monday night? by jmforceton

9 May

It’s 9:34 pm on a Saturday night. Felicia Bannon wearing a comfortable old sweatshirt and shorts in her oak and granite kitchen with Brazilian walnut floorboards. She casually picks up her cell to call her friend Jackie about a book club meeting Monday night. They will be discussing ‘noetics’ based on references in Dan Brown’s book, “The Lost Symbol,” and she has forgotten which chapters she was supposed to review. The cell lights up, then goes dark; her battery is dead. She grabs her husbands cell and punches in what she thinks is Jackie’s number but she hasn’t had to remember that number for years, nonetheless she doesn’t want to take the time to find Jackie’s land line number in the phone book, something else she can’t remember doing in quite a while.

“Hi, this is a surprise. It’s not Monday night yet.”

Felicia hesitates then quickly answers, ”Hi, Jackie. Just calling to talk to you about the chapters we need to review.”

There is a long pause on the other end. Felicia waits then, “Jackie you still there?” The cell beeps and shows ‘lost call’ as Alex, without looking at her, walks into the kitchen to freshen up his tumbler of Glenlevit scotch.

Still not looking at her, “Somebody call my cell?”

“No, my cell’s dead. I was just calling Jackie about Monday’s book club, but the call got dropped.”

“You all set; I need to call Tommy about golf tomorrow.”

“Yes, I’m all set. I’ll use the regular phone,” and she hands him his cell as he walks out sipping his drink.

After rummaging around for the phone book, she makes another call to Jackie. “Hi Jackie, sorry about that dropped call.”

“Dropped call? Must have been someone else. Sorry Felicia, it wasn’t me. What’s up?”

They finished their conversation, and Felicia is now thinking, what just happened? Caller ID would have shown Alex’s number, and probably not his name, and the person was not Jackie, but she sounded familiar. It obviously sounded like she knew who the call was from. If it was a wrong number, why would someone answer the call that way?  It wouldn’t make sense even if they thought they recognized the number. Was it someone’s idea of a joke? Why did they hang up?

I need to see his recent call record to see the number I called. Whose voice was that? ‘This is a surprise. It’s not Monday night yet?’ Coincidence?

Felicia, in quickly punching numbers, didn’t realize she had hit a speed dial sequence. His cell is a max’ed out model, a very different configuration than her simple cell.

Alex is back in the paneled den where he is talking to Tommy. The sixty-five-inch plasma screen is on mute. As soon as he ends the call, he looks to make sure Felicia is still in the kitchen and quickly checks his call record. Shit, outgoing call to Paula, 9:35 pm. He quickly calls to find out what happened, unforunately it goes immediately to a canned answering message, not her normal message. She must have just changed it.

Delete the call record or leave it? Does Felicia already know the number? Paula’s name is not in the contact list just the number. What just happened? An accident? It had to be an accident. Why would she call her now? She definitely didn’t talk to Jackie until the second call.

How much does she know? What’s she thinking?

He puts the cell in his pocket and decides to keep it on him and away from her. A minute later he changes his mind. He looks around, then takes the cell out of his pocket, deletes the call record and the number from his contact list, and pockets the phone again. This could end up being a real inconvenience. Then again, maybe it’s nothing.

Felicia rarely drinks; she pours herself a very short scotch. She sits at the kitchen island with the newspaper, but she’s not reading. This can’t be happening. I’ve got to ask him. No, I’ll wait until I can get his cell and check the number. Alex always says, “You don’t ask the question if you don’t know the answer.” He normally leaves it on the charger on weekends.

Paula is on her 4th glass of Chardonnay, and thinking to herself, ‘Damn, why did I have to say that? What if she meant to call me about something? No, she was calling me Jackie.’

*     *     *     *

“I’m glad I’m not in that clown’s shoes.”

“What was that?  Something on Pat’s cell?”

“No, we picked up the wife’s cell. I just ID’ed the call. Looks like she just got a call from Bannon’s wife. Sounded like it might have been by accident. I’ll bet you the dummy must have his girl’s number on his cell.”

“She’s the hot number I saw on Milk Street with Alfred the other day. Doesn’t she work for Bannon? Seems to me it would be more suspicious if the she wasn’t on his cell?”

“True, y’know for a rookie, sometimes you surprise me.”

These two stories lead up to this:    First Developments in Cambridge then 16 Milk Street

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4 Responses to “monday night? by jmforceton”

  1. ingridfnl May 9, 2010 at 9:07 pm #

    Great. I love the complexity of this scenario.

    The descriptions of Felicia’s reactions rang really true to me. I really enjoyed this Jon.

  2. juleshg May 10, 2010 at 1:31 am #

    This was great. I loved the way you played out each of their thoughts as their minds tried to work out what had happened.
    As always I loved the surveillance team. I am picturing them sitting in an old white van around the corner that is ‘disguised’ with decals from a local florist.

    • jmforceton May 10, 2010 at 3:35 pm #

      Not sure if Alex can survive this much circumstantial evidence? Do you think surveillance guys really have this much fun sitting in vans all day? Have you read Brown’s new book yet?

      I need an editor. Read this again this morning and must have five problems in the first paragraph alone. ;^0

  3. juleshg May 10, 2010 at 5:27 pm #

    I have read the first few chapters of Brown’s book and keep getting distracted and forget about it. I plan to finish it once I am done The Girl Who Played with Fire. I enjoyed Angels and Demons

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