“Just one more. Please?” He clasped his hands and blinked his large doe brown eyes.
Karol looked at Pete, plumped in his pillows. His headboard bookcase was already neatly packed full of books. Horizontal stacks rose from the top shelf. Multi-coloured stripes of green, brown, red, black, blue.
He squealed, and jumped out of bed. Grabbing an inches thick leather bound The Sherlock Holmes Collection. Leaning on her for balance, he placed it carefully at the top of the tallest stack. There was no room for another book without scraping the beige popcorn ceiling.
That night, the earthquake hit. Rattling and swaying the apartment as if a jet had skimmed the roof. Karol heard dishes breaking in the kitchen, and a loud thump. She wandered into Pete’s room. He lay silent and motionless in bed. Sherlock had tumbled, denting Pete’s left temple like the crumpled in corner of a poorly handled shipping box. The family curse had struck again.
Karol shrugged. “Told ya so.”
She wandered out of the room. Scratching at the metal plate in her skull. From The Compleat Works of Shakespeare. It got her during The Big One of 2027. Or was it 37? 72?
She shrugged, trying to remember where her phone was. Trying to remember who she needed to call. Maybe Pete would know.
Photo Credit iamjerome Studios
Jan L. Mayes MSc Aud(C) RAud is an international Eric Hoffer Award winning author, audiologist, and hearing healthcare educator. She specializes in tinnitus, hyperacusis, noise-induced hearing system damage, and darkly disturbing, macabre horror fiction.