I Will Make You Fishers of Men, He Said #FridayFictioneers

He carries a black Sharpie with him at all times.  It is ideal for quick scribbling in public places: a granite bench, a concrete wall by the ATM, the smooth white tiles above the row of urinals in an airport bathroom.  It is ideal; his message is short.
He carries a list of numbers in a worn spiral notebook with a red cover.  Each day, he dials ten at random.  Each day, ten pay phones ring.  One day, someone will answer–and stay on the line.
His message is short.


When I was in high school, I heard a pay phone ringing on Sandia Crest.  I don’t remember if I answered — but I think I did.  Someone was looking for one of their friends (or family members?) in the viewing area  — if my recollection is true.  This memory is curiously convolved with one of my first girlfriend telling me about how she passed out at Sandia Crest.  Was that when we were dating?  Was it years later?  In any case, it is my policy to always answer a ringing pay phone.  Unfortunately, in this iPhone age, that is something I doubt I’ll ever do again.   Anyway…Every Friday, writers from all around the world write 100 word (or thereabouts) flash fiction based on a photo posted that Wednesday on Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ blog.

I welcome constructive criticism; without it I cannot grow as a writer.  The weekly photo that inspired this story is below:



About glossarch

The word "glossarch" doesn't exist. At least, not yet. But let's pretend it does for a second. The first part is "gloss," a word that comes to us from Ancient Greek via Latin and English. It means "language." The second part also comes from Ancient Greek and can mean "having power over." So "glossarch" means simply "language controller." So what am I doing making up words? Well, I made up an entire language once. It's called Angosey. So I'm the Glossarch of Angosey. I'm currently a doctorate student in volcano seismology (a branch of geophysics). I enjoy writing fiction and poetry, launching balloons, programming, and hanging out with my lovely wife! Follow me on Twitter! Writing and language creation: @glossarch Balloons and science: @bovineaerospace
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26 Responses to I Will Make You Fishers of Men, He Said #FridayFictioneers

  1. Martin Cororan says:

    Evangelism goes old school!

  2. Varad says:

    Seems like this person is very lonely. You have built his character through his actions. Very well written take. Cheers

  3. wmqcolby says:

    Nice to meet you, Gloss. Interesting story. I always wondered who the guy with the Sharpie has been. I always considered him an intellectual, albeit a frustrated one.

    Geophysics, huh? Pretty cool. I’m always amazed how people can integrate writing while being in in a totally unrelated field. We have a lot of ’em.

    Thanks for the story.

    • glossarch says:

      Thank you! My inspiration for the story is this urge I’ve always had — to write some cryptic phrase in a public place, and leave it everywhere as a sort of calling card. I’ve never done it, so I’m living vicariously though the character a little bit.

  4. Good morning, Gloss (welt is her in the UK despite the wind!)

    I like this story a lot. The hidden message is clear to see for me, as is the character’s undeniable perseverance against the silence of incredible odds. A message to us all!

  5. This person sounds autistic, such precision displayed in such an odd way. Really interesting take on the prompt.
    Welcome — I don’t think I’ve seen your blog before.

    • glossarch says:

      Thanks, I’m glad I was able to convey the precision. I was hoping to get that across! I did FF from 2012-2014 (when my daughter was born), and just recently started again.

  6. Alice Audrey says:

    Great story. The loneliness comes through very clearly, ‘

    Come see mine here.

  7. gahlearner says:

    This is just a bit creepy and intriguing. I also love the intro and the whole glossarch story. 🙂 Volcanic seismology sounds very interesting. I can’t follow the bovineaerospace though.

  8. Sandi says:

    How can you NOT answering a ringing pay phone. I think I have too – Also, I recall that’s how you got a hold of someone on a Marine base. I dated a Marine for a few months, and the number to reach him was a pay phone. Anyone near the area, picked it up and hunted down the person! That’s how they rolled.

  9. granonine says:

    Vaguely unsettling. Poor man must be very lonely.

  10. plaridel says:

    with more practice, he’ll definitely pass for one of those irs phone scammers. 🙂

  11. rgayer55 says:

    I think I answered a pay phone once, but it was a wrong number. I suppose it would also be a good tool to use for making an anonymous confession. I assume his short message was the title of this piece?

    • glossarch says:

      Yes, the statement is the title of the story. It’s something Jesus said to some fishermen. One of those lines you can never really forget, regardless of what you believe.

  12. Dear Danny,

    Intriguing and imaginative story. Nope, wouldn’t work today. 😉



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