A second helping of Macabre Macaroni

I think my reasoning behind this one will be obvious. Hope you enjoy it.

Ghost of the Mind

She tenderly puts the ancient flip-phone on its charging stand, careful not to bend the cord again. A warm shower always primes her for the work day. She pulls on her flats, and places her heels beside her purse. One poached egg later and she heads for the bus stop.

The neighborhood is much nicer than fifteen years ago. Small shops and bistros popped up along the street, and the community garden is in its second year. People are already there to pick up the branches that blew down overnight. She visits the coffee shop before the bus stop.

A fresh romance novel occupies her time for the next hour. People get on, and others get off. She gulps the last mouthful of her latte and throws the cup away as she exits the bus. People jostle by on the sidewalks to remind her why she stopped carrying coffee.

Skyscrapers cast shadows along the sidewalk for the next two blocks. It’s cold in the morning these days. She makes a mental note to get out her sweaters and scarves this weekend.

She takes a turn as receptionist at the law firm until noon. Her secretarial work is piled up waiting for her after she is free of the telephone. It will take the rest of the week to catch up, so she can take her turn at the phone again.

The girls all make plans to grab a glass of wine after work. They stopped asking her years ago. It’s nice to be asked, but she’s refused too many times.

The bus ride home is a repeat of the morning, but she carries a box of Chinese takeout instead. The community garden looks beautiful tonight, and she wonders if she should put her name on the list for a small plot.

News, half of her takeout, and one glass of wine round out the night. The food will make good leftovers, and the wine will last one more day.

She irons her clothes and hangs them in the closet before bed.

She carefully unplugs the decrepit old flip phone and crawls between the sheets. She opens the phone and plays her voicemail.

“Hi, Honey. Happy first anniversary. The boss said I can leave at 3:00 today. Why don’t you come into town, and meet me. We have reservations at Delmonico’s at 7:30. Alright, talk to you later. Love you!”

The voicemail operator said, Message left, September 11, 2001.

She folds the phone shut and clutches it to her breast. “Goodnight, Honey. I love you too.”


Filed under Short Stories & Vignettes

36 responses to “A second helping of Macabre Macaroni

  1. You made me cry again Craig! I’m going to have to stop reading these. It’s beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ali Isaac

    What a beautiful story, so full of sensitivity, and so tender. There is a different side of you that is starting to emerge, I’ve noticed lately, Craig. I love this story, it really speaks volumes, and brought a tear to my eye. Very well done. This years MM’s are a world away from last year’s so far, can’t wait to see whats coming next week! 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh how sad! Well done. Gave me chills.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on Legends of Windemere and commented:
    Enjoy some more Macabre Macaroni!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Makes me wonder how many people have old phones with voicemails or some type of ‘last call’ from that day.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. So very sad and poignant. You really have a flair for short fiction. This was a powerful piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You’ll have to make sure you add it at the end of the next MMs!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh how sad. On the other hand, this Macabre Macaroni is fast becoming a favorite feature of mine.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. This was very moving. You’re so good with words.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This was moving. That day kills me. Great job.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Good story–and so sad.

    Liked by 1 person

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