Talkback (A Short Story)

FOR THOSE OF you just tuning in, you’re listening to the Breakfast Show with Ross Davie and Peter Dick.

It’s coming up to six minutes to eight here on Talk Radio, triple-one-six, 4BC. Nearly time for the News, with Walter Williams. And an update to that horrific accident on the Gateway Bridge earlier this morning, Walter … ?

Yes, Ross. Police say an overloaded semi-trailer carrying wooden palettes tipped onto its side. A Yellow Cab swerved to avoid it and ploughed through the concrete barrier and off the bridge. The driver of the cab was still alive when paramedics reached him, but died before they could free him from the wreckage of the car.

Police, fire and ambulance are still at the scene. A police spokesperson said they’ve already managed to contact the deceased man’s family, and are expecting to release his name soon.

We’ll have more in the Bulletin at eight.

Awful. Tragic. Absolutely tragic. Please, folks, if you’re out there, just slow down and take it easy.

Absolutely, Ross. Okay, thanks, Walter. We’ll hear more from you at eight.

Almost time to pay some bills, but – before that – I reckon we’ve got just enough time for a call … from … Andy, from Mt Gravatt. Y’there, Andy … ?

Is that Ross … ?

Yeah, mate.

Aw, sweet! I’m a huge fan, mate!

Aw, steady on, Andy. He’s having enough trouble fitting his head through the door as it is.

Is that Peter … ?

Yeah, Andy.

Andy … ? Andy …

Ross … ?

Yes, Andy. Listen, pay no attention to Peter, Andy. He’s just jealous because of that poll we had earlier that stated that men who are … let’s say … leaner in the hair department are more … attractive. More virile.

Dead silence on that joke there, Ross. What’s on your mind, Andy … ?

Well … I’m a bit nervous, actually.

Don’t be nervous, Andy.

Yes, Andy. Nothing to be nervous about. Not unless you have hair …

Sorry, Andy. Go on …

It’s all good, Ross … well, I’m a first time caller. Been a big, big fan for a long time.

Yeah, mate. That’s great …

You in particular, Ross.

Well, Andy, somebody has to be.

Aw, and you, too, Pete.

Look, I just called up about that accident …

Ah. Awful, awful tragedy. Folks, I’ll say it again, please, just take it easy on the roads this morning.

Absolutely, Ross. Especially in this rain.

Yes, Peter. Go on, Andy …

Well, I drove a Yellow Cab for a little while.

How long, Andy … ?

Aww … about a year? Up until I was twenty-three. I was in Uni right up to just before I turned twenty-two.

So … about a year then … ?

Yeah.

Were you involved in any accidents during that time, Andy?

Ahh … just the once …

What happened?

Well … it’s hard to remember, really. It all happened so fast. But … I do remember that I was on the Gateway Bridge. It’s just a jumble of images, though. It’s why I’m not driving anymore, though. I know that …

Mmm. How did you fare out of it, though, Andy? Did you sustain any injuries … ?

Y’know … I do remember – really strongly – the guy from the ambulance …
The Paramedic … ?

Yeah. I mean, there must’ve been more than one, but there was this one guy I remember really strongly …

Absolute champions, our Paramedics.

Indeed, Ross. Go on, Andy.

Well … I remember he was … he must have found out my name from my ID tag or my Display Card, or something. I remember him calling me, “Mr Sørrücraft, Mr Sørrücraft. Andy … ”. But … everything was going grey around the edges … everything was starting to go black.

Here’s the funny thing! I remember thinking that you guys had been my absolute favourites over the years. Listening to you guys is what helped keep me sane sometimes. Really! I just had to call you, somehow …

Aw, well, we’re glad you did, Andy!

Absolutely. Always like stories where people fought their way back after adversity. How long did it take you to recover?

Sorry to interrupt, Pete. That’s an interesting surname, Andy. Is that Norwegian, or Dutch, or something … ?

Andy … ?

Nope. He’s gone.

He hung up?

Gone.

Okay, well, thanks for the call, Andy.

Yeah … !

Okay … time for a break, then we’ll be back with the News with …

Er … excuse me, Ross …

… Walter Williams from the News Desk, everyone! You’re on in about a minute or two, there, mate.

Yes … uh …

You seem a bit perplexed there, Walter … ?

Uh … well … it’s just that … well … the police have just given the name of the man who died in the crash. He was from Mt Gravatt, twenty-three year old …

… uh huh …

… Andy Sørrücraft …

… uhh …

Well … well that must have been a mistake, or something …

Or a coincidence, surely …

That’s right. Twenty three year old Andy Sørrücraft from Mt Gravatt was just talking to us …

But …

But what … ?

Well … there can’t be that many people named Andy Sørrücraft from Mt Gravatt who are twenty-three, can there … ?

Well, no, Peter, but the poor gentleman who died in the crash was killed just over an hour ago. It couldn’t have been the same person talking to us on the phone just then, could it … ?

… uh …

… um …

… we’ll uh …

… we’ll just take a break here on 4BC …

Copyright © 2006 by David Scott Aubrey
All Rights Reserved
962 Words

This short story is a work of fiction. Any and all names, characters and/or incidents are either products of my imagination or are used fictitiously. Where any such resemblance may exist to actual persons (living or dead), actual events or locales, it is purely coincidental.

Please don’t assume that my characters speak for me or carry my own opinions on various matters in any way, shape or form (though some might … you never can tell).

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