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Wrong Number

What will you do if a murderer is on the other end of the line?

By Dharrsheena Raja SegarranPublished 2 years ago Updated 3 months ago 9 min read
37
Wrong Number
Photo by Denny Müller on Unsplash

“Hello?”

“Helloooooo, is this the Krusty Krab?” I asked with the most annoyingly cheerful voice that I can muster. Come to think of it, I think I was trying to mimic Spongebob’s voice.

At this point, I was trying my best to stifle my laugh and I heard “Listen, I know it’s you, Sarah. So stop wasting both our time”. I recognized his voice.

It was Brandon and he sounded really exasperated. Like if you were to ask me on a scale of 1 to 10, how exasperated Brandon sounded, I’d say 11. So again I put on my best Spongebob voice “Brandon! Sorry! Bye!” and I hung up.

I turned to Janice, my best friend and started laughing. She heard everything as the phone was set to speaker.

This is what both of us do every Friday night. She’ll sleepover at my house and we will take turns doing prank calls before we sleep. It’s been our habit since we were 13 and we still haven’t changed after 4 years.

Sometimes we will succeed pranking somebody. And sometimes we don’t succeed when we call someone we know, for instance, Brandon. Nevertheless, it’s still very funny.

At school, both of us are known as the ‘Phone Clowns’ but we don’t get into trouble as the prank calls we make aren’t that bad or serious.

Essentially what we do is, we punch in a bunch of random numbers on our phone, put on a funny voice when anyone answers and make a funny conversation, for example, telling them the secret to a smooth and silky skin is to apply ketchup on it, trying to convince them of this and then proceed to teach them the procedure.

*****

This particular Friday, Janice couldn’t sleepover at my place as she had to help her mother with some chores.

I felt so bored without Janice which led me to start the prank calls earlier than our usual time. I picked up the phone and randomly pressed some numbers. After sometime, a man picked up the phone and shouted “Wrong number!”

I was caught off guard and I almost dropped the receiver. Yes, I actually use my landline for my prank calls. Holding it back to my ears, I heard him slam the phone down but he didn’t put the receiver back in its place properly.

This enabled me to hear what’s going on in the background of his home. I was about to hang up as I had no intention of eavesdropping when I heard a woman’s voice. “No Stanley, don’t. Please don’t kill me”, she begged. I was shocked by what I heard. This had to be a joke, right?

By Michael Fenton on Unsplash

Stanley replied “I’m sorry my dear wife but you have to go as you know my secret” and the sound of a chainsaw could be heard. My eyes widened in horror. My heart was thumping so fast.

The lady was shouting “No, please, no!” and it ended. The phone clicked back into place and I couldn’t hear more. My mind was racing and frozen at the same time. Racing to think what I can do to help this poor woman and frozen in fear.

I couldn’t just go to sleep or let alone do anything when I knew that a guy by the name of Stanley was going to kill his wife with a chainsaw.

So, I called Janice and asked her to come by with her mother’s permission on the pretext that we had a project to work on. She was just glad to get away from doing chores.

After a long wait of 10 minutes, Janice finally appeared at my doorstep. I told her the whole incident. She seemed skeptical. She said I could have overheard a movie running in the background.

I did think of that too but I was afraid to make such assumptions especially when someone’s life is at stake. So, she suggested that we look up in the telephone directory to find out where Stanley lives in order to save that woman before it’s too late.

It didn’t take us too long to find where he lived because we went to the ‘S’ section, searched for the name ‘Stanley’ and confirmed that he’s the same person by looking at his telephone number. It was the closest to the bunch of random numbers that I punched in on the phone earlier.

I was so happy that we found where he lived and suggested to Janice to call the police. She said, “Call the police and say what?” ‘Hello, police station? I made a call to someone by the name of Stanley in Bellview Street and he is going to kill his wife’ “Do you think they’ll believe us?”

“Okay Miss-Know-It-All, why don’t you give me some ideas?” I regretted asking her that because she suggested that we should go there and stop Stanley. At first I hesitated but then I agreed in order to save that woman.

We used Janice’s car to get to Stanley’s house. Janice kind of messed up by taking a few wrong turns but eventually we reached his house.

Janice parked her car under a huge tree that was two houses away from Stanley’s. I know, bad move in case we needed a swift getaway but Janice’s logic was that it was for our protection. I didn’t want to argue with her so I just went along with it.

We walked towards the front door of his house. Nothing looked out of the ordinary. The lights were on inside his house which could be seen through the windows and we didn’t hear any shouts or screams.

We knocked on the door several times but there was no answer. We even rang the doorbell but to no avail.

I turned the door handle and to my surprise, it was unlocked, so we entered. The living room was turned upside down. All the furniture and tables were the wrong side up.

The curtains had long slashes in them. Slashes that might have been made with a chainsaw.

Vases were broken and so were the glass cabinets. The aquarium looked like it was knocked over and several fishes lay dead among the broken pieces of the aquarium.

We slowly crept from room to room but we couldn’t find Stanley or his wife anywhere. Come to think of it, I didn’t even think to see if there was a car in the driveway.

“Let’s check upstairs and if they’re not there, we bolt home”, Janice suggested. We ran up the stairs and upon reaching the top, we were greeted by a puddle of blood on the landing.

“Ohhh, God”, I groaned. The walls had splatters of blood. We understood that Stanley had already killed his wife. There was no blood downstairs. That means the woman must have put up a fight with Stanley which resulted in the chaos in the living room. But he must have got her when she ran up the stairs.

Now we needed to get out from here before Stanley sees us. We have no idea if he wasn’t at home or if he was in the backyard or in some other part of the house that we’re yet to explore.

I quickly turned around and grabbed Janice’s hand to run down the stairs. We stopped dead in our tracks as we heard a car pulling into the driveway and its headlights washed over the windows. Stanley is back! My mind was racing again:

Stanley is back.

Back from where he buried his wife.

He killed his wife and buried her.

What if he cremated her?

Worse still, what if he burned her alive?

Or buried her alive?

Is she dead or alive?

Is he a murderer or not?

The sound of the front door slamming shut brought me back to my senses. How could we have been so stupid? We forgot to close the door! That in itself is a huge telltale that someone has broken into his house.

But on the bright side, he doesn’t know for sure whether we are still in his house or we have left. Now I understood why Janice didn’t want to park right outside his house.

We decided to use that to our advantage and find a place to hide. I pulled Janice into the nearest room and scanned the room for a good hiding spot.

I could hear Stanley rummaging around downstairs and suddenly, he called out, “Who’s there? Show yourselves!” His voice had so much of hatred and anger in it.

Janice was panicking, “Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God, he’s going to kill us too Sarah”.

I spotted a closet in the second room that I dragged Janice into and quickly pulled her into the closet and both of us hid inside it. “Don’t worry, he won’t find us in here if we keep quiet” I whisper as I try to calm her down.

Now, only the sounds of our heavy breathing could be heard but soon it was accompanied by the sounds of footsteps coming up the stairs. We held our breath and waited in fear. After awhile, those sounds were gone and we were relieved.

All of a sudden, the closet door flung open and there stood Stanley with his chainsaw and a wide grin on his face. “Came to join the party, girls?” he asked. His yellowing teeth looked disgusting. There was the stench of sweat mixed with blood coming from him.

We were so scared and couldn’t think of what to do. I lifted my leg and kicked him in the stomach. It was as if my leg had a mind of its own. We quickly ran towards the room door but he managed blocked our way.

I remembered spotting a window when I entered the room. Quickly, I turned my head around to see behind me. There was a tree branch very close to the window. I thought of a plan.

We could run to the window, get it open, climb on the tree branch and climb down the tree. It may or may not work but it was the only way I could think of for us to escape from this psychopath. I whispered this plan to Janice.

Stanley broke the silence “Whisper all you want, girls, as this will be your last conversation”. I ignored him and said to Janice, “On the count of three. One, two, three!” and we ran towards the window.

It took Stanley a few seconds to realize what we were up to because when he reached the window, we were already halfway climbing the branch towards the trunk. That’s when I realized the flaw in my plan. Both Janice and I were afraid of heights.

So, we sat on the tree branch trying to think what to do next but our thoughts were disturbed by the sound of the chainsaw. From here, the wrinkles on Stanley’s face were clearly visible as he was grinning from ear to ear while cutting the tree. The smell from him was even fouler in this close proximity.

I thought we were going to die but Janice called the police from her cell phone and said that a guy had killed his wife and was now trying to kill us with a chainsaw and gave Stanley’s address.

After what seemed like an eternity, the police arrived and arrested Stanley. Then, we were brought down from the tree safely.

We told the police everything that had happened in detail. They were glad we’re okay but they weren’t too happy about the prank calls.

By Michael Förtsch on Unsplash

The police then offered to send us back home but Janice said she’s okay to drive. Just to be safe, the police followed us all the way back home in their car. And they also spoke to both my parents and Janice’s. Needless to say how furious our parents were. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d say 11.

That same night, I called Janice. We made two promises. First was to forget this terrible incident. And second was to never make another prank call ever again.

On the news the next morning, it was reported that Stanley has confessed to killing his wife. It seems he cut through her neck and abdomen with the chainsaw.

Then he moved her into the trunk of his car and started driving around to find a place to dispose her body. She bled to death in the trunk. He then disemboweled her and threw her body into the river close by.

Her body has been recovered. Now investigations are going on regarding his motive to kill her which is the secret that she found out about him.

Apparently, he is not cooperating. The police are baffled as to why would he confess to the murder and admit that his motive was because she found out his secret but not want to reveal the secret.

*****

Two weeks later, when I was sleeping, the phone rang. I looked at the time and it was two in the morning. Wondering who was calling at this hour, I answered the phone groggily.

“I will return and you will get what you deserve,” a voice said and it was followed by maniacal laughter.

__________________________________________
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Horror
37

About the Creator

Dharrsheena Raja Segarran

My mental health decline brought about a lot of darkness and I embraced it. It now flows out mostly as Dark Stories and Poetry.

❤️ Erythrophile ❤️
✨️Glitteringly Savage✨️
🖤 Elegantly Disturbed Mind 🖤

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Outstanding

Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  1. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  2. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  3. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  1. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

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    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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Comments (24)

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  • Staringale5 months ago

    This is definitely a work of art. I wanted to stop but my curiosity kept me going, I needed to know how it all ended. At a point I was about to shout why go in there without a backup but with backup it wouldn't have the same impact. Just write a horror novel, you really have talent for it.

  • Isabella Rose5 months ago

    This was an amazing story, My Morbid Friend! I used to do prank phone calls when I was 13. It was nothing vicious, but admittingly, a little immature. It was just something to pass the time. Most people were kool with it, but some were just too grumpy. I'm glad nothing like this ever happened to me!

  • Mother Combs5 months ago

    eww, chills

  • Veronica Coldiron8 months ago

    Thr dynamic of your two main characters provides the perfect levity to make the suspense manageable! LOVED this story! I liked both ladies, but am glad that Stanley is alright. He's totally boss and I could see this as a movie!

  • Donna Fox (HKB)8 months ago

    I can't believe I forgot how creepy and tense this one is!! The ending is my favourite part when they get inside Stanley's house and somehow escape!! Such a great thriller to get me more in the mood for spooky season!! Love your work, Dharrsheena!!

  • Donna Fox (HKB)11 months ago

    I like the carefully laid scene and setting you placed us in for this story! My gut sank immediately when the man answered with “wrong number”, I knew shit was about to hit the fan! I can’t believe they not only went to his house but also that they went inside! I’m pretty sure I held my breath for the majority of the story with how suspenseful it felt! Great job creating tension in the story and keeping it consistent! When Stanley got home I panicked along side Janice and Sarah! I can’t believe they escaped, I wasn’t ready for that twist from you at all! This was such a fantastic and thrilling read, great work again Dharrsheena!

  • Novel Allen12 months ago

    Starting from the beginning and finding the gems i missed. Another one for the history books Dhar. Why would you enter the house though? You two sure were brave. As Mike says...you have to go in for there to be a movie or a story. Great read.

  • Stephanie Downardabout a year ago

    The beginning reminds me of my prank-calling days! 😂 This was so good! The suspense kept me on my toes! I couldn't read fast enough! You're the master of horror! Great job!! ❤️

  • Gina C.about a year ago

    Omg! This was so entertaining! I loved the SpongeBob reference! And man, that ending is chilling! Awesome job, as always, my friend!! 😍😍

  • J. S. Wadeabout a year ago

    Great story! 🥰 Ooooooo. I have your number! Tick tock , tick tick tock 😎

  • Cathy holmesabout a year ago

    Great story. Well done, my friend.

  • Linda Rivenbarkabout a year ago

    You kept me spellbound with this one. Well done!

  • Grz Colmabout a year ago

    I must have missed this tale Dharrsheena or else there weren’t comments then... I initially thought it was a new short story, but regardless it’s relevant for the secret from a partner challenge!! I’m still wondering what she found out! 😄

  • Mariann Carrollabout a year ago

    Excellent, very suspenseful story

  • Alex H Mittelman about a year ago

    Love it! Great story!

  • The Invisible Writerabout a year ago

    Stanley is seriously messed up. I love this story mainly because me and my friend Arron did the same thing as these two making prank calls after school!😂

  • Babs Iversonabout a year ago

    Impressive and creative horror story!!! Left a bloody ♥

  • Leslie Writesabout a year ago

    The pranker has become the prankee! On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d say 11. Scary stuff!

  • Antoinette L Breyabout a year ago

    interesting take on the challenge

  • Jenna Callowayabout a year ago

    Excellent story.

  • I had missed this as I didn't know you then, but I should have known how darkly excellent it would be

  • Thank you for sharing, hearted💕

  • Tiffany Gordon 2 years ago

    Exhilarating & well-written!

  • Gerald Holmes2 years ago

    Well done. Lots of suspense.

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