Calling Doctor Bell

Everything was perfect until her mouth started ringing.

We were having a perfectly wonderful conversation, and it looked as if she was about ready to take her top off, when her mouth started emitting ringing sounds.

At that point I knew something was wrong.

I tried to understand what she was trying to say, but the scene was already darkening. I squinted hard, trying to catch even a glimpse of what lay underneath that tank top, but I knew it was too late. The reality of the scenario was compromised.

I was heading for consciousness.

Damn! I thought, as I hovered between two worlds. Damn, damn, damn!

The ringing sound became louder, and I realized, as I twisted awkwardly in the bedclothes, that it was the phone on the nightstand.

I sat up, pushing the sheets off me like they were attacking cats, and swung my feet onto the floor.

The phone was even more insistent now.

I sighed and picked up the receiver.

"Hello?" I said wearily.

A booming voice came from the other end of the line, the connection crackling like an old 78-rpm record on a gramophone.

"Mister Watson," the man said, each syllable bristling with urgency. "Come here. I want to see you."

"Excuse me?" I said, confusion now settling on top of my bleariness.

"Must I repeat myself, Mister Watson? I need you here at once?"

"Who is this?" I asked.

"Dash it all, Watson! This is no time for games. Now come here!"

A pertinent fact finally revealed itself to me.

"My name's not Watson," I said. "I think you have the wrong number."

"Have you fallen and struck your head, man?" He was becoming angry now. "Of course your name is Watson. There's no one else here but you and me. And what is this number you speak of? I've dealt with a great many numbers throughout this process. What are you blethering on about?"

I'd never known myself to blether.

"This is all very interesting, but I'm really not the person you're trying to reach. Really. Seriously. Wrong person."

There was a pause. I took this as a good sign.

"You are obviously not yourself," the man said at last. "I shall come in there and fetch you by the scruff of your neck, and when we've finished up in here, I shall send you to the doctor's posthaste."


Posthaste? Now, there was a word I hadn't heard in a long time. The guy sounded like something out of an old movie. A really old movie. A movie from the thirties that's set in the nineteenth century.

I set the receiver back on the phone and rolled back into bed. What a way to wake up. And what a dream to interrupt. I hated when that happened.

I glanced at the clock and sighed. Seven-fifteen. There was no point in trying to go back to sleep now. I'd be getting up in less than an hour anyway.

I put my head back and thought about the weird conversation. It was either a wrong number or a prank. I was leaning towards prank, because there was something oddly familiar about it, and nobody really talked like that today.

What was the first thing the man had said? "Mister Watson. Come here. I want to see you." Something like that.

I sat up, realization dawning across my darkened brain. Of course it was familiar. If I was remembering correctly, those were the first words Alexander Graham Bell had spoken to his assistant, Thomas Watson, using the very first telephone.

Helluva weird thing to base a prank upon.

The End

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