The Mystery Call (Part I)

in Scholar and Scribe2 days ago


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Cell phone buzzed.

Phew, saved by the phone, I thought to myself. Good thing my husband, Jacob, could not hear my thoughts. It was a much-needed distraction. I eyed him and pointed at my writing desk where my iPhone lay face down. "I have to get that. Could be important."

He stared at me open-mouthed like he couldn't believe I would wave aside our discussion just like that for a mere phone call.

"Are you serious right now?" He asked, arching a brow.

I shrugged. "It could be an emergency," I moved around him to reach my phone. He sighed. A glance at the screen revealed a number I was not familiar with. I hurriedly pressed the red button, perching it between my ear and shoulder while I kneaded his shoulder, my way of calming him. Jacob raised and dropped his hand in resignation and walked out of our bedroom.

"Hello?" I took a deep breath, happy my husband had left the room. I did not enjoy arguing with him about my work. He suggested we fly out to the Maldives for a week's vacation. I couldn't believe my ears.

True, I'd been spending more time with my students as a new and one of the youngest college professors in my university. I needed to make my mark on them. Many questioned why the college board would award a professorship to me when there were other qualified college lecturers.

"Hello?" I repeated and frowned. There was silence and….breathing sounds on the other end. I listened intently, quite sure my ears were not deceiving me.

I pulled my phone from my ear to glance at the screen. An envelope emoji wiggled and blinked brighter at me. I hung up the call and tapped the emoji.

Prof, Is it okay if I stop by your office later today? The second chapter of my dissertation is ready and I'd appreciate your critique.
— Henry

I furrowed my brows and read the text again. It was from Henry Adelaja, a hardworking scholarship student from Nigeria, who always impressed me. I replied saying I hoped to see his work later in the evening.

I glanced at myself in the mirror and touched up my lips with some gloss. I picked up my cup of coffee from the bedside table when my phone buzzed in my other hand. I caught my breath, surprised by the vibration. I tapped the green button to answer the call.

"Hello?"

Again there was no response. Utter silence on the other end was shattered seconds later by clear heavy breathing sounds. The hairs on my hand and neck stood erect as my skin bubbled with goosebumps.

"Is this a joke? Hello?" I raised my voice an octave, hoping to communicate my anger to whoever was on the other end.

Same breathing sounds followed by, "SSHHSHH….HAAAA".

My heart raced. I glanced at my screen and punched the end call button. I let the phone drop on the bed. Just then, Jacob strolled into our bedroom, took one look at me and rushed to my side.

He cupped my face, a scowl on his own.
"Talk to me. What is it?"

I opened and shut my mouth twice before I could explain what just happened.

Who would play such a prank on me?

TO BE CONTINUED….

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I hope you enjoyed reading my story. It's my entry for the Scholar And Scribe/DreemPort Challenge. This is just the first part of a three-part serial fiction posted into the Scholar And Scribe community. To participate, click on the link in this paragraph.

An interesting part of this challenge is to engage with other users' posts and fill out their names on a Bingo card.

Here is the list of people I've visited this week! I know! 😄 I was a little busy but I promise to do better next week.



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What will happen?
What was it that she and her husband were arguing over? Will the two of them solve it? Will he see she needs to be diligent at her job, as she is new?

Will the mystery caller cause problems? or distract her?
Could it be her husband, the mystery caller?

Breathing sounds on the phone are never a good sign, unless it's a naughty prank :)

I just noticed that I also used the 'The Call' in the title of my story. 😊

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Haaah. It is scaring me too oo..

Could it be a prank?

Or could it be that a student of hers is being funny.

Is it the case of an obsession?

I'm already thinking many things. Finish it already.

Nice one @kemmyb. 👍👍

👏👏👏

BTW: When you write in the first person there's no need to do the "thought bubbles". Like at the beginning:

Phew, saved by the phone, I thought to myself.

It's just wasted words. The reader will feel much more engrossed and connected with the character if you are just in his/her head the whole time.

Hope it helps. 👋

I can't wait to find out what happens. This is a great start to a story. Thanks for sharing.