Number Four

Number Four

A Story by Saichiro Wolftotem

They always called with a different voice, but I knew it was them every time.


     The cell phone buzzed on the kitchen counter, moving minutely toward the edge. Crystal Sommers caught it with a practiced flick of the wrist and looked at the screen. Bold black letters above the Answer and Dismiss buttons proclaimed it a call from UNK NUMBER. Crystal sneered at the face of her device and promply clicked 'Dismiss'.

     "Damn telemarketers. Always call you when you have something important on TV." The current stream of mindnumbing nothingness was the most recent reality show about teens and their arguments with their pregnant mothers or some such. It wasn't really that important and she always told her friends she only watched it because it amused Petunia, her ginger colored cat. Petunia was currently napping in the corner, uncaringly oblivious to her owner's joking attempt to pass the blame of her guilty pleasure.

     Dressed in a cotton tank, socks, and her 'comfypants', Crystal fully intended to settle in for a night of popcorn, ice cream, and shameful reality television. Another angry buzzing on the couch beside her made her sigh. Much more of this and she would have to turn the whole cell phone off. Glancing at the display once more, Crystal furrowed her brows at the number calling her. 3. That was it. One digit.

     There was a faint clicking feeling on the touchscreen as she hit the answer button.

     "Hellooooo?, " she made sure plenty of irritation made it into her answer. There was silence except for the background static of an open line. "Hello? Anyone? Telemarketeeeeer... Don't call me okay? Next time I'll have my cat answer and she's very mean." A voice on the other end picked up, finally:
     "Number....three. We are....number....three. We are....numbered...three. We are..."

     Crystal hung up the phone, exasperated, and turned up the volume from her remote. "Y'know... I'm beginning to think I don't get to have a relaxing day off."

     The popcorn was warm and buttery and the ice cream was cold and sweet and it was an hour and a half of brain-rotting later that she got the next call. The same digit. 3. She almost punched the button on the front before jerking the irkful device to her ear.

     "Listen, I know you're real pathetic to call some chick on a Sunday night, but I've got important things I could be doing right now, okay? Stop calling me! I don't appreciate it. I'm not buying anything, I'm not paying anything, and I'm certainly not donating to any organization that won't take a HINT!" She stayed on the line for a moment to see if there was a response. There was.

     "Three. Three. Three. Three. Three. Three. Thr-click." It was a chanting rhythm, like someone saying a mantra. More solemn than a cheer or a joke and it sent a chill up her spine. With slightly trembling fingers, Crystal deftly turned off her cell phone and removed the battery. She breathed a sigh of relief and placed both phone and battery back on the countertop behind her.

     "It's a good thing I have you here, Tuna. Otherwise I might be a little...freaked...out?" Petunia's favorite napping pillow in the corner was empty. Feeling uneasy, Crystal turned off the television and stood up to look around.

     "Petunia?" She glanced under the couch and in her other usual spots, finally finding her beloved rust-colored cat washing and rewashing her paws on top of the dryer. She scooped up the feline and carried her back to the couch, convincing herself that it wasn't because she was unsettled, but rather that she couldn't watch Housewives of the Rich without a friend.

     There was a familiar click-hum of the television as it came on and Crystal snuggled into the crook of the couch covered by her favorite lapblanket. Outside she could hear the beginnings of rain pittering on her porch. Her show had finished and the news had apparently come on in it's absence.

     "...ised here on Channel 3 News there is an urgent breaking story. A prison riot in the Jacobstown area has led to three deaths and eight injuries. Two inmates are still at large...." Two pictures of rough-looking men, one shady and one bulky were displayed on top of a tasteful blue background. "...Officials are warning that the men may be armed and dangerous. If you have any information on these two individuals, we urge you to call the number on the screen. Again, these individuals are armed and may be dangerous."

     Crystal swallowed hard, a dropping feeling assaulting her stomach. Jacobstown prison was less than two miles away. Scrambling for the pieces of her phone, she powered the device back on in case she should need help. No sooner had she done so than a violent banging was upon her door. She crept toward the entry, wary of everything now. A rough male voice came back at her from the door.

     " 'Ello?! Please? I need 'elp, it's pooring!" She couldn't see very well through the peep hole in her door as it was dark outside, but she knew she wouldn't be opening the door for whoever it was. She almost had a coronary when the phone went off in her hand. 3 again. She dismissed the call, but it immediately called back. She answered the call, hoping whoever the prankster was might help. There was no delay this time.


     " 'ELLO!?!? Help! I'm sopping!"

     She screamed at the door, "GO AWAY! I CAN'T HELP YOU!" Turning, she ran right into a shadowy figure who was as solid as a brick. Startled, she stepped back and could see that her back door was swinging wide open having already let in the bulky man standing before her in a blue jumpsuit. Numbers covered the front and back. She opened her mouth to scream again, but the attempt was cut short as her throat was torn away by a primitive looking blade. Crystal clutched her throat in her hands as she fell to the ground, lifeblood pumping out of her like the ticking of a clock. In shock, she noted that her fingers were getting cold and sticky. The edges of her vision went dark and the last thing she could see before the life left her eyes was her phone, buzzing uncaringly on the floor beside her. The caller ID showed a single digit: 4.

© 2013 Saichiro Wolftotem

Author's Note

Saichiro Wolftotem
Written for a contest.

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This is wonderful. I love your writing.

Posted 6 Years Ago

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Added on February 24, 2013
Last Updated on February 26, 2013
Tags: Three, call, horror, murderer, mystery


Saichiro Wolftotem
Saichiro Wolftotem

San Antonio, TX

I'm a craftster and generally chronically bored person. I like entertainment of the non-screen-based variety. more..