An Unexpected Call

About The Story...

This story was actually written for Lady Spookaria's Birthday Special! I wrote it because I needed an original story for her. In the narration that was used, my other half, the lovely Patience, voiced the daughter. She's pretty good for not really being a narrator :)

We often take the little things in life for granted; those silent minutes in the morning between each time you smack the snooze button on your clock, for instance. Those few moments in the morning where you can shut your eyes and catch a few more minutes of sleep , or can stare at the ceiling thinking about all the things you’ve been through in your life. Not to get existential, but that’s what I liked to do mostly. I would wake up every morning between 7:45 and 8:15. For most of my life I would stare at the back of my eyelids for that last half hour, but lately my focus has been on the ceiling fan as it slowly spins in its clockwise rotation. My brain didn’t care for the fan, but I needed something to visually connect with, otherwise I would let my thoughts get the best of me.

Today, that’s exactly what I did. I woke up and stared at the fan for a while, trying to breathe and accept that it was a new dawn; trying to accept that I was going too make it through yet another mundane day of calling clients and documenting answers for people that made way more money than me. What’s worse is that it was my birthday- Fifty-three years had gone by in my life. Fifty-three years of fighting to get ahead of my peers, of doing what I needed to do to succeed. I’d had issues, sure, family problems, financial struggles, but I always came out on top. Failure was not an option for me, never had been and never would be. I had proven that recently as I--

My thoughts were interrupted by my phone ringing. A short burst of beeps and tones coming from the hunk of plastic that ran my life. My initial thought was that it was a client, one that had no concept of business hours- it was 8 in the morning!

But, when I picked it up, I saw who it actually was. I slowly motioned my hand to swipe the screen, shifting it to a detailed page of the call. I took a deep breath and pulled it to my ear.


“Happy Birthday, Dad!” A short phrase, one that meant the world to me when I would get the call every year. My daughter was always good with remembering things, remembering to call on a weekly basis and such, but when my birthday rolled around, my phone would go off at eight on the dot. She would be on the other end to excitedly wish me a happy birthday and then start singing the song with her beautifully bright tone. She would light up my day with a simple phone call. The small act made the pains of getting older lighter, made the hard times that I had to deal with much easier on me.

She and I hadn’t always seen eye to eye- she was much more liberal and loose in her life, I was a bit more conservative and strict. I raised her right though, and she never questioned my actions, even if she didn’t agree with them. She was, in all honesty, just like her mother. Both of them had been there for me through the hardest times in my life, both of them stepped up to the plate when money was scarce. Her mother would always tell me that things would be OK, then when she was gone, my little girl was there to help me. Only last week, she was there to help me when I felt like everything was about to come crashing down around me. Business hadn’t been doing well due to the state of the world, but she was my saving grace. I was able to turn to her for a way out- She wasn’t even aware of how much support she’d managed to supply, but I appreciated it.

“Are you there, Dad?” Her tone changed to one of curiosity. I held the phone tightly, I could feel my face shifting into a hard frown. “Dad?”

“Yeah, I’m here.” I answered as best I could. I cleared my throat and regained my composure. “I.. Um… I’m here. What are you doing?”

“Calling you.” I could hear her chuckle.

“Yeah… I noticed…” I wasn’t sure where to take this conversation. “Is there… Is there anything new with you, Kiddo?”

“Oh you know.” Her voice sounded bright and happy. “I’ve just been thinking about the last time we got together.” I felt my hands getting clammy. The last time we saw each other things got a bit out of hand. “I wanted to let you know that there are no hard feelings between us. I know you were just doing what you needed to do.”

“Well…” I coughed. “I’m glad you understand…” I stood up and got out of bed, quickly walking through the house into the kitchen- passing by various photos of my accomplishments on the way. “I didn’t mean to cause you any problems, it wasn’t easy for me to talk to you about needing money.”

“I know.” She laughed again. “And I appreciate you coming to me for help.” I sat down in the chair at my kitchen table and stared at the papers that were lying on the surface. Most of them marked as overdue or in collections, most of them a failure in action- A Failure I needed to solve. “Did you at least get the money?”

“I, uh…” My throat felt dry and the knot grew larger. “I’m working on that.”

“Good.” Her bright tone and soft laughter slowly grew into a more serious tone. “I hope you can get that sorted out here soon.”

“Yeah, me too.” I picked up one of the documents from the table, a simple statement explaining an insurance policy.

“Well, I’ll let you get back to filling out the paper work- I know you don’t have much time left to get that done.” My lip quivered as I stared at the paper. “Mom wanted me to tell you Hi, and that we’ll see you soon.” With that sentence, she hung up. I slowly lowered the phone from my ear and held my stare on the life insurance document, one that was set to pay out in a couple of days. My stare shifted toward the paper that was clipped to the policy- a death certificate.

My daughter’s death certificate, and the policy for half a million dollars were going to be the answer to my problems, an answer that I had to put into motion. Our last get together ended with my daughter at the bottom of her basement stairs, her neck snapped clean in two, and me calling the police in a fake panic. They bought it, everyone did- we’d had too much to drink, she went to go downstairs and fell. It was a simple plan and I had executed it flawlessly.

Well… I thought I had. The one thing I hadn’t counted on was getting a call from my daughter almost a week after I had killed her. My breaths were labored and my chest was beginning to feel heavy as my vision slowly blurred. The last thing she said to me echoed nonstop in my head, caused the sweat to pour from my skin and my eyes to well up in nonstop tears.

“We’ll see you soon.”