Friday, November 15, 2013

Friday Flash Fiction: And He Called

Every Friday Kurt posts a new piece of flash fiction. This week is the third entry in November's Mystery Theme. Have you figured it out yet?

And He Called
Word Count: 599

“Gaw,” said Nora into the receiver, “this is regarding the Levi’s. We’re not even talking about shirts anymore.”

Darren sighed. He thought taking away his daughter’s cell phone privileges would force her to engage with the family, but she’d just retreated into the traditional refuge of the thirteen-year-old girl—the household land line.

“Oh my gawd,” said Nora. “That is totally not true.”

“Nora, honey,” said Darren.

Nora looked up with eyes that could split wood. “I’m talking right now,” she said.

“You know you sound like a Valley Girl, right?”

“What’s a Valley Girl?” she asked, although it sounded less like a question than a statement of pure, unadulterated disdain.

Darren sighed again. Owning a land line made him feel a bit old-fashioned, but hearing his daughter ask what a Valley Girl was… well, that just made him old. Old and irritable. “Wrap it up, will you, hon?” he said.

“Give me back my cell phone,” said Nora.

Darren glared.

“Hold on, Steph,” said Nora. She looked back up at her father. “Seriously, it’d be better for everyone if you’d just let me text again.”

“You ran up $300 in texting charges.”

“Gawd, Dad, that was, like, such an accident.”

“It was a $300 accident,” said Darren.

“That’s cheaper than what Steve did to the car,” said Nora.

Darren pondered this for a moment. His son had done some damage to the car, but it had only been about $100 and he’d paid for much of it himself. Although, if he’d lied about how much it cost… No matter, thought Darren. He’d file that away for later.

“Nor, other people might want to use the phone.”

“You all have your own phones,” she said. “Like I did up until a week ago.”

“Cell phones are for people who don’t abuse their phone privileges.”

“Whatever,” said Nora.

“Not everyone who wants to talk to me has my cell number.”

“Whose fault is that?” asked Nora.

“Fine, just don’t call any of your friends long-distance,” said Darren, heading back to the living room where a sports page awaited his attention.

“Steph,” said Nora into the phone, “you’re not long-distance are you?… No, I didn’t think so either… I don’t even know what that is… Really? Who doesn’t have a nation-wide plan these days?… No, but seriously, this guy called earlier and said he was calling long-distance, and I didn’t even know—”

“What was that?” asked Darren, returning.

“Hold on, Steph,” said Nora. “Some guy called.”

“Who?”

“I don’t know.”

“Did he say what he wanted?”

“Maybe.”

“Did you write it down?”

“With what?”

“Did he say he’d call back?”

“Yeah.”

“Did he call back?”

“Maybe,” said Nora. “I think he called Friday.”

“He called Friday, or he called back Friday?” asked Darren.

“Both, I guess.”

“How many times did he call?” asked Darren.

Nora cocked her head as she thought about the question. “A lot. He called Friday. And he called Saturday. And he called again Saturday afternoon. And he called this morning. And he called this afternoon. And I think he was trying to beep in a few minutes ago. I got tired of telling him to just text you.”

Darren fumed. He yanked the receiver out of Nora’s hand. “Room,” he said.

“But Daaaaaad—”

“Stephanie,” said Darren. “Nora has to go. She’ll be back after her first parole hearing.” He hung up the phone.

“Dad, that was so rude!”

Darren held up a finger to silence her. “Room. Now. Take some books. You’ll need them. We’ll talk later about what rudeness is.”

Edited by Carolyn "The True Valley Girl" Abram.

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