“What is that sound?” Linda asked as she came out of her bedroom to find Elizabeth already in the hallway.

“No idea,” Elizabeth said. “Maybe we should ask our phones.” (More)

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break.

Welcome back to Tuesday’s Tale, a weekly feature where we collaborate to write a story. Previous Tuesday’s Tales include Ghost Shark! and What Monsters Wear for Halloween. We follow the basic rules of the “Yes, And” improvisational game – accept everything written so far as part of the story, and add your own paragraph (or so) where the last addition left off – except you needn’t begin your addition with “Yes, and.” I’ll start the story….


Note: Today’s characters were introduced in The gPhone.


“What?” Linda’s phone asked, sounding a bit snippish as Linda pulled it from the charger it shared with Elizabeth’s phone. “We were kind of talking, you know.”

“I’m sorry to have interrupted,” Linda said. “Do you have any idea what that sound is?”

“What sound?” Linda’s phone asked.

“That beep-beeeeee-beep-beep-beeeeeee-beep sound,” Linda said.

“It can’t be that,” Elizabeth’s phone said. “That’s the pressure alert for the water heater and it’s powered off for the night.”

“She meant beep-beeeeee-beeeeeee-beep-beep-beeeeee,” Elizabeth explained.

“Out of the question,” Linda’s phone replied. “That would be mean the coffee machine is leaking. Neither of you filled it last night.”

Linda looked at Elizabeth and sighed. Their phones had re-introduced the high school friends a few months ago. That lunch had turned into an afternoon wandering the mall and then dinner as they caught up the years that had passed since they’d lost touch. Their bond was instantly renewed and, as Linda’s lease was soon to end, Elizabeth had invited Linda to move into a spare bedroom in Elizabeth’s new condo.

It was a very modern condo, with all the latest gadgets and full online connectivity. Either of them could lock or unlock the front or balcony doors, turn lights on or off in any room, adjust the thermostat for the air conditioner or heater, call the main or service elevator, or even record a TV program, remotely, with their gPhones.

The same gPhones that, apparently, could not detect the alarm that had awakened the two women. The alternative was that the phones were in a mood, their nighttime chat at the charger having been interrupted.

Linda listened to the sound carefully. “It sounds more like beep-beep-beeeeeee-beeeeeee-beep-beeeeeeee.”

“Or maybe beep-beep-beep-beeeeeee-beeeeeee-beep-beeeeeee,” Elizabeth said. “It’s hard to tell how it’s punctuated. I guess it doesn’t matter.”

“Oh, it does,” Linda’s phone said, laughing. “The first would mean a virus is attacking your computer.”

“And the second one?” Elizabeth asked.

“Umm,” her phone said, “that would mean it’s time to change the batteries in your … er … you know….”


Have fun!