Call Forward

A Picture is worth……a lot of words-Take 4…or is it 5….I dunno…..but here goes nothing.


Patricia and her daughter, Macy, have just finished moving into their new house. Well….it wasn’t new but it was new to them. The bank had foreclosed on the home they previously lived in. Times were tough, but they weren’t going to just give up.

She found this house in the local classified section of the newspaper. It was a fixer upper but the price could not be beat…rent to own at that.

They decided to start taking boxes out of the garage and distributing them to the rooms that they were supposed to go into.

Mom’s room
Macy’s room
Dining room

After getting those done they were left with 2 stacks of boxes.

Macy’s toys

There was not an issue with the attic boxes. The issue was with the mass amount of toys. Some she had outgrown, but refused to part with. Others were broken. Stuffed animals, board games. There just wasn’t room for all of them.

Patricia decided to have “the talk” with Macy about them.

“Macy, honey….”

“Yes, Momma.”

“We need to talk about this stuff before you unpack it all. I would like you to go through these 4 boxes of toys and decide what you really…really need to keep. Here is one big box. The ones that you absolutely have to keep, you can put in here. The rest we will put into the attic.”

“But Momma…..that’s my stuff….I NEED it all! I can’t just decide to not play with things any more….I never know when I might really…really want to play with something. Please don’t make me choose….” Nine year old Macy pleaded.

She hated to tell her daughter no, but there just wasn’t room for it all. Her plan was to put the unchosen toys in the attic and each month retrieve one of the boxes and take it to Goodwill or some place where they could do something with them.

“Nope. 1 box is all you get. They will be in the attic if you ever really need them, Macy. I just don’t want them all down here. You have one hour to fill your box. Hop to it little one.”

Macy opened all 4 boxes and stood over them. For the next hour she painstakingly worked on filling 1 “big box” from 4 bigger boxes. When the one box was full she had 2 1/2 boxes to go into the attic.

“Good job, sweetie! Now let’s take them up to the attic….you know what, I haven’t been in the attic yet. Are you ready for a new adventure?” Patricia asked.

“You know I am!” Macy replied.

They each grabbed a box and headed up to the top of the stairs. Patricia opened the door. Her nose immediately took notice of the stale air that escaped.

“Whew….no one has been up here in a while! Stinky!!”

“P-U!” Macy added as she waved her hand in front of her nose to attempt to rid herself of the smell.

Patricia flicked on the light switch and then proceeded into the room with Macy directly behind her.

“Momma?….What are those dusty boxes in the corner over there. I thought you said you hadn’t been up here…”

“I haven’t, honey. The people that used to live here probably forgot them.”

“Can I look through them?” Macy inquired.

“I suppose. You do that while I bring the rest of the boxes up, ok? Watch out for spiders….BOO!” She said as she poked Macy in the back, making her shriek.


“Just stay up here I will be back in a minute.”

Patricia headed downstairs to get the rest of the boxes and Macy made her way over to the boxes that the past residents left.

The first box had picnic dishes in them.

The second box had old school books in them, some had torn off covers. Most were scribbled on.


Macy heard what sounded like a phone but she knew her Momma had a cell phone and it didn’t sound like that.

“Macy…are you ok? You look lost in thought…” Patricia asked as she came up to drop off some boxes.

“Did you hear a phone ring, Momma?”

“No…mine is still in the car on the charger.” She replied a bit puzzled.

“I’m going to get the last boxes but before that I am going to make us some lunch. You wanna come help me?”

“Could I stay up here please?”

“Ok…you will have to come down to eat though.” She said and turned back down the stairs.


She knew she heard it that time…it seems to be coming from a box on the other side of the room. She followed the noise.


She opened up the box, and saw what looked like a phone from those old time movies Momma liked to watch. At the base it had a thing to turn for the number, a long cylinder with a thing to talk into at the top, and a cord with a thing in it to put to your ear.


She decided to answer the old ringing phone.

“Hello….Macy’s Attic.”
“Uh-huh…we just moved in.”
“Sure…I will be your friend.”
“How do you know my Momma is about to..”

“Macy…lunch is ready.” Patricia yelled from downstairs.

“Wow…are you magic or something.”
“K…I won’t tell. It will be our secret. Bye!”

Macy put the earpiece back onto the receiver and headed downstairs for lunch.

As they were eating their grilled cheese sandwiches and chips, Patricia asked her daughter a question.

“So…Did you find anything interesting up there?…..”

“…..ummm….no not really…” She sheepishly replied as she swung her legs under her chair.

“That doesn’t sound too convincing…what did you find?”

“Well….I did find an old time phone…..can I keep it?” She excitedly replied.

“It’s not yours honey. They might come back for it.”

“I promise to not break it and and if they come back for it I will give it back…I will even put ALL My toys up there and leave them if I can play with the phone…PLEEEEAAAAASE, Momma….”

Patricia had a parental decision to make. Let her child trade all her toys for a left behind old phone that may make her happy or….

She thought about it for a minute.

They have both had a tough time in the last few months since Macy’s father died in the plane crash. Trying to adjust to being just the two of them has been hard and she really has not been able to afford to give her anything she really wanted.

What could it hurt for her to keep the phone? She hasn’t heard her plead for anything in a while. It was nice to see her so full of glee.

“Ok…you can keep the old phone but if someone comes back for it you will have to give it back to them.”

Macy smiled and pumped her fist.

“YES! Thank you Momma! Can I take it to my room now?”

“Your welcome, honey. Yes…but only after you help me take the that box of your toys to the attic.”

Macy jumped out her chair and ran to do what her Mom had told her.

After the toys were stored away she retrieved her old time phone and took it to her room and shut the door behind her.

She placed it on her desk and stared at it…..wishing for it to ring. She fell asleep waiting.

Patricia came into the room and tucked her little girl in, turned on her nightlight and gave her a kiss goodnight. Then went to bed herself.

Sometime during the dead of night Macy was awakened….


She picked up the receiver,

“She will be mad if I wake her up…”
“I don’t understand….what fire….”
“Ok…ok…but she’s gonna be mad if I wake her up…”


She exits her room and smells smoke. She runs into her mother’s room, jumps on the bed and yells,


Patricia groggily opened her eyes and was about to scold her daughter for waking her up when she too smelled smoke.

She jumped out of bed and ran out of the room. In the den she saw a flame ignite the curtains. She grabbed the fire extinguisher, pulled the pin and sprayed it at the wall. The fire was extinguished fairly quickly. Only the smoke hung in the air.

She looked at Macy still stunned and perplexed and asked,

“How did you know there was a fire, baby? It had to have just barely started when you woke me.”

Macy scratched her head let out a sigh and replied,

“Umm….I had to go the bathroom…when I came out I saw smoke so I went to get you…..” Macy replied with a lie….but she promised to keep the secret.

“I’m so proud of you, honey!”

Patricia tucked her daughter back into bed and went to turn off the breaker that coincided with the plug that started the fire. She would call an electrician tomorrow to check all the circuits.

Macy pretended to sleep but was really waiting for the lady in the phone to call. She wasn’t waiting long.



To be continued…..


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