In a Network of Lines that Enlace – Part 1
By: Megan Forziati
As she struggles to pick herself up, I can’t help but recognize the small birth mark under her right earlobe. It was that very mark that got me into this mess in the first place. The whole reason why the telephone followed me on my run, why someone is black mailing me, why—my thoughts are cut short as my left eye begins to water and the blood vessels rush to my cheek. I’ve never been slapped before. How odd.
“Two days it took you! Two days of calling every place you could possibly be and you don’t pick up until now!” Marjorie screeches.
I begin to stammer like I usually do when I’m around her.
“Who kidnapped you?” I manage to ask.
“Who the hell knows! Some asshole in a dark fur coat. Who wears fur coats anymore? They had to tell you there were explosives before you got the hint. You pick up every damn phone you hear and it takes you two days to get the call!”
She stalks out of the house before I can say anything. It didn’t matter why. All that mattered was that the phone call was for me. Every phone call is for me and there is nothing I can do to escape this funhouse of sounds.
The stench of Marjorie’s vomit permeates the dusty room. It is the first time that my legs can rest. Since I am beginning to get queasy from the smell, I walk back down the stairs, leaving the door open the way I found it. I don’t need anyone thinking I robbed anything and I’m trying to cover up my tracks. Besides, there wasn’t much in that house to be stolen besides the couch Marjorie was tied to.
I walk back down Maple Drive to Cedar Street to Grosvenor Avenue and I stand at the edge of campus. A telephone rings. I know it’s for me, but the person carrying the torture device has already picked it up. He is clearly pretending to be me. What if the caller knows the answer isn’t from me and the boy gets in trouble for his façade. I feel impelled to rip the phone from his hand. He has no right to answer a call that isn’t for him. There is nothing I can do now. He got himself into this mess. He’ll be damned just like me.
By now my class is more than half way over and most of the students probably took the opportunity to leave, however, I cannot put my university or this host university in jeopardy of a scandal. I can see it now: “Visiting Professor Shuns His Students due to Outside Interaction with Female Student During Class.” I make a left on Walnut Street and meander my way back to my apartment. The sound starts muffled and grows louder as I continue walking. It is coming from the apartment building. Three floors up, five windows from the left, including the stairwell. The ringing is insistent. No one answers and the ringing stops. I know this isn’t the end, so before the sound can begin again, I am taking the stairs two at a time. One, two, three, four, I knock. The ringing is my answer, and it mocks me from inside. The caller knows I know it is for me, but I cannot answer, but I should answer. The ringing stops. My fists hit the door harder and harder, and I feel as though the door is in on this mad joke from hell. It is the only barrier between me and the gatekeeper of this prison.
I dig around in my pants pockets. Pulling out the key, my hands shake as I try to turn the lock. It clicks, and the ring pierces my ears. I fling myself across the room not bothering with my dirty sneakers or my damp sweat-suit. Bringing the phone to my ear, I hear music in the background. Suddenly an older woman’s voice comes on the phone.
Once every two weeks a two part short story will arise from the mind of Megan. In other words, once a month a brand new story will come out, however, in order to find out the ending of the story, you will need to tune in two weeks from the first part to get the follow up. Enjoy!