The Narrator

By:
jack.peacock@outlook.com

Sarah slipped off her dressing gown and stepped into the bath. She slid down, immersing herself in the warm soapy water. Just then her eyes widened and darted around the room. She jumped up and grabbed her dressing gown, threw it over herself and held it tight shut.

“What was that? I’m not hearing things, am I?” she said, almost in a whisper.

She opened the bathroom door and checked around the hall outside, but all was empty.

“Is someone there?” she said.

“Who is that? Show yourself!” she said, “I KEEP HEARING ‘SHE SAID’ AFTER EVERYTHING I SAY,” she yelled down the dark hallway…Oh, you can hear me?

“Yes, I can bloody well hear you! I’m going to call the police! Where are you? Have you planted some camera in my house?”

Erm…no. I’m the narrator of the story.

“The narrator? The story? What the hell! Get out of my house! How can you see me? Where are you?”

Erm…I don’t actually know. I’m watching from a sound booth reading from a script. I think you’re supposed to have a glass of wine and read a book after the bath.

“Don’t tell me what I should be doing. This is completely insane. Where did I put my phone?”

Ah, I can help you there. It says here that you frantically search the house like a demented foxhound before finding the phone on the kitchen table. The place where you first looked, obviously.

Sarah walked across the hallway towards the kitchen, all the time scanning the room for signs of a…

“I don’t need a running commentary on my actions!”

Sorry…

“Said the pervert of a narrator.”

Well if you are going to be like that, then fine. I will stay quiet. We could have made a good team as well. Now you will have to go and find out that your husband is having an affair with his secretary on your own.

“Ah, my phone is here…Damn, the battery’s gone. I’m going to my neighbor’s. She has a gun, you know. This is just too creepy and…Wait a minute, what was that you said about my husband?”

Oh, so you want my help now?

“Just tell me what that ‘script’ says and maybe I won’t report you to the police!”

Hey look, I’m just doing my job. I’ve got a wife and two kids at home to support.

“WHAT DOES THE SCRIPT SAY?!?”

OK, OK, calm yourself…erm…Let’s see…she yelled at the top of her shrill voice (that’s already done), drank half a bottle of wine (far, far less than usual), read a cheap supermarket novel, and…Ah! Here it is. She found her husband’s mobile phone, which he’d left in his coat pocket, and used it to make a call.

In the process of making the call you should find a message about tonight’s “meeting.”

As Sarah fumbled through her husband’s coat pockets, she could be heard tutting at the phrase ‘shrill voice’ and mumbling that she doesn’t drink that much, and that one glass a day is her absolute limit. Of course, anyone could see that that was clearly nonsense. She had already drunk two glasses over lunch that day, and a casual glance could reveal at least a dozen empty wine bottles lying scattered about the…

“ENOUGH ALREADY! I’m sure if you had a lying, cheating, waste of space for a husband like I do, you would be drinking more! Ah, here’s his phone! Now let’s see what messages…A pass code! He’s obviously trying to hide something.”

The rage on Sarah’s face was now so intense that she could scare away a ravenous tiger. She began trying different number combinations on the phone. She started trying memorable dates, and years — birthdays, anniversaries… — but found nothing that unlocked the phone. It never occurred to her that in his laziness, her husband had never intended to secure his phone with a code, and had simply never bothered to change the default “1111” that locked the SIM card.

“Thank you very much!”

You are very welco…Oh damn, you weren’t supposed to hear that. Well, that ruins three pages of script. And it’s good script too. I would like to have seen you smash that mirror with the phone, and seeing you slip on the wet floor would probably have been hilarious.

“So he’s at her house, is he? Well I know the address! I think I might just pay them a surprise visit.”

As Sarah paced the room, fumbling with her husband’s phone, a thought suddenly popped into her head.

“Wait a minute, you mentioned earlier that I had two glasses of wine over lunch. How do you know that? How long have you been watching me?”

I err…I can’t remember…I…

“And how far ahead is this ‘scripted?’ If I go to this woman’s address, what will happen?”

I err…my script doesn’t go that far. The writers must still be working on it.

“The writers? When I get back from killing my husband I’m going to have a few words with your writers. I won’t have my life scripted like this. I mean: ‘demented foxhound?’ ‘Ravenous tiger?’ Honestly, where do they get this rubbish?”

Sarah flung open her wardrobe and threw on the first set of clothes she laid her hands on. She marched down the hallway to the front door, her footsteps resonating sharply around the house. Her eyes were fixated on her husband’s mobile phone as she marched to her car. She did not look up, and so walked straight into her waste bins outside. The sound of empty wine bottles crashing together could be heard halfway down the stre…

“I CAN STILL HEAR YOU!” came a shrill voice from outside the front door.

 

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