Unknown Caller – Short Story

Why do they call them smartphones? He wondered as he glanced at the display of his ringing cell. Not very intelligent if it doesn’t know the caller’s number. ‘Unknown Caller’ could be anyone with a blocked number, he supposed. It must be a bill collector. Lately, he’d had a lot of those calls. The most obnoxious of them come through as ‘Unknown Caller’. He allowed it to go to voice mail, intending to delete it.

Since before the divorce, he’d been ignoring anything from ‘Unknown Caller’. He assumed it was the same caller, but it might have been one of a number of creditors he or his ex-wife owed. As his father used to say, ‘you can’t squeeze blood from a turnip’.

His ex took everything he had and still wanted more. They could call her to pay the debts. She had all the money, the house, and the better of the two cars.

She could pay the creditors. Most of the debt was hers, anyway.

He checked the display for the correct time, and then deleted the missed call from the queue. A text message came. He paused to read it. His best friend since college told him ‘Happy Mutha’s Day’. It was a joke between them. He text messaged back, ‘You da mutha!’ And then chuckled.

Before he could hit send, the phone rang again. Another ‘Unknown Caller’, he shook his head. Angry, he answered, “Hello?”

“Is this Jonathan Sparks?”

“Is this a collector?”

“No, a friend of your Uncle Sam.”

“Is he okay?”

“He passed away. Is there a time and a place we can meet?”

“What about?”

“His estate. I’m the executor.”

“You mean like a reading the Will?”

“You’re the only heir mentioned. Samuel J. Sparks died a very wealthy man.”

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