Tuesday, April 2, 2013

B is for Beauty and the Beast


     Brian waited by the door, sweat dripping down his face.

     He knocked again, less patiently that time. The whirl of the air conditioner was so loud he figured no one had heard him. It was a thin excuse at best, but greater stories than this have begun on weaker grounds. He reached for the handle.

     “Hello…I’m here about your ad,” he called out, closing the door behind him. He didn’t hear it lock, because he’d at least been right about the air conditioner; it was loud.

     Brian pulled out the flyer he’d found stapled to the telephone pole in front of the house: WANTED: Handyman needed for fixing things; top rate available.Top rate sounded good to him, with four mouths to feed at home and no work all summer.

     A door slammed deeper in the house and Brian left the kitchen, rightly figuring it would lead him to the person who’d written the notice. Footsteps on the stairs led him up and a light on in the bedroom led him in, just like it had the man from the day before, and the day before that.    

     The air conditioner was loud enough that the man walking in front of the house looking at the new flyer on the telephone pole didn’t hear the screams.