(from "Drop by Drop")
I was the only one inside when the phone rang.
Probably the Welcome Wagon Lady, I thought. I went to the kitchen and picked up the receiver. "Hello?"
There was the sound of a bell ringing, like the kind of bell a little kid would have mounted on a bicycle handle. Brring brring! Brring brring! "Hello," I said in my most pleasant singsong.
The tinny bell rang again.
"Last chance," I warned, still trying to sound friendly.
The bell stopped and I was about to hang up when a little voice said, "Help me."
"What?" It sounded like a kid, probably a little girl.
"Please." Several seconds. "Help me."
"Are you home alone?" I asked.
The damn bicycle bell brringed again.
Danny and Dad walked into the kitchen.
"Not fair!" Danny squealed. "Here we are working our butts off, and Brenda's on the phone already."
Dad was shaking his head. "The phone doesn't work, honey. It won't be hooked up till Monday."