'Ten Minutes Late for Reality' by Lou Morris (c) 1988, 1989, 1991, 2002, 2015. Thirty-three:


   "Thank-you for calling the 'Busy Tone Hot-line.'  Beep-
Beep- Beep- Beep- Beep- Beep- Beep- Beep- Beep- Beep- Beep-
Beep- Beep--"

                                 - 1-900-CALL-TONE, $1.95
for the first minute,
fifty cents each
additional minute.

   Roy hung up.  Must've dialed the wrong number, he
thought.  He dialed again, this time a bit more carefully.
   Bring--Bring--Bring... Click.
   "You have reached the residence of Your Name Here.  Sorry
but I am too rich to answer the phone, but if you would leave
a very brief message after the tone on my new deluxe
answering machine, I'll try to get in touch with you after I
install my new elevator.  Thank you."
   "Hi, err, this is someone who would prefer to remain
nameless," Roy said in a bad female falsetto, "but you can
call me Misty.  If you ever want to see your checkbook in one
piece again, meet me with ten grand in the Death Adventure
Arena at Death Adventure, today at eight p.m..  If you bring
anyone with you, I'll be forced to rip one of the gold-tone
letters off, so you better--"
   Beep!  Click.
   The machine hung up on him.
   Roy felt very smug as he sat in his reclining chair
watching a porn flick on the television--"The Taming of Three
Big-Breasted Girls and a Camel."  He heard his mother walking
down the hall so he clicked the movie to a halt.
   "Ski, honey," his mom said, "Before you leave, please
feed the cats again, okay?"
   "Sure, mom."
   "And don't forget Shadow.  Put a worm pill in his dog
food, too."
   "Okay."  Roy checked his watch--5:00 p.m..
   "Hope you have a nice time at Death Adventure tonight.  I
heard that their fireworks are terrific."
   "Okay.  Bye mom, gotta run."  He grabbed his ninja bag of
stuff and gave his mother a kiss, then left.