Tuesday 4th November

Nothing lost and everything found yesterday - new friends, old friends, good writing! And here's today's prompt:


The message came in the night. 'Hey Rabbityroo, Graham-mahem here.' It's a wrong number, but she spends the day pressing replay, listening to Graham-mahem saying how much he misses her.


  1. When even stillness ends
    there are voices: looped, repeating
    messages to no-one, unquestioned
    answers whispering like static
    on dead wires. This is all
    that remains until after the tone:

  2. The feelings come in waves. Sound, light, electricity surge along your spaghetti lines. You're frozen in a moment, in an infinite loop, reacting on impulses. Uncross your wires, my friend.

  3. - They’re just like big rabbits.
    - It’ll bring down their carbon footprints.
    - They’re high in protein.
    - Low in cholesterol.

    - No way am I going to eat Skippy!

  4. You sound the same. Inflections, intonation, flat vowels. The rise and fall of your breathing. I miss you. So much. The red light. The yellow Mazda. Always behind my eyes.

  5. You sound the same. Inflections, intonation, flat vowels. The rise and fall of your breathing. I miss you. So much. The red light. The yellow Mazda. Always behind my eyes.

  6. Please be there for Pam, the sales manager emailed. It turned out he’d meant 6pm. Pam didn’t exist. I sort of miss her though. I’d have been there for her.

  7. Graham was her first, her only love. She took him home for tea, but she never understood why her family teased her so much.

    They were just five years old.

  8. Leave a message after the tone? Surely not. Enhanced by the tone, yes. Lifted to new heights by the tone. Even irritated by the tone. But never after the tone.

  9. The woman keeps calling even though I’ve told her that she has the wrong number. Are you sure, she asks me day after day, really sure? And now I’m not.

  10. 3.08 Saturday night. Fishing
    Up messages from a bottle, we send them on
    By cell-phone, nose snivelling.
    Alcohol scrambling misspells syllables,
    Trips digits and thumbs. Anyone ends up
    Honny-bnie. Missed.

  11. She probably needed tinned tomatoes but the crescendo of wails from the oncoming trolley persuaded her to do without. Never mind, she would pick up a sauce in the Foods of the World aisle but only if it was quiet, mind you; that section was the closest she got to travelling so it was her little indulgence. Sometimes her Italian matriarch's shoes pinched a little or her sari started to unravel. She considered the diners at her table; perhaps their faith in her ability to replicate authentic dishes from far-flung destinations enhanced their enjoyment. Of course, they must realise that she was making it all up.

    Every night she served up something different and it wasn't always foreign. She'd never been to Yorkshire, Cornwall or Ireland but she prepared their respective local dishes diligently. Such a waste of imagination.

    As she lingered over the frozen BOGOF's, there was a customer announcement and she felt irritated by its intrusion. And then there was another. And another. She couldn't concentrate; her mind wandered.

    Outside, there had been a grey mongrel tied to a metal post. A tattooed woman pushing an empty trolley had stopped to squash a cigarette butt and the dog had leapt forward, sinking his teeth into her ankle. She'd presented herself at the customer service desk and the staff called for the First Aider to come immediately. They'd also asked for the owner of the dog to come to the desk which he did. Tattoo Woman headbutted the dog owner and so Security were summoned. And then it all went quiet. Perhaps they'd all killed each other? Hardly original. Could she get away with buying frozen sausages or would they be full of unimaginable fillers? No, best to get fresh, they taste so much more authentic. Home made.

  12. Rabbity-roo started digging,
    exposing the fresh earth.
    A worm craned its neck
    Inviting her to cast with him
    but she declined
    remembering Graham-mahem
    and his sheath of lies.

  13. Haven't written my response yet, but some of these have made me laugh out loud already. Love Brian's.

  14. Watching his new-born daughter sleep, Harold flicks his phone settings to silent and takes a picture of her, suppressing the flash. The picture is grainy from the half-light but it’s possible to see the curve of Lucy’s head and her up-turned nose nestled in the soft wool of Felicia’s cashmere jumper. He’d forgotten to buy baby blankets before the birth.

    He crops the picture and presses ‘send,’ imagining a wave of charged electrons winging up to a satellite and back down to his exhausted partner, sleeping like the dead a few rooms away. Lucy coughs in her sleep, pudgy fists grasping at nothing in particular, her eyes screwed shut under the floppy wool of Harold’s second-best Baker Boy cap. She opens her mouth and a stream of drools pools on the cashmeres; beads of life on the surface of the wool.

    He finds the voice recorder and holds the phone to his mouth. “It’s October the…” He frowns and tries again. “It’s November the first,” he whispers, “and you’ve just been born. I’m watching you sleep in your Moses basket and I can’t imagine a more perfect daughter. I love you, Lucy, and I’m going to do my very best to give you everything you could ever need.” He pauses, thinking about the words he’s just left for posterity before adding a rider: “But not necessarily everything you want. You’ll never grow if you never struggle.”

    He closes the phone and tiptoes away, careful not to wake her. He’s been up all night and needs some sleep as well. Leaving the door ajar in case she wakes up, he settles on the sofa in the next room and wonders if there’ll still be MP3 players when she’s an adult, or will they be as obsolete as audio cassettes are now?

  15. The breather again. Rooted, her own breath catching, trying to still her thumping heart, she awaits his final sigh, like a sob, almost, or a wave meeting a lonely shore.

  16. He swears he called. He swears he left a message. He swears he said how much he missed me, how much he loves me, needs me. I don't believe him.

  17. You gave me a digital photo frame. When we split up I pulled out the memory stick. Your face disappeared. I wish I could do the same to my brain.

    C Taylor, CalistroWriter@googlemail.com

  18. Things that matter, so different than what she had imagined. Mourning the time lost on things of little consequence. She dials a wrong number looking for right answers, yet again.


  19. Life or death! An illicit affair - standing like a goosebury for a love who'll never arrive,or,code for a suicide bomber who's still sitting at home waiting...Life? Death?


  20. It is the dead of night,
    humanity is still,
    phone vibrates pitch darkness,
    he,remorseful, recompenses
    the message of love and
    lost connection, at sixty,
    wrong calls, at wrong times.

  21. Each time she listens,her heart leaps. Not at the words so much, but at the tone. At the lurking fear of loss behind the oh-so-casual jokey voice.

  22. ... and I said to Nicky, I don't care about the homework ... c'mon you miserable cow, let's go out ... and she said where to 'cos I ain't got no money ... and I said I ain't neither but let's go to Maisies 'cos I know the bouncer on the door and he'll let us in for nuffink ... and she said now who's the stupid cow 'cos her Mum would kill her if she found out ... and I said your Mum won't know, and so we tarted ourselves up and went out and Jimmy said what do you two look like ... but he let us in anyways and we had a cracking time and there was all them blokes buying us drinks though Nicky said she only wanted a Coke ... but I reckon there was somethin' in it 'cos of the way them blokes looked ... and then Nicky said she felt sick so we left and we didn't have no money for the bus so we had to walk ... and we was in a dark alleyway ... and Nicky got right scared ... and she got me jumpin' an' all ... and then when we looked behind us there was these two blokes calling us ... and we got even more scared ... and I'd forgotten me mobile like the stupid cow Nicky said I was ... and then she got 'ers out and the battery showed one little line what meant it was running out ... and she said who should she call 'cos she couldn't call her Mum and she couldn't call the police 'cos her Mum would find out ... so I said we could call Maisies and ask for Jimmy and he could come and rescue us ... so I give her the number and she dialled.

    It was the wrong number. Then the battery ran out.

  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

  24. The comfort of a stranger’s voice is like that of the speaking clock which her mother listened to incessantly after her father left. At least Graham-mahem is a real person.

  25. - Missing you, call me.
    - Me again, call me.
    - Where are you? Call me.
    - You’re with Tanya, aren’t you?
    - That’s it! You’re dumped! Run back to her, have a crap life!

  26. Good luck with the November daily poeming!

  27. "Hello, love. I'll be home soon."

    "Hello, love. I'll be home soon."

    A tear hit the answering machine as she pressed play again - the message, he left before the accident.

  28. Now she is gone
    all that remains
    is a handbag of tapes.
    Now at last
    I hear my father's voice,
    cracked, broken, dying,
    Pick Up The Phone.

  29. Red sky in the morning
    shepherds warning
    ne’r cast a cloot
    tae May be oot
    mother’s voice-
    bless her
    ‘you’ll roo the day
    you set your cap at him, lady’.


  30. Film star

    She rides the underground at night,
    alone and incognito.
    In the darkness of tunnels
    is the only place
    she can recognise the reflected face
    replayed on sliding windows.

  31. I burned the letters and cut up the photos. Now I remember no more what you looked like, I long to hear your tones just one more time in voicemail.

  32. When he smiles, is he sincere? When he kisses my shoulder, is he smitten? When he touches me, does he want me? All these messages, all the confusion of love.

  33. Er,
    the sounds
    err, inaudible sounds
    erratically crosses twice,
    another line, erroneous errs
    are heard inaudibly, erring across
    the lines, causing a stir betwixt two lines.

    ‘It’s me, what’s up?’


  34. When she left the notice in the paper, the one thing she never expected was a reply that night. How could she explain this little peccadillo when he saw her.



  35. Tom never calls anymore. He’s a stranger now, with a dark black beard, new wife (blonde) and a baby due in May. On Tuesday next, she plans to commit suicide.

  36. Crazy dream. Held Disney at gunpoint; threatened if he didn’t promise to swipe his Pooh cartoons off earth’s face, allowing Shepherd’s true Pooh and friends to reign supreme, I’d shoot.

    Mary Rose
    4th Nov. 2008

  37. Of course being a voyeur was fascinating. She treasured the gentle voice leaving the message for his little Rabbityroo. More interesting, was imagining what would happen when he came home.

    Bev longed to be loved that way. She couldn’t stop herself from tapping the button again as she drifted to sleep. “Now Igor,” she muttered. “Tonight, we’re going to build a Graham.”

    “Certainly, mistress,” lisped her faithful companion. “May I suggest we start with a basic fireman and then add legs and butt straight off a dancer?”

    “Thank you Igor. What about the brain? Yes, the poet will do nicely. I might want to talk to him sometimes. Will you give me a hand? Well two, from that Pianist we carved up last week.”

    A mad Doctor Frankenstein laugh seemed appropriate as she studied her work. “Hahaha. What about the ‘fittings’ Igor?” Bev toyed with full size stallion, but decided that it would be impractical. “It might drain too much blood from his brain Igor. Better go for something... tidier.”

    Voices pulled Bev back to reality. “Do you think she knows we’re here?”

    “We think so nurse. We can’t be sure, but she seems to react. When her mother calls, we can hear her play and replay the message on that answering machine by the bed.”

    “She can do that?”

    “Yes, she can twitch her eyelid and press the button. So we keep hoping. Motorcycles! They should be banned. She smashed her brain into putty. Now pay attention, we have to keep moving her joints like this.”

    Bev felt nothing except the gentle trickle of her nightly medicine running down her throat. She wished they go and let her to get back to Graham. Now maybe he has a friend.

    “Igor, do we still have that Russian gymnast in stock?”

  38. His voice: a wrong number
    so right... She presses redial,

    I have your number, Graham, sweetie,
    like cracker with marshmallows
    and chocolate melted over a fire:
    soft and delicious.

  39. He misses them. Their casual weighty roundness. A penis is a poor substitute for a pair of breasts. He sighs and looks down at a sex change he never wanted.

  40. At 6pm, I picked random numbers and left a message: 'My wild dog, I'm thinking of you. Call me soon and I'll take you for a walkies you'll never forget.'

  41. I didn’t pick up. Let the message go to voice mail. I saved it, and I listen again whenever I feel the need. He knows what I want to hear.

    Valerie Gregg

  42. Rules For Good Writing:

    . Have a knockout opening and ending
    . Avoid cliche
    . Think about 'what if'
    . Use surprise...

    God sighed. All these rules. It was easier when he just wrote.


Add Your Own Message Here
If you want to take part - great. All you need to do is add your response to our message here as a comment, but remember it has to be exactly 30 or 300 words, and it needs to be posted before 8am GMT the morning after the original post for each day. Please also remember to add your Name and Email Address to the end of your message, so that we can get in touch if your work is selected.