#thesideshow November 6th 2015 The War on War by Jim Landwehr
November 6, 2015
#thesideshow November 8th 2015 Calcium by Robin Wyatt Dunn
November 8, 2015

#thesideshow November 7th 2015 Dedicated Phone Line by Cameron Filas

When she was out with friends she’d make sure to text him. He liked that reassurance. His mind wandered without it. She’d send him updates on how dinner was going with her girlies or where they were headed next. She’d ask him what he was up to.

He usually replied with something generic and borderline suspicious like, “just chillin,” or, “not much.” In truth he was at home, sitting on his worn leather couch in his underwear. His back clung to the couch, forming a moist vacuum of skin against leather, the cause of his ever present backne no doubt. He sat in his underwear, staring down his dark apartment hallway thinking of what she might look like at that moment. Sometimes he fondled himself. But he didn’t tell her this. Perhaps he was vague because the truth was too depressing to physically type out with clumsy thumb taps. Or perhaps he enjoyed the tease of worrying her; at least he imagined she worried.

To his dismay, she’d often reply unaffected by his lack of openness. She’d add in extra smiley faces to let him know she didn’t mind that he was being elusive. Or perhaps she was too busy with her friends to care. Or perhaps she wasn’t really with her friends at all. It may well be another man who she went out with. Someone without backne. Someone who sent nice texts and happy faces back to her.

So he’d ignore her for a while. His phone would ring and flash in intermittent seizures of vibration before calming. He’d glance at the flickering message indicator light then would stare back down his dark hallway. She probably smelled of flowers, the overpowering sickening kind that envelopes you in candle stores. He wanted that scent near him, against his body, on his couch.

Sometimes his phone would burst into a lightshow frenzy of ringing and flashing; a phone call. He’d snatch up the device and blind himself in the darkness with his overbearing screen. When his eyes adjusted it was his father, usually, calling to tell him to get a job. His father called to cough in his ear and belch and make known his disappointment in his son. Sometimes it was a wrong number; someone who confusedly asked for a grandson or niece, mistakenly one or two digits off. But it was never her.

She hadn’t called him and he wouldn’t call her. After all, one can’t come across as too desperate in these types of situations. He had to play his cards right. He wondered what her voice was like. He wondered when he’d get to meet her. It’d been almost a week already. They’d have to meet eventually. It was fate after all. They were destined to be together.

What were the chances that he’d accidentally been assigned an existing phone number? The existing phone number of her soon-to-be discovered in a ditch boyfriend. Ex-boyfriend he thought. His hands slid into his underwear to touch and fondle. She would be his. Tonight, when she returned, he’d be there.

“Can I call you?” The words sprang across his screen. He froze; erection in hand, throbbing. It had to be in person. He couldn’t risk her noticing his voice. It’s possible he sounded like her corpse of an ex-boyfriend, but having only heard him scream it was too hard to tell. He couldn’t jeopardize his plan.

“I’m busy right now…what’s up?” He tapped the letters slowly using just one hand, the other firmly tucked under his elastic underwear band. Beads of sweat rolled lazily down his sides from his underarms. Tonight was not like normal. She had grown suspicious. Perhaps it was the vague texts. Or perhaps it was the excuses for not seeing her he’d invented. It’s lucky that she didn’t live with her ex-boyfriend or she’d have noticed his absence by now, he thought. He should have checked that guy for backne before dumping the stiff mangled corpse.

“Can you come over tonight then? :)” Always with the smiley faces. He gripped himself harder.

“I’ll be there.” He leaned forward slowly, peeling himself off of the couch. He would be there. It was fate after all.

Cameron Filas enjoys writing flash and micro fiction and has had his work published at places like Yellow Mama, 365 tomorrows, and Jitter Press to name a few. You can read more of his work or drop him a line at his site cameronfilas.wordpress.com.