13 October 2011
A Dog Barks Three Times
Lying awake on his bed in the dark, Dan listens to the noises coming in through his half opened window. They are subdued, suburban noises that carry with them an anxious resonance. He hears, muffled in the distance, a rapid and irregular hammering. A man frustrated with his shoddy roof, kills his wife with a hammer. Rapid, irregular trauma to the head, the autopsy would read. Dan smiles at this thought and continues to vaguely concentrate on the murderous tempo. A bird calls, a different kind of bird answers, and a dog barks three times. He hears wind move the overgrown bush that covers his second story window, moments later, he feels it, warm and muggy, smelling of day old grass clippings. There are loud teenagers next door who have made their way outside to the patio. They are yelping and laughing too often and at nothing, in a way that that seems to be unsure of what else to do. They list off the fags and sluts in their class and the faggy and slutty things they do. Dan does not look, but imagines them as the kids from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, minus Charlie; Charlie is a fag. Dan turns over slightly and stares at the sliver of light at the edge of his heavy, closed curtain. It gets slightly bigger as the grassy draft moves it, breathing a kind of stale life into the room before noticing Dan and hastily retreating, almost sucking the curtain out with it. Dan listens to his sister downstairs walk to the computer room, then to the kitchen, then to the living room, then up the stairs. He sees the shadow of her feet move past the crack under his door. He hears her go into their parents empty room and stay there, quietly. He wonders if she walks into his room and stays there quietly when he's not home. He hears her turn on their parent's TV. It's a daytime talkshow, the audience is laughing.