PART 1

Daytime TV: a command from on high

Suzy Varty

What a day! Early afternoon and thick black clouds full of rattling and rumbling thunder; lightening sharp and dazzling; hailstones as big as golf balls stotting off the ground and bouncing three feet into the air. And it’s dark, miserable, cold.

God, if this is August, what’s December going to be like?

There’s a hammering at the door. A thudding, thumping hammering! I’m surprised the whole house isn’t shaking. Who the hell is out on a day like this? And who is trying to knock my door down? If it’s somebody selling something they’ll get a punch in the gob!

There is goes again!

“Alright, alright, I’m coming! Shut your noise!”

I open the door.

It’s the editor! Soaked to the skin, hair in sodden rat tails, shivering with the cold.

Her angry face is thrust close to mine. “Remember! Two articles this week! Positive! Feel-good! Before the weekend!”

And she’s gone.

Emails not enough? House calls now? I can’t bel…

Hang on! Just a minute. I’m… I’m still in my chair… What’s going on?

Oh my god, it was just a dream! I’m still in my chair in front of the telly.

Oh, I thought it wasn’t like her. And anyway, she doesn’t even know where I live!

God, what a dream! Sheesh, it seemed so real!

Hey up, there’s the phone.

“Hello. Peter here.”

A croaking, eldritch voice scrapes down the line to the hand-set and batters into my ears.

“Remember! Two! By the weekend! Positive!”

She slams the phone down. I’m here, trembling, listening to the dial tone.

But I’m not. I’m in my chair in front of the telly watching daytime TV and the phone’s on the other side of the room and…

(To be concluded)

(Or perhaps not)

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