Three-Minute Fiction “After The Beep”

Well Round 10 of NPR’s Three-Minute Fiction is over, and though I did not win, I had a lot of fun writing this little story. The prompt was “leave a message after the beep”, and while my official title was “Turn Tape Over” it could just as easily have been “We’re gonna make technology hump”. Just imagine it being read by Matt Malloy 🙂 . Enjoy!


“Hi, it’s me again, but I guess you know that. Sorry I’ve called you five times already. I just wanted to hear your voice again without thinking about how we left things. You probably think I’m crazy, but I just can’t stop thinking about you.

“What we had I’ve never had with anyone before. You changed me, made me want to be better, and now you’re gone. I know you think I don’t have feelings, that I’m cold. But I do. Surely you can see that, can’t you? For someone who claims to be such a good listener you don’t know as much about me as you think.

“I just can’t believe all you have to say to me after two months is ‘leave a message after the beep.’ The same beep you used to make when we … You’re just giving it out for free now? Is that the kind of woman you are?

“Sorry, I promised myself I wouldn’t talk about that.

“Why won’t you at least talk to me? I think you owe me that much. I gave you everything. I even bought you a new tape! What more did you want me to do?

“Who’s Jerry anyway? I thought you lived with Meredith. I mean if you were going to make a life change like moving in with another man the least you could do was call. The phone’s right there next to you. I know you say he’s your boss, but he’d do anything for you. I guess he’s under the same delusion that I was, that you’re someone who can be trusted, someone who’s worth loving.

“It’s the toaster isn’t it? I know you wanted more passion, more heat, but a vampire appliance like him? I mean he isn’t even plugged in most of the time! Or is it the blender? I know you’ve wanted to experiment and the kitchen seems like an exotic place, but a blender? They don’t care who they sleep with!

“No, I don’t want to hang up or press 1 for more options! What are these options anyway? You never offered me an option when you broke it off without so much as a warning. Is that what you meant by trying something new? Pressing pound wasn’t good enough for you?

“You bet your fanny I’m satisfied with my message … wait … hang on. Did you say your number was 3720? Oh my god, I meant to call 3702! I’m terribly sorry. You just sounded so much like her.

“Wanna grab coffee sometime?”


Filed under Short Stories, Writing

3 responses to “Three-Minute Fiction “After The Beep”

  1. madiebeartri

    Such desperation. 🙂

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