The Phone Call
By Dwayne MacInnes
Jason momentarily looked from one guard to the other. Neither one cracked a smile. They all liked to joke around, but Jason had never seen the two men so serious before.
"Mrs. Feldon is haunting the phone?" Jason asked incredulously.
"That's the story," Biggs said before taking in a big breath. "It is said that Mr. Feldon never liked the way his wife would constantly talk on the phone.
"She would constantly talk, talk, and talk. For years, it seemed that Mrs. Feldon was attached to the phone. At first, Mr. Feldon felt neglected by his wife. Then he started to feel jealous.
"This went on day after day and year after year. Finally, one day Mrs. Feldon was found dead. She had died while on the phone."
Biggs stopped for a while to let this sink in. Mark picked up the story where Biggs left off.
"Yeah, some even say that Mr. Feldon killed his wife. However, there was not enough evidence to charge him with anything."
"Didn't the person on the other end mention something to the police?" Jason asked.
"The police were never able to find out to whom Mrs. Feldon was speaking," Biggs replied.
"Anyway," Biggs continued. "It was one year to the day of Mrs. Feldon's death that they found Mr. Feldon dead. His body was lying next to the phone."
"They say Mrs. Feldon called him." Mark added. "It is also said that if the phone rings and you answer it you better not hang it up or you too will die."
"Right," Jason said trying not to sound like he believed it. "How do they know that you are not supposed to hang it up? Did some leave a message on the refrigerator?"
"Laugh if you want," Biggs said in a matter of fact voice. "But it was Mr. Feldon's niece who answered the phone one day and she would not leave it. When her husband returned from work, he saw her shaking scared to death holding the phone.
"He asked her who she was speaking too, and she replied Auntie Feldon. The husband knew that her aunt was dead so figured it was some sort of cruel joke. He tried to take the phone away from her but his wife fought him off crying that if she hung up she would die.
"With renewed anger, the husband tore the phone out of his wife's hand and listened to the receiver. Indeed, he could hear someone speaking on the other end that sounded a lot like Mrs. Feldon. He couldn't make out exactly what she was saying over his sobbing wife's cries. But, he claimed she said something about death and revenge.
"Figuring it for a cruel joke, the husband yelled into the phone that the caller was sick and that if she ever called again to bother his wife he would call the police. Then he slammed the phone into the cradle and no sooner did he finish than his wife gave a blood-curdling cry and fell dead to the floor."
"How did the museum get the phone?" Jason shot back trying to poke holes in the story.
"You know old man Murphy the curator never looks a gift horse in the mouth," Mark added. "The family wanted to destroy the death phone, as they called it, but he convinced them that he wanted it. He promised that no one would ever use it at the museum.
"The death phone was an attractive exhibit for a number of years. But slowly the story faded from people's memories and the board of directors wanted the museum to be less sensational and more pragmatic."
Jason faked a yawn, "Yeah, that was a great story. It could have used more demons and ghosts, but still I would have enjoyed it more around a campfire."
"Just trying to warn you..." Biggs started to say before Mark slapped his shoulder.
"Come on. The kid doesn't believe us and our vacay is starting," Mark said leading Biggs to the door.
"See ya in a few days," Biggs shouted over his shoulder as the two security guards left the museum. "Whatever you do don't answer that phone!"
Jason waved goodbye with a smirk on his face as Mark locked up the door. That was several hours ago and now it was midnight. Jason had made several circuits around the museum checking doors and exhibits. It was the same old routine. The doors were secure and everything was in its place.
There was not another body in the museum except the old mummy the curator acquired years ago. Jason returned to his desk and started to read one of his textbooks. No sooner than when he opened it, he heard a ring.
Jason looked at the phone on the desk. None of the lights was flashing and in fact, the ring did not sound right.
Jason cocked his ear. The rings were coming down the hall towards the communication exhibit.
"No way," Jason thought. He was sitting next to the only working phone in the museum outside the curator's office.
Jason nervously stood up. It was possible that there was a new phone. Maybe Biggs and Mark forgot to mention it. He strolled down the hall towards the source of the ring.
Jason stood in front of the communication exhibit. The black rotary dial phone vibrated with the ringing. Jason started to reach out for it, but quickly pulled his hand back. Maybe it was a trick and the caller would hang up.
Maybe it was Mark trying to scare him. Jason frowned, if it was Mark or Biggs and he did not answer it they would laugh at him for months. Tentatively Jason picked up the receiver. Then he bolstered his strength and put it to his ear.
"Very funny you guys..." Jason started to say.
"Do not hang up the phone," a frail female voice crackled and wavered on the other end. "If you do you will die."
Mark met Biggs outside the museum three days later in the parking lot. The older security guard was locking his car when Mark joined him.
"How'd you think the kid did?" Mark asked.
"Oh, fine I'm sure," Biggs replied. "He's always performed well in the past."
"So did you call him?" Mark asked.
"I thought you were going to call him," Biggs said.
"Oh, yeah. I called him first, but did you call him later?"
"You mean I was supposed to let him in on the joke?" Biggs said anxiously.
"You didn't tell him?" Mark asked. "Oh God, the poor kid!"
The two men hurried across the lot and quickly opened the door. As they entered the main entrance, they noticed that Jason was not at the front desk. They then hurried down the hall towards the communications exhibit.
Mark and Biggs saw Jason standing with his back to them. He was still in his uniform holding the phone to his ear. The way he stood there unmoving and pale unnerved the two guards. They could see his hair had turned white.
The quickly ran towards Jason.
"Oh man," Mark said. "It was a joke."
Biggs snatched the hand unit out of Jason's hand and stopped cold.
"I didn't know you guys cared so much," Jason said behind them.
Mark and Biggs looked at Jason now in his regular clothes and back at the mannequin dressed in Jason's uniform that had been holding the phone.
"Kid," Mark said smiling. "You have style."
About this Entry
This page contains a single entry by Douglas Gogerty published on February 11, 2009 5:41 PM.
"The Rise and Fall of the New Convicts" - Part One was the previous entry in this blog.
Billy, Billy, Billy... is the next entry in this blog.
This blog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
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