I wrote the following piece as an extension of this tweet.


It was a perfect late afternoon in early summer. Hope Baker was tending to a bed of yellow roses in the front of her house. In a few moments, her husband would be home and she had a special dinner planned – complete with a centerpiece of fresh cut flowers.  Their daughter Michelle was on her way to Arizona for a job interview, and so they had the house all to themselves for the weekend. Starting with a romantic Friday night. She drank in the fragrant flowers and smiled. One final clip, and her bouquet was complete. As she started inside, the phone rang.

“Hello?” She said with a smile in her voice.

“Mom? Mom can you hear me?” It was Michelle.

“Yes, honey, it’s me. What’s all that noise?” From behind her daughter, Hope heard what sounded like people screaming.

“Mom, I’m on the plane-“ Michelle’s voice stopped and the sound of screaming rose up through the receiver. Hope’s smile faded.

“Michelle! Michelle sweetie what’s wrong?!”

“Mom, I wanted to call you to tell you I love you-“ The screams of strangers once again drowned out her daughter’s voice. “Mom, our plane is going to crash.” Michelle screamed over the line.

Hope dropped to her knees. “Oh my God! Michelle!? Michelle are you there?”

The screams continued. Her daughter didn’t answer.

“Michelle? MICHELLE?”

The whine of an engine rising filled the receiver, accompanied by a chorus of terrorized passengers.

“MOMMY!” Michelle yelled into the phone, “I…love you-“

And the connection died.

Hope screamed her daughter’s name into the phone and with shaking hands attempted to call her back. There was no answer. She dropped the phone and sat with her back against the wall, her head in her hands.

An eternity drifted by and then Hope heard the sound of a car door close. Through the front window she saw her husband make his way up the path from the driveway. He then stopped to admire her handiwork in the bed from five minutes before – and smiled.


Jim Mitchem

Daddy, is Santa Real?

Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.

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