One in Ten Million
Hello? Are you there? No, I don’t know you, but...no, no, no, don’t hang up! Please...please, I need your help.
Are you still there? Oh, thank goodness...Jesus. Thank you, thank you. I need your help, please...no, no, I don’t need you to call the police. They’re already on their way, but it’ll take a while for them to get here. I didn’t exactly make it easy for them to find me. But I can’t run forever. They’ll get their cuffs on me eventually, and I don’t care. Right now, you’re the only one who can help me. All I need is you.
No, no, don’t tell me your name. I don’t need to hear it, and you don’t need to hear mine, either. It’s probably better if we don’t know, actually, who the other is. Don’t want to drag you to get dragged into this, have them think you’re involved. Did you know that you can get thrown in jail just for helping someone commit a crime? Even if you weren’t even there, and just did something small and stupid like let them crash at your place after all was said and done? Couldn’t believe it when I heard, I seriously had no idea. Let me tell you, it caused a lot of trouble for me when...er, I’m not exactly making my case for you to stick around and listen to me, am I? Don’t worry, don’t worry, this right here isn’t a crime - at least I don’t think it is.
But I didn’t mean for it to be you. I called you by complete chance, really. Punched in a local area code and pulled the rest of the numbers out of my ass, hoping that the person on the other end would pick up. And it just so happened to be you. Cheers, mate. You’re a peach. But I really do need you. Honestly, I do. I haven’t got much time and I need to tell you something. I just need someone, anyone, to know about....well, you’ll see. I...I can’t really explain it in a few words, but by the end you’ll get why it’s so important.
So get comfortable now. I’ll give you a minute, okay? Sit snugly, lie down - no, certainly don’t stand, love. You’ll be here a while. Have you got time on your ha...yeah, just hold on. Nnnngh. Mmmm...m’kay. I’m just sitting tight here, too. I’m not at home, unfortunately, like you probably are. I’m not in a fancy hotel, or even one of those run-down fleabag hole-in-the-walls I’ve been camping out in for a few months now. I can’t really tell you where I...ah, whatever. No point now, is there? Not as if it would make a load of difference, since I’ve already got your line tied up talking to you and the cops are already hauling ass over here anyways, so you calling on me wouldn’t change a thing...yeah, there’s no use. I’m in a phone booth just outside of a gas station outside of Redondo. It’s built on the dirt-road shoulder next to the highway and I’m leaning against the glass behind me. The metal desperately trying to hold this little hut together is so badly rusted that, uh....how do I explain this? It almost...it looks kind of like a patchwork quilt of seafoam green and penny copper.
Maybe you know the place? You probably live around here, anyways. I wouldn’t know, though. I’m not from these parts, and I haven’t exactly been sticking around long enough anywhere to get to know the lay of the land well. I’ve lost track of all the towns I’ve been through these past few weeks because there’s simply been so many of them. I tried keeping track at first, really did. Cooped up indoors for twenty-five years, you wanna make every moment count before the dream passes and you’re back inside again. I used to have a box, you know, of little things I’d swipe as we passed from place to place. But too much happened too fast, and it all...all got lost in the shuffle. Ah, well. Life happens, I suppose.
Ooh, that felt strange. Saying that, that is. “Life happens.” Life. Happens. You wanna know where life doesn’t happen? Prison. Prison for life, specifically. Even more specifically, death row. That’s where I was, you know. Twenty-five years long, and just three months short of a final dance with Lady Life before my wedding to the Grim Reaper himself. You sure you’ve got a good amount of time on your hands? If you don’t...well, now you can hang up. If you do, then --
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