Genre: Very Short Story/Realistic Fiction
Word Count: 325
Muse: Written for [Fiction] Friday Challenge #136 for Jan 1st, 2010: A text message pops up on your character’s phone in the middle of the night. It reads, “You have 30 days left to live. Use them wisely”
Peggy woke with the sound of her phone ringing- and thought to herself- who was calling at- she glanced at the time on her cell as she picked it up- 1:47 a.m.?
It was Nannette, of course. Who else? Peggy went to silence the ringer and realized that it had only rung once, which meant it was a text and not an actual call. She clicked through to read it, after a moment of indecision about just rolling over and going back to sleep. It read, “U hav 30 daz 2 live- use them wisely.”
Despite the fact that she had to work in the morning, Peggy flipped the phone open to respond, “Haven’t I told you not to send me existential texts when I have to get up in the morning?”
“bst time 2 ponder ur mortality- when u cant sleep,” Nannette sent back.
Peggy sighed and typed, “I was sleeping just fine until you woke me.”
“How can u sleep in the cold n dark?” the response came with another chime of her ringtone.
Peggy was starting to type her reply when another text came in. Her stupid phone made her read that one before she could write the rest of the one she was already working on.
“rnt u scared of the night?” it read.
Peggy knew right then what she needed to do. She got out of bed- her husband Teddy made a little snore, finally almost noticing that there was noise in the room- Peggy got out of bed, pulled on her robe, pushed her feet into her slippers and shuffled down the hall to her six-year-old’s room. The light was on and Nannette sat huddled in the middle of her bed, her knees drawn up and her phone still clutched in her hands.
“Want me to read you a story?” Peggy asked, climbing onto the bed and pulling Nannette into her lap.
“Yes, Mommy,” Nannette gave in sleepy reply.