Thursday, December 31, 2009


He kept dialing a phone number no one answered. It was one of three he uncovered searching for someone, a job-associated chore. The number fascinated him, since it kept ringing with no person or message system answering. It was like a reality wrinkle, a pocket of nothingness. He would dial at work, allowing prolonged ringing each time. Any moment, he thought, someone will answer.

At home, he dialed the number, used the speaker phone, the entrancing echo-on-echo sound it produced—like time travel—continuing as he made spaghetti, polished his shoes, dusted long neglected clothing. He wondered, how long before the phone company intervened? Just before bed, he stopped it, but slept restlessly, feeling an unnamed discomfort, like mental tearing.

The next night, he called, let it ring quietly through the night, through the next day. The discomfort continued, morphing into an intensifying cranial echo. Trying to alleviate this feeling, he went out for sushi, beer, the night air biting cold. On the street, he thought he heard a phone ringing. An open window, a door ajar. He entered, decided to answer the phone. Hello, and there’s no one, his voice reverberating, a sound that would mount in his ears for days after, rewriting his dreams as ringing phones he couldn’t answer.


  1. Hi Christain,
    Just making my way around my favorite blogs.
    Why is the sound of a phone ringing so creepy and surreal? I too am haunted by telephone ringing, those that you pick up and wished you never had.
    Love the term "reality wrinkle".
    Happy New Year

  2. creepy little tale here!
    I think the constant ringing may hev re-wired his brain somewhat! Love the title.

    Happy New Year!

  3. Is his brain turing into spaghetti?
    Neat little piece.

  4. Very good first sentence!

    And it's true that a ringing phone is disturbing, particularly at night, and especially when one is awakened.

    Liked the echo-on-echo description. Also the juxtaposition of cold dinner, cold beer, biting cold night air.

    Good piece with sinister undercurrents!

  5. Cool. Nice mood capture, agree with Marisa on juxtaposition, and a slick ending. Considering the idea of answering his own call; 'reality wrinkle.' or strange twist in fate.

    Concise and leaves an impression. Great job.
    -David G Shrock