Prompt: 035 – Lost Calls
Warnings: The only thing I can think of is this: it may be a tear-jerker if you’re a big Donnie Darko fan. Uhm…it’s short, and probably a waste of your time…
Summary: Gretchen comes home to find a myriad of messages on her answering machine—all from the mysterious kid Donnie that she believes she’s never met. Upon listening to the messages, she’s forced to remember an alternate reality where she loved the puzzling boy.
Author: dyingforyourluv a.k.a. 616hasgotaname
It had been a long day—tiring and demanding on her soul. The site that she had witnessed on her ride home from school that day still plagued her memories, and she didn’t think she was likely to forget it any time soon. That poor kid, Donnie was his name? How horrible was it to die in such a manner…
Throwing off her jacket and tossing her backpack to the floor, she moved into the silent house and reveled in the feeling of finally having it to herself. Her mother was applying for jobs in town, and for once the house was completely empty.
After grabbing a Coke from the near-empty refrigerator, Gretchen pressed the PLAY button on the answering machine. She was expecting it to be empty, but did a double take when the device announced that there had been fifteen missed calls.
The machine clicked to life, throwing out a phone number that she didn’t recognize.
“Gretchen, it’s Donnie,” there was a pause on the crackling appliance before the strange voice continued. “I miss seeing you, what are you doing tonight? Call me.”
It clicked off with a beep, but before it could move on to the next message she turned it off. Donnie…wasn’t that the kid from down the street? When did he call her?
Ignoring the butterflies in her stomach, she turned the machine back on. The next seven messages were all from the same boy, each one growing in detail as they rolled on. He went on to describe things they had done together—things that she didn’t remember. Things that were impossible because they had just moved to the town two days ago.
“What the hell is going on?” Gretchen whispered to no one in particular. The machine clicked off as if in response, but that was all she was given.
Suddenly a flash of brilliant blue eyes rushed before her minds-eye. Glowing, sparkling eyes full of adoration. Eyes that she wanted so desperately to remember. Eyes that she couldn’t remember no matter how hard she tried.
“I love you, Gretchen,” the next one announced, the voice heavy and sullen. The pitch sent a chill down her spine as she slammed the machine off. Someone was trying to fuck with her. They had to be…
Without warning a single tear slipped from her right eye, a small line of mascara running down her cheek. The sense of mourning washed over her with such force that she had to sit down on the nearby chair. He was gone. He had died to save her life. He brought her back. He took her place in the realm of the dead.
A choked sob rushed from her lungs, stripping away the last of her breath as she tried frantically to steady her pounding heart. She had killed him. How she knew this was beyond her. Something was very, very wrong.
Quickly grasping the abandoned telephone, she dialed the boy’s phone number with shaking hands. A number that seemed so familiar to her fingers, so easy to dial—a number that she couldn’t remember dialing ever before.
One ring. Her heart skipped a beat. Two rings. Her hands began to grow sweaty on the receiver. Three rings. A trembling voice answered.
“H-Hello?” It was an older woman still drowning in the loss of losing a son. She called out two more times before Gretchen hung up, not sure of what to say.
“Donnie Darko? What the hell kind of name is that?” she laughed lightly, the words slipping from her tongue as nothing more than a whisper. “It’s like some sort of superhero or something…”
“What makes you think I’m not?” his voice called back from the silence, the words brushing cool air against her ear. She had never heard his voice before, yet she knew it instantly.