Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Happy Urban Legend 5: The Call is Coming From Inside the House



We all pretend we were that teenager. Down on her luck, no cash from the parents, desperate to make ends meet, and then she gets the call. A wealthy family with a big house who just need her to watch the kids overnight. They'll sleep through all of it.

This lucky girl tucks the kids in at 7, and because it's a fiction, they don't make a peep. She's wandering the mansion and pocketing their candy bars when her cell rings. In older versions of the story it's the house phone, but who has one of those anymore?

"Hello?" she asks.

The response is heavy breathing, like the caller has been sprinting. It goes on for a few seconds before he hangs up.

She thinks that's weird, and Caller ID says it's an unknown number. Maybe a friend from school butt-dialed her. She's walking into the next room when her cell rings again.

"Hello?"

Heavier breathing this time, labored like it's coming through a cloth. She's about to threaten the call-troll when he hangs up again.

She goes to the foyer, looking out the windows, because if you've even heard of Horror movies, you look out the God-damned windows when this happens to you. There's no one there. She's convincing herself it was a dumb prank when her cell rings again. This time the shock is so great she almost throws it at the wall.

"Who the hell is this?"

There's more muffled breathing, and what sounds eerily close to a child's giggle. Then a muffled voice asks, "Have you checked the children?"

Like any smart young woman, she calls the police while fleeing the property. She isn't checking on crap until men with guns show up, and they do, with guns and radios and flashing lights. She gets several more calls while the police sweep the premises, begging her to send them away. By the second call, she sees movement in an upstairs window and realizes who's been trolling her. Every brat has a cell phone these days. She lets the sheriff be the one to catch the kids, and sticks around to see their parents have their own freak-out. The kids are grounded for life, and the parents pay her triple, so it's a happy ending. She doesn't spend the money on a new phone.

12 comments:

  1. Now that is a great twist ending! Serves the kids right.

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  2. Awesome. I used to babysit a lot when I was in jr. high/high school and this whole scenario told in hushed whispers around campfires always completely freaked me out. I like this version better!

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    1. It's a story that circulated very strongly in my childhood. I'm told it was used to keep babysitters on their toes.

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  3. See, now if those movies had ended this way I might have actually had the patience to watch them. As is one stupid teenager repeating the same answer phone/check windows/check children/become increasingly more hysterical whilst doing so act is not enough to keep me invested.

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    1. I admit a strong fondness for Scream and the opening of the original When a Stranger Calls. These things can be done with craft, I swear!

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  4. Awesome! I had a version of this happen to me when I was a teen. The parents had me sit for several hours on Halloween, during the day, and their eldest spawn thought it would be funny to cover one of his hands in fake blood and roll around screaming while I was dealing with his special-needs two-year-old sister. Also, the father was a pediatrician and there were no first-aid things like band-aids or gauze in the house. Go figure.

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    1. I was probably that sort of annoying child. Very greedy for attention, at least some of the time. But then, my exposure to children suggests I wasn't alone.

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  5. I'm glad nothing happened to her. There are some children who would do that.

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  6. LOL! Good one, John. The wealthy parents grounding the rugrats and paying the babysitter triple is just a little too fictional, though. :-)

    Katherine, you should have made a tourniquet out of a lamp cord and a soup ladle. That would have fixed the "bloody" hand pretty quick!

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  7. I am so grateful for the smile I have been given by you in this series. Thank you.

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  8. Thank god there weren't cell phones when I use to babysit ^_^

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