desktop computer illustration

The room was quiet, save for the steady electrical hum of computers and the soft tip-tap of keyboards and mice. Five operators sat in line, each with their face illuminated by the vivid glow of their monitors.

They were coming up to 3am, and they knew the requests would soon come flooding in, not because paranormal connections where higher at this time than any other, but because that’s what non-dead souls thought to be true.

“Idiots,” Operator One muttered.

“Who?” said Operator Three.

“Bunch of kids trying to get hold of Marilyn Monroe.”

“Just patch them over to US headquarters.”

“I know, but don’t they know they’ve not got a chance? She doesn’t communicate with just anybody. ‘Specially not a load of a drunk teenagers from Grimsby.”

Operator Three sniggered. “I don’t know why they always aim so high. They only get disappointed when they don’t communicate with anybody. Just stick with chatting to your dead Grandma, y’know?”

“I’ve got a Grandma request in now,” said Operator Four. “For an Eileen Banks.”

“Oh no, don’t patch anyone through to her,” said Operator Five.

“Why not? It’s her grandson. He looks harmless enough, from what I can tell. He’s on his own.”

“Yeah, well she’s not harmless. I’ve witnessed her communications before, all with family. That’s probably why the poor lad’s on his own – nobody else wants anything to do with her. She likes to mess with them. Throws stuff all over the place. Puts them in arm locks. Knocks over their chairs while they’re sitting on them. She gives us dead spirits a bad name.”

Operator Four sighed. “Should I just decline him, then?”

“I’d say so,” said Five.

“No – patch her in,” objected Operator Two. “Let the old bint have her fun. She’s dead, after all. We all need something to brighten our days.”

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