F3, Cycle 95: Sorry, Wrong Number…
Prompt: Craft us a tale and share with us exactly what it was that you overheard, and also, while you’re at it, let us know how that weekend turned out for ya! If you can, that is…
Genre: Whatever floats your boat.
Word Limit: You’ve caught me in a generous mood, so let’s cap this one at 1,800 words.
Deadline: Wednesday, September 12, at 10:00pm CT.
(PARENTAL ADVISORY: EXPLICIT LANGUAGE)
“Is this thing on?”
“Yes. Go ahead with your statement. Start from the beginning. What you were doing at Lake Wilkshire?”
“OK. Well my friend owns the cabin I was staying at. It’s number ten, the one down at the end of that road. I went there for the weekend because I’m having some troubles at home. My wife is fucking her boss and it’s just turned into a really bad scene all around. The kids are all caught up in the middle of it and we’re starting divorce proceedings. I’m sure the lying bitch will try to take everything, but I’ve got the best lawyer in the state. That cunt isn’t getting a fucking dime.”
“Please just stick to why you were out on Wilson Road.”
“OK. OK. So all this shit is going on with the missus and its giving me a big fucking headache. So to ease the noggin I go to the bar a bit more than I did in the past. While I’m there I run into an old friend of mine. He’s a writer. Published a few books that I never read and teaches down at the college. He owns the cabin and when I tell him about my troubles he offers to let me use it.
“It’s just a summer home. I see him every coupla years when he comes to town. We always meet up at the bar for a few drinks. Nice guy. His wife is into stocks or some shit so they got bookoo money. I’d be surprised if he didn’t have half a dozen houses. They travel all the time. One time he said he went to China to research a book. Could you imagine?
“So anyway. I tell him that a weekend away is just what I need. Give me some time to clear my head so I can make sense of this shit I’ve got going on in my life. He gives me the keys and directions and tells me to meet him on Monday. He knows I’m a good guy. Knows I’m not gonna trash the place or get into any trouble. So that’s how I made it out here.
“Anyway. I get out here last night and walk into the cabin. It’s pretty nice and secluded. There’s nobody around for miles. Except for the other cabins on that road, but they’re spread out and I’m pretty sure most of them are empty anyways. So I walk in just as the storm breaks. I only got a couple of sprinkles on me but once I got inside the sky really opened up. I haven’t seen anything like that in a long time. It was like a hurricane or something.
“And the crazy thing was: as soon as I got in there the phone started ringing. So I immediately pull my cell out of my pocket and see that it’s not going off. Hell, I didn’t even have service. I looked around and saw one of those old black beasts sitting on the kitchen counter. One of those old rotary types where you gotta spin the wheel to dial the number. I didn’t even think they made those things anymore. But there it was. Ringing. I figured it was Doug calling to check and see if I made it to the place OK. My wife and kids didn’t have the number. Hell, I didn’t even know the place had a phone. So I go over and pick the thing up.
“Hello? I said. But nobody heard me. All I got off that phone call was that some chick was pissed off at some guy and was taking the kids and going to stay with ‘Jarld.’ I say Hello and who’s this and I think the lines got crossed and they must have the wrong number but no one hears me. They just keep going back and forth at each other. Fucking bitch this and piece of shit bastard that. It was kind of comical but I had just gotten there and wanted to check the place out so I hung up. It wasn’t any of my business what was going on, you know? I just wanted to have a nice relaxing weekend without the family yelling at me or the girlfriend bitching.
“So I checked the place out. He’d said it was nice and it sure was. It has a beautiful view of the lake. All those big picture windows. I love that nature shit. It’s mostly one story but the bedroom is upstairs. It’s a cool place. Have you ever been there?”
“But I’m sure you’ve been in a log cabin, right? Being a police officer you must get called to ‘em all the time for shit like today.
“Anyway. Like I said. The place was nice and clean and stocked with food. Which was good ‘cause I didn’t bring any. So I cooked dinner and poured a scotch. He had all sorts of shit in the bar. I took one look at that and knew it was gonna be a good weekend. So I poured myself a drink and went into the living room to look for the remote and see what was on the tube and – you’re not gonna believe this – I couldn’t find it because Doug doesn’t even have a fucking TV in that place. Just a fireplace and a big bookshelf. I looked at some of the books. I leafed through ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ and tried to read one called ‘Here I Lay Dying’ or something like that, but I’ve never been much of a reader. And none of those books had any pictures in them so mostly I just drank and smoked and watched the fire. I wasn’t sure if he wanted me to smoke in the place but I did it anyway. I figure with the wood smoke he’d never notice anyways.
“So I did that until I passed out. Then I woke up this morning and started drinking again. I didn’t think about the phone call too much until I walked outside for some fresh air. I heard them damn voices again. I figured it must have been someone down at one of the other cabins. Well, I was starting to get bored. When he offered me the place for the weekend I didn’t realize he didn’t have a TV. So I started off down the road to check out the commotion. It was still pretty soggy and muddy from the rain but I managed. I almost dropped the bottle I was carrying a few times but I made it all right.
“When I got down to cabin eight there was this huge fight going on. It looked like a big family weekend getaway turned evil. It was ‘The Brady Bunch’ meets ‘UFC.’ I copped a squat on a fallen tree and just sort of started to take it all in. It was great! Better than that Jersey Shore or As the World Turns. My mom watches all those shows and I never understood the attraction to them until I saw this. Seeing those people screaming at each other made me forget my troubles completely.
“See, all those kids were just the one girls. I guess I should say woman, anyone old enough have that many is surely a woman in all senses of the word if you know what I mean. And her husband or boyfriend or whatever was this baldheaded guy that kept shouting at her that she was a worthless cheating piece of shit and she could take all her shit and move the fuck out. She called him a lowlife whorebag pedophile and said if he wanted a woman over the age of 15 she wouldn’t need to fuck other people.
“Huh-huh-huh. The best part was when he corrected her and said ‘She’s 16 you dumb cunt. You should know, she’s your sister!’ Like that makes it any better right?
“I couldn’t believe it. My wife and I never say shit like that in front of the kids. We always try to keep it civil. But here was this couple shouting all this with these six kids right out in the front yard. Every now and then the mom, I’m not sure if it was his or hers, would tell them to pipe down and stop yelling. She kept hollering about how the stress was too much for her. She’d put her hand on her chest and start acting like she was having a heart attack. I kept expecting her to call out to Elizabeth.
“Then as I’m sitting there this toothless woman with a beer gut handing out of her bright orange tube top walks up to me and says ‘weird people around here aint there?’ ‘uh, yeah.’ I say. She was probably the weirdest person I’d seen all day. But she just plops right down and starts drinking with me.
“It wasn’t too long after that that baldy sees me and says ‘who the fuck are you?’ That’s why I think the chick was with them. He didn’t say ‘us’ he said it just to me. He comes charging at me telling me to get the fuck out of here and mind my own business and all that shit. I tell him I’m on the road and it’s public property but he don’t care. He started shoving and I shoved back. It wasn’t too long after that that we started punchin’ each other. I remember one of the kids started screaming and then he started choking me and I blacked out. When I came to one of your colleagues was helping me into the back of a cruiser and brought me here.
“And I think that’s it. That’s about what you wanted right?”
“Yes. That’ll do.”
“So do I get to press charges on them? I mean, he scraped me up pretty good. I was just minding my own business and the next thing I know this crazy man is choking the life out of me.”
“No. Since you shoved your pocketknife into his neck you’re being charged with assault with a deadly weapon. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say…”
“Wait! That was self-defense. He was going to kill me! What was I supposed to do?”
“You could have minded your own business. As it is, you’re not going to have to worry about your family or girlfriend for the next several years. You came here to get some time away and now you’re going to get your wish. This is going to be a very, very long weekend for you.”