Continuing the serialization of an original novel I’ve written entitled SCARED.
“I want a gun.”
The calmness of her voice surprised me as much as the statement itself.
I looked at Chris over the rim of my coffee mug and said nothing. She still looked the same, but something was different. She was dressed, ready for school, sitting in one of the big wing-backed chairs, sipping coffee and leafing through a sales flier from K Mart … just like any other morning. She wore a plaid jumper over a white blouse, flat pumps and no jewelry except her wedding band. Her blond hair was pulled back and tied with a ribbon. Still, there was something different about her this morning.
She looked up from the sales book. “Did you hear me?”
“Steven!” as if I was one of her students.
“I thought you were asleep.”
“What?” Her face showed confusion.
“Last night … with the man …”
Allowing the sales brochure to drop to her lap, she stared at me. “What man?”
“The man in the road … last night … or early this morning.” I tried to sound rational. “I didn’t think you heard him. You seemed to be asleep.”
“I didn’t. Did Fred bark?”
I shook my head and took another swig of coffee.
“What was he doing?”
“Sleeping, I guess. He didn’t even rally when I came home.”
“What was the man doing?” Thee was a slight edge of exasperation to her voice now.
“Oh!” I smiled. “Shouting … as he walked down the road … in front of the house. He was
loud at first and then he got louder. Then he began to get softer as he walked away. I was surprised you didn’t wake up.”
Chris looked skeptical. “And Fred didn’t bark.”
I shook my head again.
“What time was this?”
I shrugged. “I don’t know. I didn’t look at the clock.”
“Did you get up?”
“No.” I didn’t want to tell her that I had been afraid to get up. “I just laid there listening … waiting for him to go away.”
Chris laid aside the sales flier and stood. “That’s weird.”
“I thought maybe that was why you wanted a gun … that it scared you.”
“No.” She shook her head. “I didn’t hear it. What was he shouting?”
I paused. Did I want her to know? What difference would her knowing make? I shrugged
inwardly. “’Fuck you … I will survive this.’”
“Is that all?”
I nodded. “Yes … over and over again.”
She gave a little shiver. “That is weird.”
NEXT: SCARED continues.