Black hole.

by Ash on October 21, 2011

12 hiding in conference room, 3rd flr, nw corner. 3 severely wounded. X-employee Steven Phillips shooting. Hurry.

Write On Edge: Red-Writing-HoodFor this week’s Red Writing Hood prompt, we’re inviting you to truly scare us. Here’s what you’ll need to do: Compose a post in the form of a text160 characters. Your text must elicit or express fear.

Though this initially looks like more of a fiction prompt, we challenge our non-fiction writers to take a stab at it as well. (Stab! Scary!)

– I’m kind of new to this whole texting thing. It never occurred to me that someone might try texting 911 to get help. So I looked it up. New initiative coming from FCC to allow you to text 911, but for now, nope. A quote from the article gave me great pause –

“Today, if a mobile phone user attempts to send even a simple text to 911, it goes nowhere,” Genachowski said. “That’s what happened to the students at Virginia Tech who texted 911 during the terrible shooting several years ago.”

– sorry for the communications lesson as well, but I found that heartbreaking and important to know.

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

CDG October 21, 2011 at 6:49 am

Great, scary on two levels.

Masterful as usual, Ash.


Ash October 21, 2011 at 6:55 am

Thanks Cam. The Hubs works in a building with pretty tight security, but the thought of him being in a position where talking could cost him his life scares the pee out of me.


Amanda Rosenfried October 21, 2011 at 7:04 am

that freaked me out…. thanks for the lesson though, that’s good to know!


Ratz October 21, 2011 at 7:11 am

My goodness… this is a very scary situation indeed. Thanks Ash, for highlighting it.


Lance October 21, 2011 at 7:20 am


Like Cam said, works on two levels and you don’t want to know what happens next but you have to.


idiosyncraticeye October 21, 2011 at 7:42 am

Like how your research adds to the desperate-ness of it all. Fortunately in this country you can text but you have to register first, always good to plan on having an emergency! 😉


Wisper October 21, 2011 at 7:52 am

Wow. Scary thought that the text would go no where, not to mention being in a situation where you needed help desperately.


angela October 21, 2011 at 9:01 am

Interesting editor’s note. I didn’t know that and don’t know if I’ve ever really thought about it 🙁

This is scary. I like that you took a more realistic route, though those are more terrifying than anything.


Katie October 21, 2011 at 9:12 am

Wow. Your story takes on a whole new meaning with the research you did. As others have said, this is terrifying on two levels.

Great job with this.


Kir October 21, 2011 at 9:14 am

the note about 911 scared me terribly. But it’s good to know. WOW.

this is actually something that scares me every once in a while, after we did layoffs and things for months I would find myself wondering “could that happen “here”. You made it as terrifying as I imagined it.


Shannon October 21, 2011 at 9:40 am



Kristy @PampersandPinot October 21, 2011 at 9:51 am

Truly chilling.


Kelly October 21, 2011 at 10:40 am

The crazed, disgruntled employee is a very scary thought especially when you think you might know someone who has the potential to be this person. Very, realistically scary.


Karen Peterson October 21, 2011 at 11:18 am

It’s kind of funny because I would never have thought to try texting 9-1-1 for help. It seems to me that it would be too difficult to control those kinds of messages and follow up on which are legitimate. But on the other hand, sometimes you really CAN’T call, and it therefore makes sense to have the option of texting.

All that to say, your message was very scary!


Jackie October 21, 2011 at 11:54 am

I think that what’s most scary about this is the fact that you can’t text 911. It seems that this day in age that the technology would be there.


Nichole October 21, 2011 at 2:39 pm

This is the scariest text I’ve read today…on multiple levels.
Your writing never fails to pull me in, Ash.
Oh, how I’ve missed you!


Venus October 21, 2011 at 3:43 pm

It’s the ones that are real that really hit home and scare us. Great job!


NotJustAnotherJennifer October 21, 2011 at 4:18 pm

Oh, chills. That’s my fave one so far!


NotJustAnotherJennifer October 21, 2011 at 4:20 pm

Oh, and that is terrible to hear about VA Tech. And a good lesson. In my paranoid state, I’ve considered trying it if need be.


Renee October 21, 2011 at 4:31 pm

So much desperation. Made so fruitless.
Very scary indeed.


The Drama Mama October 22, 2011 at 10:01 am

You know, it’s interesting. I’m deaf so I rely a lot on the written word over the spoken, and i have never tried to text 911. Hearing that about Va Tech though really made me sad.

As for your text, this is a scary thought.


Kindred Adventures October 22, 2011 at 3:10 pm

I got to be scared and learn all at the same time. That instance would terrify me.,,


julie moore October 22, 2011 at 4:16 pm

First thanks for the great info. That is something that should be changed. Second loved this. I can imagine a very real text being sent with these characters.


Pseudo October 22, 2011 at 9:27 pm

It’s nice to find you in full swing over here. You said so much with so few words. Well done.


Nancy C October 23, 2011 at 5:49 pm

You bring it, and you make it real. This is what real terror is to me…the mundane turned horrific. Well played, my friend. And that postscript? Eek.


Theresa Sonoda October 24, 2011 at 11:52 am

I did not know that about texting 911. I always assumed it would work, I guess. I think it should!
Nicely done, Ash.


joann mannix October 24, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Hello, lovely friend.

Your text made me gasp and then your research literally made my heart hurt. How horrifying for those poor kids. Thank God for changes.

Great job. Eliciting fear in 160 characters is a formidable task. You did it brilliantly.

Sorry I haven’t been around. It seems that spinning multiple plates in the air is not my strongest suit, not by a long shot. But I’m trying like the dickens to not break too many.


2girlsonabench October 25, 2011 at 5:18 pm

Here’s our submission text:

OMG, I’m out of wine. Please send help. And a 2009 Pinot Noir. And bring some dark chocolate too. And maybe some chili cheese fritos. #911


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: