I give in to total terror.


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