Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Pick up the Phone

My practice from the Write Practice prompt: Write for fifteen minutes in the second person point of view.

55.365_old_fashioned_phone by ToddMorris
55.365_old_fashioned_phone, a photo by ToddMorris on Flickr.
You stare at the couch, at the piano, at the door. Anything but the phone. Your stomach was fine five minutes ago, but now hard little hands have taken hold of it and are twisting in opposite directions.

"It's no problem," you say. "I'll just pick up the phone, dial the number, and talk. I like to talk. This won't be a problem." Deep inside your head you say something else. "I'm terrible on phones. Always have been. I'll stutter, I'll sound weak, I'll get my words mixed up somehow and he'll know I'm just a stupid kid."

You double over in pain as your stomach squeezes and you think you're going to be sick. The little white telephone seems innocent enough, but when you pick it up your palms are slick with sweat. Desperate, you throw down the phone and run into your bedroom, switching on the light and hunting for something underneath piles of debris. Finally it's in your hands--the magazine.

Sweaty fingers flipping over the pages, you discover the photo you had in mind--a half-starved child from the streets of Accra. Right beside it is a collection of Haitian children, smiling and waving at you. "This is for them. I have to make the call for them." You look a little longer at the photos, and only when you put them down do you feel that your stomach has untangled itself, and the hard little hands are no longer twisting.

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