Prompt Day #55: The phone rings. Your protagonist answers it. In the handset, all (s)he hears is what sounds like the sawing of wood. (s)he hangs up, shaken. What’s happening.
It Saw’ll in the Past
The phone rang just as Molly finished diapering the baby.
“Sweetie, can you watch your sister for Mommy while she gets the phone?” She asked her three year old. Joey nodded. She took off running to the kitchen. The home phone rarely rang anymore, anyone she knew called her cell, but they’d given the bank the home number too and she didn’t want to miss that call.
“Hello?” She huffed, out of breath. There was silence initially on the other end and so she repeated herself. She was about to hang up when a loud buzzing sound came through the handset. It was a sound she knew far too well. The sound of a table saw roaring to life and cutting through something, likely wood in this case.
“Who is this?” She asked trying to keep her composure, although she could hear the wavering in her voice. The sound continued. She slammed the phone down. No. This was not happening. Not again. Her mind was playing tricks on her. That must be it. What she really heard was just static of a poor connection. That was all. She was fine, the kids were fine. Nothing would happen this time. She had to convince herself. She picked up the phone and hit *69. There was ringing on the other end, and then the line was picked up. She waited but there was only silence.
“Hello? Did someone from this number call my house? I think we had a bad connection.” She said. Immediately the furious sound came again. It was the sound of a frantic swarm of bees in her brain. Buzzing about telling her to do it, just do it. It had to be done. She wasn’t crazy, it was the best thing really. She dropped the phone and covered her ears. No. Not again. Last time was different. She was young and Jake was gone all the time and she should have called the doctor as soon as the voices started but she thought she could handle it and that was a mistake she would have to live with the rest of her life.
This time was different. She’d taken the meds they recommended. She did weekly follow ups. She’d been seeing a psychiatrist for the past three years for God’s sakes. This time was different. She was in control. She knew right from wrong. And Jake had been coming home every day on his lunch break to check in on her and the kids. The roar of the saw was still there on the line. She looked down to see the phone. Had she dropped it? She couldn’t remember. She picked it up and listened. There were voices behind the white noise of cutting wood. Whispers: I’m in the garage, waiting for you Molly. Please feed me again. I’m ever so hungry. Nothing really terrible happened last time. Everyone survived and none the worse for wear .It’s ok. You know what to do. Molly listened. He head cocked to the side, her mouth ajar. A thin line of drool spilled over her lip and down her chin. She hung the phone gently back into its cradle and walked out to the garage. The table saw was still there. Jake had never gotten rid of it. There was a tarp over it and Molly pulled that off. She plugged it in and turned it on. The sound, now in stereo sent a thrill through her middle. She walked back in the house and picked the baby up. Little Grace was just 3 weeks old, only a week or so younger than Joey had been. Joey, now three stared up at his mommy, mouth still agape, drool dripping off her chin.
“Mommy? Are you ok? Where are you going with Gracie?” He asked. Molly ignored him. She carried Grace to the garage. “Mommy! What are you doing? Mommy? Wake up. You are going to hurt her.” He tugged at her shirt with his right hand. He held his left arm out in front of her to stop her, the one that ended in a stump.