you entertain the kid for a while, pretending to be "uncle james". after 10 minutes, the phone is passed back to the mother.

"thank you for doing that."

"no problem," you mutter, suggesting it was anything but.

you hear ruffling in the background before the mother resumed talking.

"anyways. uncle james actually went missing not too long ago."

wow. lying to a kid is always the best idea. "how old is the kid?"

"only 7."

"well he's more than capable of understanding that his uncle is missing."

"wait, i haven't finished. after his disappearance, my son started having nightmares. every time he would wake up screaming to see uncle james. you see, he was really close to him-"

"get to the point." you couldn't believe you were doing this.

she huffed. "so i started dialling random numbers and asking the person at the end of the line to pretend to be uncle james."


"it seems like it doesn't matter if the voice on the other end is female or male, my son is always convinced he's talking to him."

"what an idiot." you can't help but laugh.

there is nothing but static on the other end.

"hello? hello?" no one. you shrug and hung up.

then there is a knock at the door.