September 3rd, 3:32 pm: Voicemail #1
Hey, Dr. Harley, it’s Janine.
Some weird shit is going on right now and I don’t really know who else to talk to. I know you said that you
were gonna be on vacation or whatever but I don’t think this can wait.
So it started with my dresser. One of the handles came off when I was trying to find a dress for that date I
didn’t want to go on. Yeah, so the handle came off in my hand, and I just glued it back on but I ended up
glueing my damn hand to the wood. I ended up just ripping it off, but it got blood fucking everywhere. I got
the handle back on, though. There’s just also some blood and a bit of my skin on it. That was like a week
ago, I think.
So then the next day all of my shelves just broke in half. Like, right in half. It looks like someone cut them
with a saw or something, except the edges are all jagged. I called the company I got them from and yelled
for a while, but they said they couldn’t give me a refund. They said it was because of the warranty, but I
think it’s because they don’t like me. So now I don’t have shelves to organize things, and my room is
covered in books and clothes and blood.
September 4th, 7:12 am: Voicemail #2
Hey, it’s Janine again. Sorry for calling so early in the morning, I woke up to a slamming noise. One of the
legs of my kitchen table broke a couple days ago, so it was just teetering on three legs. Well, another one
of the legs snapped and I jolted awake to the sound of the table hitting the tile, where I was sleeping. I don’t
know why I was sleeping on the kitchen floor instead of my bed but maybe I drank more wine than I thought
Anyways, I had to eat my cereal on the ground today since my table is useless now and I couldn’t help but
pick at the scab from the dresser incident. There’s a chunk of skin missing from my palm and I like how it
feels when it bleeds. Don’t worry, though, I didn’t get any blood in my cereal.
September 4th, 2:58 pm: Voicemail #3
It’s Janine. My stomach has been hurting a lot today. I haven’t eaten since this morning because just the
thought of it makes me wanna hurl. I haven’t thrown up, though. It just hurts a lot and it feels like there’s a
brick in there or something. Like it’s heavy and uncomfortable? I don’t know how to describe it, but it feels
like I ate something I wasn’t supposed to, even though I just ate cereal? Maybe I’m lactose-intolerant or
September 5th, 12:09 am: Voicemail #4
Why won’t you answer me? I thought you were supposed to make me feel better. Please call me back. I
know it’s late, but I had an awful nightmare. I had a dream that there were rats all around my house.
Underneath sofa cushions, in my bed, in the refrigerator. I was trying to fight them off but then there was
this horrible smell and smoke filled the room and it turns out there were rats burning alive in my oven.
When I jolted awake, my bed was on the ground. The wooden stand it was on is all fucked up, it looks like it
was gnawed on and parts of it are just straight up missing.
My stomach hurts so much, and now everything else seems to be hurting too. My throat feels like there are
needles in it, and today I can physically feel these hard objects in my stomach. I Googled it and everything I
saw said that I’m just really constipated, but I don’t think that’s it. Maybe I’m just sick.
September 5th, 11:24 am: Voicemail #5
I had another dream about the rats. This time they were all over me, scurrying and crawling on me and I
couldn’t move. They kept biting on my fingers and all I could do was cry. I can’t stop thinking about it,
because when I woke up my hands were covered in tiny cuts. There have to be rats in my house, there has
My stomach finally stopped hurting. I woke up at like 8 am to an awful pain in my lower stomach, and when
I used the bathroom blood came pouring out of me. I know, that’s gross, but it hurt like hell. Maybe I was
just constipated, because I feel a lot better now. But my mouth has started to hurt. Today I found bits of
wood in-between my teeth and my tongue had what looked like millions of cuts. What the fuck is going on?
Tomorrow I’ll go to the store and get some traps, but I can’t leave the house right now. I have to keep watch
for the rats, because I know they’re here. I can feel them.
September 6th, 10:09 am: Voicemail #6
Janine here! Hi Dr. Harley! I was just wondering why you’re being such a dick! I need your fucking help and
all I’m getting is your new dumbass voicemail. What’s the deal? And who’s the new bitch on your answering
machine? Are you hiring new people and just ignoring me?
I left the house today to get traps for those fucking rats. I’ve stepped on them a couple times and now my
toes keep bleeding and staining my socks but it’s worth it, I need to catch those pieces of shit. My god
damn pantry door has been gnawed through. Like, there’s a hole in the pantry door. I don’t know how many
fucking rats are in my house but the hole is at least a foot wide. I’m gonna find them.
My stomach is hurting again, but I think it’s just from stress. Everything around me is breaking, anyways, all
because of these fucking rats.
September 7th, 3:52 am: Voicemail #7
My teeth are bleeding. My teeth are bleeding. I can’t stop bleeding and the rats are going to come and eat
my body and it’s all because you can’t answer your fucking phone! The traps are going off but I haven’t
found any rats. I know they’re here, and I’ve been staying up to catch them.
I haven’t eaten in days but I’m not hungry at all and I think that’s because I know I need to find these rats.
My stomach is hurting but all I can think about are these rats and how I’m going to kill them all.
My fingernails are coming off and I don’t know why. I don’t know anything. All I know is that I’m covered in
cuts and splinters and my mouth is bleeding and my teeth are falling out and the rats are here and my
stomach is full of god knows what.
September 7th, 6:33 am: Voicemail #8
Hey, Dr. Harley, it’s (unintelligible).
Some really weird shit is going on right now and I don’t know who else to talk to. I fell asleep while on watch
last night, and most of my teeth are gone. (unintelligible) my mouth still won’t stop bleeding and my
stomach hurts again. Half of my fucking pantry door is gone, because of the rats. I’m still going to find them,
I know they did this (unintelligible).
My stomach hurts and my teeth are bleeding and you haven’t done a thing to help. I think I’m dying and you
don’t even fucking care. I’m sick of that dumb bitch on your answering (unintelligible). You did this. Way to
do your job.
DECEASED: Janine Louise Dunn
DATE AND HOUR OF DEATH: September 7th, 1991, 9:00 AM
DATE AND HOUR OF AUTOPSY: September 9th, 1991, 2:48 PM
PATHOLOGIST: Dr. Yvette Collins
The patient was a 26 year old Caucasian woman with no significant past medical history. An elderly woman
had called 911 after she returned from a week long visit to her grandson’s and found multiple concerning
voicemails on her answering machine. Upon EMS arrival, patient was deceased and surrounded by broken
furniture and mousetraps. Upon examination, it has been discovered that the patient’s stomach ruptured
after the assumed consumption of various pieces of furniture. It is unknown if the patient was aware that
she was eating her belongings, but the voicemail transcripts provided seem to suggest that she was not.
Zoe Hanna is currently earning her BA in both writing and graphic design at Drake University. They have been published in Periphery and The Laurel Review, and lives in Des Moines, IA with her cat, Ripley.