Blame The Media


Hank Gibson sits alone in his Lay Z Boy recliner in the family room, watching his son, Luke, run around the house after Lisa, trying to grab his hat back. "Come on sis, give it back!"

"No, Lukie has to catch me first!" Her dandelion-yellow braids bounce off of her shoulders as she runs, a smile on her face reveals two missing teeth and her freckles give an odd sense of color to her pale, young face. Her laughter is irritating to Hank.

"Quiet!" He suddenly bursts, causing Lisa to stop abruptly and she drops the hat in question as a result. Luke ignores the fallen hat and whimpers.

"Sorry dad," the fourteen year-old offers, "Come on Lis', let's leave dad alone."

This only annoys Hank more.

"How can you two be so normal when your sister only died a week ago?" He sounds lethal, so Luke begins to pull his younger sister out of the room.

"Hank," their mother, Lucille, appears from the kitchen, a cloth in her hand. "They're just kids, let them be."

"Quiet Lucille, you of all people should know the pain of a lost child!"

Her face looks as if he had physically hit her and she leaves back into the kitchen.

Hank ignores the pain and horror he has caused his grief-stricken family and continues his marathon of beer and television. His eyes are blind to the game of soccer that he is forcing himself to watch, but he notices when the image is distorted with static.

"Stupid thing, nothing works right in this world!" He grouches to himself and crouches from his La Z Boy recliner and bangs the side of the TV, forgetting that the family used cable instead of an antenna (as which the process of hitting the TV might work). As a result, the screen has no more static, but it is now black.

Hank utters an annoyance and reaches behind the TV for the plug that will let him reconnect the TV and have it possibly working once more.

In the kitchen, Lucille is cooking that night's dinner. Fish and chips for the kids and a large New York style steak for Hank. She softly marinates the steak and she hears that the television is no longer on. She hears Hank slam his palm against the side of the television and she ignores the annoyance that she feels in her gut for her husband.

Suddenly the room is completely quiet, it is unnerving.

"Oh my God," Lucille suddenly hears Hank say, "What are you doing here? How can you be here?"

Then the lights flicker uncertainly and Hank screams in pain.

"Hank?" Lucille runs around to the family room and screams when she sees her husband lying on the ancient red carpet. His hands are blackened from where he had grabbed the television plug and his eyes are wide with fear, not surprise from the last image he unwillingly saw before his death.


The End

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