An Impossible Choice

Larry looked at the words he’d written in haste. They weren’t the meanest he’d ever wrote, but they certainly weren’t the kindest either. They did, however, say what he wanted to say. They got those heavyweight feelings off his chest. They got them said and out in the open. Quietly. In a text message. To someone he could confide in.

Larry hit send.

It was at least 2.3 seconds before Larry realised what he had done.

Have you ever tried to stop digital media from leaving a WiFi connected device?

Larry has.

Have you ever attempted to halt a message from sending, by throwing your phone into a fish tank?

Larry has.

Have two and a bit seconds ever lasted forever? Like the very fabric of space and time had been scrubbed in a wash bowl before being stretched and squeezed through an antique mangle?

To Larry, they have.

Larry stared as Brian the fish swam down towards the phone, circled it, tried to eat it, failed and moved on. He rolled up his sleeve, reached into the tank and retrieved the phone. The outgoing message blinked back at him.

Larry began to curse the Phones4U salesman under his breath as he dried the sodden rectangle of plastic and glass on the corner of his shirt. He’d never intended to buy a waterproof phone but upon mentioning a desire to scuba dive in the Bismarck Sea, Tony (Sales Assistant of the month) had began selling the features of the new SX890WP, at which point he never looked like taking no for an answer.

Since walking away from the shop, Larry had barely left Peckham, let alone made it to Papua New Guinea.

Setting the phone upon the kitchen table beside a collection of coins, he began to ponder the consequences of not double-checking who you were sending a text to.

Maybe he could pass it off as a joke, he thought.

Yes. Perfect. Good ol’ Gareth. He’s not all bad. He’d see the funny side of it, Larry decided. He’d realise it was all just a big joke and that he was only calling him a tosser in a jokey-matey-kinda-way.

Failing to convince himself, Larry pulled a chair from under the table and sat down, his eyes transfixed on the phone.
And then it happened.


The vibration rattled through the tabletop louder than any ringtone. “Gareth Mob” appeared on the screen.


The phone bumped its way steadily towards Larry, like a child using his bottom to descend the stairs.


It was mocking him now. Impatiently shouting at him to answer.


Larry slid a coin from the table and placed his thumb underneath it. He took a deep breath, and tossed it into the air.



Submitted as part of Prompted, at TipsyLit.


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