About the challenge: Each Tuesday I will provide a photo prompt. Your mission, if you choose to accept the challenge, is to tell a story in 280 characters or less. When you write your tale, be sure to let me know in the comments with a link to your tale. If you would prefer to post your tale in the comments (some people have very specific blog themes but still want to participate), I am happy to post a link to your site when I post your tale in the Round Up.
A final note: if you need help tracking the number of characters in your story, there is a nifty online tool that will count for you at charactercountonline.com.
I will do a roundup each Tuesday, along with providing a new prompt. And if for some reason I missed your entry in the Roundup, as I have occasionally done, please let me know. I want to be sure to include your tale.
Finally, have fun!
Starting us off…
“What’s that Gran?”
“Oh that? Well, for a quarter you could call someone and talk to them.”
“So it’s a phone?”
“Yes! I even remember when it only cost a dime!”
“Why would anyone pay?”
“Oh Sarah!” Gran laughed, “that was before smart phones!”
“Wow! That must’ve been a looong time ago!”
By The Dark Netizen:
All those years ago, I remember I would stand here and call her. She used to stay in the adjoining building. We would sneak chats whenever we could. One day, a great fire broke out here. She didn’t survive.
I can still listen to her voice, on the payphone receiver…
Character Count: 280
By Di at Pensitivity101:
See how the casing is burnt, yet the handset and cable are unscorched?
The fire was deadly, yet amazingly the line still worked, so they just replaced the damaged parts.
By Reena at ReInventions:
“This is the phone from which your Grandpa called Grandma before they got married. And they wrote letters on paper with a pen….”
“How quaint! I could have three relationships in the time they took for courtship.”
By Kate at Everywhere and Nowhere:
museum of history
‘Dad is this what it really looked like?’
‘Well it’s before my time but yes, I’m sure your Grandad showed me a picture of one once.’
‘But it’s so dirty.’
‘Well it was outside so that anyone could use it and I don’t think they had people to clean them.’
‘Outside and communal, yuck!’
By Kristian at Tales from the Mind of Kristian:
A Fateful Phone Call
As she saw the phone memories flooded back. Standing frantically dialing for assistance while outside a man pulled out a knife.
Her world changed that day.
Luckily, the police came in time, the Phone Box Killer was caught and she ended up marrying the policeman that rescued her.
By Willow at WillowDot21:
The last rays of the sun lit the payphone bronze. Through the dirty window the pool still looked blue. Letters scratched into the glass their meaning long forgotten. Another abandoned motel in the middle of nowhere. No money to use the phone but there was no one to answer it.
By Tien at From the Window Seat a new tweeter who couldn’t stop at just one:
Story #1: Who called?
I was a sobbing mess. The call dropped the moment she picked up. This was the fifth time. I hung up before picking up the handset again.
Someone tapped on the glass window and I peered out, tears obscuring my vision.
“Oh, for god’s sake, put in a quarter before you start dialling!”
Story #2: What Superman?
“Help! Help me please!”
His hypersensitive ears detected that desperate cry four blocks away. Instinctively, he took off his glasses as he looked around for a payphone booth. Bewildered, he looked around harder.
Not a single one nearby!
It was really tough to be Superman these days.
By Fandango at This, That, and the Other:
“Why are you stopping the car?” Ana asked.
Luis pointed to a tall, narrow glass enclosure. “That’s a phone booth,” he said.
“A phone booth?” Ana said. “I didn’t know they still had phone booths in the city.”
“Exactly,” Luis said. “That’s why I need to stop and take a picture of it.”
By Teresa at The Haunted Wordsmith:
Make the Call
His fingers played with the business card as he debated one last time whether he wanted to make the call or not–or if this was even real. No phone number, but he knew the code. He read the card again, “Prime digits for a new life.” He left the card for the next sucker.
By Graham at Graham is Just my Name:
The tips of my fingers felt soiled contemplating the greasy buttons.
I cringed, reaching for a clean white handkerchief.
The phone rang.
I held the handset well away from my ear.
Tomorrow no handkerchief.
Repeat after me.
OCD is treatable.“
By John at The Magic Shop:
It was winter again and he was freezing. But, he had a job to do and that’s all that mattered. He couldn’t let anyone answer the phone. It had been ringing continuously for so long now, that he lost track of time. He just knew that if that call was ever picked-up, it would mean the end of the world.
By Susan at Susan’s Place:
That’s a Phone?
Outside, it was rainy, weather, you didn’t want to be out in. Inside this little bar was a different story. The place was packed, the drinks flowing. A guy tapped me on the shoulder asking if they could use my phone. Pointing to the front door I said there’s a payphone right there. Looking confused, I said, come on, I’ll show you how to use it.
By Larry at East Elmhurst.A.Go.Go:
That Was Yesterday and Yesterday’s Gone
It’s 1970 and I’m in St. Gabriel’s. Brother James and Brother Edmond are finished with glee club practice so I have to call my parents. I reach for the phone and wake up to the sound of my cell phone. My parents are deceased. Those Brothers are now on my Facebook friend list.
By Sadje at Keep It Alive:
It is a relic of the past standing on the corner
Waiting for someone to step in and put a few coins
In the slot and dial a number
Wanting to talk to a loved one
Or sharing some urgent news
This is how life was in those days of the past
When even news traveled in a moderate pace
No rushing or chasing around trying to catch our own tail!
Character count; 266
By Tessa at Tessa Can Do It!:
I was in a bad part of town, I pulled out my phone to call for help. I dropped the phone and it broke. Useless!
Looking around I spotted an old pay phone. I searched frantically for a coin to use, wondering if the phone was still working. Dropped in a coin. I heard a dial tone.
By Milly at Truly Milly:
All Your Secrets
No one uses me anymore ever since they invented the smartphone and the internet. Someday, I’ll get revenge by telling the world all the secrets from all the conversations I’ve listened to. Who cheated on who. Who murdered who.
Someday, this old payphone will get revenge.
By Anuarg at Jagadilmein:
Kids These Days!
I hunted around for a coin, but nothing….I was as broke as I’d been this morning.
“Wouldn’t happen to have a quarter on ya, would ya?” I asked the girl.
The unreasonable brat just stared at me.
How on earth was I supposed to contact her Dad for ransom if I couldn’t call him up?
By Neel at NeelWritesBlog:
Will he, won’t he?
Trapped in a maze of conflicting thoughts, she stupefyingly stared at the phone booth even as a bumble bee of office goers brushed past.
Finally, emotion won over reason___she stabbed the numbers.
‘Bastaard’ The words were a spat.
It’s time to move on.
By Deborah at A Wise Woman’s Journey:
Waiting To Exhale
After staying up all night to muster up the courage
to make the most important call of her life,
she left a message and stood outside
the booth staring at the phone
waiting in silent, bated breath for the phone
to ring and hear love return her call…
so she could finally exhale.
Character Count: 278
By Peter at Peter’s Pondering:
The emergency survival packs had been set up for years, they were all over the city.
They held weapons, ammunition, water, food, and a radio.
Each agent had a unique access code to punch in on the keyboard, and a voice code to verify.
What the hell was the cat’s name I’d chosen?
By Ennle at Abandoned Aminities:
The dream recurred
Over and over, in which
I tried to call my mom but
Could never get through;
Problems with the line or
I had the number wrong;
She didn’t answer or
Couldn’t hear me.
Decades later I realized
The dream was telling me
She and I would never
About the phone.
By JP at JP the Wide-Eyed Wanderer:
The streets were deserted. The city was deserted. Tarna had passed through many places on her journey south, all the same, deserted. Tarna knew there would be few survivors of the war, still she had hoped to find someone. Tarna’s eyes fell on an old pay phone. It was ringing.
By Daisy at DaisiesDotMe:
The Haunted Booth
On a rainy night, locating a dilapidated booth in the market corner, he scurried to make an urgent call. Just as his wet hands grabbed the receiver to dial, a voice at the other end said
“Hello! I was waiting for you “!
A cold sweat trickled, sending shivers down his spine!
By John at Broadsides:
The phone booth was kept by the detectives. It had been used to give the warning. “This is the IRA. There is a bomb timed to explode in 30 minutes. It is in a bar used by your soldiers outside Chelsea barracks. The codeword is Shamrock.” There were three bars, we never had enough time…
By Radhika at Radhika’s Reflection:
My car broke down, my phone was dead. Stranded in an area away from civilization, I started walking to find help. Suddenly spotted a payphone. I prayed and inserted a coin. Couldn’t believe my luck when I heard the dial tone. But darn…
I couldn’t remember a single number!
Letter count : 278
By Deb at Twenty Four:
Mandy must have been desperate to try the old pay phone at the corner of Main and First, or that was the conclusion they had arrived at.
Desperate about what, you ask. Well, they had never reached a consensus about that and now it was too late.
She committed suicide you see.
By Indhu at Always:
Sam reached the lane as per the chit in his hand. There was an unused old phone booth.
He found a number on the dirty glass pane of the booth. He dialed it. He could barely hear the voice. He noted down the cryptic message.
“I love treasure hunts!” he shouted as he hurried out.
By Ron at Read4Fun:
Co-ed bathrooms are OK, but Super Woman will hate it. There used to be doors from foot to taller than me. Who decided we should be publicly visible from the groin down? And who woulda’ thought aliens can write? In the interests of modesty, we will just have to be more cape-able.
By Namitha at The Cosmo Dame:
Is it important?
“What is this, Mama?”
“It’s a phone, to call someone you miss”
“Why do you have go away from someone whom you know you will miss, mama”
“It’s a struggle for name and fame!”
“Is it that important, Mama?”
Character count: 202
The old Payphone had quite a few stories to tell! Well done everyone! Thank you for helping to make this the biggest round up yet. And welcome to our newest tweetertalers. We’re so glad you gave it a go! I hope everyone had fun! For this week, in honor of Earth Day, a photo by WikiImages at Pixabay.com that gives us a celestial view of our beloved blue planet. What’s going on in this photo…or maybe the question should be, what’s going on below? The possibilities are infinite! Tell us your tale in 280 characters or less and I’ll see you when we land next week at the roundup. Most of all, have fun! 3-2-1 lift off! It’s gonna be a blast!
Twittering Tales #133 – 23 April 2019
It’s all fun and games until…
“How do you get a baby astronaut to go to sleep? Rocket…What do planets like to read? Comet books! I got more…”
“Enough jokes Smitty. Just get the antenna redirected and…”
“Hey guys, how do you say hello in Martian?”
“No more jokes!”
“I’m not joking guys. We’ve got company!”