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The First Phone Call from Heaven

The First Phone Call from Heaven


  1. The story begins with Tess Rafferty receiving a phone call, and then, one by one, many people across the town receive a phone call from their loved ones who were dead. Jack, too, gets a phone call from his dead brother, Robbie. The situation becomes confusing and horrifying.

  2. Meanwhile, Sully Harding was released from military prison. His son and parents were there to greet him. He got to know that his wife, Giselle, had been in a coma and had just died. He walks to the local funeral home to get Giselle’s ashes.

  3. Jack struggles with his disbelief about the phone call. He looks at his photo and his ex-wife, Doreen, with Robbie by the lake. He decides that he will not tell Doreen that he’s been receiving calls as Doreen went into a major depression when Robbie died.

  4. Later in the church, Katherine tells everyone about the phone call that she received from her sister. Elias Rowe also received a phone call from someone known to be dead.

  5. At Frieda’s home, Elias Rowe thinks about his confession in church. He received phone calls from his employee named Nick. He felt guilty because Nick died penniless and hopeless as Elias fired him from the job.

  6. Pastor Warren does not know what to make of the ‘miracles’ that have happened to some of his fellows. No other church in the community has any heavenly calls coming in.

  7. Sully determines that he is going to get to the root of this situation before things get out of hand. He goes to talk to Elias, who refuses to speak with him. Elias stops at the outskirts of his town, throws his phone into the river, and leaves the township.

  8. Pastor Warren goes to converse with the mayor about this strange situation. Mayor feels excited about the publicity. He accepted the partnership with Dial Tek and several other large corporations.

  9. Meanwhile, Tess called Father Carroll and Bishop Hibbing to authenticate the “miracle.” Sully travels to a local library for some investigation where he meets the new librarian, Liz. He wanted to look up the death notices of the people who were calling home.

  10. Sully finds that all of them were written by Maria at the funeral home, which was odd. He also discovers that Maria used to tape all of the interviews with the family members, transcribe them, and keep them in large office files. He finds out that phones of people who received the call were on the same phone plane, and had the same type of phones.

  11. Back at the mayor’s office, everyone gathers to discuss the next media drive. Amy, finally looking at the situation with clarity, yells at them to stop, and that, commercializing all of this is wrong. She was fired.

  12. Pastor Warren collapsed from a heart attack and was taken to the hospital. The next day, Sully secretly enters the funeral home and steals the transcription files from Maria’s desk.

  13. Sully went to visit Warren at the hospital, questioning him about what he thinks of all the phone call business. He answers spiritually. He goes to the library to take the eulogy of Elwood’s daughter and finds it is not there. Sully is questioned, and he is accused of making phone calls.

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  14. Satisfied that Sully is not involved with the phone calls, Jack releases him. Sully discovers from his father that Horace, from quite long, didn’t own the funeral home. He examines it and finds that Horace came from Virginia, worked for military intelligence, and did not work on Fridays. Evidence encouraged Sully to go to Horace’s home.

  15. On reaching the farmhouse, Sully gets into the building, goes down into the basement, where Horace shows him the entire setup. He tells Sully that he made the phone calls to atone for his past mistakes.

  16. He reveals that his real name is Eliot Gray. Sully, shocked and horrified, sees Horace make Katherine’s phone ring on stage to prove his point. Sully destroys the setup while Horace gets away through a secret trap door. Sully rushes out to the car and tries to call Elias.

  17. On his way, he had a severe accident, losing his consciousness. He found himself on Jule’s bed. Sully makes it to the top of the road only to find that police have traced Horace’s house already, who was found dead in a small room in the house.

  18. The media have a field day with the fact that Horace had orchestrated the entire thing. Sully reveals that the recorded voices of their loved ones had been stored and were easily accessible to someone with Horace’s military intelligence background. He tried to offer peace and consolation to those who were upset by their loved ones passing.

The story does not end here, and this is the fascinating part, crafted well by Mitch Albom, revealing his genius.

Sully suddenly realizes that if Horace was dead, then he could not have made the phone call as Sully’s wife. To verify, he calls Jack and asks for Horace’s time of death. He got to know that Horace was dead before Giselle called him, which means that the first, and the only phone call from heaven, had been on Sully’s phone.

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