A/N: Hey-lo people! How are you all doing? I wasn't doing so well until recently-suffered from a bit of food poisoning, but that's alright now. This story is something I wrote for my English assignment, and it's probably my shortest story yet-not as short as 'Just for Now', but short enough. It's a quick read, and I enjoyed writing it. It's story number 5 of the '9: Death Collection', and without further ado, I give you 'The Unexpected Phonecall'

The Unexpected Phonecall

It is possible to be bored out of your mind. Especially if you're an employee of Angel's Help, especially if you listen to people bawling their sob-stories over the phone, with no idea as to whether they were being inaudible or screaming their lungs out over the line. I am.

I had owed one of my colleagues some shift-time, and I now listen absently as people sob and whisper incoherently into my ears, interjecting at the correct moment. Honestly, people just want to listen to their own voices. Doesn't anyone know how to solve their problems? Don't I have problems of my own? Guess why there is a company called Angel's Help. Maybe I should call myself. See what happens.

Well, the person on the other line put the phone down, and I remove the earphones. Once I graduate, I'm going to break these crazy—

Another call. Sheesh. I pick up the headphones, tune into the call and take a deep breath. "Angel's Help. How may I help you?"

"Angry, aren't you? Irritated that people don't listen to you? It must be frustrating to have to listen to others silly problems, while you have so many of your own."

I sit up straight. "Who's this?"

But the stranger doesn't seem to hear me, and keeps speaking. "You know, for once, somebody on this side of the line is going to help you. Tell you what. I'll give you the chance for a better life. I'll give you the chance to get more money. Grab a pencil, and write this down. FR 0750 8900 0000 0175 7814. Did you get that? I'm pretty sure you've got net connection. Look up this person, and look at his signature."

I ask more urgently, "Who is this?"

But the stranger doesn't hear me. "Learn how to forge his signature, and within one week, send a note to this address, with the amount, where you want the cash to be delivered and his signature at the end. And within a week, the case will be delivered to the address you send to them." She makes me write down an address, and gives the person's name. "Remember, send the note within a week. I hope you do the right thing."

And the line clicks shut.

The past week has been agony. I've been waiting and waiting and waiting. The man was a famous professor convicted of some crime I can't care about—all I'd cared about was learning how to perfectly forge his signature. And it took me three days to learn that.

The note had been sent and the wait was dragging on and on and on.

Deliver me from this misery.

I get a call, this time on my personal line. I connect. "Hello?"

"There's a package here, Miss. Do I sign it in?"

My heart begins to beat faster and faster. "No. I'm coming there."

I grab my things and run out of the office without a care. I call for a taxi, get in, and ask him to go to my house, pronto.

The package is still waiting outside. My heart is slamming against my ribcage now.

I throw some bills at the driver and run to the delivery-man. I sign the papers and grab the parcel. It is huge and heavy.

I walk to my house, get in, lock all the doors. I shut all the windows, curtain them, make sure everything's locked. I take all phones off the hook and sit in front of the box. It is enormous with a capital E. I unwrap it quickly, and gasp at the leather-bound suitcase. I run a hand over the smooth leather, revelling in its touch.

It's here. I have to open it. I have to.

I pry the clasps open, and slowly open the suitcase.

And what I see makes my breath catch.

As the bomb slowly ticks down, a thought flashes in my head—

I wish I'd never spoken to that stranger.

Author's note:

The phone call and the bomb were both meant for the person whose shift the narrator had been covering. That person had been suspected to have known trade secrets which could be used against the State, and the private organization had made that phone call, but hadn't verified who it was. The person who was supposed to die was shot to death, while the narrator's house blew into the sky.

The end.

A/N: The Author's note is actually a part of the story, while this is just my way of communicating with you guys. The assignment was either to write a short story beginning with "An alien ship landed in a clearing..." or something along those lines, or ending it with "I wish I'd never spoken to that stranger." Guess what I did.

Anyways, read and review, guys!