P is for Phone Puzzlement

Day 16 of the challenge!

My theme is NIFTY NUGGETS. Little nuggets of writing based on a photo, a phrase and an object, which is designed to encourage lean, tight writing. I’m aiming for a word count of under 300 words.

Thank you to L.Diane Wolfe for providing the beautiful photo prompts.  You can visit her blog to check out more pictures.



PHRASE – the benefit of the doubt

OBJECT – plugs

The cell phone rang. It was the sixth time in the last minute. She just wouldn’t leave him alone.

Barry let it go to voicemail – again.

Why did he have to listen to her? She had cheated on him. And he knew it wasn’t the first time. However, he did love her.

Maybe it was just a mistake? Another mistake? What if it happens again? Then what excuse will you make? He ignored the voices.

He was a person who liked order and structure. He wasn’t really impulsive. In the workplace, careful planning was a part of his business strategy. He paused for a few minutes. It was only fair to give her the benefit of the doubt…
He played the latest voicemail.

“Barry, I know I messed up. Please answer your phone! For the record, he didn’t mean anything to me. You have to believe me! Please let me explain. You are behaving as if it would kill you to answer your phone!”

Something snapped.

Barry put on his ear plugs. He zoomed in on Lisa through her bedroom window.

She held out the white telephone receiver, then put it to her ear. Barry’s phone began to ring again.

He meant something to me, and it won’t kill me.

He exhaled in one long motion. Then he pulled the trigger. Lisa’s head exploded. The receiver dropped.

But it did kill you.

He watched as a white cat inspected the phone lying on the floor.

He took off his ear plugs and walked calmly out of the abandoned building, dropping something as he closed the door.

Barry drove away.

The flames leaped high.

He felt his heart crumble… turn to ash.


  1. Alex J. Cavanaugh on April 20, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    Whoa, he killed her! Head exploded and everything.

  2. C. Lee McKenzie on April 20, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    Now that was one angry man. And all of that from the sweet cat image. I’m very impressed by how your brain works.

    • Michelle Wallace on April 20, 2015 at 8:10 pm

      I promise that no cats were harmed in the construction of this piece… 🙂

      How does my brain work? Not too sure… maybe somebody can do a ‘writerly’ analysis for me…

      Thank you Lee!

  3. Mary Aalgaard on April 20, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    Ah! A tragedy. So much for liking that picture.

  4. Patricia Lynne on April 20, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    Whoa. That was dark. Excellent job.

  5. Annalisa Crawford on April 20, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    That was very intense. I’m not sure he did that out of love though.

    Your blog isn’t showing up on my news feed, which is why I haven’t been around much. I’ll try harder for the next few days 🙂

    Annalisa, writing A-Z vignettes, at Wake Up, Eat, Write, Sleep

    • Michelle Wallace on April 20, 2015 at 8:12 pm

      I’ll get to your place one of these days.
      I’ve been really hectic… 🙂

  6. Julie Flanders on April 21, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    Oh my gosh! How scary. And here I thought it was going to be about the darling little kitty. Not quite, LOL.

    • Michelle Wallace on April 21, 2015 at 6:47 pm

      I HAD to add a twist to the “darling little kitty” picture… 🙂

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