close call

I’m heading back to the 500 Club for my flash fiction prompt this week. I will say I’ve enjoyed bouncing from one prompt source to another. It’s added more variety to what I write, changing up the length and the overall feeling/tone of each flash fiction piece. Plus, I’ve managed to meet more writers that way, which is never a bad thing.

Here’s the prompt for this week’s piece:

Write a close call. Interpret that any way you’d like. Think of how close calls work, and the effect they have on those involved.

As is often the case with these kinds of prompts, I’ve taken a lot of liberty with the idea of a “close call”, but that’s half the fun for me–fulfulling the prompt but doing so in an unexpected way. 

As an aside, Vye took the week off this week. She didn’t tell me she was going to. She just left me hanging when it came time to pound out the words. I managed to struggle through without her, though, and hopefully she’ll be on board again next week.

close call

“Seriously?” Kimber asked. “This has to be the lamest crank call ever.”

“Why is that?” the voice on the other end asked. It was raspy and wet.

“One, because I’ve seen Scream. Two, because I’m in the middle of a city, so the whole I-can-see-you thing isn’t nearly as creepy. And three, because if you freak me out at all I’ll just call the cops. They can trace calls. You’d be so fucked.”

“I see,” said the voice.

“Yeah. Be glad you’re not good at this or your ass would be in jail.”

“So…” the voice drew out the ‘oh’. “If I told you I were in your apartment right now?”

Kimber mimed shock. “Then, I suppose I would have to get my hand gun, which, by the way, I have a license for, and make sure it’s loaded with the safety off. Oh, wait. I’ve already done that.”

The voice chuckled. “You’re making this fun.”

Kimber rolled her eyes. “Look, I’ve got shit to do. Granted, no one has crank called me in a long ass time–probably because of caller ID–so there’s some novelty in this, but I can’t sit here on the phone with you all night. I’m gonna have to let you go.” She began to pull the phone away from her ear when she heard the caller say, “One more question.”

Despite herself, she smiled. She wasn’t sure why she was doing it, but she lifted the phone back to her ear. “You get points for being tenacious even if you’re not all that clever,” she said. “What?”

The voice asked, “Do you have your gun with you now?” There was a smile in his tone.

“Yep.” And she did. It was in her other hand.

“You want know where I am? I’m close…”

“Sure, nutbag. Tell me where you are so I can shoot you.”

“You’d shoot me?”

“Absolutely. It’d make a great story to tell the jackasses that hit on me in bars. By the way, you’ve asked more than one question.”

The voice cackled. “I know. I like to push the limits, but you’re a busy girl so here’s the last thing I want to tell you.”

“I can hardly wait. And let me just say, before you get your rocks off or whatever it is you’re doing, that this has been a real pleasure for me. I mean it. A treat. I’m sure this last bit is going to be breath-taking. Lay it on me.”

“If you want to shoot me, lift the gun to your temple and pull the trigger.”

“What? Shoot my phone.”

“No,” the voice said. “Your head.”

Kimber got chills. “This isn’t funny.”

“If you want to kill me…Shoot. Your. Head. Because that’s where I am, Kimber. I’m inside your head.”

Kimber was shaking. She dropped the gun and lowered the phone from her ear. When she saw the screen, she screamed and dropped it, too.

The screen showed no phone call in progress.

There was no caller.


About Ash Martin
Ash Martin writes dark fantasy and horror, has a thing for classic monster legends, Nordic mythology, coffee, and sarcasm, and is currently working on multiple books.

10 Responses to close call

  1. Samantha says:

    Yeah, we’ve all seen Scream, but I was enthralled from the beginning to the end. I LOVED it!


    • dex says:

      Thanks! I didn’t know what to do with this prompt for the longest time, but I’m ultimately pleased with how it turned out.


  2. Really liked this – it made me think of Cosmétique de l’ennemi by Amélie Nothomb. Seriously, it’s a great little book – I’ve only read it in French but I’m sure it’s been translated and I’d really recommend it!'ennemi



  3. S. C. Green says:

    Oh, the crank call. The things this generation misses out on. This piece had me in mind of a cross between Scream and Fight Club. It works well as flash fiction. The story feels contained. Good work.


    • dex says:


      I often feel with flash fiction that what I’ve written is the start of something bigger. With this one, I feel like that’s it. I totally agree with you.


  4. Julie says:

    Very nicely done 😀


  5. Badrinath says:

    Dude, that was very cool. I gotta say the way the story started, I said to myself the place where I think this story is going has been done many times before, but the ending was a total shocker and an attention grabber. I liked the twist man.


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