Sunday, June 14, 2015


The woman who wouldn't stop talking
caused the telephone to kill itself.
For weeks after that, the operator stalked the talking woman,
fantasizing about pushing her in front of a train or a bus,
and the disturbing glee she would feel--
the drug rush of wonderful silence.

Day after day, the operator imagined scenes of accident,
the stupid woman strangled with her own tongue.

However, a repairman began paying attention to the operator.
He brought her movie tickets and hard candies;
he admired her to no end, and rarely spoke.
After months of quiet dinners and good manners at the cinema,
he tried something. She let him.

In the intimacy of afterwards, she began to confide in him.
She told him that ivy was her favorite plant, crows her favorite bird.
Further, she confessed her hatred of the talking woman to him,
and how she had been following her and planning cold-blooded murder.
He said nothing, and she loved him for it.

Unfortunately, the repairman never came by for her again.
Her number disappeared from every directory in the city,
and moving men came to take her bed away to the lunatic asylum.
With no place to sleep, and no man to confide in, she began to pace,
muttering to herself all night. 

Desperate and cracking, she appeared late one evening at the talking woman's door.
"May I use the phone?"
The woman only gaped at her, finally saying simply, "It's dead,"
but that should have been obvious, given the repair truck at the curb,
parked there for so long that ivy had begun to wind itself possessively around the axles.

Dialed up for Magpie #274


Lolamouse said...

Oh my! This was quite the creepy ending! I bet there's a special burial ground for phones that kill themselves rather than listen to people blather on and on!

Anonymous said...

Oh dear! And I read this at bedtime. Creepy good!

Cloudia said...

You are a special sort of twisted. I mean that of course in the most admiring way!

ALOHA from Honolulu,

Mama Zen said...

This reminds me of a friend of mine who gets a ride to work every morning with this lady who will not shut up. Talk, talk, talk . . .

DEE DEE said...

Amazing thought

Ileana said...

Love your use of the ivy at the end and the wildest turn of events. Missed you, Shay. I've added you to my blogroll now that I'm blogging regularly. Ciaocito for now!

Outlawyer said...

Oh dear -- really a magpie tale here. Well done. K.

Kerry O'Connor said...

This is a most chilling, almost gothic tale. Brrrr...

hedgewitch said...

Perfect twist at the end, and both wistful and creepy at the same time--not sure how you do that, but it can't be a wrong number.

Helen said...

Yep, this is wickedly twisted!

Other Mary said...

This is the stuff nightmares are made of! Brilliant!

Sioux said...

This is wicked good.

Truedessa said...

This was interesting a mix between Hitchcock and the twilight zone..had that eerie feel..very enjoyable..

Maria said...

That was bizarre in a good way. The first two lines made me laugh though. Poor telephone, haha.

Buddah Moskowitz said...

I loved the tenderness of the afterglow, but it never quite goes as wanted. My favorite flavor: bittersweet. La la mosk