This is a short speculative flash piece called Ring-Ring I wrote a few years ago. I still quite like this one.
Word Count: 156 words.
Credits: Many thanks to Dabs for beta reading this!
Notes: You can find more of my published fiction, as well as free fiction, here.
She doesn’t know why she keeps the old phone. At first it was because its faux-metallic body represented some space-age 60s bourgeois dream, the ultimate in retro cool. But it doesn’t have a cord—its severed spiral wire hangs limply like a lone gut over the back edge of the table.
Her friends keep telling her to, “Junk it,” tell her to, “Throw the damn thing away.” They tell her it just catches dust, doesn’t fit with her décor anyway.
Easy to say, but the phone doesn’t ring for them, now does it?
When you lose people, the world becomes hollowed out, husk-dry and quiet, and yet it’s heavier, too. The phone rings, and she knows the receiver will be leaden.
But she doesn’t fear recognisable voices that shouldn’t be there, crackling down the line—it’s not that.
What she fears is the static pulse of silence, repeating through her ear and through her bones forevermore.