Within Close Range – The Phone at the End of the Hall

The phone at the end of the hall, right next to my room, occasionally came to life in the middle of the night; its merciless metal bells clanging, resounding off the tall walls of the winding front steps and down the long, carpet-less hallway leading from one end of the upstairs to the next.

Startled from my dreams and tormented by its unanswered ring, I’d crawl over whichever dog or cat was hogging most of the bed that night and shuffle toward the noise, hoping to get to the phone before another blast of the bell pierced my brain.

Fumbling for the receiver – and words – I’d already know that the only kind of news that comes in the middle of the night is usually bad.

Or at least not good.

And if I was answering the phone, that meant that Mom and Dad didn’t, and I was about to be made the reluctant messenger.

Sleepless in the hours that followed.

Anxious to hear the garage door rumble and footsteps – two sets.

Hoping the anger and the lecture had happened on the ride home and details would come over a bowl of cereal in the morning.

Happy everyone was back home and in bed.

And all was quiet again.

Author: Anne Celano Frohna

I am a writer, a mother of two girls, Eva (20) and Sophia (18) and wife to one husband, Kurt. I was mostly a professional writer and editor for 30 years for graphic arts and advertising, for publishers of newspapers, magazines, books, etc.,. Now, I have a blog where I post my creative non-fiction, short stories, a couple of illustrated children's stories and a comedy I wrote about two years I spent teaching English in rural Japan (NOT a story for a child.). I’m also working on a new blog about the wonderful, hand-crafted items I've collected over the years at beautyofthrift.com. - which will also connect to the Etsy shop I recently opened called Channeling Nonna. My husband and I both love to cook and to entertain and have welcomed friends and family to our homes for over 20 years. With our eldest off at college, we also began hosting with Airbnb, the perfect (and most natural) way for me to continue to pursue my passion of writing, while at the same time help us pay for current and future college expenses.

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