she hung up, frustrated yet again. “why is he like that?” she asked no one in particular.
“like what?” she answered her with disinterest, more concerned with the tiny world trapped inside her phone.
“I asked him a simple question, and he wouldn’t answer!” she exclaimed, her frustration palpable between them.
“doesn’t seem that unusual to me,” she responded without looking up. she was in the middle of an email and didn’t want to stop.
“but,” she sighed, “I could hear him breathing on the phone!”
“that’s just weird.” she hit send on the phone and finally looked up. “he’s strange anyway. isn’t that what you thought when you first met him? kind of sketchy?”
she was breathing deliberately through her nostrils, her arms crossed, her eyes staring without seeing through the windows.
“I mean,” she continued, “he’s cute, but,” she shrugged, “whatever. Come on,” she stood up so she could look through the windows too, “I’ll go with you,” she reassured her.
She easily shrugged off her loose embrace. “that’s not the point,” she hissed, but her eyes never left the scene outside.
“no, of course, not,” she agreed, hypnotized by what she was seeing through the windows too, “What do you think is going on?”
“he’s an asshole?”
“no, I mean, outside.”
it was the most peculiar thing. coming towards them was the oddest wave. except, it wasn’t really a wave, per se, but more like, a coming toward them of odd events. she really had no words for it -she could see the pattern, and the pattern seemed to be a wave.
one of their neighbors had climbed out of their window, and now there was her husband on the lawn, clutching his throat and gesticulating wildly. that was surely out of character for them, and they weren’t the only ones... behaving oddly in this, their quiet little subdivision. the perfect green lawns were slowly filling up with these oddities, these neighbors of theirs who they rarely to ever saw, suddenly exposed to them in their housecoats and slippers.
in the middle distance on the sidewalk was an upturned tricycle, its little training wheels still spinning, but the owner of the trike was nowhere near in sight. she wondered if the child was hurt, and if the small, bright patches of fabric a few yards away was perhaps that of the missing child, lying facedown in the grass...
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw the STOP sign on the corner... seem to melt. Well, that wasn’t it exactly. actually, the letters were melting. and the sign was too, right down the post -like it was bleeding bright red and white. that was surely unnatural.
she turned to her sister to say something, but no sound came out of her mouth. how peculiar, she thought, blinking confusedly. she simply stared at her sister, but her sister was staring back too, her mouth opening and closing and then... just open, in a silent “O.”
and that’s when she realized what it was about the wave that was so terrifying, this wave that was surely a figment of her imagination...
it was perfectly silent.
there wasn’t any noise.
there was only...
she tried to take a deep breath, but she had to really think about it. before her, her sister was doing the same, she could tell. at least, she thought so. she tilted her head to one side, but the thoughts that she could have sworn were right there... now seemed to be spilling out of the top of her head. Or, really, it felt as though something was tugging on her brain, with tiny, invisible fingers...
her head felt heavy, like it did when she was very, very tired. if her head was emptying; it should have felt lighter.
that was her last thought as her sister crumpled to the kitchen floor right before her.