The Saturday Shed: Future Tense

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Tales from the Saturday Shed: The prompt this week is PROPHECY.
For those with the time or inclination: Feel free to join in!

Sorry, mum, running late, be there soon, xxx.

Barb stared at the text: Her son was sitting next to her.

“No phones at the table, Mother!” Jimmy winked. “How many times did she say that when I was growing up, Dad?”

“Too many, you’d never listen. Come on, Barb, I know it’s your birthday, but you made the rules.”

“Sorry,” she mumbled, and shoved her mobile into her pocket. She didn’t ask about the odd message.

During the meal, her phone vibrated twice, but she ignored it until they’d eaten. She stepped outside and lit up a cigarette.

On my way! Just picking up dad’s whiskey!

Barb frowned: Her son had arrived on time with a bottle of sparkling wine. And now he was standing in her kitchen, doing the dishes with his father. Was this an elaborate joke?

She opened the third message: it was a video clip.

“Something not right here, mum,” Jimmy’s voice whispered. “Look.”

The screen blurred before focusing on a shop doorway. Barb saw a fuzzy blob split in two. The smaller one fell to the ground, and then the screaming started.

“Bloody hell!” The picture began shaking as if someone were running. “Oy, you, drop that knife!”

She heard more screaming and shouting, a shocked grunt, and a heavy thud, followed by ragged breathing.

“Gotta go now. Love you, Mummy. Hug dad for me.”

Then nothing but a dreadful silence.


Barb shrieked and dropped her phone.

“Didn’t mean to startle you.” Jimmy stood in front of her, a bemused look on his face. “Becky’s rung on the landline; she couldn’t get through on your mobile.” He stooped to pick it up. “Doesn’t appear to be damaged.”

“Good.” She gave him a strained smile and hurried indoors to talk with her daughter. Barb didn’t mention the disturbing messages because they had disappeared. She wondered if she was going mad, but didn’t have time to dwell on it. She had a week to prepare for her husband’s birthday.

At six o’clock that evening, she received a text:

Sorry, mum, running late, be there soon, xxx.