I was on my lunch break Wednesday afternoon when I received a call from a random number. It wasn’t the publishing company I had interviewed with. “Who is this?”

Slow violin music sang through the phone. I set my fork down in my salad. “Hello?”

A faucet turned on, and a voice breathed into the phone. “Please call for help.”

This is a prank. I should hang up.

The water stopped. The person climbed into the bathtub. “The water’s warm. It’s going to fill my lungs soon.”

“This isn’t funny.”

“No? You wouldn’t think dying is funny.”

“Do I know you?”

The voice wasn’t familiar. It sounded feminine but deep. “I’m already bleeding.”

Despite the cheerful, coffee shop music in the cafe, my body grew cold. “I’m going to hang up and call 911. Where do you live?”

“If you don’t call them soon, it’ll be too late.”

“Where do you live?”

“Thank you.” The line disconnected.

My hands shook as I set my phone down on the table. My appetite had disappeared. Am I obligated to do something? What would I tell the police? I had ten minutes left for lunch. Not enough time. I deleted the call from my history and told a friend about it later that night. She figured it was a prank. I agreed and switched my phone number the next day.

Fiction

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