Private Caller

Dorjee felt a vibration in his pocket. A thrill of excitement went through him with the tickling on his leg. He slipped his hand into his pocket and pulled out his phone.

PRIVATE CALLER the screen read.

Dorjee frowned. Private caller? he thought. Odd. Who would call and not want to be known?

The phone kept buzzing as Dorjee considered whether or not to answer. Ultimately he opted for answering, pressing the little green button at the last moment before the call would go to voicemail.

“Hello?” Dorjee said.

There was silence on the other end, but an airy silence. Like the call had come from a soft, steady wind, man-made rather than natural. There was no ebb and flow, only a continued light whoosh. Maybe a hiss. Dorjee wasn’t sure how to describe it, only that no one answered him.

“Hello?” Dorjee said again, wondering if this was just a telemarketer, taking a moment to connect. The sound of light wind continued uninterrupted.

Dorjee was about to hang up when he noticed a soft change in the sound. Maybe he was listening more closely and it had been there the whole time, or maybe whoever this private caller was had finally decided to make themselves known. Maybe they were an exceptionally shy person, having to hide everything – their name, their identity, their voice, even. Who could say? In any case, there was a change in the wind, a soft sussurrus. Dorjee listened. He thought he noticed inflection in the sound. Someone trying to communicate. Something, perhaps. Coded, maybe. Perhaps this was some kind of secretive spy thing, hence the private call.

The whooshing and whispering wind continued. Dorjee grabbed a piece of paper, interpreting the sound as best he could, with nothing to work on. After some minutes, the sussurrus stopped, and the steady hiss returned. Dorjee kept listening until the hiss ended abruptly, replaced by a dial tone. The call was done.

Dorjee looked at the notes he had made. As best as he could interpret, it was either a series of decimals in pi, or a well-coded message run through several ciphers, something so deep he likely wouldn’t be able to decode it himself. Maybe a mathematician could, he thought but a tour guide? Not likely. Besides, who’s to say if this is even a proper interpretation of the sounds.

Dorjee shrugged, returning the phone to his pocket. He crumpled up the paper and tossed it in the nearest recycling bin, carrying on with his day.

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