Jason was taken by surprise when he heard the landline ringing. He hadn’t used the landline in years and, given that he hadn’t received or paid an invoice from the old phone company, he didn’t think it was even still connected. He hesitantly picked up the old receiver and listened to about five seconds of loud static. He was about to hang up when he heard a familiar voice say, “Jason, it’s Jonathan.”
Breaking out in a cold sweat, Jason slammed down the receiver. The phone immediately starting ringing again. Jason picked it up and held it to his ear. “Don’t hang up, Jason,” he heard the voice say.
“I must be having a nightmare,” Jason said. “There is zero chance that I’m awake.”
“Oh, you’re awake, I can attest to that,” the voice said.
“Impossible!” Jason said. “You’re dead, Jonathan. I know because I killed you.”
“I thought we had a strong bond, Jason,” the voice said. I thought our friendship was real.”
Jason’s voice took on a snide tone. “You call what we had a friendship? We were business partners until that time you talked me into taking that excursion to the Cayman Islands, remember? That’s when you dropped the bomb on me and said you were wresting control of the company we built together from me.”
“Jason,” the voice on the phone said, “you and I both know what you did. You were embezzling money and were bleeding the company dry. You left me no choice but to squeeze you out.”
“There’s always a choice, you bastard,” Jason said.
“You’re right, Jason,” the voice said. “And you made a choice to sabotage my scuba diving tank. Do you have any idea what it feels like to drown?”
“You deserved to die, Jonathan,” Jason said. “You tried to steal my company from me.”
“It was our company, Jason,” the voice said. “But you know what they say about paybacks, right?”
The electric shock that came through the receiver of the old landline phone took about 30 seconds to fry Jason.
“Paybacks are a bitch,” the voice said.
Written for this week’s Sunday Writing Prompt from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. The tale I chose to tell was a slight variation on this theme: Imagine that you receive a call from the other side from a person now deceased but once significant in your life (for better or worse). You now have the chance to tell them whatever you like, including any unfinished business they may have had. It could also fit into this theme: Imagine you receive a call from someone who wishes to connect or reconnect with you. This can be a high school sweetheart, a child placed for adoption, a childhood friend, an estranged relative, etc.
Also written for these daily prompts: Daily Addictions (zero), Your Daily Word Prompt (attest), Word of the Day Challenge (friendship), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (snide), Ragtag Daily Prompt (excursion), and The Daily Spur (control).