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Friday Fictioneers – Payphone

24 May, 2013

It’s FriFic time again. Thanks to Rochelle who offered this prompt:

I missed the broken handset aspect of it, so if you could sort of pretend you hadn’t seen that otherwise my 100 words don’t really work 🙂
Comments below please if you feel the urge


After walking for five miles, he finally reached a garage. It was closed for the night but he thanked whatever god there might be that it had a payphone.

He picked up the receiver and hovered his finger over the buttons. His head dropped. All the numbers he needed were back in the glove compartment, in his mobile phone, its battery as flat as the car’s.

He could only remember one number. A number he had not called for ten years. He tapped the digits and when that familiar, estranged voice answered he inserted fifty pence and spoke.

“Hello Father.”



Author’s note: I originally had the last line as “Hello Dad” but by changing one word it gave the whole thing a different meaning, opening up a possible wide selection of back stories. And the throwaway line about “whatever god there might be” suddenly becomes vitally important.


  1. i really like this. simple but evokes a lot of emotion. 🙂

  2. Love this 🙂 it’s funny how changing one word can lead the reader to more interpretations than originally intended as you pointed out; and yes, thank god you didn’t throw away that line 😉
    ps: do payphones still exist? I haven’t seen one in ages lol

    • Hi JB! hmmm i think the payphones got word of some impending doom and decided to quietly sneak off somewhere safe. Why didnt we seem them leave? we were too busy walking along with our noses to our smartphones playing Angry Birds

      • (ducks head in shame) what are these Angry Birds I keep hearing about? maybe the angry birds are the ones responsible for the disappearing payphones! it’s a conspiracy I tell ya 😉

      • Ive never been a fan of angry birds. maybe theyre angry a BECAUSE the phone boxes left. Who knows?

      • oh! maybe they got chased out of that Farmville thing on facebook!
        although I do like that Hitchcock movie with the uber angry birds lol

  3. I’m happy you used the word father instead of dad. It proves that their relationship is strained, and formal. Not warm by any stretch of the imagination.

    I’m giving you an award RG. You may not participate in them and that’s fine. I just wanted you to know that I think the world of you…..

    • I was thinking also Father in the priest sense, and what might have happened to the character that he lost his faith? and what relation was he to the priest?
      Thanks for the award Renee, i dont always pass them on but i do acknowledge them in a post (when time allows!)

      • No worries on acknowledging the award. Just wanted you to know that I was thinking of you.

        I like your story. The fact that it could be a priest or his father. It’s up to the reader to decide…..

  4. Dear RG.
    Aha! Glad I came looking. I enjoy your writing and wish you’d post more often.

    • Hi Rochelle and thanks. i always post for FriFic but i only link the story if i feel it’s good enough. this one didn’t have that spark but hopefully next week i will do better

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