The Show

The sound of stomping grew louder as she approached. The water level in the vase with wilted pink carnations began to move in staccato, then swayed steadily. On the bookshelf, a tall heavy book at the end of a row of smaller paperbacks fell sideways against the bare shelf and landed with a dramatic slap. The door burst open.

She kicked off her shoes as she lurched towards the coffee table, picking up the remote control, turning on the TV, and making a small leap at the chocolate coloured second hand lounge with the comfy cushions and absolutely no shape. She landed in one of the shapeless chocolate cushions as a picture appeared on the screen. It was all done in one movement. She gave a little gleeful shout and kicked her feet in the air for a moment until, finally, composure reigned. The vase stopped and her shoes came to rest on the carpet and the opening music of the show commenced. She retrieved her phone from her jeans pocket and quickly dialled.

“It’s starting!” she said, sitting up. “You know what. Don’t play games with me. It’s on now.”

Her favourite show was on TV. She had almost missed it. First the train was late and now the police had cordoned off access to the alleyway where her front door was located. She had been forced to talk her way into her own apartment. The constable down on the street had been polite and did his best to be accommodating, and he had such a kissable mouth, but it takes time to be allowed to enter your own property when the police have put up their tape, and she was scared she would miss the beginning of the show. But she didn’t. She had had to run, but she didn’t miss it.

She always watched with her friend at the other end of the phone line. Her friend Kikki was just as big a fan as she was of the show called The Singing And Dancing Show. It was a talent quest style show and most of the contestants would sing songs from the 1980s, which was a decade she loved and remembered fondly, although she could only barely remember it, and her mum would never let her wear most of the fashions or listen to the music she now wanted to see and hear so much at the time. Maybe that’s why she loved that decade now. It reminded her of a simpler time. It reminded her that her mum was right when she used to say, “Alison you can’t dress like that. Those people look ridiculous. You can dress like that when you’re older.” The primary colours and huge shoulder pads and ripped clothes and weird hairstyles – they did look ridiculous, but Alison loved them. Watching her show was the best thing she did each week.

It also provided an opportunity to catch up with Kikki, who she really didn’t see enough.

The first rather uncertainly commenced a Culture Club song, and Alison said, “Ooh, Boy George!”

She wondered again about the constable down in the street and what he and his colleagues were doing down there. He had told her to stay indoors and she had no intention of moving. The first ad break came just as she was developing a goodly hunger and so Alison made her way to the kitchen and returned with a tub of chocolate ice cream with choc chips in it and a spoon. She had run out of choccy topping or she would have had that too. Alison liked chocolate. Her friend was eating something similar and they compared notes on their confectionery dinners and giggled together as they described the bowls in front of them.

Ice cream headaches had always plagued Alison. Some people said that she ate too quickly and that’s what caused the problem, but she didn’t believe this. There are lots of people who never get a headache like this and they can’t all be naturally sensible people who don’t eat too quickly, and anyway how would they know how fast they are eating if they never have a problem? No, she didn’t believe that. It was unfair. It was rotten luck that a fan of a particular kind of food could suffer from such symptoms when eating it.

When the pain shot up through her brain just above her eyes, she dropped the spoon on the table and threw her head back. That’s what she would do. Throw her head back and raise her palm to her forehead and keep it there until the feeling subsided. She felt something wet this time. It was blood. Alison had been shot.

An insistent knock on the door was then heard. “Open up,” a voice said. “It’s the police. Get down and make your way to the door as fast as you can.”

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Published in: on October 25, 2012 at 7:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

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