Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tell Me A Story - Sean Ferrell

Welcome to TNBBC's 2nd edition of Tell Me A Story.

Tell Me a Story is a monthly series that will feature previously unpublished short stories from debut and Indie authors. The request was simple: Stories can be any format, any genre, and any length. And many amazing writers signed up for the challenge.

This month's short story comes to us from Sean Ferrell. His novel, Numb, is one that I admit I haven't read yet (mainly because I heard him read from it at the 2010 Brooklyn Book Festival and it gave me the willies, so I have to slowly work myself up to it)! He is one of the most active and hilarious authors on Twitter, and was super kind to accept this little blogger's request for a previously unpublished piece of fiction.

Behold.... The Phone Book through the eyes of Sean...


Making the Phone Book Relevant Again

Abbot, Mark 23 West Main Street, 2A 374-9982 Currently eating an entire column of Oreo cookies for lunch.

Baker, Wendy 17 Morgan Avenue 342-4582 On the phone with her mother, defending the fact that her boyfriend hasn't yet proposed; considering the fact that she doesn't want to get married.

Chesterfield, Elizabeth M. 117 Seventh Avenue 982-5348 Having an affair with her employer; faking a pregnancy.

Clayborn, Eric Michael 888 Russian Hill 559-2110 On the phone with his priest, with whom he is uncontrollably in love, trying to convince himself that he is not gay.

Green, Lucille 15 Oxford Place 347-9121 Recovering from breast augmentation surgery; hoping the pain is worth it.

Harbor, Martin 2378 Winding Way Lane 586-9864 Spending the afternoon in a coffee shop reading yesterday's newspaper, sarcastically reprimanding anyone who tries to join him in conversation or even eye contact; desperately lonely.

Lee, George 25 Port View Road 545-8573 Working on edits of a novel he is alternately convinced is terrible or the greatest long-form work ever written; wrong on both counts.

Manchester, Adele R. 1 Shady Acres Terraces, Room 55 Unlisted Worrying about her daughter whom she is convinced is married to a no-good, two-timing son-of-a-bitch; convinced her grandchildren are being raised by an illegal immigrant; wondering what she did to make both her son and daughter so completely cut her out of their lives.

Manchester, Robert Address Unknown, Number Disconnected Planning on unexpectedly dropping by his sister's place; hoping to steal some prescription medication from the master bath; planning on swiping his mother's social security check from her mailbox at the home.

Manson, Terry & Winston 90 Oak Street 887-2931 Wondering how it got to this point (her); wondering why it's taken her so long to recognize how bad things are (him).

Olivetti, Anthony 101 West Side Avenue 874-0274 Holding an engagement ring, wondering if he's really ready.

Peterson, Charles & Gwendolyn 2357 Winding Way Lane 565-0902 Terrified he's gotten his secretary pregnant (him); spending her days in a prescription medication haze (her); being raised by the nanny (the children).

Peterson, Henry 1 Shady Acres Terraces, Room 13 374-0148 Blissfully, blessedly drunk.

Waters, James P. 18 Oxford Place Unlisted Stalking a neighbor, a woman he finds perfect in every conceivable way, even without make-up, even when she takes out the trash, even when all she's doing is staring out her window with a cup of coffee and the morning paper.


Sean encourages everyone to post comments below
by creating your own phone book commentary!

I want to thank Sean for participating in TNBBC's Tell Me a Story. If you like what you've read, please support Sean by checking out his website and book. Help spread the word by sharing this post through your blog, tumblr page, twitter and facebook accounts. Every link counts! And be sure to check back with us next month for the next installment....


  1. Reid, Janet 240 West 35th Street 279-1776. Reading Sean Ferrell's short story; hoping his agent realizes the depth of his talent.

  2. Wow! I love this idea! So original!

    - Rena

  3. Michelle WolfsonMarch 1, 2011 at 8:43 AM

    Wolfson, Michelle 20 Oxford Place 454-1683. Trying to enjoy her morning coffee in peace; her creepy neighbor is always staring at her.

  4. Blount, Patricia 1 Lily Avenue, 868-9020. Reading Sean Ferrell's short story, astounded he did not find a spot to slip in a That's what she said joke.

  5. Schmidt, Stephanie Lynn(e) 2706 S. Lost Colony 548-2409. Wondering why her dog keeps running through poison ivy patches, then laying in her bed. Hoping her skin stops itching sooner rather than later.

  6. This is wonderful and inspires me to write one like it. Or attempt to, at least.

  7. Campbell, Laura 753 Mindless Court 741-6565. Contemplating the wise words of Mr. Rogers; pulling hair out as I edit the first draft of my novel.

  8. That's like 14 single sentence stories - each one intriguing and some connected. I might know the guy at Shady Acres. Thanks for sharing this =]

  9. Bear, Mer The Lair 588-0416 Considering coffee. Still thinks this is funny, even uncaffeinated.

  10. Khan, Rashda 1 Curiousity Lane 123-4567 Wowed by the simplicity and originality, enjoying mulling over the bits of different lives.

  11. Fantastic story.

    JG, Sheila 99 Why Worry Lane, Woodside, CA 555-2801. Asking the kids to help clean the attic (mom). Picking up books because they know mom never, ever interrupts reading (kids). Looking up recipes on the web (Dad, because he lost the contest on who could get the kids to read. Amateur.)

  12. Moleski, Cat 101 Company Store Lane 968-9782 Sneaking time away from work to keep up with Sean's brilliance; hoping boss can't read her computer screen from across the room.

  13. Krokos, Dan 521 Tollis Parkway 832-0346 Realizing he can't compete with his friend Sean; looking over his shoulder at the closet, where the guns are.

  14. Lytle, Lesli 11 Lindi Lane 544-7811 Double Listing Making a pie, wondering how to help diabetic husband regain good health.

  15. Ms Trite says:
    Phone books, like printed pages are like bones in rock. But like answer eight balls they serve as windows into Sean's brilliant mind. Weird but brilliant.

  16. Somers, Jeff: Wondering if the fact that he does not appear in the phone book means that he does not, in fact, exist.

  17. Schubert, Debra , Philly Burbs: I couldn't stop thinking about the scene with Steve Martin and the phone book in "The Jerk."

    "The new phonebook's here! I'm somebody! I'm in print! Things are going to start happening to me now!" (Die, Navin R. Johnson!)

  18. Wow.... I love these phone book comments as much as I love Sean's original collection of them! Thanks for checking it out and participating!

  19. How interesting! Wow! I never thought the phone book could be so interesting, but wow... I'm never going to look at people the same way again!

    I don't think I'm clever enough to create my own though, so I'll just sit back and bask in your brilliance.

  20. Burns, Julia 10093 Short List Way 100-11100 Feeling an exestential ennui. Can it really all be boiled down to just that?

    But seriously, I loved it! Brilliant short ^_^

  21. That exestential ennui can be blamed on the new moon. When it happens again, check the moon phase. You can bank on it. Peaking in two days, then life will get better.

  22. Shaffer, Andrew 1615 Dingleberry Lane 981-2235 Listening to the new R.E.M. album and realizing that maybe it's not the new album after all and what does it matter really because good music is timeless and the order that it's released in a band's catalog shouldn't change his opinion of it yet somehow it does, somehow it does.

  23. Provencher, Misty 737 ShadyLane, 333-7833 In the middle of a brilliant thought when a flatuent beagle, sent by the nemesis of brilliant thoughts, explodes at her feet.