Flash #025 – The Call by Steve Eifert


SAM WAS FEELING NUMB when he left the diner. Even the greasy Lumberjack Breakfast he just ate didn’t cheer him up. He stepped out of the diner quickly after paying the cashier and headed for the subway. The pay phone in front rang. Sam looked to his left and right. No one was around. He picked up the receiver.


“Mr. Grey?”


“We’re ready to deal,” the voice on the phone replied. “Where can we pick you up?”

Sam thought for a moment then looked at the corner street signs.

“The corner of 123rd and 5th.”

“What will you be wearing?”

“A white ball cap and purple socks.”

“I’ll send a car.”

The voice on the other end hung up. Sam leaned against the phone poll, pulled a cigarette from his jacket and lit it.

Twenty minutes later, a black sedan pulled up in front of Sam. The driver motioned for Sam to get in. Sam flicked his lit smoke in the direction of the diner then got in the car. After a ten-minute ride downtown, Sam was escorted to and elevator, then up to an expensive penthouse suite. An old man was there. He was sitting in an office, appearing very nervous.

“We have to make this quick,” the old man said while pulling out a eight-by-ten photo from a folder sitting on his lap. “This is Mr. James. I want him taken care of Friday when he’s away from his family. He embezzled over–“

Sam cut him off.

“I don’t want to know the details of your mess.”

The old man answered with a frown, “You’re right. Scott here will pay you after the job is done.” The old man was motioning to the driver.

Sam hesitated. Thinking he had nothing to lose he said, “You know I don’t work that way.”

The old man nodded. He pointed to a leather briefcase sitting near his oversized desk. Scott put it on top of the desk, opened it and turned it so Sam could see. It was filled with cash. Then it was shut quickly. Sam couldn’t tell if it was filled with ones, tens, twenties or one-hundreds. Scott locked the briefcase with a key. He then handed Sam the key and the case.

Sam was then escorted back to the car by Scott. Once inside, Scott asked where he could drop him off.

“Where you picked me up.”

Back at the diner, Sam used the same phone he got the call from to call a cab. No more subway for him.

He loved wrong numbers.


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