The Tragedy of The Telephone Call. To All 'Flash' Lovers


He took another sip from the maroon-tinted liquid he’d so meticulously; so deliberately prepared; then sat down by the bedside, ready for the world beyond. He was a broken man; a cuckolded husband and from where he now slumped, a thousand questions raced through his tormented mind.

Why did she do it? Where had he gone wrong? He’d given her everything she ever wanted! Or so he thought.

It was 15:00 hrs that afternoon when he found them, after returning home early from work. Carter – for that was his name – received an anonymous phone call, and he rushed home a bitter, resentful and very angry man.

It took only two savage swings from the machete that he’d bought on his way home. No questions asked; no quarters given and both lovers died instantly. The look of shock and horror, was still on the face of his once beautiful blonde wife; his now deceased friend Jack died where he lay, caught in the throes of action.

Carter looked at the coloured glass of doom once more. It was still half full. Morphine to ensure freedom from pain, and a large quantity of digitalis, as he wanted a quick and easy death.

He picked it up carefully, took a huge gulp, as his now traumatised stomach reluctantly received this messenger of death, rushing through the entrails of his strong, sturdy frame. The death chalice slipped from his hand, as his body went cold and limp, and he passed into another ‘somewhere’, in another time and space.

It was two days later when detective Carstairs found him, his body lurched against the bed and decomposing in his own bedroom. Lying on the bed in bright sanguine hues were the two lovers, now cold and soggy masses of dead flesh.


Carstairs surveyed the scene of the crime with the eye of an eagle and noted the blood-stained machete tossed disdainfully across the pillow. He saw the poisoned glass lying on the floor near the body of Carter, and knew he would need these for evidence. Telephone in his left hand, he made an urgent call to the Forensics team. Camera in his right, he dutifully photographed the scene of this brutal and callous efficiency of the ‘kill.’

It was the morning of the third day. Grey, raining … black clouds gathering across the sky. Carstairs pulled out his handkerchief, placed it in front of his nostrils, pressing shut the bedroom door as he walked to the kitchen and sat down waiting for Forensics; questioning man’s inhumanity to man.

It took only ten minutes for Forensics to arrive, but by then Carstairs was weeping in a sea of uncontrollable tears. Twenty-three years and nine months exactly he had done, and yet, somehow, this was one too many.

Giving his report to Detective Sanders, Carstairs walked out of this troubled house and headed home. Two days later he handed in his resignation, and joined a church.

Not long afterwards, and somewhere in the vicinity of Carter’s neighbourhood, another suicide was committed, this time by the woman who felt extreme sadness, for having made the initial telephone call.

Manatita, The Lantern Carrier. ©Copyrighted 12th June, 2016

Alexandra Burke

Regretting words

Do we sometimes feel sorry for things we say? Can they cause problems?

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  • It depends
  • Don't know
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© 2016 manatita44

More by this Author


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

That sure was well done. Not a wasted word. Thanks for the great story.

manatita44 profile image

manatita44 4 months ago from london Author

Thank you Eric. Returned not so long ago. Will check your sermon soon. Appreciate your kind sentiments.

pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 4 months ago from sunny Florida

O my..our actions too often may lead to consequences we had never dreamed would occur...this is a stunner. It is so like an Alfred Hitchcock plot ....great job.

Angels are once again on the way to you. ps

manatita44 profile image

manatita44 4 months ago from london Author

Hi Patricia. How are things? Thank you so much! You picked up the message well. Hope all's good and wishing you continued fortitude. Much Love.

cam8510 profile image

cam8510 4 months ago from Columbus, Georgia until the end of November 2016.

I like the quick pace and economy of words in your story. The read flies by seemingly in seconds. Nice job on this flash fiction.

manatita44 profile image

manatita44 4 months ago from london Author

Noteworthy comment. Just how I like them. Fast and furious! Ha ha. Actually, I think it's effective to make the writing move; to flow ... like a river ... Gratitude, my Friend. Welcome!

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 4 months ago from Shelton

Dramatic, violent, very well written m y friend

Venkatachari M profile image

Venkatachari M 4 months ago from Hyderabad, India

A thrilling, tragic story. You crafted the scenes very smartly and appealingly. Felt very sad for the happenings. It can be a good message to people.

manatita44 profile image

manatita44 4 months ago from london Author

Thank you, Frank. Stole a few pages from the Master (smile)

Thank you Venkatachari M. A most excellent summary of my work. Gratitude ...

Cyndi10 profile image

Cyndi10 4 months ago from Georgia

Excellent story. And yes, sometimes people should leave others to their own lives. Meddling rarely comes to a good end for anyone, as your story so eloquently illustrates. Take care.

manatita44 profile image

manatita44 4 months ago from london Author

Thanks Cyndi 10. You got my story well. Welcome and appreciated.

always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 months ago from Southern Illinois

Wow, this is what I call flash fiction with a message for all who read. " Ain't nobodies business but my own. " a lyric from a song that fits perfectly with this. Well done Manatita. More Please!!!!

billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

The first paragraph is the key for me when reading a story. If I don't like the first paragraph I won't continue. I read this entire story. The first paragraph does not lie. :)

blessings my writing friend.

MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 4 months ago

You left me breathless. It was a tragic scene, but the shocker was the woman who regretted her call so much that she committed suicide. Well done, my friend.

manatita44 profile image

manatita44 4 months ago from london Author

Chuckle, chuckle ... Great comment! Thanks Ruby. Yes, sometimes we really need to be careful in giving advice or trying to be a good Samaritan. LOL. Thanks again!

manatita44 profile image

manatita44 4 months ago from london Author

Bill, a super-excellent endorsement. Thank you! I really appreciate such comments especially coming from a brilliant and confident writer such as you. Gratitude.

Miz, so glad it touched you. I always love a great ending for my Flash. I wanted Carstairs to be so fed-up with crime, that he left the Force and found God, but that was not good enough for me. So I stopped ....and figured it out! Much Love.

MsDora profile image

MsDora 4 months ago from The Caribbean

A real flash ending! Well done, Manatita. We must count you in among the story-tellers as well as the poets.

manatita44 profile image

manatita44 4 months ago from london Author

Ha ha. Didn't you know that? Didn't I tell you that I could do anything? Haven't you read my other Flash's? Didn't you tell me that I can do anything? LOL.

Just wanting to show off, here, me. Don't have much money, but I like to eat at the Hilton or Ritz; shop at Harod's and use the occasional Gucci or Armani sometimes. Cool, eh?

Anyway, I still want to do this piece on Ali and then return to Haiku's. Watch this space. Hey, thank you for your excellent comment, my Sweet, and don't mind my ramble. I get joy in strange and eccentric ways sometimes. Ha ha.

DDE profile image

DDE 4 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

I love this song and listened to it again. You shared a great story and with a hopeful message.

manatita 4 months ago

Yes. Great story; great song. Thank you so much, Devaki.

Deb Hirt 4 months ago

Excellent work, my friend. You left no stone unturned in this flurry of events.

manatita44 profile image

manatita44 4 months ago from london Author

Ah, your comment finally turned up. Just Hub Pages, Deb, nothing to do with you. Yes, I kept this one moving, like a fountain and gave it vibrancy like the child. Ha ha. Gratitude ...much.

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