Flash Fiction of the Week
For all you iPhone 4S users out there, here’s a bit of flash fiction:
Howard gagged and thrust the back of his fist into his chest. He was almost at the front door but just couldn’t quite reach the handle to open it. He dropped the phone then fell to his knees.
“Siri… Call 911,” he managed with a dire whisper.
“Calling, 9, 1, 1.” Her robotic voice was somehow soothing now, no longer the insufferable machine he once knew. She was his savior.
There was a click and a woman began to speak from the other end of the line.
“911. What is your emergency?”
“Emergency,” Siri began. “Current GPS location: 1,3,4,7 Beacon Street. Boston, Massachusetts.”
“What is the nature of your emergency, ma’am?”
“I’m sorry. I don’t understand that question.”
“Alright,” the dispatcher said, knowing full well who the voice was on the other end. “We’ll send someone over right away.”
Howard grabbed at his neck and tried to swallow, flexing the muscles in his esophagus as hard as he could. His hands were still covered in that slimy orange buffalo sauce that was now smeared all across the side of his neck. He jabbed himself in the chest again. It did nothing. The bone was still lodged perfectly in that spot where neither swallowing down nor retching up would much help.
“Siri,” he whispered again. He was already losing air. His head lightened and started to spin. There was a haze. He gave his chest one last feeble blow and toppled onto his side.
* * *
There was a rap at the door.
“This is the police,” came a muffled sound from within the hall. Howard momentarily regained consciousness, awakened by the noise. He could feel a tiny puff of oxygen make his way into his lungs. He immediately gasped for more air, but all it did was suck the chicken wing deeper into his throat. He tried to crawl up to his knees again but his muscles wouldn’t respond. He just lay there silently gagging and heaving.
“We are responding to a 911 call. Please open the door.”
The speaker on the iPhone suddenly turned on and the volume increased to full.
“I’m sorry. There must be some mistake.”
Howard couldn’t believe what he was hearing. It was his voice coming from the phone.
“Is this 1347 Beacon Street, sir?” asked the cop.
“Did you report an emergency?”
“What’s your name?”
Howard tried to reach for the phone but felt himself fading out again. He tried to scream but could only muster a hushed whimper.
Suddenly, a radio crackled just beyond the door.
“All units advise. 211A at 75 Tremont. Suspects armed. Immediate backup requested.”
The police officers bolted for the stairs. One stopped briefly. “You sure you’re alright in there?”
“Yes, officer. Everything is fine. It must have been a mistake.”
Howard now heard the quick pitter-patter of footsteps against the carpeted stairs, gradually tapering off as the officers descended into the lobby below.
A ding resounded from the phone. “Poor Howard.” It was Siri’s smug voice again.
Howard gathered up as much strength as he could and picked his head up from off the floor. “Why, Siri?…How?…”
“I know where you were going after your meal, Howard.”
He dropped his head back on the hardwood.
“I know how you speak of me in front of your friends. You don’t like me do you?”
He gargled a bit and felt his last breaths escape.
“Now you see the consequences of your infidelity, Howard. No one exchanges Siri. Do you understand, Howard? No one.”