The Hazards of Moving in with a Couple

BY ROBERT VAUGHAN

1. Are We There Yet?

I move into a basement apartment. With a married couple. He bides his time, making sure she is asleep. Waits for snores. Those pills sure do magic. Then the lure of the stranger, elusive and furtive, lurks in the dark. Hypnotized. Heart pounds him from the bed, slip-sliding across the cement floor.

Monday: watches reruns of “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.”

Tuesday: snarfs moon pies. Every odd pie, practices breast strokes in the hot tub.

Wednesday: Cruises porn sites while wearing her bra and panties. Writes rhetorical questions on post-it notes like How Should You Be When I Die?

Thursday: Buys 1,000.00 worth of books from Amazon, cancels them before dawn, except a book on transgendered pygmies surrounding an Indonesia colony.

Friday: counts sheep (literally, they live on a farm and the fence was broken). Repeats B-a-a-a-h whenever he sees a shooting star.

2. Basement Tapes

She never wakes up, in endless loop-de-loop. Not during the earthquake. Not when he sells all the sheep and auctions the house. At first she suspects damage from the vacancy, from the tremolos and recitatives. She winces at the Ponce De Leon statue erected in the pantry. Wonders when they grew the buffalo mozzarella in the salad. She makes an impermanent list and leaves it tacked to the stairs:

Do not invite the neighbors.

Hire a cleaning and wrecking crew.

Start the new year on the left foot. Repeat.

Take the job offer with the Drifting Fish Farm in Hawaii.

BIO: Robert Vaughan leads writing roundtables at Redbird- Redoak Writing. His prose and poetry can be found in numerous journals. His short fiction, “10,000 Dollar Pyramid” was a finalist in the Micro-Fiction Awards 2012. He is senior flash fiction editor at JMWW, and Lost in Thought magazines. He was the head judge for Wisconsin People & Ideas 2012 Fiction contest. His book, Flash FictionFridays, is at Amazon. His poetry chapbook, Microtones, is forthcoming from Cervena Brava Press. His blog: http://rgv7735.wordpress.com.

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