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Toll free

By Nikesh Murali All Rights Reserved ©

Thriller / Mystery

Toll Free

“Two minutes to termination,” the robotic voice said.

“You mean I am going to die in two minutes?”

“Yes,” it replied dispassionately.

The brown envelope said ‘opportunity of a life time inside’ in brightly coloured bold letters.

Jolly’s mother used to say, “You have to be in it, to win it and persistence pays.”

Jolly had a fat file of letters marked ‘Confidential – For your eyes only’ which promised millions of dollars if she emailed them the secret number enclosed within.

Although she hadn’t won anything so far, she was hoping this would be her golden ticket.

Instead, she found a toll free number. She rang it and a recorded voice requested harmless details like her name, the city she lived in and the postcode. But she knew something was wrong as soon as it said, “Triangulating position. Hit job activated.”


“Press one for strangulation, Press two for a bullet, three for a knife or stay on line if you want us to choose an option for you.”

“One minute to termination,” the recorded voice said.

“This is some sort of sick joke, isn’t it?”

Knock on the door.

“Thanks for calling You may hang up now.”

Knock. Knock. Knock.

“Who is it?” she dialled 000 on her mobile.

Knock. Knock.

“It’s me honey, open up.”

She breathed a sigh of relief. It was her boyfriend.

She opened the door to his warm smile and gave him a hug. He kissed her forehead.

She noticed he was wearing gloves. He never wore gloves.

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