Friday 6 October 2023

A Mysterious Encounter: The Story of Hannah

In one of my earliest published stories, I found inspiration in an unexpected encounter with a woman named Hannah. Though I never knew her beyond a few fleeting moments, her impact on me was profound. This story is dedicated to her, an enigmatic figure who unknowingly became the catalyst for a tale of connection and empathy.

Hannah remains a mystery to me. I can only speculate about the way she carries herself, unaware of the furtive glances she may attract while going about her grocery shopping. The details of her appearance I never knew, save for the echo of her voice and the emotions that coloured it on that October afternoon in 2002.

At the time, I had recently started a new clerical job at a mortgage broker company in Perth. As I sat in my office, my phone rang, disrupting the monotony of my workday. Curiosity piqued, I cautiously answered the unfamiliar number, hoping it wasn't an unwelcome call from a debt collector.

To my surprise, a honey-sweet, melodious voice filled my ear—a voice tinged with shock and fear. Hannah had dialled my number by mistake, seeking solace and guidance after an accident. At that moment, I became the unexpected recipient of her distress, someone she desperately needed to confide in.

Realising she had reached the wrong person, I could have easily ended the call. But something in her voice spoke to me—an unspoken plea for a compassionate ear. Moved by her vulnerability, I decided to lend her my listening ear, offering a momentary respite from her ordeal. We conversed as she recounted the accident and the ensuing shock; I provided comfort until help arrived.

After that momentary connection, Hannah and I never spoke again. Months passed, and just as I had begun to let go of the memory, my phone chimed with a message on Christmas Day. It was from Hannah—a heartfelt note expressing gratitude for my presence during her time of need, a reminder of the impact a brief encounter can have.

On New Year's Eve of that same year, I found myself captivated by the allure of the midnight hour. Inspired by Hannah's mysterious call and the emotional weight it carried, I began crafting "Call Me," the opening scene of a story that would take shape over several years. Although it took me until 2008 to complete, this tale remained a personal favourite, reminding me of a valuable lesson.

Through my encounter with Hannah, I learned a profound truth: People may not always remember our names, but they will forever recall how we made them feel. The impact we have on others, even in fleeting moments, can leave an indelible mark.

To discover the full narrative of Hannah's story and explore the collection of "Twelve Strokes of Midnight," I invite you to read the complete tale. You can find it here: or at my Books2Read site (which has a comprehensive list of different retailers stocking it).

For more captivating stories and updates, I encourage you to subscribe to my newsletter at the link at the top of this page.

In the realm of the unknown and the fleeting connections we forge, let's remember the power we hold in touching the lives of others.

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