The Telemarketer

By: Jeremy Ridnor

Virginia Fox watched as the plate rotated into a three hundred and sixty degree turn. The plate of Chef Boyardee’s beef ravioli was irradiated by the six hundred kilowatts microwave oven. Similar to a firefly, Virginia became mesmerized by the yellow light that extruded from the incandescent light bulb. Her eyes would shift back and forth between the timer and the ravioli. There was only ten seconds left on the timer, so Virginia slid on her blue oven mits. Finally, a high-pitched beeping sound pierced her eardrum. As she opened the microwave door she noticed the perfuse amount of smoke that came rushing out like a stampede. As she was picking it up her telephone began to ring. She quickly closed the microwave door with her elbow and put down the ravioli on the Formica counter. She grabbed the phone, turned it on and wedged it between her shoulder and ear as she removed her oven mits.

“Hello.”

“Hello Mam, my name is Earl Teger and I am associated with State Farm, would you be interested in purchasing life insurance?”

“Um no thank you.”

“Are you sure, because you can’t put a price on your life.”

“Well apparently you guys do and I am sure it is too much.”

“Mam, I assure you our company will work with you and find a reasonable and affordable price. Do you have life insurance mam?”

“Well no, but…”

“Then there is not a moment to lose, because at any moment something tragic could happen, you could get seriously injured or even die. Life is very fragile and unpredictable and accidents happen, so wouldn’t you like to be prepared? Well State Farm life insurance can help you become prepared.”

“I don’t know I am kind of busy right now.”

“It will only take a second.”

“Yeah but…”

“Do you know the chance of you getting in a car accident in the next five years?”

“Umm…”

“Eighty two percent. Now do you know the chances you surviving that crash? Fifty eight percent.”

“Where are you getting these statistics?”

“There have been numerous studies. I assure you that these statistics are real. I know it may sound like I am making these statistics up, but I am not. I don’t mean to scare you I just want you to be prepared. You owe it to yourself and to your loved ones. Now could I please get your name and your address?”

“My address, what the hell do you need that for?”

“In order to mail you some of the forms.”

“Well who said I was getting it anyways. Now I really have to go.”

“Wait please, wait.

“What?” There is silence. “Hello, hello. Alright I’m hanging…” The sound of a dial tone is heard.

Virginia felt perturbed by that phone call. Why was that guy being so creepy, and why did he hang up? She finally convinced herself that he must of lost the connection. Still she had never dealt with such a persistent telemarketer. She was not going let it get to her; she had other things to worry about. She grabbed the beef ravioli and began carrying out of the kitchen. Suddenly her dog Nana began barking sporadically.

“Nana be quiet. I know you’re hungry, but you are going to have to wait.” The little rottweiler continues to bark. “Nana do you want to go into the laundry room? Nana began to growl. “What is the matter with you?”

The hairs on Nana’s back became erect. Her ears pricked up and her pupils widened. Virginia was starting to become a little worried. She put the ravioli down on the coffee table and then looked through the peephole. Everything was distorted and concave. Virginia looked diligently, but only saw the kids next door playing with the sprinklers outside in their front yard. A wave of relief went over her, but it seems that her relief was premature, because Nana was still growling and foaming at the mouth. She was a great guard dog so whenever she growled, it was usually was because she felt that her territory was being threatened. It just so happened that Nana’s territory was Virginia’s territory. She also noticed that Nana was now not growling at the front door, but rather the back door.

Virginia started to feel really paranoid. She slowly crouched down onto the floor and then began slithering on the ground like a snake. She crawled across the kitchen floor on her hands and knees. Finally she was face to face with the back door. Virginia closed her eyes and breathed in deeply. Then she opened her eyes quickly. She began getting up in order to look out one of the kitchen windows. She quickly glanced out of the window and saw what she feared she would see. A muffled gasp escaped her lips as she dove towards the ground.

“Oh shit, what am I going to do?” Virginia muttered to herself.

Virginia then opened the silverware drawer and began feeling around with her left hand as her back leaned against the wooden cabinet. She pulled out a Santoku Chief knife. Even though the knife was six years old, it still looked like new because she never used it. In fact, she hardly ever used any kitchen utensils, because she never took the time to cook.

“I knew this knife would come in handy one day.”

Virginia began to stare at her refrigerator. There was a constant flash of red and then blue light. She did not know how many police cars were out there, but she knew it was a lot. She began to think to herself “how could they have found her? She had not slipped up and she had the perfect plan. Now it was getting serious, she did not want to have to resort to violence, but it look like she might have to. Nana continued to bark, but this time she faced the front door. Virginia quickly walked over to the front door, but she kept low. Once again she looked through the peephole, but this time she did not just see the next-door kids playing, but rather a swarm of police cars, as well as a few ambulances.

“You’re surrounded. Come out with your hands up,” Said some police officer into a megaphone.

“Holy shit, how the hell did they find me?” She shrieked.

Virginia stood by the front door biting down aggressively on her acrylic nails. She was surrounded and there was no escaping this one or was there? Virginia realized that she had only one chance. It was risky, but it was her only option besides sitting in her house and waiting for the police to come get her.

There was no time to waste so Virginia began sprinting down her hall until she came to a door. She hesitated for a few seconds with her hand hovering over the knob. A few moments went by and then she opened her basement door.

“Honey we have to go,” said Virginia in a motherly like tone.

Heather’s green eyes widened as if they were trying to scream. However, Heather could not scream because a tube sock was currently gaging her. Her wrist and ankles throbbed from trying to untie the ropes. Heather was a pretty little eight year old who had curly red hair and cute freckles that were sprinkled all over her face.

“Now Heather I need you to listen to me. I am going to untie you and take that gag out of your mouth, but only if you do as I say and be absolutely quiet,” said Virginia calmly. She then pointed the knife at Heather and says, “You don’t want me to have to use this do you.” Heather shakes her head no. “Good.”

Virginia began to untie Heather. She felt bad for Heather; she did not wish to traumatize her so much. In fact, she had grown attach to her. She was like a daughter to her in a way. She just wanted the ransom money; she never wanted to harm this little girl. She was sweet and had a whole life ahead of her. Even though Virginia never hurt Heather, she still would make a lasting impression on her psychologically. She might never be the same.

“Alright I am going to take the gag out now. Remember be absolutely quiet.” She removed the gag and Heather was silent except for the sounds of whimpering. “Can I have a kiss on the cheek Heather?” She hesitated, but then did as she was told. “Thank you. You know you are a special little girl and very brave, but now you are going to have to be even braver. Do you think you can handle that?” She nodded. “Good alright hold my hand.”

Tears came streaming down Heathers little face. As Virginia walked up the stairs with Heather she could not help, but to look at Heathers hands. They were so small, so fragile. Virginia then began to cry too. Her vision blurred and her heart raced as she came closer and closer to the front door. She looked at the peephole one more time and she saw a bunch of men pointing guns at the front of her door. She swallowed a large lump and then swung the door wide open. Virginia came outside while holding a knife to Heather’s neck.

“Don’t shoot. I got the girl,” shouted Virginia.

“Alright don’t do anything stupid,” said the police officer with the megaphone.

“Tell your men to put down their guns.”

“Wait a second lets just talk about this for a second.”

“There is nothing talk about now tell your men to put their guns down.”

“Alright, alright just don’t hurt her.”

“That is better, now I don’t want to hurt this girl, but I will if I have to.”

“Okay what are your demands?”

“My demands, well I want um… well I want my money. Six million in cash to be exact. And I want a private helicopter that will take me wherever I need to go.”

“Alright we can probably get you the helicopter, but I am not sure about the six million.”

“Do you want her to die?”

“Alright we will some how get the six million. Just take it easy and be calm. I just need to make a few phone calls so just sit tight.”

Sergeant Rick grabbed his walkie-talkie. “Do you have a clear shot?”

“Yeah,” said the sniper.

“You’re sure you won’t hit the little girl?”

“I won’t hit her.”

“You have to be sure.”

“I am sure she is a lot shorter and I have a perfect shot.”

“Then take it.”

Virginia crotched down to Heather’s level. “You are going to be going home Heather. You are going home.”

Suddenly a shot could be heard from a distance. Blood splattered against the door. It looked like a Pollack painting. Virginia fell to the ground dead. As for Heather, she survived. However, the same bullet that murdered Virginia had grazed Heather’s arm. Heather felt an incredible amount of pain in her right arm and she began crying even harder. In a flash, a group of paramedics greeted her and put a blanket over little body. She had a short reunion with her parents, and then she was taken away in an ambulance. A few cops huddle over Virginia’s corpse.

“Thank God she got what was coming to her. It is just too bad that girl had to get hurt though,” said one of the police officers.

“At least she didn’t die,” said another police officer.

“Yeah I guess your right. Hey Mitchell that telemarketer idea was great. We would have never been able to trace her if it wasn’t for that.”

“Yeah I know, and I told her she should have bought the life insurance, but she didn’t listen,” said Mitchell.