L – Landline (A short fiction)

Both my mother and father were getting ready. Mother was getting ready to her office and father was getting ready to go on a business trip.

“Mom, please don’t leave me alone. I feel afraid.” I said.

“Dear, what is this? Your grandma has gone to a day long temple tour. She would be back tonight. It’s just a matter of a day, And I would be home soon today, by 4.00 PM Ok?” she convinced me and kissed me.


How would people feel if a 15 year old boy is afraid of being alone. But that’s how I am. I don’t know why? I have always been afraid of being alone. But I had to listen to my mother, I had no other choice and besides, it was just a day. In fact, a few hours.

“Ok ma, I won’t be afraid.” I said.“That’s like a good boy.” she said, both kissed me on my forehead and left.

It was around 10.00 AM when they left, that’s when I got a call from the landline. I always loved the sound of the landline phone.

“Tring. Tring. Tring.” it rang.

“Must be grandma. She must be calling to enquire about me.” I thought.

I went and picked the phone.

“Rohan, this is not your grandma. I know your parents just left. So, I am coming home in a while to kill you.” the female voice said.

“What? Who are you?” I said as I was shocked. The call dropped.

My heart began to beat fast, I started sweating. “Oh my God, who is it? And does she want to kill me? What did I do?”

I went and checked if all doors are locked. Then I went and checked all the windows too, there was one window open. And I closed that too.

After I closed everything, no one could come inside, I thought.. I thought someone was fooling around with me.

My hands began to tremble, as I was still very afraid.

It’s been an hour since the call came, no one came yet. Maybe some stupid woman was playing some prank.

That’s when the landline rung.

“Tring. Tring. Tring.” I got startled.

It kept on ringing for several times, I chose not to pick it. It rang for one full cycle and then it stopped.

Moments later, it started ringing for the second time. I had to go and pick that up. So I went slowly to the phone stand, and picked up the phone with trembling hands.

“Hello, my dear. Why are you not picking up the phone?” the same female voice said.

I didn’t reply anything, as I was too afraid to speak anything.

“Ok. Now that you are very afraid and running around like a mad boy, to check if the doors and windows are locked, I want to give you an option to not get killed. Do you want to know that option?”

“H..huh… What’s that?” I asked, stammering..

“You can go to the bedroom, and if you open the corner shelf, the last drawer has a hidden box like attachment. If you remove all the clothes over there, you will find the box. You need to pull out that box, there will be some jewels inside that box. Pick that up. And I will call you next time, when and where to give you that.” the female voice said.

I didn’t know what to do. I thought of calling mom or dad. But first, I had to cut the call. So I said “O.. Ok, I will do that. But do you guarantee that you won’t kill me?”

“I promise, I wouldn’t. I need money, if you give me the money, I won’t kill you..”

“Ok, I will have it ready.” I said and hung up the call.

I picked up my mobile phone, but it was switched off. I put some charge, but it was still dead. I waited for nearly 15 minutes for it to get charged, but it didn’t happen. I didn’t know what happened.

Then I had no other option and I went and searched for that box. It was there at the exact same place. I remember seeing the box once when mother was keeping some jewel inside.

I was afraid while taking it out. It had some jewels. My hands were shivering and I was almost shaking.

But how come that lady knew the exact location? Was she someone close to us, who knew all our secrets? I was pretty confused. I wanted to call someone in our floor, but I thought she would know. Somehow she was keeping an eye on me, and I don’t want to get killed. Besides, even my mother will understand that I did this just to save my life. Obviously my life would be more precious for her than these jewels, I thought. After that, I waited for the next call.

At around 2.00 PM, I got the call.

“Tring. Tring. Tring.” I went and picked up immediately.

“Good job Rohan, I know you have the jewels ready. Ok, you will do one thing now. Put that in a cover so that nothing is visible from outside. Come outside your apartment complex, head towards your right, and wait at the bus stop. I will come there, wearing a green color churidar and wearing a helmet in my scooty. I won’t show my face, but I will come and collect it from you. But remember, you shouldn’t talk with anyone out there. Ok? Got it? If you talk with anyone, it means you are trying to escape and making me get caught. Did you understand?”

I didn’t know what to do in fear. So I said “O.. Ok. I will do that.”

As she told me, I went to the bus stand and waited with the cover containing the jewels. After a while, one old man came and talked to me. He asked me, what was I doing there? Looking at my face, maybe he guessed that something was wrong with me, and to add to that, I was waiting there for a long time. So he was probably interested in knowing what was happening..

I didn’t speak a word to him as instructed. But he was repeatedly insisting me to talk. I was very afraid to speak. But that old man was irritating me.

FInally I lost my patience and told him “Sir, What I am doing is none of your business. So please don’t disturb me.” I literally shouted at him.

“Oh my God. What did I do? I just ended up speaking, whereas I shouldn’t have spoken.” I thought. By then, the old man didn’t speak and started minding his own business.

Shit. I was in trouble now. I didn’t know what to do? I knew she wouldn’t turn up, because I talked to a person.

And my suspicion turned true. I waited for nearly an hour and a half but no one came in a scooty.

So I went back home. Immediately when I went inside home and locked the door, I got the call.

“Tring. Tring. Tring.” my heartbeat was racing. I knew I was going to get punished for this. I went near the phone trembling and picked up the phone and kept the receiver in my ears.

“How dare you do like this? Why the hell did you talk to that old man?” she asked me in a stern voice.

“I didn’t. That guy was irritating me, for a long time. So to shut him up, I spoke like that.” I stammered a lot while talking.

“I asked you specifically not to talk to anyone. You told him that you were getting blackmailed right?”

“No, no, no. Please believe me. I didn’t utter a word about you.” I promised to her, trying to save myself out of that situation.

“You deserve to die. You deserve to die. I will be there in a few moments.”

Hearing that, I hung up the call in fear. It started ringing again, this time, I disconnected the wire from the phone.

I didn’t want to lose my life. So once again, I cross checked all the doors and windows.

I didn’t know what to do. So I was just waiting fearing the worst.

That’s when I heard a big bang at the door. “Thud. Thud. Thud.”

“Oh my God. She is here? God, please save me. Where will I run?” my heartbeat was now at peak levels, I was sweating like anything and I was totally trembling and my entire body was shaking.

“Thud, thud, thud.” the sound came again.

I didn’t know what to do. I checked the phone, it was still switched off. I started praying to God to show some mercy.

“Rohan, Rohan. Open the door” I heard the voice.

It was my mother’s voice. I felt so relieved. I immediately rushed to the door and opened it. It was my mother. I hugged her very tight. All of a sudden, I felt like nothing could happen to me and no one could harm me.

“Rohan, what happened my dear? What happened? Why are you sweating so much? Did you get afraid of anything?” she asked me.

I was panting and gasping for breath. So she took me inside the home and gave me some water to drink.

I relaxed a bit.

“Mom, why did you bang the door instead of ringing the calling bell? I got so afraid.” I said.

“Rohan, I tried, but there is no power. That’s why I knocked. What happened Rohan?” she said.

“I got a call in our landline. One woman was talking. She wanted our jewels, or she would kill me. She threatened me.”

“What?” she said.

“Yes mom. She was torturing me. She called me like 4-5 times. I went to the bus stop on her instructions, taking the jewels. But I spoke to someone over there, which she didn’t want me to. So she got pissed off and she wanted to kill me.”

“What are you saying, Rohan?”

“Yes, mom. She threatened to kill me. She said she was coming home in a few moments. At Last, I disconnected the landline wire.” I said.

“Rohan, calm down. What are you saying? We don’t have a landline in our home, for the past couple of years.”

The End.


Dear readers, please feel free to comment/critique my stories. It would be of immense help.  In case you already don’t know, I am writing this as part of the A to Z short story challenge

Here are the other stories that I have written as part of this challenge :

A – Addiction (A short fiction)

B – Bookmark (A short fiction)

C – Critic (A short fiction)

D – Drip (A short fiction)

E – Escort (A short fiction)

F – Frock (A short fiction)

G – Greed (A short fiction)

H – Hero (A short fiction)

I – Insomnia (A short fiction)

J – Jigsaw (A short fiction)

K – Kick

L – Landline (A short fiction)

M – Minute (A short fiction)

N – Novel (A short fiction)

O – Overtime (A short fiction)

P – Proposal (A short fiction)

Q – Quarter (A short fiction)

R – Revenge (A short fiction)

S – Sunlight (A short fiction)

T – Typewriter (A short fiction)

U – Useless (A short fiction)

V – Vendetta (A short story)

W – Wild (A short fiction)

X – Xylophone (A short fiction)

Y – Yogurt (A short fiction)

Z – Zoo (A short fiction)

Please do take your time to read and drop in your comments.  Thanks.


    1. Aah. He could be suffering from a phobia or a mental disease. Calling him crazy might not be fair. ☺

      Thanks for stopping by. Your comments does motivate me.

      1. Hmmm…yeah! Apologies. He definitely had a very.. Very scary mental disease though! Imagine if that voice told him to murder!!! ( yes I overthink, apologies again)

        1. Haha. Yeah, it could happen. Many schizophrenia patients suffering from hallucinations.

          And never mind, i am glad that my story is starting some discussions. Thank you.

  1. Wow. Chill down the spine! Was he dreaming? Or was he paranoid? I was wondering since he was constantly fearing being alone in the house and maybe he slept with that thought lingering in his mind and that weaved a creepy dream? Because throughout the story I was wondering why he did not attempt to call anybody from the landline?

    1. Thank you Shri. 🙂 It could be a mental illness or a phobia, due to which a person could react like that.

      He was too afraid he lost his senses and forgot to call via the landline. Ok enough justification, I admit – it was a flaw 🙂 Maybe, I have to edit it to correct that part.

      Thanks for taking time to read and comment. Keep visiting.

      1. No you do make sense. Brain freeze could happen for in-taking a frozen drink. So, fear could easily kick it in! Awesome writing. Simplistic and powerful. I am your fan!

        1. Hmmm. Thanks for the justification. However, I actually missed that point out. So thanks for pointing the flaw. Maybe, in this story, it has worked out not to be a flaw, but I will remain cautious the next time around.

          And thanks for your encouraging words. Being a fan means a big thing to me. 🙂 I hope I will be able to live upto your expectations.

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