Killer On the Line

by Mario Aliberto III

Phones don’t ring anymore. They vibrate, they shake, they have epileptic seizures and scuttle along hardwood tables when left unattended. And if your phone rings, a jaunty melody, an innocuous series of beeps and chimes, your heart immediately stops, because no one calls anymore: they text, or tweet, or send snaps. So if your phone does ring, who is calling? No one you know, but go ahead and answer it; I’m sure whoever is on the line doesn’t mean to kill you. The only sensible thing to do is to leave it alone, don’t touch it, just watch, until it stops moving, stops breathing, until the screen fades to black, until it closes its eyes.


Mario Aliberto III is a novelist living in Tampa Bay and directs all correspondence to the Labrador who runs the household.