140 word story by Emily Smart


The phone in the hallway rang for the seventeenth time that day. Four days ago and for the entirety of its existence, the telephone had sat quietly without disturbance during the day.

The telephone continued to ring, unanswered on its cradle until the machine clicked on and the message started to play. A woman with a kindly voice said:

“Hello. Jenny, David, George and Eddie can’t get to the phone at the moment, you know what to do after the tone.” Beeeeep. The tape recorded a small sniffle on the end of the line before the incoming caller hung up.

Upstairs, David lay on the double bed he had shared with Jenny for over twenty years. With mobile phone in hand, he pressed the redial button, heard that all too familiar beautiful voice and buried his head on her pillow.

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