This continues Mav and John’s story, immediately following this “between the prompts“. This is also a “between the prompts.”

* * *

My hands shook and the room edges blurred. My breathing escalated.

No! I can’t panic right now!

My chest tightened. My heart threatened to explode from my body like the creature from Aliens.

The next thing I knew, calloused hands were on my shoulders, pulling me against him.

“Deep breaths, Mav. It’s okay.” John’s voice was soft. Gentle. He rubbed his hands up and down my bared arms as the bedroom slowly returned to focus. “I’m here now.”

We sat on the floor, my body surrounded by his, his back shoved against the nightstand.

“Do you want to talk about it?”

“No.” The word came out weaker than I’d intended. “No,” I tried again, pleased to hear more resolve this time.

Silence yawned, stretching into minutes before he spoke again. “I found a phonebook.”

I sighed and snuggled deeper into his arms.

“Mav, I know this isn’t easy, but you have to make those calls so we can get moving. Unless you want to be in a vehicle when it storms.”

“You suck, you know that?” My words teased instead of bit, trying to delay the inevitable.

“You never complained.” He stood, pulling me with him. “Now quit trying to distract me and look up their numbers.”

Maybe they’ll be unlisted, I thought as I trudged behind him to the living room.

The blinking phone taunted me from the table where it hung out with a virgin phonebook.

“Do you want me to look them up?” he asked.

“No, I’ll do it. Could you just give me a little space? Like stand in the kitchen or something?” I pointed to the sink. “You’ll still be able to hear everything.”

He searched my face, probably wondering if I’d throw the phone at his head again if he didn’t comply. “All right.” He strode the fifteen feet away and leaned against the counter. “Call.”

I thumbed through the book, feeling like the Terminator hunting for his target. I ran my finger down the page for Danny.

Seven different “Lee, Daniel” listings were in the book.


Only the address for number four was familiar.

I really hoped two of them didn’t live in the same building.

I flipped open the phone and dialed before my courage fled.

Don’t pick up. Please don’t pick up.



Continued in this week’s Red Writing Hood prompt: The Call.



About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos ( sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.
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4 Responses to Phonebook

  1. Pingback: The Call | Writing with Chaos

  2. Sammie Love says:

    I’m glad to see Mav & John back in action. I thought the new prompts might have thrown you off. Keep writing!

  3. Kir says:

    Time to feel all the angst with this. I liked it and it was just enough, the perfect segway.

  4. Frelle says:

    I love how this scene opens with them physically together, and how he was trying to calm her with his hands on her arms, and he was well meaning in trying to give her courage. I can tell how scared she is to make the call too.

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