Telephone by Elizabeth Kate Switaj

Locked in the bathroom, all the pale woman could hear was his snoring and her own heart thumping. She scratched the pink polish off another nail and looked at her phone again. This time, there was a signal. She called one friend, then another. No one was picking up. She scraped the polish off her last nail, touched her bruised right eye, and tried again. This time, there was an answer.

Mike, Mike! You’ve gotta come get me.

Nina? I can barely hear you. The connection’s bad.

Mike, listen, you’ve gotta come pick me up. If you don’t, I’m gonna . . .

Honey, I can’t understand you, and it’s three in the morning. Call me back at a civilized hour?


Nina sobbed. Then, she took a deep breath, unlatched the door, and opened her knife.

Moments later, the man stopped snoring. The flat’s front door opened and shut. Feet in the hallway sounded like dancing.


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Filed under Elizabeth Kate Switaj

5 responses to “Telephone by Elizabeth Kate Switaj

  1. Nice and quick escalation of tension; ironic since this scenario as we’ve come to understand, often takes years to build. Well done.

  2. I don’t know that she’s really the victim here. We don’t know how she got the black eye, and the way she called and told her friend she was going to do *something*… Maybe she was psychotic?

    Very interesting, chilling piece.

  3. Your story is arresting, so powerful, great use of details and mystery. I like that you trust your reader, too.

  4. Pingback: Week #35 – Loose connections | 52|250 A Year of Flash

  5. the ambiguity ratchets up the intrigue and tension. i want to know more about all three of these folks and how they relate to each other. peace…

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