Peter was in his study when the phone rang.



“Who is this?”  A joke in very poor taste. Everyone knew how much he and Kathy wanted children, and how unsuccessful their efforts had been.

“It’s me, Daddy – Jenny!”

Peter decided to play along, hoping to find out who was behind this horrible trick.

“Where are you, Jenny?”

“At home of course.”

“Is Mommy there with you?”

“Silly Daddy! Mommy said she was going to the shops.”

That’s exactly what Kathy had said a few hours ago. Peter shivered, but then realized the trickster had probably seen her out shopping.

“But she isn’t really. She’s gone to check on your birthday present.”

“My birthday present?”  Peter was puzzled. “My birthday isn’t until May. Today’s the first day of autumn.”

Jenny changed the subject.

“I love the doll house you made me, Daddy!  It’s almost perfect. Two fireplaces, curvy windows, lots of books, broken Grandmother clock… “

Peter almost dropped the phone. Several close friends knew about their twin fireplaces and bay windows, but the heirloom clock had always chimed faithfully until last night. No one could possibly know it was broken.

“But Daddy, you forgot the telescope!”

“What telescope?”  Now he really was trembling. He had never mentioned his dream to anyone, not even Kathy.

“The one in the garden behind the house, Daddy. Where you show me all the stars!”

The little girl’s lilting voice caused Peter’s heart to miss a beat. She really was adorable. What if …

“Gotta go, Daddy, Mommy’s home!”

The phone went dead just as Kathy burst into his study, her multi-colored scarves floating behind her, her face radiant with joy.

“We’re pregnant, Peter!  The doctor just confirmed it. Due right around your birthday!!”

“Jenny,” he whispered.

“Or Bobby or Dianne or Kenyon …”  Kathy happily prattled on.

“Jenny,” Peter repeated firmly, making plans. First he’d buy himself an early Christmas present, then he’d get started on that dollhouse. This time he wouldn’t forget the telescope!

He took Kathy in his arms, and they talked for hours. He never did mention the phone call.

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8 months ago

A refreshing change from the usual dark and gloom of Autumn. The playful child counterposed with the adults’ desire for children creates a conflict which is lovingly resolved in an unexpected way.  

Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
9 months ago

What a very sweet story, Juma. A true delight to read, and cheered me up this dowdy afternoon 🙂 Nicely done

Last edited 8 months ago by Voice-Team
Margarida Brei
Margarida Brei(@margarida-brei)
9 months ago

Your story is making my head spin with questions. Did Peter imagine the phone call? Was it from his future daughter? He seemed so quickly to forget the mystery of the phone call.

Preston Randall
Preston Randall(@preston-randall)
9 months ago

I love this story’s originality and that it keeps one guessing right to the end (and beyond). Thanks for making us smile, something we all could definitely use more of.

Allan Neil
Allan Neil(@allan-neil)
9 months ago

This is gorgeous stuff, Juma. Very skilfully put together with surprise after surprise, a bit like a jigsaw puzzle in literary form, the pieces finally fitting together in the last sentence. But…what next?

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
9 months ago

So sweet and tender, Juma. I could feel every emotion and the excitement of Peter and his wife to have a child. And the phone call was an intriguing yet sweet conversation between a future child and a soon-to-be father. Well done, Juma. 

Bella Minyo
Bella Minyo(@bella-minyo)
9 months ago

Juma, you crafted a beautiful story that had me guessing at every turn. I was on the edge of my seat, waiting to see where you would take the story, and you successfully melted my heart with the ending. I have no words for how sweet and heartfelt your story is. Well done, Juma.

Greene M Wills
Greene M Wills(@greene-m-wills)
8 months ago

What a lovely story! Was Jenny ringing from a parallel universe and from the place before existence? You left me wondering and that’s why your story is so good: wonder is the biggest step towards appreciation!

Thompson Emate
Thompson Emate(@thompson-emate)
8 months ago

Wow! This story is so lovely. How did you come about it? A well-plotted one. Well done, Juma.

Linda Rock
Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
8 months ago

That phone call had us all guessing, Juma. But there couldn’t have been a more perfect ending. Very cleverly done!

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