This week marks the final piece by horror writer Angel Zapata.
Find out more about Angel’s work at
Mr. Haborym let the phone ring six times before answering. He lifted the handle from the cradle of the old black rotary base and whispered into the mouthpiece. “Hello. This is the Son of the Devil speaking. How may I assist you?”
“Um, how do I know this is for real?” The feminine voice crackled through intermittent static.
“How did you get this number?” Mr. Haborym’s baritone was soothing.
“I had an argument with my husband last week.” She paused. “I shot him in the head. Afterwards, I found your business card clenched in his fist.”
“Ah, excellent.” The receiver was pinched between bare shoulder and neck. “And now you’re anxious to make a deal with my Father.”
“Is that how it works?”
“How what works?”
“Um, we make a deal and I have to promise Satan my soul or something.”
“Nothing so clichéd,” Mr. Haborym chuckled.
“What do I have to do?”
“On your request,” Mr. Haborym said patiently. “You read the name of our service, correct?”
“Yeah. It said you specialize in Death Reversal.”
“Ah, true.” He ran his tongue across sharp, white teeth. “So very, very true.”
“Then I want you to bring back my husband.” She began to weep. “I still love him and don’t want to be without him.”
The electrical charge of static became a nebulous interruption of moans.
“Hello? Hello?” The woman was frightened. “Are you still there?”
And then from the longest of long-distance calls came the reply, “Yes, we are here, Carla.”
Carla gasped. “How do you know my name?”
“Because I married you,” her husband replied.
“Alan?” She stared at the blank screen of her Blackberry. The battery was dead. “Is it really you?”
“Hello, Carla.” The sound was hollow, empty.
“Oh, baby!” She sobbed. “I’m so sorry. But when I found out you were still seeing Nicole, I just lost my mind and I couldn’t—”
“No need, darling,” Alan interrupted. “I forgive you.”
The white noise on the line became a series of metallic clicks.
“I missed you so much.” Carla’s bottom lip trembled. “When will I get to see you again?”
“Now,” Alan said, behind her. A wisp of gray smoke fluttered from the hole in his forehead.
Carla screamed. She spun around, faced him, and dropped the phone. After she murdered Alan she had thrown the gun in the Ogeechee River. Somehow he had found it.
“Your wish has come true,” Alan snarled. The service revolver was wet in his hands. “Mr. Haborym said he would always take care of me.”
“Wuh-wuh-what are you talking about?”
“Death Reversal,” he smiled. “It doesn’t exactly reverse death.”
“I don’t understand.” Carla stepped back. “What does it do? I thought it was for resurrecting a loved one.”
“No, no, no. It allows the victim to exchange places with the offender.” The hole in his skull began to mend itself closed. “You should have never cheated on me.”
“Wait!” Carla was frantic. “It was you who cheated on me. Remember?”
“Lying bitch!” Alan pulled the trigger.
Beside Carla’s body, Alan noticed the discarded phone. He pressed it to his ear.
“Hello?” He asked timidly. “Is anyone there?”
There was a loud pop of demonic interference.
On the other end of that dead space, Mr. Haborym hung up and laughed.
His endless row of phone lines kept ringing and ringing.