Mizz Day

fiction

“Just answer the damn phone.” Scarlett mumbles into her pillow as her hand gropes blindly in the bed beside her. Her eyes are still avoiding the cloud-filtered daylight poking through the cracks between the window blinds. 

The third time the phone rings she sits up and pinches her face, squinting through clenched eyebrows. Puckered lips accent a quirky nose.. Her wince of annoyance at the morning, and at the disturbance to her sleep in day. The sheets, clumsily skewed from where Gaige should be sleeping are instead bunched carelessly towards her side of he bed. His nightshirt is wadded and dropped onto his vacant pillow. His beside table is bare, save for a dangling charging cable and paperback novel splayed facedown beside it.

Scarlett momentarily stares at the unoccupied space in the bed beside her. She wriggles her nose as the sleepiness clears from her head. “Running —” She mumbles aloud to no one. The word is little more than a single-item checklist in her head. 

A sigh. “— right.”

The ringer is chirping a punctuated song from her side table. It is playing a crisp electronic melody composed of faux-windchimes, a tune that has been laboratory tested to ensure maximum annoyance particularly when combined with the clacking buzz of the accompanying vibration of the device rattling against the wood of the table.

Another sigh.

She reaches, and folds her arm close to her face as she looks at the screen. “Yes?” She says, tapping the speaker to life. She lowers the phone on her lap and arches her back in a casual stretch waiting a fraction of a second for the reply.

“Is this a Scarlett Day?” The voice is female. Clipped, but professional.

“It’s really too early for — “

“Mizz Day, you’re listed as an emergency contact for Mr. Gaige Gildon.” The voice interrupts her. “I’m calling on behalf of River City Medical Admissions. There’s been an accident.”