Crank Call

“Where’s Sophia?” I said.

“Playing in the yard.”

The phone rang and I picked it up.

“Hello?”

From the other end of the line there was only heavy breathing.

“UGH!” I said, and slammed the receiver down.

“Who was that?”

“Some pervert,” I said, “There was only breathing on the other end.”

The phone rang again. Again, I picked it up. “Hello?” Again there was only heavy breaths coming through the receiver. I slammed it down.

“Just don’t answer it. Are we almost ready to eat?”

“Yeah,” I said. “I think so. Would you get Sophia?”

“Sure honey,” he said, and kissed me on the forehead. He went out into the yard.

The phone rang again. I stared at the handset shaking on the cradle. I thought about what kind of sicko could be on the other end of the line, behind the glow of a computer in a dark room somewhere, or hiding in some filthy basement while he randomly called strangers to fulfill whatever sick fantasies he had.

The phone rang and rang and I just couldn’t help myself. I ran over and grabbed it. “Just stop it!” I yelled into the receiver. “Leave us alone!”

Again there was only the sound of heavy breathing. And then, this time, something different. With the breathing I heard the crying of a young girl, and my blood ran cold as I recognized it.

“Mommy! Help me!”

Then, a man’s voice, low and dark and heavy: “Is Sophia there?”

Evil laughter poured from the handset. Through the window I heard the sound of my husband in the yard, calling for our daughter.

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