Reposted for Good Humor Monday
Trapped in the kitchen of a run down relative's house, I daydreamed myself free. They were my ex's family, hockey people; the kind of dullards who wear sports jerseys to family social events. All they cared about and talked about was hockey, something I cared nothing for and cared less to talk about. The winter kitchen was warm with them, but I was quite happy to be alone by myself.
I took a quick exit from my day-dream, snatched a snack off the table, closed my eyes and returned to my imagination.
Something light nudged my toe.
I nudged back.
(Seems like a ball), I rolled it away.
Thumpt-t, it returned.
Tap, away you go.
Obviously something was askew with the house. The place moaned and creaked all night as every footfall sent tectonic shock waves groaning through the floors and crinkling up the walls. The kitchen floor was the worst; it creaked and snapped at each deflection. The floor was about as level as a freeway ramp and something under the table kept commuting into my foot.
Damned it! I squib kicked whatever it was away, but perhaps too hard.
Wobbling on its axis, a small translucent ball crested planet-like over the horizon of the table. It arced across the kitchen sky, then set into the refrigerator with a bang. It dribbled, spun and rolled -- then settled into a deep divot in the linoleum floor.
The room went suddenly, and may I add quite astonishingly, quiet. I quickly donned a mask of sheepish contrition.
Our host shot me a look that could kill (and being a hockey guy, I trusted he would if he could). He scrambled to retrieve the ball and lovingly unscrewed its halves. Then ever so gently, he removed a stunned and dizzy little hamster.
The house gasped with horror. In the living room the social vultures unfolded their wings, to circle slowly into the kitchen. There, they hovered and prined, glaring at me as if to say with their dull eyes "do we feed now?"
What followed was a swift and graceless exit.
© Greg Schiller, 2007
Author: Greg Schiller