Gods Of Bell

When a telephone worker invades the public's privacy by using the telephone lines to find the man who killed his wife, he inadvertently becomes a pawn in a twisted tale of espionage and intrigue.

Set in the early 80’s, this is a story when the telephone company was still a monopoly. Charlie, who works at a long-distance telephone office, is an expectant father. While he takes his wife to a Lamaze class one evening, a high-speed chase nearby between the police and a drug dealer ends in a car crash resulting in the death of his wife and baby. This tragedy haunts Charlie daily. Hourly.

Charlie had promised his wife that he would stop using the telephone circuits for his extra-curricular amusement. Charlie and his computer-whiz friend and co-worker, Jimmy, were pranksters of sorts, and they never meant to harm anyone. For Charlie and Jimmy, the phrase 'All The World Is A Stage' held more truth than fiction. The stage was a Telephone Company, the largest in the world at the time, and the actors were the public, and our unlikely heroes were the puppeteers, the directors of unsuspecting people and institutions who made the mistake of using the communication lines during the evening hours of their work tour.

But Charlie’s wife is dead, and his effort in seeking justice leads him into a world of espionage and intrigue. The question is not so much if Charlie will revenge his wife’s death - for he certainly does that - but rather to what lengths he will go once he finds out that the man who killed his wife is linked to an international ring that has power and influence beyond his imagination.

Charlie soon befriends Lynn, the niece of a U. S. Senator, who is the subject of a news investigation by Al, Charlie’s brother-in-law. It seems the Senator is laundering money through Lynn, and like self-ordained gods, our heroes scour the data lines for anything that might show the Senator as a conspirator, or his niece as a victim. Unable to keep his promise to his late wife, Charlie solicits Jimmy’s help and taps phones, deciphers IRS encryption codes, breaks into banking databases, and much more. He uncovers the Senator’s scheme to promote the interests of an international organization that has secret plans to control world politics and economies.

Inspired by a new love interest, Charlie joins forces with a private investigator who seeks to get out from under the Senator’s influence. Together, they win the day.

The end portrays a happy hero, resigned once again never to intrude on the public’s privacy at the telephone office. But Jimmy, the enduring clown, the compulsive prankster whose carefree eavesdropping on the public never ends, suggests that there may be another tale to tell, for he adds an additional meaning to, All’s well that end’s well.

Written by:
Author Bio:
Since retiring early in 1998, Robert has written 2 novels, 2 non-fiction books, 12 screenplays and 3 stage plays. His body of work has been recognized in over 300 festival, stage, book and screenplay competitions around the world (over 170 of those were finalist or better). The finalist or better placements include book, screen and stage play successes in Faulkner/Wisdom Creative Writing contest, Norumbego Fiction Award, Chesterfield, Writer's Network, Dana Awards, Frontiers in Writing, SFWP (Santa Fe), etc.

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Contest Results:
Open Door/Script Magazine (Finalist) [2002]
Barrier Magazine (Semifinalist) [2002]
Cinestory Feature (Quarterfinalist) [2002]