Distress CallI didn't realize in the beginning it had meaning. The noise was just a crackle, a series of sharp pops sprinting across the room rousing the wife and me from our endeavors to ignore one another.
"Did you say something?" The irritation in her voice cut through me. Mildred's wrinkled face peered from behind an open book.
"No, I thought you said something."
"Well I didn't."
The silence again. When was the last time we had a decent conversation? It seemed decades really. Once you cross your fiftieth anniversary, what is left to say? We raised the kids and sent them off, retired five years ago only to discover life together 24/7 left little to the imagination. What irony after retiring to spend more time together, we were left with nothing to say.
That noise again. A distinct crackle-pop.
"Now what?" This time her voice hissed with impatience.
"I didn't say anything!"
She glared, then returned to her reading. I decided to let it drop. There was no point talking to, or should I say "at," her.
I didn't think about the odd noise again until the next evening. Passing by the answering machine. I heard the odd static. I stopped short and listened.
"Hello?" the machine murmured. The high-pitched whine had form and structure, albeit gravelly; but dammit, I heard the thing say "hello." ...Read more...