Funny stories in under 500 words.

On Call

Harry could hardly keep his heavy, sagging eyes open as he neared the end of his thirty mile drive to the hospital. Little more than a half hour ago his pager had gone off, dragging him out of a deep slumber. He stumbled out of bed, groggily grabbing the pager, not even bothering to turn off the alert as the irritating little beeps followed him into the bathroom like some unwelcome melody. He had been asleep less than two hours, following a frozen pizza dinner and a few glasses of cheap, red wine. His head now felt like someone had been using it for batting practice as he turned his car into the emergency room parking lot of the hospital. How was he supposed to assess someone for suicide risk feeling like this?

He knew better than to drink while on call, but, here he was, feeling like the world’s biggest dummy as he parked his car and turned off the engine. He ran out of his apartment in such a hurry that he wasn’t even sure that he locked the door. And what about Muddy, his little black shih tzu? He couldn’t remember taking him for a walk before falling asleep. Perhaps the little man would be leaving his calling card all over the place by the time of Harry’s glorious return…

Harry let out a loud groan as he sat in his car to collect himself. He lightly smacked himself across both cheeks, hoping to find some semblance of energy and motivation. The bright lights of the hospital parking lot were not helping his headache any, that was for sure. He certainly hated these middle of the night calls; they were the worst. They always seemed to put him in a contemplative mood, wishing he had followed a different career path.

“Oh well, Harry my man. This is your life,” he thought to himself. If you would have put the same amount of dedication into academics as you did inebriated college women, you might just be happy right now!

He reached into the glove compartment and fumbled his way around until he found a nearly empty pack of cigarettes. He took one, put it between his lips and lit up. He inhaled deeply and put his head back. The smoke felt good going down—like warm, summer air. His nicotine romance was suddenly interrupted by his pager going off again. He moaned, winced for a moment and glanced down at it.

Low Battery Warning

He never had been called in. The pager had only gone off to remind him to change the batteries. He started the car, took another gracious drag on his cigarette and headed back to his apartment…and his cheap red wine.

This story was written by Louis Sisto. Louis was born and raised in Chicago, IL and is currently living in Macomb, IL. He's been writing short stories (mostly psychological horror) as a hobby for years and recently began submitting work for possible publication.

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