Ever since I was a young child, that automated recording that plays when you try to call someone, but can’t, has frightened me to the core. You know, the one that goes, “We’re sorry, but the number you have reached has been disconnected.” And it’s always preceded by that sound, those three tones, which just amplifies my paranoia. Any time I hear that message, I can feel my skin go pale, every hair on my body stand up, all while I’m paralyzed in fear. I don’t know why I react like that to a simply informative automated message. It just sets something off in my brain. But when it’s at night, nothing compares to that level, that degree of pure, unbridled horror. Surrounded in the black of night, accompanied only by that robotic, emotionless voice. There was nothing worse.
Or so I thought…

I’m a shy, withdrawn guy. I stay inside most of the day, usually by myself. I don’t tend to socialize. Not in public, that is. But behind that computer screen, I’m as social as can be. For quite sometime now, I’ve been thinking of changing that.
Me and my friend, Alan, had known each other since the third grade. We were basically inseperable. But there was a major difference between the two of us. Whereas I’m shy and withdrawn, he’s popular and outgoing. Always being invited to parties and scoring with the hottest girls. He’s always invited me to these parties, and I’ve always come up with some lame excuse not to go. But not tonight. Tonight is a Friday, and I know he’ll ask me to go, as per usual.

I waited, and waited, until finally, my cell phone rang. It was Alan, as expected. I went to hit the ‘Answer’ button, but hesitated. “Do I really want to do this?” I asked myself. I thought for a moment, and came to the conclusion that I did.
“Hey, Alan, what’s up?” I asked.
“What do you think is up, man? It’s party night! Are you in, for once?” he replied, rather enthusiastically.
I took a deep breath.
“You know what? Yeah, I’m in. Where at?”
“Holy shit, really? Alright, man! The party’s at 2736 Linwood, you know where that’s at?”
I vaguely remembered that street. I knew only that it was near my old elementary school.
“Sure, man, I’ll see you there.” I hung up the phone.

I threw on my hoody, and put on some worn-out Converses. Since I didn’t have a car, I’d be walking quite far. I grabbed my phone, put it in my pocket, and left for the party.
It was around nine ‘o clock when I left. Now, it’s ten thirty seven. No matter how much I tried to believe I wasn’t lost, it was to no avail. I knew I had to call Alan for a ride. I pulled out my phone, went to my contacts list, and called him. I put the phone to my ear as I paced up and down the sidewalk of a street I’d never been. But he didn’t answer. Instead, I was greeted with this:

“We’re sorry, the number you have reached has been disconnected.”

The moment I heard that, I stopped dead in my tracks. My eyes widened in fear. “No way…” I thought to myself. How could he be disconnected? We spoke just over an hour ago! I tried calling him again. Maybe it was just some weird glitch on my phone, I thought.

“We’re sorry, the number you have reached has been disconnected.”

I tighted the grip on my phone until my knuckles turned white. What the fuck is going on!? I decided I’d call 911. There’s no way they’d be disconnected, right?

“We’re sorry, the number you have reached has been disconnected.”

I froze in horror. I knew something was very wrong. At this point, I threw my phone on the ground as hard as I could, and stomped on it relentlessly. Something had to be wrong with the phone itself, I was sure of it. After the phone had been smashed to an unrecognizable mass of glass and plastic, I noticed a payphone down the street, visible only due to a dim, flickering street lamp that obviously hadn’t seen maintenance in years. I fished a quarter out of my pocket, and ran down to it, driven by fear and paranoia. I frantically jammed the quarter in, and dialed 911 once again.

“We’re sorry, the number you have reached has been disconnected.”

I dropped the phone, leaving it dangling by it’s metallic cord. There was something different, this time. That message, that emotionally detached voice. It didn’t come from the phone.

It was right behind me.

Credit To – Ryuzaki

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *