Tring- tring, the phone rang. It was that time of the day again. Every day at exactly 3:00 pm in the noon when I was caught up with one thing or the other in my office, my phone would ring exactly twice and then stop! The number didn’t flash on my screen ’cause I guess the ID was protected or something. Whoever it was, it was getting on my nerves. It had been going on for the past 4 days now and the annoying “Unknown Caller” notification of my phone irked me and moreover, made me curious as to who could be so punctually annoying and for what Godforsaken reason?
I just had to find out and so I waited for the Sunday. I was no where close to being busy and so I kept a close watch on my cell. I was going to pick up the call and find out who it was… But it wasn’t to be! There was no call at 3 pm and I heaved a sigh of relief and muttered “good riddance” under my breath.
I slept peacefully and woke up on Monday with a missed call notification in my phone. Darn it!! It was 3 am this time. It was getting spooky now. I put off all my work and kept myself free taking time from my very busy schedule just to be available and near my phone and 3 pm that afternoon. “Tring tring!!” It rang and I didn’t let it complete its first ring and picked it up. “Hello! Who is it?” I almost shouted in anticipation. A mechanical, calm, almost robotic voice came from the other side- “Hello there! Calm down. Looks like you have joined the loop!” I didn’t understand. “What loop?” I asked hesitantly. “Well, we have been trying your cell since past few days and we can only contact you at 3 due to departmental protocol. By picking up the phone, you have agreed to our terms and conditions.”- The robot voice said in a stiff rigidness.
“What? Is this a prank? I don’t understand!!” I yelled. The mechanical voice on the other side seemed to smile for the first time- “Haha.. well, it’s pretty hard to explain what the loop is. Let’s just say we pick people to build an army. The rest of the plan will be clear to you in a short while.” *click* and he hung up!
I had no idea what was happening and I was a bit scared. Was it too many Hollywood movies that’s taking the toll on my mind? Am I dreaming? I tried to snap out of it but all in vain. I checked my cell and yes, there was a received call. It wasn’t a nightmare! “What now?” was the question in my mind and I was too afraid to ask.
Next day was a Tuesday, I went to work and waited till 3 pm for something ominous to happen. Nothing happened. At 4 pm, I suddenly remembered I had to call a client. I picked up the phone, dialled his number out of memory. It was strange. I never memorised his number but my fingers just raced at the dialpad. After two rings, he picked up and said- “Hello, may I know who’s speaking?” I replied- “Hello sir, welcome to the loop” My voice was robotic and my eyes lacked emotion. I looked in the mirror and saw myself smiling.