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Novel Idea

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

The ring

Henrietta Rose-Innes‘ Novel Idea story starts with a deceptively dull delivery from a quirky salesman…

I agreed on the spot. True, the salesman was odd: tall, gaunt, in a tight black suit, cracked leather shoes and worn black-velvet skullcap, with a peculiar odour of snuffed-out candles. There was also something weird about his stare; when he blinked, I saw tattoos on the lids: a second round pair of eyes. And sure, it was unusual, selling phones door-to-door. But I was pissed off with Telkom, and pleased they had a competitor at last. The terms were ridiculously good: free landline, free calls, a small once-off joining fee. “Lady,” he said, pushing a cardboard box through the security gate into my hands, “you won’t be sorry.” It was heavy, with CALLBACK TELECOMMUNICATIONS handwritten on a label. Then the guy was gone, before I could tell him my name, or sign a contract, or give him a cent. But I wasn’t concerned. It was a telephone, right? How complex could it be?

Indeed. It’s easy to find yourself answering the call of… HORROR!

Seriously, It’s a very spooky story. Sign up and register to get it for (next to) nothing on your cellphone. SMS ‘novel’ to 33879, click on the link and send your cell number to the WAP site to make sure you start receiving stories next Monday.

 

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