Previous Incarnations

September Writing Challenge

September Writing Challenge

You receive a telephone call from someone you would never have expected to call. Who is it? What do they say? Does it change your life?

It can be a historical or literary personage or someone in your life.

All entries in writing first either below or via Contact me form with Contest as the subject. Two (2) winners will be chosen to feature in the Video Mag.

3 thoughts on “September Writing Challenge”

  1. ********** Warning: Explicit language and content following************

    We do not change an author’s work but if you are offended please do not proceed thank you ~ Written By….

      Maybe I got this wrong. Let’s try this, Brandoline:

      I was sitting around the house with little to do’ Lisa was at work and after taking the dogs for a walk, they were laying about too pooped to pop. I didn’t want to go anywhere and didn’t want to talk to anyone or really do anything, so I said to myself, “Let’s watch some porn.”

      Just as I thought this and was contemplating whatever fetish I was about to satisfy, the damn cell phone rang. I hate ringing phones as it means some chowder head wants to waste my time when I could be doing something much morefulfilling as watching boobs. However, it could be Lisa. I didn’t bother to look as I was pretty convinced it must be her. I answered with one of my amusing salutations.

      “Good afternoon. Adolf Hitler Memorial and Museum. Irving speaking.”

      Lisa said nothing. It’s not like her to not at least chuckle. I gave it five beats and timidly asked, “Lisa?”

      “I can’t take it any more. No one cares,” and then wails of drying. Nope, it wasn’t Lisa. It was a woman alright, but not my wife. All I knew for sure was I wasn’t going to be watching, “Suck My Dick Volume 3: The Director’s Cut” any time soon.

      “Who is this?” I softly demanded.

      “Virginia. I tried taking your advice and stayed on my meds, but they world looks just as cold and shitty as it does every other day and I just can’t take it. I can’t take it any more. I’m killing myself.” I gasped and then this Virginia asked, I guess as an after thought, “What’s this got to do with Hitler?”

      “Nothin’,” I quickly replied, “Oh, it was just a joke.”

      She snapped, “You think ending my life is a goddamn joke?”

      “Nah, Virginia, can I call you Gin? it sounds friendlier.” My God, this wackaloon thinks i’m some kinda suicide prevention freak. Obviously, she dialed the wrong number, but I could tell she was really fuckin’ disturbed and I’m just too kind hearted to tell her she had the wrong number and hang up.

      “You can call me Gin,” she muttered through loud sobs.

      “Ok, Gin, see, you musta talked to Frank or one a the others, I’m, ah, Kevin.” I didn’t give her my real name because if I did talk her out of offing herself, I didn’t want to have her keep bugging me with more, “i’m killing myself” phone calls. That shit can get annoying.

      “I think it was Floyd.”

      “well, Floyd ain’t here. Now, look, Gin, you say you’re taking your meds, right?”


      “And they ain’t working, right?”


      “Well, I’ll tell ya, what I want ya to do. You got another phone with ya?” in these modern, perverse times a lotta people have more than one.

      “Yeah?” See what I mean. Even lunatic have a spare floating around.

      “Ok, Gin, you call your doctor and tell whoever answers what you told me and what you want to do about it. I’ll stand by here until you get done with your doc. Remember, i’m here for you.’ Meanwhile, I got up and thumbed thru my dvd collection till I came to ‘Beauty and the breasts. Oh, boy. not only does this one have a bunch of big titted babes screwing everything in sight, but it has a couple of girls 69-ing each other. I was in luck.

      “I could hear Gin talking to her doctor’s office. Her crying had mosly dried up and the gist I got at least was their was something wrong with the dosage. I put in the dvd and turned on the tv quickly turning down the volume so this nutcase wouldn’t hear anything. She hung up with her quack’s office and started talking to me, “Kevin, you were right. My dosage is much to low. He’s writing me script for a new pill and phoning it in to the drug store. It’s just down the street from where I live.”

      Damn, the girl on the screen had just took her bra off. Shit, those are some big ass jugs, “Sounds great, Gin, sounds great.” I starting unzipping my pants as Big Juggs was down to her panties and her roommate and roomates boyfriend entered the picture. “Thank God, I got to talk to you, Kevin. Thank God.”

      “Well, Gin, you just toddle down to the drugstore and you work on keeping yourself together and take your medicine,” then I a thought popped in my head, “Now, we are changing our number to 550-734-4567. Want me to repeat that?” She did and I told her again and she wrote it down she said. It was my friend, Derick’s number. He was single and a bit of a pervert. Maybe he could get this gal in bed and straighten her ass out if she went on the deep end.

      “I got it and thank you so much,” I was reaching for the Vaseline. The action was really heating up on the screen, “Yeah, you take care, Gin.” God, at that moment I really wished I was the roommate’s boyfriend. What those gals were doing to him, hmmm, hmmm.

  2. Shanna Sites posted this reply via the Contact us form….enjoy

    Sitting on the couch, I think to myself how boring life gets sometimes. I know where thoughts like this lead, but I allow my brain freedom without censorship anyway. At first that felt wrong, but change occurs only when its allowed to flourish. I am getting ahead of myself though, (see what happens when my mind runs free) let me take you back to that phone call…

    A shrill ring cuts through my bored daze. It startles me so badly that the options of what it could be blaze quickly through mind, to quickly to decide on one. The second ring decides it, and I feel slightly foolish for not recognizing it sooner. My phone.

    “Hello?” The line stays silent for an eternal second. I am about to end the connection when his voice come on the line.

    “Shanna?” Its been years since I have heard his voice. I had forgotten its slightly raspy, but calm sound. It is an instant balm to my frayed nerves.

    “Oh my gosh! Pappy?” My voice cracks on the name, I’m afraid of the man’s answer. Afraid to hope. Afraid to breath.

    His voice is healthy and upbeat, like he sounded before the cancer began to ravish him. “Yea, blondie, its me.” A tear leaves a silent trail down my cheek.

    My shock shines through in me next comment. “Pappy, I died my hair, I’m sorry I’m not blond anymore.” He laughs heartily, telling me what I already know, he doesnt care. “I miss you!” I’m sobbing so hard, I can hardly breath but he seems to understand my words anyway.

    “I know, I miss you too, but I have been with you the whole time. I have seen your beautiful wedding, I stood with your family as your husband presented your precious daughter. I cried when you faltered, and rejoiced when your heart soared. I wanted to tell you that though you may have regrets, I am proud of you and I love you.” The tears on my cheeks fall hard but unnoticed as I process my grandfathers words.

    “Thank you, Pappy, I wish I could have seen your reaction to those things. Could have cried on your shoulder and laughed by your side.”

    “I know, sweetheart, but I’m calling you now to remind you that I’m always with you when you need me, and that I love you very much.”

    “I love you, too.” With that I hear the phone click. Even in death it seems he is a man of few words. My tender heart throbs knowing my pappy is gone, again, though never far it seems.

    … It must have been part of the magic of the phone call, that kept me from asking how it was possible, but all I know is that with that snippet of magic, life can never be boring again. Wonder fills every day of my life, and I always know that in everything I grieve over, and everything I celebrate, there is always a silent partner joining me. I love you, Pappy, thank you for the phone call!

  3. :|+|: Writers Note: I’m making my attempt at joining the parade here. I make no apologies for my writing style, but my content can be racy, offensive, or downright crude sometimes, in that it can contain vulgar language, disturbing imagery, sexual content and innuendo, and other things of a graphic and/or controversial nature. Whether true of this piece or not, it’s a standard disclaimer I put with nearly everything just to cover my bases, as I tend to write as I flow, and sometimes even I don’t know where it’ll take me. I hope you all enjoy my work. Names may or may not have been changed to protect the innocent. :|+|:

    Late night… Friday, again. Another day that blends into the next that blends into the next. Kind of having to remind myself its Friday again. Because I’m young, I’m vital, I should be out doing something worthwhile. I should be out having fun, or hanging out with my friends. I should be sewing my wild oats or something…

    Instead, I live here… small town America. Where the scene never changes, the scenery is amazing, everything is serene, and the world shuts down at ten pm to accommodate the senior citizen crowd that exists as somewhere in the range of eighty percent of the entire local scene.

    Where John Mellencamp once sang about little pink houses, and unrequited love between two kids who probably shouldn’t have dealt with one another… seriously, take a listen… there’s something mildly statutory about that song, but that’s how it happens around these parts. Either everyone is married by the time they’re 15, they’re a hopeless train wreck by 19, or they’ve fled by the time they’re old enough to run away.

    There’s always something people overlook about Romeo and Juliet. It’s the greatest love story ever told in much the same way as “Every Breath You Take” by The Police is the greatest love song ever. It’s mildly misleading. You could take a look at me and say I’m jaded by the whole concept. That I just don’t fully comprehend the depths of love and its boundless constraints. That age is nothing but a number, that it can conquer things like distance, and trivial matters. That as much as it is work, true love can defeat anything that stands in its way…

    …and as one who once believed himself to be a hopeless romantic, I can without question tell you that all of these things are undoubtedly true in their own way. But it’s more a matter of what you are willing to accept, than belief that love itself will defeat these demons. You fall in love, and you instantly start bearing scars. Deep, utter chasms inside of you, where you’ve carved niches and spaces for these people to entrench themselves in you. Even by natural order, it just happens. Sometimes you’re unaware of it until you feel what people refer to as a gaping hole inside of themselves. Ever wonder why that is? It’s because you’ve had something supposedly symbiotic… something bordering on parasitic, feeding off of your very life force, that has now ripped itself free from you.

    Symbiotic relationships, as I once learned by watching Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, are the kind of relationships in which one cannot survive without the other. The host and the symbiont must have one another. The symbiont cannot survive without a host… and once a host has been separated from a symbiont… well… they typically die if not from the physical trauma, but the mental aspect of the pure fact that life shall never be the same again… at that point you’re all alone… entirely… cripplingly alone.

    Which brings me back to my Friday night escapades… thank God for whomever the mad genius was that created a DVR, because I can at least fill the silence with the sounds of Burn Notice. Jeffery Donovan has sort of become my hero over the years, not because he’s that great of an actor (although he does have his moments), but because if ever there was a voice you needed in your head, at times when you’re in an absolute panic… Jeffery Donovan as Michael Westen is that voice. Calm, cool… collected. Break down the mission step by step. This is operational procedure. Think about how you’re doing things, in a slight monotone voice, that has the utmost confidence in what you need to do for getting from step A to step B.

    Fairly certain that Jeffery Donovan could make microwaving popcorn sound cool…

    I grab a Weinhardt’s Vanilla Creme, and a bag of pork rinds… because it’s Friday and I don’t judge by late night eating habits… men have their versions of Sex and the City and a pint of Haagen-Daas too… I sit down, and hit play on the remote, setting forth in motion the glory that is about to go down on my television screen.

    “My name is Michael Westen… I used to be a spy… until… ”

    I glance over at my phone, as the whistle that normally happens at that point is mildly overwritten by the one going on from that direction. Bernard Herrmann’s “Twisted Nerve” is playing on my phone. At 1am… that’s kind of a creepy sound to hear, honestly… I might think about changing that. I don’t recognize the number. Oh well, if it’s important they’ll leave a message.

    Previously on Burn Notice… Michael and Fiona keep doing this little dance, Michael goes too far, his mom is pissed off because she keeps getting involved in his little schemes… yea yea yea, I get it already. I’d hit the fast forward button, but it’s just not worth it.

    There’s the whistling again… same number as before… still no voicemail. Second time calling. Wrong number? Nah. Well, maybe. If they didn’t listen to the voicemail and still think they’re calling Ashley. And by the way, may whomever created cell phone numbers to be next to identical to other cell phone numbers burn in the depths of hell please? Horny teenage boys need not call me looking for some chick named Ashley… likewise, jealous boyfriends who think that I’m all up on their girl need not apply either. Because I did see your girlfriend, and trust me, she wasn’t with you, pal…

    Not really, but I’ve said it before. Screw those guys, they believe what they wanna anyway.

    Phone silent one more time, and Michael is in full blown operational procedure mode. You have to sell yourself when you’re running a deep cover operation. It’s imperative that you show whomever might be looking for you that you are exactly what you say you are, even if that means doing some things you’re not particularly wanting to. When you’re in the field, it’s these details that could mean the difference between life an-…

    Oh for fucks sake, REALLY?!

    My social calendar is not that lively, people calling me at 1am are typically not people I wanna talk to, or I’m expecting it. Meaning that it’s a number already in my phone book. But, I’m irritated now, I’m just crazy enough to answer this phone. I hit pause on Michael, because damn it, I’m actually kind of curious as to what the hell he is doing in the Dominican Republic, and I pick up my phone, hitting the slider and putting it to my ear.


    Silence… okay, now I really am starting to get pissed off… I start to speak again, but this time I get a response…


    Female voice… number I don’t know… voice I don’t recognize… knows my name… coincidence? I doubt Mike Westen would think so. By the way, when you’re being mildly paranoid, a show about a spy in deep cover is probably not the best mindset to be in.

    “That entirely depends on who this is… I’ve been known to be Julio in some circles…”

    “It’s Natalie…”

    Natalie… only known one woman by that name, and technically… not her name, it’s her middle freakin’ name. I gave her my number years ago, and by years ago I mean almost a decade ago now. She used it once upon a time to text me… and she kind of fell off the map after that. I’d fallen so far in love with her I couldn’t see straight, but at the time I had a girlfriend, who about six months later would cheat on me and cause all sorts of untold damages. A long and horrid existence really, especially considering I was silly enough to take her back. But I digress, back to the phone, because truly what I was hearing could not be.

    “Natalie… as in….?”

    “Don’t pretend you don’t know me…”

    “Who’s pretending? I’ve never heard your voice before. You’ve not used this number in the decade you’ve had it… why on Earth would have have to pretend that I didn’t know who this was, or be skeptical because some random chick I met on the internet is finally deciding to call me out of the blue? I mean come on, Nat, seriously. If this is you, which, okay, lets be real, you’re right, I have no reason NOT to believe… no one else in my life knows enough about you to fake this bullshit. It does beg the question why it is that you’d call me, after this long…”

    “I always get in touch when I resurface. You know that.”

    “Not like this, hon. Never like this. Facebook maybe, some chat function somewhere, sure… this? This is a new trick.”

    “I missed you…”

    I closed my eyes. Trying to bite back the laugh and the tears. Brief history lesson. Natalie was, as I said, a girl I fell so far in love with that I lost all concept. It was the worst kind of fall, and I was young, stupid, and vulnerable. She was young, crazy, and without any sort of genuine concept of where my head was at. We clashed a couple of times, and while she was trying to drown herself in all sorts of the wrong things, I was trying to drown myself in her… not sure what is worse… the molotov cocktail, or the guy who lights it on fire before trying to drink it.

    And keep in mind the depths of this is with a woman that I’d never laid eyes on, other than in picture form. I’d never heard her voice until tonight. It’s kind of a complete mind fuck when you think about it, because in a lot of ways, you don’t fall in love with a person, so much as you fall in love with the concept of a person. This person whom you believe that is who they say they are. Who could be anyone and anything they chose to be… keep in mind, she’s also a writer… a creator of worlds, much like myself. Someone who understands the subtlety of how to be someone you’re not. An actress, only without the ability to stand and perform, to sell themselves on a visual level. Not having to. She could be anyone she wants to be… just like I can be… and have been.

    You would think someone like me would be a lot more skeptical before giving my heart away to a concept. But not me. I don’t know whether it spoke more to the genuine state of disarray I was in when I fell for her… or if she truly was everything I wanted her to be… but this one… I’ve never really gotten over. I’ve never been able to put this one to bed. She goes away… always goes away. It’s the only way we ever survive, because she knows how I feel, and she knows I know she doesn’t feel that way… and I’ve heard every excuse imaginable in the book… Every twisted concept, every thought process, every reason that she could come at me without saying flat out that it was me. That she and I were never destined to be. In another world we were married, we had a son… in another world we were lovers who would never truly be apart from one another, always connected… and yet…

    “You usually do, Natalie… there’s always some reason you remember to miss me. Part of the group, the moments in time. The overall portion of your life you’ll never be able to fully deny, or escape, or reconcile.”

    “Do you do this to yourself every time…? I’m just curious.”

    “Yeah… yeah, I kinda do. You manage to avoid all of this, Nat, because you’ll go away again. You’ll disappear into the world, as those of us on the internet have the capacity to do. The ability to blend into reality, such as it is, and not worry about things that may or may not be real in another universe. Because that’s what that little digital box is. It’s a portal to things that aren’t real. They’re not real people, they’re not real things, they’re not real emotions, they’re not real anything… it’s not tangible. It’s not real until you make it real, and I made that mistake. I made it real. To you, I’m the voice on the other end of a phone call… I’m the words to a never ending story. It means a lot to you, because it made up so much of your time and effort that you can’t escape it… but it’s not real to you…”

    I took a deep breath. “Real to you is out that door. Real to you is the shit you’ve had to deal with, the assholes you’ve lined up to hurt you. The damages you’ve done to yourself, and overcome. You’ve come a long way, beautiful, believe that. You are not the woman who I fell in love with, and the sad truth of it is that everything you’ve done has only enhanced that feeling for me… but distanced yourself from anything that ever drew you to me… save one. You keep circling back, Nat, and I don’t fully understand why. You show up once every other blue moon, and you realize that you still have the same charm and charisma. You still have the same pull as you always do. The people who know you and care about you on here will always know you, and always care about you, and always keep you in a time bubble and see you exactly as you want them to. I don’t wanna hurt like this, Natalie, I don’t. I don’t want to see you with skepticism. I don’t want to take what I have to take in order to live with you in a time warp.”

    “You know I don’t deal with my emotions. You know me, Josh, you’ve played this game long enough to know exactly who the hell I am. I’m not capable of it in your way. I’m too fucked up to be able to deal with shit like you do.”

    “I know, hon. I do… and believe it or not, I’ve grown to accept that’s how you see it. That’s how you believe it is. That it won’t ever change.”

    “You couldn’t just say ‘Hi, how are you, beautiful? What you up to? I’ve missed you.’ could you?”

    This time I couldn’t help but smile… I lowered by head… in some ways that’s exactly what she wanted… in almost every way that’s exactly what she wanted. This was her escape from that reality. She dove into this when it became too much. That was when she sought me out. When she needed to feel loved… not to be loved…

    “I could have. I did, to some degree. We do the small talk, back and forth, playful bullshit for the minions, doll… when it’s just you and I… well, that’s about the time you end up finding your way back into your reality. I love you, Natalie… always will. I’d be lying through my teeth if I said I didn’t miss having you around. That I didn’t miss talking to you like we used to. That I didn’t miss just hanging out. But that’s the catch, isn’t it? We can’t go back to the way we were. Guess that’s my fault.”

    I heard the sigh, the muttering to herself. “I just wanted to let you know I’d be around. I wanted to show you that you did mean something, that you do mean something to me. Even if I don’t know how to show that.”

    “I know, Nat. I know… Like I said. It’s me… not you. You’ve dealt with your emotions, that’s the funny part. I’m the one that hasn’t.”

    “I’ll be around…”

    “You always are, aren’t you? You never really go away, you just… take extended vacations…”


    “Love you, hon… I gotta go.”

    She hesitated for a moment. Trying to think of an appropriate response. I chuckled under my breath as she spoke. “Okay. Much love. Talk to you soon.”

    I felt the twinge as I thought about calling her out on everything that was totally wrong with that sentence… instead, I just hung up. I laid my head back on the couch, and I just had to stare at my ceiling. I felt the tears finally break the plane and roll down my cheeks… as I closed my eyes for a minute… just letting myself settle in.

    Alone again, on a Friday…maybe it’s because I have every excuse in the book as to why there’s nothing out there in my reality. Maybe I’m the one that has to live in the fantasy enough to try and make it reality. Maybe because the scars I carry are deeper than I care to acknowledge, or just more tender.

    “When you’re exposed, there’s never any sense of getting comfortable. Your vulnerability is your greatest weakness, and you know that you have no cover, no backup, and way too many things to try and plan for. The best you can hope for in this situation is to assess the lay of your land, focus on the task at hand, and get out as clean as humanly possible. Some things are just out of your control. Focus on what you can handle, keep your head down, and hope for the best… because no matter what, if you lose your cool… you’re a dead man.”

    A smile crosses my lips. Like I said… there’s nothing that sounds better in a crisis than Jeffery Donovan keeping you calm…

    Except for a woman in the throes of orgasm, but… that’s just a distraction…

    I hit play, and lose myself in my lack of reality… if nothing else but for a little while…

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