Headfirst Slide

tring tring

It's only for emergencies. I shouldn't be using this. He said these things are never secure.

tring tring

I wonder if he'll be mad.

tring tring

Don't pick up, I beat in time with the trills. Don't pick up.


A click, cough, dry fingers rasping over the mouthpiece. "This is Victor."


A pause. I can hear his heavy breath fogging the phone line.

"Daughter," he finally hisses. He's clasped his hand over the piece and his voice echoes heavy around my ears. The old accent still grips his words, but most times he's able to control it. He says it offers up too many stereotypes; too many "fantasies".

I squirm and work my fingers in little fists. "Reb - rem," start again, "Remember to take your heart pills?"

"What is this, girl?"

Oh, he sounds angry. I knew he would be. I tremor and fall back against the wall, the bricks catching the weft of my jacket as it rides up around my neck. "You promised?"

Static - he's sighing. "To take my heart pills?"

He did, actually, just not to me - but that's not the point so I moan, "No," and slide further down the wall to the street. The tips of my shoes are dusty and worn, the grey rubber peeling off the sides like shedding skin. I think they were expensive, once.

"- get hurt."

I blink. Grunt something in the phone with a question mark at the end.

"You were not listening." His breath gets lighter, he's holding the phone away from his head while he mutters sharp out of range. I think he's swearing. He really shouldn't, it just raises his blood pressure or something.


I shiver.

"You were involved in the... incident at the bus lot last night. Do you realize how close you were to making the five o'clock report? I do not like owing favors, girl."

I swipe a sleeve across my lip, sniffing, "People are... hurting."

"None of whom you should be concerned for," he says in cold whispers. "You are lucky I treat this insubordination with such levity."

I hug my knees up tight, leaning the flesh of my throat against the cap and pressing the piece flush against my ear. He's a liar. The corners of my eyes prick hot and sharp, the breath rattling static in my nose and throat, and I know I'm going to cry.

Maybe he hears me starting to sniffle and he feels obligated to stop it, muttering something whispy I can't understand.

I hate it when he does stuff like that. He refused to teach me any Russian because he "needs to keep some secrets" away from me and I've been trying to catch up with phrases nested away from translation books ever since. He's just a liar. Daddies shouldn't be the bad guys; that kind of thing should only happen to Luke Skywalker - he can take it, he's got that saber thingy. What have I got?

A sob snags, rips. "Hyip!"

He chuckles - he really laughs at me! He knows I get the hiccups when I'm upset and he's just laughing at me!


"Poor little pup," he rumbles, "such a tiny bark. Barely knew she was there."

I quake furiously, "Joel - hyip! - red man - hyip! - I - he - hyip!"

"Little bi-"

"Shutupshutupshutup!" I jolt up and whack the phone back against the brick. It shatters in polished slivers, its innards stretch and wobble feebly with the speaker dangling like a small, black soul.

It chatters back at me before I lob it over the gutter:

"It is being taken care of, dear daughter."

The End

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