Tom Misuraca πŸ”ˆ

Face Time

A FaceTime call. At 10:23pm. Unknown number. In this area code.
I ignore it.
They don’t leave a message, but call back immediately. Maybe it’s a friend calling from somebody else’s phone. An emergency. I answer it. An image appears on the screen. It takes me a moment to comprehend what I’m seeing.
My house.
Somebody’s calling from across the street.
β€œWho’s this?” I ask.
They hang up.
In anger, I storm to the door, ready to scream at the caller. Then I come to my senses. This could be a ploy. A new kind of home invasion. Rush in on me when I go out to confront them.
Feeling one step ahead of these creeps, I check that all the windows and doors are locked.
I return to my bedroom, knowing I won’t get any sleep tonight.
My phone chimes with another FaceTime. Same number. Nope. I decline.
They call back. Fine. I’ll play their little game. Then I’m calling the cops.
I answer. This time, I see a close-up of my bedroom window. They’re feet away from me.
I run to the window and poke my head through the curtains. I look down to see myself on my phone. I touch my head to test if it’s live. It is.
I pound on the window. Threatening to call the police. Or to handle them myself with the gun I don’t own. Those friends who suggested I buy one no longer sound ridiculous.
I hang up and am about the call the police when FaceTime chimes again. This time they’re at my front door. It’s a clear threat of invasion.
I dial 911 and tell them I suspect somebody is trying to break into my house. The kind person on the other end says they’ll send a car. They warn me not to engage. Hope I have that choice.
FaceTime. I’ll let them know the cops are on the way. Then they’ll flee like the coward they are.
I answer, but before I can speak, I see my hallway on the screen. As if they’d just walked through the front door. How’d they break in so quietly? I shout that the cops are on their way. Then hang up.
I run to the bedroom door and slam it shut. I throw a chair against it like they do in movies. I’ve no idea if that’ll work.
Unthinkingly, I’ve trapped myself. Hope the cops get here soon.
FaceTime chimes. I don’t want to answer, but I need to know where they are.
They’re outside my bedroom door. I see a gloved hand reach for the doorknob. Another movie cliche. From the other side, I see the doorknob turn.
I’ve heard about fight or flight instinct, but never realized how quickly it happens. Though my bedroom window is tiny, I squeeze out of it. I hope to see the cops on the street, but it’s quiet.
I run around the house to the garage, trying to stay hidden from my intruder. I use the keypad to open the garage. No doubt they hear this. I expect to get a call showing the inside garage entrance.
Thank God I keep an emergency key in a metallic lockbox beneath my car. I remove it, get in and speed off. On the way, I call 911 again and tell them all that happened. They say the cops are there and see no sign of a break-in.
They plan to patrol the neighborhood, but I fear the intruder is hiding in wait for my return. I keep driving until I come to a Starbucks drive thru. I order a small coffee and park in the lot, wondering when it’ll be safe to go home.
A FaceTime call.
I answer it to see my car in the Starbucks parking lot. My hands shaking so much, hot coffee drips on my lap.

Author Reading

About the Author

Tom Misuraca studied Writing, Publishing and Literature at Emerson College in Boston before moving to Los Angeles. One hundred of his short stories and two novels have been published, most recently in Capsule Stories, The Crypt and Alchemy Literary Magazine. His story, Giving Up The Ghosts, was published in Constellations Journal and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He is also a multi-award winning playwright with over 135 short plays and 11 full-length plays produced globally. Tom’s musical, Geeks!, was produced Off-Broadway in May 2019.