The Phone Interview | Flash Fiction

February 25, 2019


Chad: This is Chad Tellingsworth reporting for radio station WVBS in Nowhere, Colorado. Sue Stringer and I have Lily Grierson on the phone. Lily was present when her sister Petunia Grierson was shot earlier this week. Is that correct, Lily?


Lily: Yes, it is.


Chad: Would you please tell us what happened?


Lily: My sister and I were upstairs in our home watching the ball—


Sue: Let me interrupt you right there, Lily. What kind of ball?


Lily: A B-A-L-L ball, Sue.


Sue: I know how to spell the word ball. What I meant was, were you watching baseball or football or…?


Lily: We were watching a glittery ball. The kind you wear a fancy dress to.


Chad: I’m glad we got that cleared up, Sue. So, Lily, you were watching the ball and…


Lily: We went downstairs and found a man holding a gun wearing a wig.


Sue: Hi Lily, Sue again. Did you say the gun was wearing a wig?


Lily: That’s right, Sue.


Sue: But why would the gun wear a wig?


Lily: Because it was a fancy ball. Everyone wears a wig to a fancy ball.


Chad: Thanks for clarifying, Lily. Let’s get back to what happened.


Lily: Sure, Chad. As I was saying, the man was pointing his wig-wearing gun at me, but the gun shot my sister instead.


Sue: Sorry to interrupt again, but did you say the gun shot your sister?


Lily: Yes. The gun was jealous because my sister was wearing the same wig.


Sue: Guns have feelings now?


Lily: Only the ones that wear wigs. If the gun didn’t have feelings, it would have been wearing a sock hat.


Chad: Lily, Chad here again. Let’s get back to what happened. The man pointed his gun at you, but the bullet hit your sister?


Lily: That’s correct. And the bullet was wearing lipstick.


Sue: Lipstick?


Lily: That’s right, Sue. The bullet and the gun were good friends. When the bullet found out how upset the gun was—


Sue: The wig-wearing gun?


Lily: It was the only gun present, Sue.


Chad: Please stop interrupting, Sue. Keep going, Lily.


Lily: Thanks, Chad. As I was saying, when the bullet found out how upset the gun was, it careened around me and hit my sister.


Sue: So bullets have feelings now too?


Lily: Only the ones that wear lipstick. If they don’t have feelings, they wear a dress.


Sue: Why in the world would a bullet wear a dress?


Lily: Because we were watching a ball.


Chad: I apologize for my co-anchor, Lily. Let’s get back to—


Sue: Weren’t you wearing a wig, Lily?


Lily: Of course. It was a ball.


Sue: Then why didn’t the gun want to shoot you?


Lily: Because the gun wasn’t jealous of my wig. Mine was curly and brunette. The gun and my sister were both wearing a sleek red wig.


Chad: Ahem, as you were saying, Lily. After the man—I mean the gun—shot your sister, what did the man do next?


Lily: He stole my sister’s wig and ran away.


Sue: With the gun?


Lily: Of course. It was his gun.


Chad: And what happened to your sister?


Lily: She died, Chad.


Chad: Oh no! From the gunshot wound?


Lily: Not the gunshot wound. The bullet’s lipstick was poisonous.


Sue: Of all the ridiculous—


Chad: Hush, Sue. Can't you tell Lily's upset?


Lily (sniffles): You know what the real kicker is, Chad?


Chad: What’s that, Lily?


Lily: The gun’s really angry because the bullet’s still stuck in my sister.


Sue: For crying out loud! You said the man took his gun, Lily.


Lily: He did! But it’s been sending me hate mail, threatening to kill me if I don’t return—




Chad: Lily? Are you still there?


Dial tone…


Chad: I apologize, folks. It looks like we got disconnected from Lily Grierson.


Sue (mutters): I wonder how that could have happened.


Chad: What did you say, Sue?


Sue: Nothing worth repeating.

Chad: I hope Lily's all right. I sure hope the gun didn't get her.

Sue: You're a moron, Chad.


This is one of the silliest stories I've ever had the privilege to write. But you can't blame me completely. It's really a transcript of a crazy conversation my kids had in the backseat of our car one night when we were driving home from dinner. I've copied it here for posterity.




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