1 – An Unfortunate Phone Call

This was where our story started. The small domino that was pushed over, causing a series of events that were to unfold, that would utterly destroy the good people of Black Star Canyon. That one, little, seemingly insignificant event, would create a ripple effect so large, so uncontrollable, that nothing would be able to stop it. The townspeople of Black Star Canyon would try to think back on what it was that solidified their doom, but the problem was, no one would actually know about this one, little, seemingly insignificant event; no one but one person. That one person, made a choice just minutes before that event. It didn’t take the person long to do. They sat. They thought. Then…

The living room in the home was nice. Nice in a way that everything in the room would have been top of the line when it was purchased, but that was obviously a very long time ago. Sitting there in a chair; a nice comfy chair, though full of dust embedded into the fabric, was an old man. The old man was wearing long pants, layered socks, and thick slippers. The top half of the old man was layered with different shirts and topped with a thick, knitted, sweater whose sleeves were a bit too long, so the old man had them rolled up into giant puffs around his wrists. He sat there, like he did every evening, reading the newspaper. He would slowly go over each article, word by word, squinting his eyes every so often, then tilting his head back to look down his nose through his bifocals to make sure he was reading what he was reading. He would mouth things like, “What the…” and, “Oh, Hell…” without making a sound as he was either horrified by the state of the world or just disgusted with where it was going.

The phone that sat next to him on the small table and then screamed at him. “RIIIIIIINGGGGGGG!” said the phone.

The old man sighed. He tried to wet his mouth and his lips by licking them with his dry tongue. The more he tried, the more saliva built up in his mouth.

“RIIIIINGGGGGGGGG!” The phone said again echoing through the hollow home.

The old man seemed frustrated. He looked over at the phone as if giving it the “stink eye” would shut it up. He licked his lips again.

“RIIIIIIIINNGGGGGGGG!” The phone seemed to be getting angry.

The old man slowly moved his woolen wrist over to the telephone. He picked it up in mid-ring. “Hello?” He said it so quietly, that almost he, himself, didn’t hear it. He pulled the phone away from his head. He licked his lips again, moistening his mouth. In a very normal tone he spoke, “It’s for you.” There was silence. The crinkling of his newspaper broke the quiet. Again he tried, “It’s for you.”

A voice from upstairs that was filled with glee yelled back, “Is that for me?” followed by what sounded like a stampede coming down the hard wood staircase.

“Yes. It’s for you,” the old man said quietly as he held the phone up and she grabbed it out of his hand.

The girl, I should say woman; she looked to be in that gray area, had shoulder length, blonde hair, tiny little shorts and a pink t-shirt that was cut off to expose her tight stomach. When she grabbed the phone from him and ran around the corner into the kitchen, the spiral phone cord stretched around it after her. Each loop along the corner made a loud “CLACK” sound. The “CLACK” repeated in quick succession until she felt comfortable with where she was in relation to the old man, due to the privacy of the call and the ability of the old man’s hearing.

“Hello?” she said. She smiled a huge smile, bit her thumb nail, and turned red as an apple. “No. No one can hear.”

And that was true. No one outside of that call could hear what went on during the short conversation. The problem was, was that the only people who would benefit from knowing who was on the other end of that call, the good people of Black Star Canyon, would never, ever, find out who that was.

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