payphone, baja, street, urban, collect call, city street

collect call

The voices whispered in my head, hammering away with quiet, deadly words. They were the only ones in there now. They’d tied up Hope, shoved memory of better times and better dreams in her mouth, gagging her. Forcing her silent. They injected me with nightmares and fear––I saw their evil faces, tasted their foulness until I lost myself. But today––I woke up.
Hope, with bloodied and mangled wrists, untied my mind, let loose the thoughts of you, how you held me when I was in the dark and couldn’t find a way out. How you stayed, stroking my hair, talking love talk. Hope tells me to run. From the abandoned building. From the sleeping dead that haunted me.
Two blocks down I find a payphone. Didn’t know they had those anymore but I take it as a sign. I’m not sure I can speak––how long was I silent? The operator asks for charges to be accepted––you say yes when I croak your name. I cry. You ask where I am. I’m coming, you say.
I know you will––Hope said you’d be the one to save me.


Postcard-sized flash fiction about the strangeness of life and death and everything in between. And it all starts with an image...

phone booth, street corner, curbside, payphone, street, phone, call

  • Michelle Sampson

    HUMMMMM, I could take this several ways. Hope is just what the name implies and is a metaphor for all that frees us and move us forward? Or Hope is just her name and she knew that, like John Lennon, “…love is all you need”??? Or it’s that amazing fantasy mind of yours letting us know that “they” are here and among us trying to infiltrate and I write this??? You, my dear, have one crazy-ass active mind, haha!

    August 10, 2018at3:13 am
  • Veronica Forsman

    Hmmmm, I felt this one to my core. Almost too much so. It got me right in the feels. Outstanding imagery lovely.

    August 11, 2018at12:05 am

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