Short Fiction

A Cell Phone Memorial

NPR runs a contest called Three-Minute Fiction. Round 1o’s prompt was to write a story as a voice mail message and under 600 words. The winner was announced yesterday: Lisa Rubenson from Charlotte, NC (yay, a Charlottean!)

And so here is my “non-winning” entry.


Sunday Short Fiction“Hey, this is Sam. I’m probably out doing something fun. Leave me a message.”

“Hey, Sam, I know you won’t get this. I just…I can’t believe you’re gone. Hearing your voice just now after going to your funeral… it’s strange, you know? I’m so going to miss hanging out, man. Senior year is going to suck without you. You’ll always be my best friend. Save me a spot in heaven, okay? Later, man.”

“Hi, Sam….it’s Mom…. I’ve called your phone a hundred times. Sometimes I sit here on your bed, just as you left it, and call your phone so I hear that silly ringtone and your voice. Out of all the stupid things, this darn phone survived the crash. I can’t stop thinking about you, about that night, what…what I should have done. I love you, Sam. I love you so much. I don’t know why this happened. Why God… l-let this happen…? I d-d-don’t…I just…oh….”

“Hi, Sam. This is Aubrey. I was looking at my phone and saw you were still in my contacts. Guess your mom kept your phone going. Anyway, I wanted to say that I miss you. We ALL really, really miss you at school. It’s not the same. I miss your laugh. Remember how we used to go out to the lake in the summer? I keep thinking about that. I will never, ever forget you. Ever. Bye.”

“Hey, dude. I know it’s been months but if you are lookin’ down from heaven, maybe send some help to your mom. I saw her yesterday and she didn’t look so good. You know how she gets. Maybe give her a sign or something that you’re okay. That would be cool. Later, man.”

“Hi, Sam, it’s Mom. Just wanted to say ‘Happy Birthday’. You would’ve been eighteen today. Your dad and I went to your favorite restaurant. Your grandmother was there too and Uncle Chris. We made a toast to you so I hope you heard us. I love you so much. I’m counting the days until we meet again in heaven. Talk to you later, honey. ”

“Hi, Sam, it’s Mom. I know it’s your favorite holiday but your dad and I decided to go on a cruise for Christmas. It just isn’t right to celebrate without you. I didn’t even put up the tree this year or make those sour cream cookies you love so much. Your grandmother hates that we’re going but she’s been so hard to deal with lately. She thinks I should clean out your room….she has no idea what this feels like for me. Every day that goes by is another day closer to when I can see you again. I love you with all my heart, Sam. I miss you so much, it hurts. Talk to you later, honey.”

“Hi, Sam, it’s Mom. I can’t believe you would’ve turned twenty-three today. Five years is just too long without you. I call and listen to your voice every day. That psychic I told you about will be in town this weekend and I have tickets to go. I’m going to bring your favorite shirt so she can use it to make contact. It’s a pretty big audience so do what you can to make contact with her before the other spirits do. I’ll be waiting to hear from you. I love you so much. Talk to you later.”

“Hi, Sam. I know you tried. Maybe next time… I won’t give up on you, I promise.”