Phone Calls

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
He used to be the mayor, but he ended up the merciless harassor of old ladies ....

Submitted: July 04, 2010

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Submitted: July 04, 2010

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As soon as Richard heard the old and weak voice in the receiver he felt a surge of triumph. It shot like fire through his whole frame and landed on top of his head like a golden crown of achievement. Then he delivered his masterpiece: He sat quite still, doing nothing but breathe. In and out, in and out the oxygen went and his breathing intensified when she said:
"Hello, anybody there? Oh, John, I know it's you. Why do you do this to me?"
When she started to cry he hung up, triumphant, but also a bit curious as to whom she was. It would have been so much more interesting to see the face of those who answered his phone calls. As it was he always had to contend with the scared voice, the sounds of the crying, the beggings or even a rare condemnation. The other day a lady had called him names and that was not to his liking. Very disappointed he had hung up on her, but he made a note of her phone number and he intended to use it some other day.
As soon as he had hung up he started to browse his list of citizens of a certain age. They shouldn't be too young as that age group most often had some protection in form of a young boyfriend, a father or a brother. No, the older the better, except when they had grown deaf. Once he had called an old lady who was so happy that someone still found it worthwhile to phone her that she bristled with happiness, especially as she mistook him for her nephew, Oliver. None of the evilness he gave words was grasped by her, only the fact that he was there, on the phone and ready to talk to her.
That old woman nearly made him give up his habit - or rather his hobby - of phoning all these old, derelict, female citizens and do what he found necessarry to shock them. That was what he was after: The shock! Sometimes he even felt able to frighten them to death if only he could meet them face to face. However, that was impossible as his cover was an absolute must or his life would fall to pieces. Yes, literally fall to pieces as nobody would think of the affluent and very influential Mr. Richard Moore, the ex-mayor of his native town, as the old-lady-harasser who had haunted the community for five years.
When he started his hobby he felt a surge of power as never before. Why? He often asked himself that question even though he knew the answer all too well. After all, old ladies had been a part of his life ever since his birth as the unwanted son of an unmarried 17 year old bimbo. His great-grandmother and her daughter, his grandmother, had raised him and he hated them for subjecting him to their strict regime. To be young and live with biased, old ladies wasn't his idea of happiness and he still felt that they had robbed him of his true love, the pretty Alice whom he was considered too much above socially to marry.

Later that day he phoned someone from his list by the name of Sandra. She sounded younger that he had expected, but he sure knew how to scare her, simply by saying: "This is from a friend who wants to warn you by telling you to look out. The one you fear has found you."
"Oh!" she breathed into the receiver, "I thought I was safe in this town, how could he find me?"
"I don't know, all I was told was to tell you."
"Thank you, thank you!" she yelled so loudly that she annoyed him. He had always had a sensitive hearing and all this unexpected enthusiasm got to him.
In a slow and low-set voice he said: "I should tell you, that he already killed someone ..."
There was a loud gasp in the receiver and then came the crying. "That must be Mimsy, oh, how could he. That devil, I hate him!"
Richard had always wondered at one particular characteristic with these women, i.e. that they filled out his sentences for him. He very seldom had to threaten them with some special and detailed kind of terror because most of it was made up by themselves. They lived with some kind of fear and when he phoned them he knew that this fear was reawakened by his voice.
"He cut this someone's throat - and I don't know the name of the victim - and the poor one didn't die at once as the cut wasn't deep enough. Then he started to saw at the wound with his dull knife ...."
The woman started to scream and then she hung up.
Richard felt unsatisfied by this outcome. He had opted for more so he decided to phone the woman who had cursed him and called him names. As soon as he heard her voice over the phone he knew that that was a mistake. She wasn't one bit afraid of him and even laughed out loud when he started to talk of "someone with a big knife watching you right now".
"OK, OK," she said, "crazy, old fart - at that he winced: He, the ex-mayor, a fart?!!!! - why don't you come with your big knife so that we may talk it over?"
"What ... what!?" he stuttered. "Come over, what are you talking about? I'm warning you against that man - he is someone else, not me!"
"Yeah, yeah," she said, "and the moon is a cheese, Santa is real and all of us believe in LOTTO as our saviour."
He was shocked to the core of his being when he hung up on her. By now he understood that she was much younger that he had thought when he had found her in the list of female citizens that he had taken with him after losing his job as the mayor. But who wouldn't have thought that someone by the name of Agatha was an old lady? That had been his great-grandmother's name and she would have been 130 years had she lived.
His shock at her attitude was doubled and redoubled several times when his phone rang and he heard her voice.
"Yes, Gramps, you shouldn't phone people like that without making sure that your phone doesn't exhibit the number."
That shocked him! He always was very careful, but this time he might just have forgotten to take his precautions. A fast glance at the phone told him that that was the case and he felt how his golden crown of triumph turned into a redhot spear that shot from his head and down into his feet. All of a sudden he could barely drag his feet the few steps from his desk to his couch, but sit he must or he would have fallen down into a stupor.
"You are very mistaken, young lady," he said, "very much. I only try to help you against that man with the knife ...."
"Yeah, yeah, except that that man is you." she brushed off his vague protests and then added: "My conditions, Mr. Mayor ..."
He nearly had a heart-attack from fright. This was what he had feared all along and now that it happened it was a much worse feeling than he had ever dreamt of.
"You are to come here, without your usual cavalry of course, so you will be all by yourself."
"Why would I do anything like that?"
"You are dumber than a mayor should be," she said, full of disdain. "Don't be smart with me and come at once as I told you."
He felt how his shoulders sort of moved upwards as if they tried to protect his ears from hearing her voice when he hunched, sitting on the couch, reciever in his limp hands, and his legs shaky with fear. At that time he knew that he had no options and that in a very short time he would meet the only female person who really had got to him for many years.

He first he noticed was that the room in which he was taken by some teenaged boy was quite dark. The blinds were drawn even though it was only 4.00 PM, something which he found strange. When the boy put his hand on his shoulder it felt uncommonly strong. - He must be working out, he thought to himself, but neither he nor the boy said anything. However, when he was pressed down onto the easychair he felt a strange, murky smell which blended with some rich perfume or exotic insence.
Sitting there, waiting for his hostess, he sensed that he wasn't alone in the room. The boy was standing somewhere behind him at some draperies far back in the room, but he felt that someone else was there. At least one person, but most likely more than one because there arose a sort of very low-set whispering which he couldn't make out, but caught some words from: "Him ... phone ... shocked ... killed ... frightened to death ..."
The words themselves said it all: He was with a party of people who KNEW about him, but which he for some unknown reason couldn't see.
Then suddenly there was a loud sound like the crack of a whip. He knew at once that that was the sound of the draperies being pulled back. At the same time his chair was turned around so that he faced them and that was the exact moment that he knew his fate.
The young woman who had pulled back the draperies and now stood in front of him was slim, bordering on thin, very pale, and with a big, curly, red mane of hair, much like untames flames of fire. Her eyes were beautiful, green and very sparkly. As to her mouth her lips were full and beautifully curved, but what he noticed the most was the drop of blood that trickled down from one of her pointed eyeteeth. 
At that very moment he also saw all the others in the room, all of them pale like her, intense like her and some of them with blood trickling down from their mouths ...

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