Monday, May 20, 2013

Call Me MAYbe Flash Fiction #14: All That Glitters by Alayna-Renee Vilmont

Welcome to the Call Me MAYbe Flash Fiction Challenge!!
All stories begin with "The phone rang" and are no more than 1,000 words. Deadline to submit is May 31. For full contest rules and prize list, visit this link:

#14: All That Glitters


Alayna-Renee Vilmont

The phone rang.

Of course, in reality, it didn’t. Isabelle had been lying in her bed all day, imagining the sound of the all-too-familiar ringtone she knew so well. Each sound gave her hope, the desperate wistfulness of the innocent. She was seeking a lifeline that would never arrive, and she knew it.

She hadn’t been able to move from her comfortable little world for nearly two weeks. It was comfortable because it was hers, perhaps the only thing in the world that was. More than that, it gave her the luxury of remembering the days they’d spent there together. If she closed her eyes, she could still feel him beside her, and for one moment, delude herself into thinking she wasn’t alone.

She’d given up everything for him, but forgot to turn his world upside down in the process. Isabelle was charming, but too dull for her husband, who lived life on the edge. All he’d ever wanted was the best of everything. Isabelle had been much, but never that.

By the end, too much damage had been done to turn back. She knew he’d taken off for a “conference” without so much as a word, meeting up with the girl he’d clearly chosen instead of her. They both knew there was no conference, and neither would say a word to the other. There was simply no point.

Isabelle didn’t resent the girl, someone she’d never met. She was a girl with an air of confidence, free-spiritedness, someone who possessed an otherworldly way of being that allowed her to fly above everyone else. The girl was young, and pretty enough, but her rules were not yet society’s rules, and that’s what drew others in. Isabelle knew that girl had caused controversy with her scandalous and short-lived marriage, the affair that almost ruined a reputable university professor, a number of flings with less than suitable partners, and a string of oddly besotted admirers. The stories Isabelle heard made her laugh at her own husband’s folly. She didn’t have to meet the girl to know there was little to distinguish her from every other insecure young child playing at being a rebellious grown-up. Eventually, she’d disappear.

Except, she hadn’t, and had instead become a 20-year-old albatross dragging Isabelle down into the security of her bed. Isabelle had become obsessed, and learned to be a proficient stalker. She followed the girl to her classes, noticing the way she walked, the irritating way she had of turning her head as if knowing the world was looking. After following her husband to a classy restaurant known for its even more opulent hotel rooms, she’d spotted the girl in a black beaded dress and diamonds. A 20-year-old girl had no right to wear diamonds, she thought angrily as she stormed down the street, tears clouding the luxurious window displays of shops selling to young, privileged girls.

Girls, not women.

The girl was so much smaller and younger than Isabelle expected, and not classically beautiful.  Isabelle was stunning at that age, and she hadn’t lost her looks or her figure, with a little help from a few procedures here and there. Yet, people turned to look when the girl walked by, as if she were someone. This infuriated Isabelle. That girl would never be someone.

One day, she found the girl’s number, recorded in the landline phone. The message had been deleted, but the call history hadn’t been touched. Isabelle wondered why a man as successful as her husband had left it there. She concluded he was either stupid or just didn’t care, and she didn’t know which made her feel worse.

She picked up the phone and called the number, just to hear the girl’s voice. It was high-pitched, but strong. Isabelle immediately hung up, her hand shaking. The girl was strong. Isabelle herself was fading away.  She picked up the phone and dialed again, and again, until all that answered was the cheerful voicemail message.
After that, she was done. Isabelle knew everything she needed to know about the girl.

Isabelle let her husband leave for the “conference” without more than a curt goodbye. She knew the girl was going to meet him outside of the city, at a spa retreat a girl like that would be likely to demand. He’d even ordered a town car for the young ingĂ©nue. Isabelle almost admired her.

She poured herself a glass of wine, laid down on the bed, and remembered everything she’d lost, what she’d sacrificed her life for. She pictured her husband’s car flying down the road, speeding towards an inevitable destination, and waited. It had been two weeks. She was lifeless, unable to breathe.

The phone rang.

Isabelle jumped, but of course the familiar ringtone was nowhere to be heard. It was a knock at the door.
She flew downstairs, flung the door open, and saw the girl’s tiny face.

Immediately, she moved to slam the door, before noticing her rival was being supported by two police officers. One of them stepped forward, head lowered.

“Ma’am? I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but there’s been an accident. You’re going to need to come with us to…”

Before Isabelle could say a word, the girl rushed toward her, and threw her arms around her. She waited for a push or a slap, but nothing came but tears.

“They found my father’s car in the river. It was going too fast, and he couldn’t stop in time. It’s all my fault, you know.” Makeup ran from the girl’s tiny face onto Isabelle’s ivory robe. “I just wanted to go to the spa. He promised to take me when I graduated. He even sent a car so I could ride with my friends. He wanted it to be special.”

Isabelle stepped back abruptly, leaving the girl crumpled on the stoop, until one of the men helped her to her feet. The glint of diamonds sparkled in her tiny ears, cold and unforgiving as ice.


Alayna-Renee Vilmont is a freelance writer, blogger, performer, and modern-day Renaissance woman currently residing in Atlanta, Georgia. Her first book, “Ophelia’s Wayward Muse”, is a poetic anthology based around the many facets of human relationships and experiences. Alayna is also the voice behind Jaded Elegance: The Uninhibited Adventures Of A Chic Web Geek, which has been entertaining readers since 2000. She maintains an active presence on Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, and almost every other form of social media out there. If you’d like to follow the adventures of this modern-day wayward muse, please stop by and visit at

* Amazon:


  1. Great story Alayna! It was an ending I wasn't expecting even though it seemed that Isabelle knew a bit more than than was let on by you...she did not seem too shocked to find the girl on her step. Hopefully there was no misunderstanding on my part. Wonderful job on this and happy writing to you!

  2. What an absorbing, well-written story! The end was startling indeed.

  3. Thank you so much for your words of support, ladies! Much appreciated. :) And thank you to Mysti for hosting this feature...these prompts are wonderful ways to get creativity moving around.

    Leila, you're definitely correct. I purposely left it ambiguous, so that it is up to the reader to ultimately figure out Isabelle and her role in how the story ends. Since we only know the story from her point of view, the reader gets to judge her a bit in terms of "What did she know?"

    *~ A.

  4. Great story, Alayna, and like the others, I loved the surprise ending. Your story was very well written and a lesson in not to expect an expected ending.(did that make sense)

  5. Very good. Reminds me of the old Twilight Zone shows where the character's flaws lead to their downfall. Did the wife's insecurity lead her cut the brake lines or did the husband's desire to keep his daughter a secret lead him to drive too fast?


***NOTICE*** Thanks to a spam bot infestation, every comment must now be subjected to a full-body search. If you pass, you can skip the anal probing...maybe.