Fandom: Dragonball Z
Publish Date: 11/10/2002
Disclaimer: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, I do not own DBZ. Also, the original concept was from a radio show.
Beep beep beep!
Sighing in aggravation, Bulma Briefs dropped the phone receiver back onto the cradle and sat back against her pillow. Almost as an afterthought, she reached over and poured herself a glass of water from the pitcher on her nightstand, then took two aspirin from the bottle beside the pitcher and swallowed them down with help from the water. That done, she picked up the receiver and dialed the number again.
Beep beep beep!
"Busy again," she muttered, somewhat upset. Thinking it over, she picked up the receiver again and dialed a single number.
Seconds later, someone answered. "Your call, please."
"Hello, I’ve been trying to call this number for the past forty-five minutes, but it’s always busy. Could you maybe try connect me?" Bulma asked, leaning back in her bed.
"The number, please?" the operator, a young-sounding woman with a bright voice, asked.
"Plaza Hill 49002. It’s my husband’s number," Bulma’s inability to shut up kicked in, and she began rattling on. "He’s working late tonight, and I’m a little nervous about being home by myself."
"Call connecting," the operator said good-naturedly. Apparently, strange people babbling on about their personal lives wasn’t an unusual occurrence in her profession.
"Oh. Thank you."
After a few rings, someone picked up the line, and a deep masculine voice spoke. "Hello?" Bulma started to reply, but the man continued. "Hey, is that you?"
To her surprise, another male voice, this one deep and gravelly. "Yeah.
"Where are you?"
"A phone booth. What’s the plan?"
"Our client gave us specific instructions," the first man said, inhaling deeply, as if taking a drag on a cigarette. "Every night, at ten after eleven, the night patrolman on 2nd Street goes into the bar there and has a beer, so he’ll be out of the way. And a train crosses the bridge at exactly 11:15. Do it then, just in case her window’s open and she screams. And remember, take her rings and bracelets, and the jewelry from her top dresser drawer. Our client wants this to look like a simple robbery gone wrong."
"What? Who is this?" Bulma demanded, horrified.
"What should I use?" the second man asked, as if he hadn’t heard her.
"A knife should be fine," the first man replied. "It has to look like anybody could have done it. Anything too extreme might arouse suspicions. Can you handle that?"
"Hello?" she yelled into the receiver to no avail. It appeared that she could hear them, but they couldn’t hear her. She wasn’t exactly sure how, but at the moment it didn’t really matter.
"D-d-don’t worry about it," the second man affirmed. It dawned on Bulma, who was still listening, that the man spoke with a small stutter.
With a shriek, Bulma dropped the receiver back onto the cradle, and stared at the phone in horror, as if it was planning what she had just overheard. "Oh, how horrible! How terrible!" Shaking, she grabbed the phone again and dialed a number.
"Your call, please," the same perky-sounding woman came on the line.
"Um, yes, well...I just tried to dial a number, but I think some wires got crossed or something, and you must have dialed wrong or something because I was accidentally connected into another phone conversation. And I overheard the most terrible thing. I heard two men planning a murder! Could you dial the number wrong again?" Bulma demanded.
"What was the number, ma’am?" the operator asked.
"Plaza Hill 49002. And please hurry."
"One moment, please."
Beep beep beep!
"I’m sorry, ma’am, but Plaza Hill 49002 is busy. Would you like—"
"I don’t want Plaza Hill! You didn’t even try to dial it wrong again!" Bulma yelled into the phone. "I’ve never seen such awful service! Oh...could you trace the call maybe?"
"Do you know the number?"
"No I do NOT know the number!"
"Hang on, I’ll put you on the phone with my supervisor. Perhaps she can help you," the operator suggested, much of the cheerfulness gone from her voice.
"Yes, please!" Bulma said angrily.
"Hey ChiChi?" the operator tapped her colleague on the shoulder.
"Yes, Videl?" the older woman looked up.
"There’s some lady on Line 17 who needs a call traced or something. Can you do it?" Videl asked.
"Sure thing, dear. Line 17?"
"Yes. Thank you."
"What can I do for you, ma’am?" an older-sounding voice came over the phone.
"I need a call traced immediately," Bulma replied, feeling that maybe now something would actually be done about this.
"The call can be traced by the equipment if the call hasn’t been disconnected," the operator said.
"Disconnected?" Bulma suddenly felt a little dizzy. Why wasn’t anyone listening to her?
"Yes...as in, the parties are still talking," the woman’s tone was a little condescending.
"Well, they’re not," Bulma answered indignantly. "They didn’t exactly seem like the type to make a long phone conversation. But I need that call traced immediately! It’s a matter of the greatest importance! Those two men were going to murder some poor woman tonight at 11:15!"
"Your name, please?"
"Oh. Briefs. Bulma Briefs."
"And your address?"
"1425 West Street. That’s Capsule Corporation."
"And your reason for wanting this call traced?"
Bulma’s jaw dropped at what the woman was asking. "I told you! I overheard two men plotting a terrible murder! They’re going to kill some woman tonight at 11:15! With a knife! This is my civic duty!"
"So you just want the call traced?" the operator asked. "Have you called the police?"
"Ma’am, I can’t just trace a private phone conversation on your say-so without good reason or legal orders. I can’t do it."
"Ohhh...you—" Bulma’s words were choked off by rage, and she slammed the phone down in anger, ending the conversation. It seemed like the entire world was against her on this!
She tapped her hand against the blankets on her bed in aggravation, then picked up the receiver again and dialed once more.
"Your call, please."
"Yes, get me the police department."
"One moment, please."
The delivery boy set the paper bag down on the desk. "Here’s your lunch. They didn’t have any jelly donuts today, Sarge. So I got apple fritters instead."
"Hmm...here," the dark-haired police officer behind the desk pulled out a dollar bill and handed it to the boy. "Make it apple pie."
The phone rang then, taking the officer’s attention. "Hello, West City Police Department. Sergeant Son speaking."
"Yes, I’d like to report a murder," a woman’s voice said on the other end of the line.
The officer, who had been leaning back in his chair with his feet on the desk, sat up straight. "A murder? Where?"
"Well...it hasn’t happened yet," Bulma replied. "But it’s going to. I overheard two men plotting a terrible crime. They’re going to murder some poor woman tonight at 11:15! They’re going to use a knife, and take her jewelry and things!"
"Calm down, ma’am. What’s your name?"
"Oh. Bulma Briefs."
"And what were the details of this murder?"
"They’re going to kill a woman tonight at 11:15. She lives near 2nd Street, and near a bridge. Oh, and they mentioned a client as well. Can you imagine, some man is actually paying to have this poor woman killed!"
"Well, Mrs. Briefs, I can try to have the call traced—"
"Oh, I already tried that," Bulma said angrily. "They said they can’t."
"Uh-huh. Ma’am, do you have any other information?" as he spoke, the officer began pulling several food items out of the paper bag the boy had brought and setting them out on his desk.
"Only that they were going to use a knife, and after she was dead they were going to take her jewelry and rings to make it look like a robbery."
"Ma’am, are you absolutely certain that this is taking place in West City?"
"I’m very sure. I think this calls for some kind of action. I’d feel much better if you sent out a car to my neighborhood, at least."
"Do you know how long of a road 2nd Street is?" the sergeant asked, his voice reflecting something akin to boredom. "Or how many bridges there are in this city? Not to mention all the suburbs and nearby communities. This could be happening out on some little 2nd Street in Blue City that you’ve never even heard of. There are murders in this city every day, ma’am, and if there was some way to stop them, we would do it. But there isn’t. And there’s not much we can do...unless, of course, you think somebody’s planning to murder you."
"Murder me?" Bulma repeated in disbelief. "Why, of course not! The very thought...ever since the accident, I haven’t seen anyone except my nurse, Eloise, and she’s a big two-hundred pounder! She’s too lazy to even bring up my breakfast tray, she would never do this. And the only other person I see is my husband, Yamcha, and he adores me. He waits on me hand and foot, and he’s barely left my side since the accident left me bedridden, eleven years ago."
"Look at it this way," the police officer sat back in his chair. "If you hadn’t gotten connected to that wrong number and overheard that conversation, you would most likely be going on with your evening as you always do. If you hadn’t heard what you heard, would the murder bother you as much as it it?"
"Well...I guess not..." Bulma admitted. If she hadn’t overheard the plans for it, and had only found out about the murder from the news or something, chances were that she wouldn’t have been as affected by it as she’d been since overhearing it.
"Without anything more specific, there isn’t a whole lot we can do. I’m sorry, ma’am," Sergeant Son unwrapped his sandwich, and turned to the door as the delivery boy came back in. In the kid’s hand was a bag, and from the bag he withdrew a plate with a slice of pie on it. "Right now, there are some very important matters on my desk that need my immediate attention, so if there’s nothing else—"
Bulma didn’t hear the rest because she slammed the phone down in fury and sat back in bed with her arms folded angrily across her chest. Then reality clocked in. "Oh...why did I do that? Now he really thinks I’m crazy, I bet...oh, now what?"
She picked up the receiver and held it up to her ear. "Hello?"
"Hello?" she tried again, then shook her head and hung the phone up.
She grabbed the phone again. "Hello?"
"Hello? Who’s there? Please say something! Say something, damn it! Say something!"
When there was no answer again, she threw the phone back on the cradle and stared at it with a mixture of anger and fear, as if daring it to ring again.
With the events of the night fresh in her mind, her imagination was overworking itself, and a thought occurred to her. "Wait a minute...I live near a bridge...and 2nd Street is just around the corner...oh, no way. It’s just a...a coincidence. Yeah, that’s right!" And for some reason, she actually believed it.
Slowly, she lifted the receiver. "Hello?"
For a third time, silence.
Bulma was about ready to cry for frustration and fear. "Stop ringing, you hear me! Stop it!"
She slammed the phone down and then picked it right back up and dialed.
"Your call, please."
"Operator, there is something wrong with my phone. It won’t stop ringing, but there’s no one there when I answer it. Could you please connect the call?"
"I’m sorry, ma’am," the woman’s voice had a Southern accent to it. "There isn’t any call coming through to your number. Can I connect you to someone?"
For a minute, all Bulma could choke out were growls of rage. Then she blew up. "Oh, I’ve never seen such stupidity or incompetence in my life!"
"Ma’am!" the operator replied loudly, shocked and somewhat angry.
"The whole world could be murdered for all you people care! I can’t believe you!" Bulma screeched into the phone at the hapless operator.
Without waiting for a response, she very forcefully hung up. "Oh...what do I do now?"
She grabbed the receiver. "What? Say something?!?"
"This is Western Union," a man’s monotone replied flatly. "We have a telegram here for a Mrs. Bulma Briefs. Is there someone there to take the message?"
"Oh..." Bulma could have danced with relief if her legs would have supported her. "Yes, go on."
The man read the telegram. "Bulma Briefs, address 1425 West Street. Darling, been trying to call for last hour, but line was busy. Called away to Red Star City on urgent business. Back tomorrow night. Love, signed, Yamcha."
"Would you like us to send you a copy of the telegram, ma’am?"
"No...no, that’s all right."
"Thank you, ma’am. Good night."
Bulma hung up the phone, ending the call. "He’s gone...he’s really gone...but he couldn’t have, he just couldn’t have done it!"
An idea began forming in her mind, and the more she thought about it, the better it seemed. She grabbed the phone and dialed again.
"Your call, please."
"Operator, I need the number for Henchley Hospital, and fast."
"But Henchley Hospital is a very expensive, very exclusive private hospital, ma’am," the operator replied dubiously.
"I know, I know, but I was a patient there a few years ago. I need the number."
"Do you know the address?"
"It’s somewhere in the 70s," Bulma replied impatiently. "It’s H-E-N—"
"The number is Summer Hills 26142," the operator interrupted.
"Summer Hills 26142? Okay. Thank you," Bulma hung up, then picked up again and redialed, this time using the number the operator had given her.
"Hello, Henchley Hospital," a chipper female voice with a British accent chirped.
"Yes, I need a trained nurse to come to my house immediately," Bulma said.
"And for what reason do you need a nurse?"
"Nerves," Bulma replied. "I’m home alone, my husband’s out of town, I’m bedridden, and I’m very nervous. I think something terrible might happen tonight, and if I have to be alone for one more minute, I swear I’m going to go crazy!"
"Do you have a recommendation from a doctor, ma’am?" the receptionist asked cheerfully.
"Ma’am, trained nurses are very scarce lately. Our superintendent has told us not to send them out on any visits not recommended specifically by a doctor. I’m sorry, ma’am."
Bulma wanted to scream with frustration, but merely asked, "Do you know what time it is?"
"Yes ma’am. It’s fourteen after eleven."
"Already? But...oh no!" she moaned. "My clock stopped. Oh no..."
"What was that?" Bulma asked in a hushed whisper.
"What was what, ma’am?" the nurse asked.
"That click...it sounded like someone picked up the other line, downstairs in the kitchen..." Bulma’s eyes widened in horror as realization dawned. "He’s here! He’s in the house, downstairs, listening to every word I’m saying! I—" she stopped short as she realized that he could hear her right then. Slowly, she returned the receiver to the cradle, and looked at it.
"I’ll just be very, very quiet..." she whispered. "I won’t pick it up again...but if I don’t call someone...oh, it’ll be too late..." Slowly, she lifted the receiver and dialed a number.
"Your call, please," a bored-sounding female voice answered.
"I need help," Bulma hissed into the phone.
"Ma’am, I can’t hear you," the operator said. "Can you speak louder please?"
"I need help," Bulma said again, only a tiny bit louder. "There’s someone in this house. Someone is in this house. I need help. I need the police. I—"
She gasped. "Did you hear that?"
"Hear what, ma’am?"
"He...he hung up the phone. He’s not on the line anymore..." she muttered half to herself as realization set in again. "He’s coming! He’s coming up the stairs! I need the police! Police!"
Loud footsteps began banging up the stairs and heading down the hallway.
"Police!" Bulma shrieked as the footsteps grew louder. Still screaming, she dropped the phone, pushed the blankets off her useless legs, pulled herself to the edge of the bed, and tried to push herself into a standing position. In the process, she knocked over the nightstand. The phone, water pitcher, clock, aspirin bottle, and lamp fell to the ground; when the lamp struck the floor, it shattered, and the room was plunged into darkness.
The door was flung open, slamming against the wall so hard that the room shook, and light from the hallway flooded the room, silhouetting a figure standing in the doorway.
Bulma screamed as the figure stalked toward her.
"Hello? West City Police Department. Sergeant Son speaking," the police sergeant said into the receiver. There was no answer. "Hello? Hello?"
Another moment of silence.
Then, someone answered. A deep, gravelly male voice.
"S-s-sorry. Wrong number."