“The light’s flickering again,” said ‘Darhlinnng’, running her orange gel nails through the obviously dyed, bright blonde strands of her hair.
Donald appeared from behind the fusebox, his eyebrows knitted together. They were too dark for his face really, compared with his dirty yellow mop, but she knew he didn’t dye them. He wouldn’t even let her tweeze his monobrow for God’s sake, and it was really looking terrible.
“I don’t do electronics, mother!” He growled back.
Darhlinnng tutted. She was doing that a lot recently. “Of course you do, you work with computers all day.”
“Coding!” Donald threw a look at her – not his mother – Sarah. Remember her? She’s the one lying in her own vomit right now. Yes, that’s her name. You were waiting for that, weren’t you? And yes, she’s still there. They both are. This is what’s called a flashback. Handy little narrative device, I’ll have you know. Anyway, I won’t interrupt the story. Let’s continue…
Sarah crossed her eyes back at him, or at least she thought she crossed them, she wasn’t sure whether it looked more like she had a lazy eye or if she was staring at her nose. She couldn’t tell by looking in the mirror and she had’t tried to take a selfie. Maybe she’d try that. Of course, it’s important to know these things. Donald was staring at her still – he wanted a better response – no, he smiled. Good, she wasn’t sure what was going on to be honest, she often got lost in her own thoughts like this.
“Try twiddling the thing!” Darhlinnng commanded with an orange nail.
“I’ve tried twiddling every bloody thing in here,” he responded exasperated.
“That’s probably why it’s flickering,” Sarah snorted.
“She’s right you know,” Darhlinnng’s eyes were wide, her dim-witted nature taking Sarah’s comment as a serious remark. “We’ll just get someone more qualified.”
“I’m not qualified at all!” Donald argued. But, she wasn’t listening, she was already jabbing cack-handedly at her phone.
Sarah was used to these arguments at the Hiptop household. She’d been Donald’s girlfriend for five year’s now. Part of the furniture, isn’t that what you call it? No part of the family – but Donald certainly was like furniture, with Darhlinnng walking all over him in her white wedged sandals, digging size three footprints into the green carpet and her son all at once.
Sir Graham Hiptop had died ten year’s ago now. It had been Donald who had found him, but you wouldn’t think so. He spoke about him so nonchalantly, like it was just a friend he hadn’t seen in a while. But he never spoke about the day.
She wasn’t quite sure what happened that day, but she did know it had something to do with drugs. You wouldn’t think a well-to-do biscuit entrepreneur would be injecting anything but chocolate between crumb sandwiches, but the press said otherwise. Of course, Darlinnng was ‘simply distraught’, how could she have not noticed her beloved husband was sticking needles into his arm? ‘Well, it must have been the stress of the work. He was always out. She mistook the tell-tale signs as a consequence of this workload. And, of course, she was preoccupied with bringing up darlinnng Donald!’ As if.
“Tomorrow morning, is that really the earliest you can do?” Darlinnng’s voice rang out into the airy corridor. “I see. Well, it’ll have to do I suppose. Donald!” She didn’t bother taking the phone from her lips. “You’ll let the electrician in?”
“Yes, but when.”
“Ten am. I’ll be at pilates and I can’t aff -”
Donald stopped her. “Fine. Yes.”
Sarah had been looking forward to the lie in they were both promised and so sorely needed, but she guessed she could wait. Besides, how much attention did an electrician need? Donald and her could get up and make pancakes while he worked. It would be fun. They so rarely got Saturday morning to themselves and she would make the most of it or so help her!! Her stomach rumbled at the thought of the buttery batter frying.
Darlinnng continued chatting for a few more dreary minutes, waving her arm dramatically in the air, like she was constantly wafting a fly away. Sarah wondered if the electrician was hard of hearing now – she certainly was after that conversation. Poor sod.
Sarah laughed at the memory, but no sound came out. Well she was dead after all, but it still surprised her that she could feel something so intensely like a laugh and have nothing happen.
They were all so blind, she thought pitifully as she lay in the congealed vomit. So blind of the horrors they would be inviting into their house.
A strand of light threw itself inside the grey prison, casting dancing shadows across the walls. She looked over to the door. Hello flickering light.