#writelife · contests · Literature

Three Minute Fiction: “Howling at the Wind”

This challenge was part of NPR’s Three Minute Fiction series. The instructions for round 10 were to “Leave a Message After the Beep”– write a story in the form of a voice mail message that could be read in under three minutes. Here’s a link to the winner: http://www.npr.org/2013/03/09/173722517/sorry-for-your-loss?sc=tw&cc=share

Unfortunately, it was not me. But here’s my entry:

Howling at the Wind


“Hey, it’s me. I’m glad you didn’t answer cause that would’ve really freaked me out. Your phone is over on the desk in a plastic bag with your wallet and a pack of cigarettes. I knew you were smoking again, jerk. Well, I’m drinking again. So, there. It’s some cheap vodka. Really terrible. And Wonderful. Anyway, I’m at this motel by the hospital. I can’t go home and look at all of your shit. And I feel like you’re still in there, in the hospital, I mean. Like, I’m just waiting for them to release you to me and you’re just gonna stroll out of there and say, “hey, sorry babe,” and then I’ll forgive you. So I wanna be here just in case this is wrong because it feels really wrong. There’s one of those old style box TVs in here and some really ugly curtains, but I wanna be here…Your mom tried taking me home yesterday. I couldn’t stay because our bedroom smelled like you–you’re everywhere. And nowhere. Murphy won’t eat his food; he just walks in circles at howls at the wind. It’s weird how he knows something is up. The storm is still pretty bad…You know what I thought of today? Remember that time when I was living in the city and you made me go to your friend’s birthday party downtown in the snowstorm? I was so mad at you. The FDR was a mess and you were driving like an asshole because we were late. I wanted to kill you that night. I keep wondering if you were scared this time or if you were just your usual cocky self, smoking your cig, and showing off how fast your stupid car is. God, you drive me crazy. What am I supposed to do now? They want me to pick a suit for you. I think that’s insane so I’m just ignoring everyone. I know they’re gonna make me get rid of your stuff since that’s like part of the process or whatever, but I won’t. They can’t make me. You don’t mind if I keep it all, right? I know you don’t. But not your car. Or what’s left of it, I should say. I really hate that thing. I don’t even know where it is, actually. Alright, I’m really tired but I’ll be here so call me back. I love you.”

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