Prompt July 31, 2013–the phone is ringing

The phone is ringing,” Margaret called.

It was another sleepy, dusty Delta day. Billie Jean had just set the plates for lunch and was turning the okra over in the skillet.

“I can’t get it,” she said. “I’m cooking.”

“Well shoot fire, it could be important.”

“Then get it.”

“Can’t. I’m changing the baby.”

Billie Jean swore and turned the burner off. She made it to the phone in time to hear a voice say softly, “Billie . . . ,” and he was gone. She stood there—the phone a few inches from her head—trying to tell her self it wasn’t Johnny.

Her brother was dead.

Lynne Webster


I was on a boating vacation on the Mississippi River going down stream, having pulled the boat all the way from Coeur d’Alene ID to the #1 lock and dam on the big river. I had plans to go all the way to the Gulf of Mexico, then cruise the intercoastal waterway east and finally reach my friend’s dock in Palmetto FL. Somewhere above St. Louis MO my wife called up to the bridge that the phone was ringing…bad news. Somehow the Coast Guard had gotten my cell number and was informing me they had been contacted by the Idaho State Patrol that one of my trucks had been hijacked. The driver was okay and had been tied up and left behind a truckstop in Butte MT. The truck and its load of Jack Daniels had disappeared without a trace.

Jerry Stapleton

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