Flicking through the channels, she was very happy when she came across one of her favourite movies. The phone rang just as she was getting into it, and she groaned as she reached for the phone to see who was calling. Who would it be? What would they want? She didn't really want to talk to anyone. She didn't recognize the number, and while she wouldn't usually have answered an unknown number, for some reason, that day she did.
The line was full of static, and she could barely make out the voice at the other end of the line. Through the crackling, she heard her own name, so she said "Yes, this is she". She felt like the male voice was familiar, but she struggled to hear it over all the noise, and she thought she understood that her father had just been in a car accident, and that he had died. The line went dead, and she stared at the phone in disbelief.
Tears instantly welled up in her eyes as she dialed the number to her parents home. Her mother answered on the first ring, and she burst into tears as she told her about the call she'd just received. Her mother was confused, told her that was impossible, her father hadn't even left for his road trip yet. In fact, he was just about to leave now.
Bewildered, relieved, spent, she started to sob uncontrollably, so the mother put her father on the line. He told her to sit still, he'd come see her before he left. He was there within minutes, and held his daughter for a long while, reassuring her that she was OK, and telling her it was just a horrible prank, probably by some teenager.
Feeling better, she hugged her father goodbye, compelling him to be careful on the road, and asking that he call her as soon as he arrived safely at his destination.
Exhausted by the roller coaster of emotions that she'd just been through, she settled back in front of TV, her cat jumping up to cuddle. There was still a half hour left to the movie she'd been watching, so she'd still get to see her favourite part.
Just as the scene was about to start, it was interrupted by a breaking news broadcast. She sat, incredulous, as live images of an estimated 50 car pile-up on the local highway flashed on the screen. There was a gas tanker involved, and the sound of it exploding and the subsequent explosions it caused completely drowned out the voices of the reporters in the helicopter.
She couldn't believe it. She knew exactly how long it took to get to the scene of the accident from her parents house, it was right before the exit where her high school sweetheart used to live, so she'd driven there a thousand times as a teenager. If she hadn't received that call, if she hadn't called her parents right as her father was leaving the house, he would have been part of that accident.
Chills ran down her spine as she realized that the voice that had seemed familiar was familiar. It was that of her dead grandfather, she was certain of it now. The doorbell rang, and her father was there, shaking, telling her he'd just heard the news on the radio and turned around. The highway would be closed for hours, he wouldn't be going anywhere today. When she told him that she was convinced the phone call had come from his father, he'd confessed to having dreamed about him the night before.
He'd never believed in ghosts, and wasn't sure what to believe now, but he sure was happy to be alive. He hugged his daughter tightly, and they both climbed into his car to go home. She'd started the day not wanting to speak to anyone, but now she wanted nothing more than to be in the company of those she loved the most.
PS: Special thanks to Ink Doll (@chloezone) for the idea to get the creative juices flowing! ;)