There was a sound of a struggle as the woman tried to stop Fred from getting out of wherever they were. It took a minute or two before she returned to the microphone.
“58,” she said, and fear shone clearly through her brave façade this time. “338. Send us help.”
“Help, help,” Fred echoed. “I need air, Amelia, I need air…”
It was too much. I knew now this wasn’t a radio play, or even a cruel joke. They were in distress, that much was obvious, but without a transmitter it was only a one-way show. I couldn’t respond, I couldn’t comfort them – hell, I had no idea where they even were, or if I could send an ambulance to them. I was stuck in my living room, in my pajamas, useless.
“Amelia,” Fred called plaintively. “Amelia, things are bad…”
Fred was crying again. The woman, Amelia, went on like she couldn’t hear him.
“N.Y., N.Y.,” she said. “N.Y., N.Y.”
“Let me out of here!” Fred screamed, and I shut off the radio again. It was too much. I couldn’t take it.
The next day I called my best friend, Maggie. I wanted to listen more, to see if they were still there, but I couldn’t do it alone.
When I answered the door she gave me her patented Maggie “Look Of Disapproval”.
“Have you even slept since the funeral?” she demanded as I let her in. I guessed the makeup I’d slapped on didn’t hide the dark circles under my eyes.
“Not really, but it’s not because of—“