Submitted by Christin on Thu, 04/05/2018 - 17:57

“The store will be closing in 5 minutes. Please bring all of your final purchases to the checkout counter. Thank you.”
The monotonous voice droned over the loudspeaker, just as it had at the 10, 15, 30, and 60 minute warnings. I rolled my eyes, and looked back at the two shirts I was considering. I loved them both, but they were really expensive and I was afraid my checkbook would not appreciate it if I purchased both.

I just could not make up my mind! I returned to the changing room for what seemed like the millionth time, telling myself it would be the last, just as I had every other time. After a few more minutes of twisting and turning, looking in the mirror and gazing, I decided to just get both. My checkbook would have to forgive me.

I unlocked the door of my changing room, and walked toward the checkout counter. I was walking past the fine jewelry counter, when the lights went out. I flipped on the flashlight on my phone and picked up my pace toward the front. I arrived at the counter, but there was no one there!
I called out “Hello?” but no one heard me. I looked to the door; my only escape, and saw it closed. I pushed on it, but immediately knew the truth; I was locked in. The store would not open again for eight hours! I looked at my phone, and pondered who to call.

Would you call 911 for something like this? What would they do? They would get the manager of the store back, probably. I decided to cut to the chase and just call the manager myself. I looked around the store for a business card or something that would have the manager’s phone number on it. The flashlight on my phone was rather pathetic, so it took a while to find anything. I finally found a stack of business cards, and began typing the number into my phone. One ring passed, two rings passed, but the third ring did not come.
“Hello?” I said into the phone, hoping someone had answered it. No one responded, so I took it off my head and looked to see what had happened. My phone had died. I stood in the pitch black, waiting for my eyes to adjust.
I was not ready to give up. I fumbled my way to where I remembered the checkout counter to be, and felt around for a phone. I felt the smooth round bulbous shape of a phone, and let out a sigh of relief. I looked back at the business card, squinting as hard as I could, trying to make out the tiny numbers through the darkness. I slowly made them out one at a time, and gingerly made my way through the number. I finished and excitedly lifted the phone to my head. One ring, two rings, but again the third ring did not come.
“Hello?!” I yelled into the phone in desperation.
“Hello!” A voice said back.
“Hi! I was in your store a little bit ago, I was trying on shirts, and suddenly the lights went out and the store closed and now I am locked inside, I don't know what to do but I don't want to be stuck here until morning, can you please come and get me out?!” I screamed with all the despondency that had been building up all this time.

There was silence for a moment and then the woman said, “I’m sorry to hear that but I am afraid you have the wrong number”
She sounded disturbed, and then a moment later I heard the click of her phone hanging up and my phone beeping to tell me to do the same. I looked around at my favorite store, now a prison. Looked like I was trapped. I wandered over to the toy section, and found the plush toys. I lay down on a giant teddy bear and fell asleep.

I was woken up a few hours later by a policeman putting me in handcuffs. I mumbled something undecipherable is shock. What was going on? I found myself being shoved forward toward the exit of the store. We were met by the owner of the store who was glaring at me and holding a rock. Was he going to kill me? I wound up in jail before the sun rose.
I could hear the quiet drone of policemen’s walkie-talkies as the owner paced back and forth in front of my cell, still holding the rock.
“Why am I here?” I asked.
“You broke into my store last night!” He shot back.
“What? No I didn't!” I squeaked.
He rolled his eyes and said, “We have seen the videos, and you can stop lying. We know it was you.”
“What was?”
“You and three other people threw this rock through the display window, came in, and stole everything in the fine jewelry section.”
“What? No, there has been a mistake! I-”
A policeman interrupted me by whispering in the owner’s ear. They both simultaneously turned to me.
“What are the names of your associates? What is your plan? What are they doing?”
“I don’t know anything!” I cried back.
They opened my cell, and I got dragged back to the store, still in my handcuffs.
I looked at the little black phone that I had used the previous night. I owed so much to that phone, when my cell phone died I would not be able to give the signal to my associates that we were all clear for the plan, by reaching the “wrong number”. I also saw the little business card that I had pretended to read. My pretend innocence was working; they were focusing on me as my associates left the state with half a million dollars worth of fine jewelry. When they saw me acting in the tapes and decided I was innocent, I would join them, and we would split the profit. Everything was going according to plan.

Author's age when written

I submitted this into a magazine, but it was not what they were looking for. Sorry I haven't been on here in a while, I got caught up in school, and completely forgot this site existed. Whoops...