As a writing exercise over the weekend, had to create a short story on the fly. Here goes.
The number didn’t look familiar as it popped up on my Blackberry.
“Who has gotten my number?” I wondered. The little black combination phone, address book and Internet access had become my primary contact with the outside world. I tightly controlled who had the number because my business required me to be discreet.
“Should I answer it?” I queried, quickly scanning my entire network of contacts.
“Who do I know in Pittsburgh?” I wondered. “No one and I’ve never been in Pittsburgh.”
My business dealings took me to many cities across the globe, often for brief, furtive visits. But Pittsburgh had not been one of them.
“What do I know about Pittsburgh?” I surmised. “Almost nothing, except that the Steelers had a black head coach who won the Super Bowl in his first season. I think they have a baseball team, but I hadn’t heard anything about them since the days of Clemente.”
The call was now over, as I still considered my options. Now a voice mail menu appeared on the screen. One touch and I was listening aptly.
“We’re ready for you,” a somber-sounding female voice deadpanned.
“Who’s ready for me and why?” I sneered at the phone.
I flipped to the Internet option on the screen, typed in the phone number to a search engine and got one result.
It was the last thing I would have imagined.
“I don’t believe this.”
Now I had to find out why they were calling me.
Then the screen went black. My battery was dead.
Oh well, I supposed. I’ll power up again when I reach my destination.
Five hours passed, before my plane arrived on the West Coast.
I reached my hotel just in time to find out the location for my next performance, at a small club in West LA. I was about to pull out my ax to practie when I remembered the message.
I plugged in my Blackberry to recharge it. Then I dozed off to sleep.
A bright ray of sunlight woke me up. The television was on, tuned to a morning news show. The announcer talked over some video of a trumpeter among lots of folks in tuxedos. He said this soloist had been the hit of the G-20 Summit dinner in Pittsburgh, although he’d been contacted on less than five hours notice earlier in the day.
The voice said, “The White House said he had been contacted after their first choice didn’t return a phone message.”
“That’s interesting,” I thought. So I called the number on my re-charged Blackberry.
The hotel operator answered with the news that the party I called had just checked out with the Presidential party.
Guess I won’t screen my calls any more.”