It was like any other night after a very long day at work for this long married empty nested couple. They walked silently into the living room and fell slowly onto the couch. It was a very plush couch. Once situated they both basically disappeared into its velvet softness. If they weren’t careful they could easily fall asleep where they sat.
“Ahem” She cleared her throat as she pointed to the remote sitting on same arm of the couch that her husband was currently leaning against. She was not going to be climbing out of her deep cocoon to reach for it when he was inches away.
“Mmhmm” He responded and lifted the remote into the air, waving it with mastery as he quickly found the channel he assumed they would both want to watch. The first couple tries were unsuccessful. He knew without having to look over to his wife, he only but had to hear her slowly click her tongue to know whether the show was acceptable or not. Finally, she moaned in happy satisfaction as he landed on a new episode of her favourite show. He smiled, loving when he could make her happy in even the smallest ways.
“Ummm” He finally looked over at her during the third commercial break. He stomach had been growling and he was surprised that she hadn’t mentioned hearing it yet. He had been mentally preparing himself to get up from the couch for a while and the annoying dancing frog on this most recent commercial was enough motivation to pull himself up. He stood over his wife and smiled, jestering to the kitchen.
“Uh huh.” She giggled as she watched her husband struggle up from the couch. How they loved the way this couch enveloped them during tv time but boy was it difficult to get out of. When gestured towards the kitchen she was happy to see him include her in his plans of the soon to be food and drink gathering adventure. She wasn’t sure what she was craving but she knew that whatever he came back with she would enjoy and if not they could always order in.
“Hey Elizabeth? Did you take money out of the piggy bank?” Janine shouted from across the room.
“No.” I stood up straight with a snap and searched my mind. I had taken money out but I had logged it, hadn’t I? Emma and I had ordered pizza the other night and I had told her to grab cash from the jar to pay for it. I forgot to log it! Oh no this is what Janine was talking about. She would be so angry I took the money out and now it wasn’t adding up. I walked over slowly. “Wait yes I did.”
“Oh thank god. So you deposited it into the saving account?” Janine smiled she looked to relieved.
I looked at her confused. I scanned the table in front of her. She had the small black log book held open with a pen and our ‘piggy bank’ which was a large clear glass jar. The piggy bank was empty but for the bottom filled with coins but there were no bills counted out in front of her like there should be, like there usual was when she checked the log.
“No. What’s going on? I took out maybe $50 for pizza.” I finally said “You do the deposits I don’t”
Janine had been away the last couple weeks and so I had no reason to look in the high cabinet that held the piggy bank. Janine cleaned houses on the weekend to save money towards our big trip. This meant she would have cash to put in far more often than I. I would usually transfer money directly into the saving account.
“We should have $953.50 in this jar. All the bills are gone. There's only $73.50 worth of coins left.” Janine put her head in her hands and began to rub her face.
I was at first relieved, that she wasn’t angry at me for taking out the $50 but then my whole body went weak and I had to sit down. This meant someone had stolen the rest. Someone we had invited into our home. Most likely someone I had invited in as Janine had been away.
“I can’t believe it.” I was dumbfounded and sick to my stomach. “Who? Who would do this to us?”
My mind raced. It couldn’t be our friend and roommate Emma. It also wouldn’t be our new roommate Andrew, he was a good guy and had just moved in. This narrowed it down to two people. The guy I was kind of seeing, who was not of the most reputable stock, or our past roommate, who had just moved out because he had tried to assault me. It seemed they were both good suspects.
“I’m so sorry, this is all my fault.” I reached out and grabbed Janine’s hand. “I will replace the money.”
“No it’s not your fault. Why would you say that?”
“Because it’s either Mac or Travis who did this. If Travis then it was me who invited him over here. And if Mac then it was me who was too afraid to be around while he moved out.” I could feel the tears begin to form behind my eyes. I swallowed hard to keep the feeling down.
‘Look we will figure it out. It’ll be ok.” Janine was always so kind and forgiving to me face. Though I was sure, whether true or whether it was through my own insecurities, that she did blame me regardless of what she said.
Her eyes were starting to water as she yawned yet again. Her mouth stretched open so wide she thought her cheeks may crack. This was hour 28 that she had been awake. The grasp on the blue raspberry energy drink in her hand grew even tighter as she shook the can to get every last drop into her mouth. This was nectar of the gods to her during exam time. There was no way she’d survive the next week without it. Why do I leave things to the last minute? She would think to herself as she read through highlighted notes, textbooks and powerpoint printouts. This must have been the fourth time she’d read through the paragraph in front of her. I’ve got this down, get some sleep, she would argue against the thoughts that she knew nothing over again and again but to no avail. She would just keep on flipping the pages and reading the sentences and point forms again.
“You realize they’ve proved cramming for an exam doesn’t work right?” She looked up to try and find who was talking but besides the light from her desk lamp the room was dark. She looked around the room maybe the voice was her roommates. No, Beth was fast asleep on the other side of the room. That’s when she caught her own reflection in the mirror and saw she was speaking. “Your best off to go to sleep.”
“I know that I do but…” She trailed off, was she actually verbally arguing with herself now? She was used to having these conversations inside her head, her internal voice had always been strong but she had never heard the voice outside her mind as if her image in the mirror was talking. “Ok i’m going crazy. I get it I’m tired, too much caffeine.” She rubbed her eyes hard, so hard it hurt and she saw stars when she opened them again.
“Then you finally agree. Go to bed!” The voice practically shouted from the mirror across the room. She held her breath and looked over to Beth, who hadn’t moved.
“Ok, Ok…” She slowly stood up and turned off her lamp. She felt around in the dark until she found and collapsed into her bed. “Sleep, I need sleep.”
“Good choice.” The voice whispered from the dark. She was so freaked out now that she just laid there, her eyes wide open, staring into the dark, half expecting the voice to somehow grow form.
A soft pressure touched Jordan’s lips and his eyes fluttered open in response. The room was dark but for the light spilling in from the doorway. He blinked to focus his eyes to see who was in front of him, who was kissing him awake. He didn’t have to see though, he already knew it could only be one person.
“Sally?” He questioned the dark as he felt the same soft touch to his lips.
“Who else could it be?” Sally laughed as she pushed off his torso and floated away. “Close your eyes dear, I’m going to turn the lights on.”
“I am still not used to how bright these lights are.” Jordan quickly closed his eyes just in time before the room lights all clicked on, bright white.
“Well it’s not like we have any natural light to help us.” Sally pushed off the wall to float back towards Jordan. She help him unclip from the wall bed and they hugged each other tight.
“Oh I wish we could do more then hug and kiss.” Jordan whispered into Sally’s ear before starting to nibble on it. This was something that always made her gasp with pleasure and Jordan loved the sound.
“Come on darling, we need to get to work.” Sally kissed Jordan’s again softly on the lips and again used his chest as a push off so she could grab the bar on the ceiling and make her way to the bridge.
Jordan and Sally had been on the UBN Space Station for nearly 5 months now. They came up as strangers and after some tough getting to know you weeks, they fell in love. However, they had to be very careful. Romantic relationships were not allowed and so they had to be very careful with any physical touch. If their heart rates go over a certain amount it would alert the doctors and then they’d have reason to look into them. This was the last thing they wanted. They had just over 1 more month before they went home and could be together.
Jimmy walked into his bedroom. It was like any other day, he was none the wiser that it would turn into the horror show that it did. He laughed and smiled has the family dog, Bobby, ran in and around his feet as they made their way over to his toy box.
He sat down cross legged on the ratty old rug that had been in his room for all of his memory. It used to be sky blue, plush and soft but now, now it was matted, a discoloured teal shade and well hard and yes crunchy in some areas. But what could you expect of a young boys room who cared for nothing but his favourite toy?
Jimmy was very excited, it was his favourite part of the day, after school. He couldn’t wait to come home and play with Tal’cu, his very favourite toy! It was a space warrior with long bright blue hair and green skin. His arm and leg muscles were bigger than his head but you couldn’t take that to mean he wasn’t smart because Jimmy would argue to the moon about how smart Tal’cu is.
And so like every other day after school, Jimmy went to open his town chest, except today all he found on top of his pile of toys he didn’t care about was a detached muscled green arm on top of a piece of paper. Jimmy screamed with terror! He recognized that arm, that was tal’cu’s arm. But where was the rest of him? Jimmy scrambled to grab the piece of paper. It was a white piece of paper with big blocky letters written in coloured crayons. Right away without reading it, he thought it must be his sister! Who else would both do such a thing and use coloured crayons?
Jimmy slowly read through each word of the letter:
Now you know I am serious.
Do as I say and I will give Tal’cu back.
Don’t and he will burn.
Jimmy couldn’t help but start crying. He started to picture Tal’cu melting away in flames. They had been on so many adventures together, what would he do without him. as he turned the page over and over looking for more information. What did his sister want? Was this his sister? He jumped to his feet. One way to find out he thought to himself. He grasped Tal’cu’s dismembered arm in his hand tight and refused to let go as he ran out of the room.
Jessica needed to avoid the outside world. It was far too noisy and dirty for her liking. Today she sits cross legged on the sofa watching tv. She couldn’t remember the last time her blinds have been drawn back. The sun was so hot and bright this time of year plus she could not stand glare on the TV screen. Of course now that she had thought of the glare that’s all she can see. She clicks off the tv as she stretches out her legs in front of her. She reaches for her drink but finds it is empty. Another thing Jessica needs is a beer. It's the only thing that calms her nerves. She quickly jumps up to grab another bottle of beer from the fridge. She places the crisp cool glass to her forehead and the back of her neck. An ahhhh escapes her lips as she enjoys the refreshment from the heat of the room.