KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 1: Fall 2014
Micro-Fiction: 262 words


by Thomas E. Kennedy

Nodding off in the armchair, just as his eyes were about to close, Burns glimpsed the telephone on the little table across the room. Then his eyes shut and he saw the telephone in the house where he lived as a child. Black and squat with a rotary dial, a tiny gathering of dust in the edges of the cradle, a mouthpiece you could screw off to reveal a little round mechanism inside. Scared him at first. Did I break it? But as soon as he screwed the mouthpiece on again and set it down, the thing rang. Scared him. He snatched it up and said nothing, heard his father’s uncertain greeting, and Burns was surprised with pleasure to hear his Dad’s voice at this unexpected moment in the afternoon.

“Dad!” he exclaimed. “Hi!” And Dad said, “Put your mother on.”

Burns looked at the black plastic receiver—so big in his eight-year-old hand.

Wouldn’t be now, though. Of course, the phones now were so much smaller. Ugly, too. Insubstantial. Unconnected. Just throw ’em out if they break. His parents had that old black phone for decades.

His eyes blinked stickily open for a moment, and he saw the phone across the room again. Then they drooped shut once more, and his consciousness faded into a buzzing tone. But no he was up moving so damn slow so...damn...slow...across the room ’cause it was ringing, it was ringing like the phones used to do that good solid ring, and he couldn’t reach it, couldn’t reach, couldn’t...

Dad?  Dad?  Dad?

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