Tag Archives: Short story

CONTENT

“It’s really exciting,” said the studio executive, straightening his tie and holding out his hand. His guest shook it warily. “We almost never run tours so I think you’ll agree it’s a bit of a treat.”


“It’s a great privilege,” said his guest. “Can I just ask – how do you create so much content on such a small plot? The studios are…”

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“…bones, for some reason!” and he laughed; hugely, uproariously. She sank into herself. Oh god, that laugh. So certain of its own hilarity, so arrogant, so obnoxious. A toxic cloud of self-amusment that drifted slowly out from him until it stifled the genuine fun from any given room. He should have a warning, a yellow triangular sticker slapped on his face. Caution. Fumes.

She fumed. He could feel her resentment, white hot burning a hole in the sofa they just about shared. The gulf between them made it feel like two separate pieces of furniture. He tried to lighten the mood with a joke that screeched down to Earth in flames. Why did she do this? Incinerate the joy around her? She should have a warning, a red circle. Danger! Naked flame!

Those two are so great together, though you wouldn’t know it to hear them talk. They have a real spark, true chemistry. The way she reacts to him… It’s like hate, but you can see she’s knocked out by him, and she makes him just explode. They should have a warning, a big sign. Keep out. Private.

Tidy

Yes. He sat back and looked around at the house. Neat and tidy. Clean. Swept top to bottom and left to right. Nothing… he jumped, and peered at a lamp. No, not done.

He sprang from the chair and flew to the table on which there stood a small desk lamp. Clicking the power off, he reached in and unscrewed the bulb. Few years ago, he thought, I’d have burnt my fingers.

He held the bulb up to the window and turned it over. What was he lookiing for? Hard to tell these days, but he knew he woud know it when he saw it. He swiped at the bulb with a duster, then ran a finger round the socket. It came back dusty but otherwise there was nothing to see.

Can’t be too careful, he thought, screwing the bulb back in. Never know who’s listening and to what. Don’t give them a chance to hear, Still, a clean sweep for devices meant no-one was trying to listen to him. But… Wait.

“He find the device?” asked the man in the truck parked just around the corner.

“Nothing,” his female partner looked pleased with herself.

“Dammit, he’s got to find SOMETHING, he’s expecting us to be watching everyone. He’s a mole, he’s going to be EXTRA paranoid,” He thought about it. “With reason. No dummy?”

“There’s a dummy! He just hasn’t found it. I think,” she added quietly. “He’s not as good at cleaning up after himself as he thinks.”