(A new short story, inspired by my interactions with the Breakfast Champion, CM Carter, and Roddy Doyle’s Two Pints series. If you enjoy, the new Filmic Cuts is out with further shorties in. Thanks – OJ)

*The phone rings, playing a jaunty pre-configured tune*

Artist:              Hello?

Writer:            Hello.

A:                     Who is this?

W:                   What do you mean, who is this?

A:                     I mean, who is this? With whom am I speaking to?

W:                   Don’t you know?

A:                     No.

W:                   Really?

A:                     No!

W:                   Doesn’t your phone tell you who’s ringing?

A:                     I didn’t bother looking, I just answered.

W:                   What? Why did you do that? I could be anybody.

A:                     I know, hence why I’m asking…

W:                   OK, OK. It’s me.

A:                     Well that answers nothing.

W:                   Jim! For fucks… It’s Jim. You are speaking, to Jim.

A:                     I know.

W:                   Oh you…

A:                     What’s up, bro?

W:                   I need you to come round.

A:                     What?

W:                   I need you to come round.

A:                     You said that.

W:                   And you questioned it.

A:                     Indeed. Why do you need me to come round?

W:                   It’s an emergency.

A:                     Then why are you calling me and not emergency services?

W:                   It’s not that kind of emergency.

A:                     Well it can’t be an emergency then, can it?

W:                   Look, I don’t want to debate the levels of emergency now. There are more important things afoot.

A:                     Such as?

W:                   The reason why I need you to come round!

A:                     Fucking Hell, you’re being mysterious.

W:                   It’s all part of my charming nature. Now are you coming or not?

A:                     You do realise I live a 3 hour drive away?

W:                   Yes.

A:                     So…?

W:                   What’s the issue here?

A:                     I live 3 hours drive away!

W:                   I know, but it’s 6 o’clock on a Friday and I figured that you weren’t in work, and that you could get here at a reasonable time.

A:                     Discounting service station stops, of course.

W:                   Well of course. I may not drive but I don’t disrespect the importance of a service station on a long journey.

A:                     You’re asking quite a lot here, sonny Jim.

W:                   I told you never to call me that.

A:                     I told you never to call me.

W:                   You never did!

A:                     I know, was too good an opportunity to pass up, given the circumstances.

W:                   Stop it! I’m being very serious here about a very serious matter.

A:                     That you can’t tell me over the phone.

W:                   No.

A:                     Or can’t bother someone a bit closer to you about?

W:                   Oh, so I’m a bother now, am I?

A:                     OK, OK. Keep your knickers in a twist. Let me check the traffic situation…

W:                   It’s fine, I already checked.

A:                     Yeah, but your idea of checking and my idea of checking are two mutually exclusive ideologies.

W:                   Look, are you coming or not?

A:                     Yes! But again, why do you need me there specifically?

W:                   Because you’re the only one who will understand.

A:                     Again with the mystery.

W:                   Right, that’s it. Will I see you later?

A:                     Sure, why not. Just keep the beers cold and the whisky room temperature.

W:                   You have no idea.

A:                     No. I really don’t.

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