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Wrong Call

by Agalvan13



I can only hear mumbles of what's going on inside my room. It doesn’t sound happy. I decide to walk through the door and by the looks on my roommate's face that wasn’t a good call. He hangs up the phone and stares up at me with sorrow and guilt in his eyes.

“I’m sorry.”

“What for?”

My gut clenches like my heart already know what the call was but my brain is dumbfounded and can’t muster any rational thought.

“It's your wife….she passed away during childbirth… and the child did as well.” He pats me on the shoulder and leaves me alone in the room.

I’m stuck where I stand as I gaze off lost in thought and emotion.

“Why her?” I whisper to myself, my voice was not strong enough to carry anywhere than my heart.

The last memory I had with her was dinner when I found out she was with child. Another time I was lost for words but fate pushed me to the army and the next thing I know is I’m gone and suddenly more lost than my words. When I finally find the strength I grab my jacket and head to a nearby city. Any emotion I had was soon replaced my shock and before I know it I find myself in an alley. A woman cornered by four men. Acting on instinct I rush in to help her.

“You owe us, lady.”

one of the men says with a slight accent I can’t place. The woman doesn’t look terrified but she doesn’t look like she feels any emotion.

“Hey back off her!” I yell as I step in front of the woman.

“You don’t know what you're getting into pretty boy,” A rawboned fella tells me.

He isn’t in any big gang or anything.

“Well let ya go this time bub but you wait and see. They don’t lie about fallen angels.”

They leave with their cryptic goodbye and the woman finally speaks up.

“Well I should probably say thank you so thank you and I’m sorry about troubling you.” The woman still sounds emotionless with no specific look about her.

She was beautiful but there was more than what meets the eye. She starts walking past me but I need to know why they were after her.

“What was with them?”

“Just a bunch of jerks out for me. Nothing an ordinary Joe like yourself should worry himself with.”

What is with this woman it’s like this is just any old Tuesday to her.

“Do you need a place to stay or anything,” I ask her expecting a blank stare or a simple no thank you but the woman surprises me yet again.

“That would be kind of you but I wish not to impose”

“That won’t be a problem there's a hotel around here that gives soldiers free entry. I could get you a room for the night.”

“Thank you. You're a true gentleman.” Most of the walk with her was silent but when we reach the hotel I lead her to the main desk.

“I would like one room.” I hand her my card and she gives me a key. A normal suite but I don’t think this woman is one to complain.

“Thank you again.”

“I guess this is where we part so keep yourself out of danger.”

“Will do army boy.” We part and I go back out onto the streets lost in thought on all the recent events.

My legs start lagging and it's not then till I realize I’m exhausted. I stop in front of a sudden wall. A single poster on it with a familiar face. A wanted poster none the less of a woman sentenced to death. Anyone in contact with her is considered an ally and will be sent to court.

“What have I gotten myself into.” I run back to my base to my room away from the guilt and shame I feel churning in my stomach. I enter the room the phone hanging loose but my roommate on the ground eyes rolled back with a note etched into his skin

“I didn’t mean to answer the calls, they’re coming ”

“What have I done?”

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105 Reviews

Points: 10668
Reviews: 105

Sat Jun 08, 2019 8:34 am
silvermoon17 wrote a review...

Hey there, so; unlike the other reviewers who basically said very thing I wanted to say about the vocabulary; I’ll rather go on about the plots. I think you make a good job with the hook at the beginning, even it doesn’t last long; and fortunately you don’t take time explaining it, since we already know about the phone ringing and and « changing » his life. Then for the woman. The fact she’s emotionless, that’s alright for me. But if that’s because she’s a psychopath/sociopath; then please make some research before giving the antagonist a disorder you don’t understand. Following with the fact he’s judged for housing a fugitive. Firstly, i think you could’ve taken more time with the woman+the main character; so that we get some conflict emotionally; maybe they could’ve bonded or something- it could’ve given more stakes to the story- second of all, who betrayed him. I have some sort of gut feeling it was the friend the protagonist was with in the beginning, but I can’t be sure. Maybe that, before the police came; they could’ve had some talk, some remorse, some conflict- something, which would give your main character some taste. And the end, is kinda cool; although the woman being a fugitive makes some sense; that would rarely get you in court. It might, if you knew who she was or if you did.. more.. but he clearly doesn’t do any of those, and I’m not sure he even was there that night.

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390 Reviews

Points: 12463
Reviews: 390

Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:37 pm
Tuckster wrote a review...

Hey there Agalvan! My name's Tuck and I'll be dropping by for a quick review :) Let's jump right into it!

I would say something like "The telephone begins to ring" or "The telephone rings" here instead of just the onomatopoeia, because beginning a story with onomatopoeia can be jarring, especially if there's nothing there to mark that this is a sound and not something that's being spoken or narrated.

“You owe us, lady.”

one of the men says with a slight accent I can’t place. The woman doesn’t look terrified but she doesn’t look like she feels any emotion.
This should all be one paragraph, and there should be a comma instead of a period after "lady".

“You don’t know what you're getting into pretty boy,” A rawboned fella tells me.

He isn’t in any big gang or anything.
How does the MC know this? I would include some more description of this person and what specifically clues the MC into knowing that he isn't a gangbanger but just a teenager looking for trouble.

What is with this woman? iIt’s like this is just any old Tuesday to her.

“That won’t be a problem. tThere's a hotel around here that gives soldiers free entry.

One thing I really liked about this story was how logical the reactions of the main character seemed to be. After suffering a terrible loss, he's somewhat in shock and wanders, which is understandable and plausible, and then he jumps in to help someone in need. It's truly noble and reveals a lot about your main character's intentions and character.

However, something I did find a little bit strange was how the roommate was very matter-of-fact about the fact that his wife and chilid just died. He doesn't offer any consolations or struggle at all with telling the MC this news; he just says it and then leaves without any further words.

I also found it strange that the hotel would offer free rooms to veterans. I assume his "card" is some sort of ID, but it seems very strange that the hotel is willing to give them a free room. I think it would be more reasonable if it was just a discount that made it affordable for the woman, or if he offered to pay for the room.

And as a final note, I thought that the action moved very fast for a first chapter, perhaps a little too fast. The death of his wife and child are left behind as we moved into the second scene, and there are themes that should be expanded upon and built up before plowing straight through with the plot.

Overall, I think this is a fantastic platform for a novella or a novelette, but there's still some work that has to be done to fix it up a little bit. I hope that my critiques have given you an idea of where to start, and if you have any further questions, just let me know and I'd be happy to provide clarification. This is an interesting premise, and I can't wait to see what you do with it! Most importantly, keep writing!


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49 Reviews

Points: 155
Reviews: 49

Wed May 29, 2019 7:33 am
Pernicus wrote a review...

Hi, review time.
To start with what I liked, I thought you nailed the initial reaction down pretty well. As someone who has received a call like that, you got the shock and disbelief pretty spot on, and you portrayed it faithfully in your writing. My only qualm with this, is that it might even not be enough. When you were writing about his brain being unable to process it, it might be good to actually extend that section a bit more. There’s an opportunity there to get very poetic which is a shame to miss out on. Whenever you describe a mental state, you can really get very outlandish with the metaphors and visuals. Regardless, well done on that. I like how cryptic you were with the lady, and her character, it’s good to trust the reader to be able to put things together themselves

For critiques, leading on from that first point, I feel like you may have the main character recover too quickly from this emotional blow. It feels very sudden, his shift from a grieving man to one that appears relatively stable. Certainly later on in the story, it would not be a bad idea to make some reference to his wife’s death. I think a good way to have this happen and integrate it would be to have him be on the way to the hospital when he sees the other lady, that way he has some emotional stakes in delaying himself to rescue her. Currently the story sort of feels like discrete parts that aren’t super connected, because the emotional stakes of one scene don’t seem to carry over into the next. For example, when he sees the wanted poster with a “familiar face”, I thought it might have been the wife for a second because you don’t spare much descriptive detail for the other lady.

In general you do a good job with descriptions, they’re effective when you use them. I do however think you could be more descriptive with setting in order to help create atmosphere. I would say if you make these changes it will also help with the pacing, as I said before it kind of feels like unconnected events in some ways, but you did a really good job with the final scene of the chapter being the roommate, this callback helps a lot with connecting it up. Hope this is helpful, will be following to see what you write next.

As the notifications drift in I stop and wonder. Why do they take so long? Do they have adventures we don't know about? I bet they do. When they come I will ask myself. What amazing adventure has this straggling notification been on? How far did it travel, and why didn't it take me?
— 269609