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turn off the radio

By Margaret BrennanPublished about a month ago 5 min read
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Turn off the radio

Annaleigh and her sons were in the kitchen putting on the finishing touches on the dinner they’d been cooking. Her younger son, Luke made the salad, while her older son, Ian, set the table. Ani (as she liked to be called) had just pulled the lasagna out of the oven. Setting the dish on the wooden hotplate to cool enough to eat without burning their tongues, she grabbed the glasses from the cupboard and placed them on the table. Ian took the iced tea from the refrigerator and set the pitcher on the counter.

As they were about to sit, Ani said, “Which of you left your radio on?”

The boys looked at each other. Luke, eleven years old said, “Mom, wasn’t me but I’ll go check anyway.” She watched her younger son, with his straight blond hair and innocent blue eyes walk away.

His thirteen-year-old brother, Ian called after him, “While you’re down the hall, check in my room. Maybe it was me.”

Ani dished out the meal and soon Luke walked back into the kitchen. “Mom, our radios weren’t on. I checked your room, and the same thing. Nothing’s on.”

“Hmm,” she looked perplexed. “Was I imagining this? Or did you hear it, too?”

Ian answered first, “Mom, I heard it too. It sounded like a man and woman talking but while I could hear the voices, I couldn’t make out any of the words.”

“Yeah, me, too, mom. I heard what you and Ian heard.”

“Hmmph!” Ani said wondering. “Okay, then it was probably just a passing car whose radio was a bit too loud. At least we know what it might have been. Let’s eat before the lasagna gets cold.”

They sat around the small table and while they ate their supper, spoke of the day they had. Ani told them of the incident she experienced at work. “I’m telling you, guys, I am so glad I paid attention to all the training I had. Clearly, whoever cut those pieces from the PC board, was in a rush. The espionage wasn’t even covered up.”

“Mom, why did they question you.” Ian looked worried. As usual, his chestnut brown hair was a mess of waves. It was obvious that he hadn’t combed it since earlier that morning. His blue eyes seemed to turn to steel with concern.

“Because my initials were on the inspection sheet as the last one to handle the board before it went to the testing department. Don’t worry; I’m clear.” Ian replied with, “Okay, then. I guess that’s a good thing. Do you think they’ll catch the person?”

“Sweetie, this isn’t the first time since I’ve been with the company that something weird like this has happened. I’m told it’s a common occurrence; after all, the company does handle government contracts. I’m just glad there have been no threats to the building. Now, that’s something I’d worry about.”

Luke spoke, “Mom, Riley got sick again in class. I mean really sick! She started throwing up, grabbing her stomach. Mrs. Copperfield (his teacher), had to help her to the nurse’s office. Then we all heard the sirens. They took her to the hospital. No one knows what happened.”

“Well, let’s pray she’ll be okay. There should be some news tomorrow about what happened. I’ll call her mom tomorrow afternoon. How about you, Ian? Anything exciting happening?”

Ian smiled his usual happy smile and a gleam sparkled in his eyes. “Well, mom, we had a spontaneous written quiz today on drafting.”

“Drafting? How on earth could you have a quiz on drafting?” Ani thought it was a weird subject for quizzes.

“We were given a written description of a one-story house and asked to draw up matching blueprints.”

Ani saw that he sat up a bit straighter as he said, “And I aced it! Mom, Mr. Walther gave me an A+.”

“OMG! Ian, that’s so wonderful. I’d love to see your drawing.”

“I should get it back tomorrow. I really want you to see ..”

The three of them almost jumped with fright when they heard a loud crash that seemed to come from Ani’s bedroom.

“What the heck?” Ani said as she stood and ran to her room. She shoved the door open and saw her bed had been turned upside down. Her sons loudly gasped. “Mom,” was all they said, not knowing what else could be said.

They heard water dripping and turned to see water pouring out from the entrance to the attic. Ani said, “Well, that makes no sense, either. It isn’t raining and there are no water pipes or hoses up there.”

“Mom?” Luke looked like he was about to cry with fear, but Ani took as much control of the situation as she could muster.

“Okay, let’s mop the water first. I’ll get the ladder and go in the attic to check things out. Then, I’ll need the help of both of you to fix my bed and set it right.”

Together, they mopped the large puddle and using her hair blower, dried the floor tiles. Ani climbed the ladder, opened the ceiling hatch, and saw – not one thing wrong. No water, no drip, no puddle! No nothing! As she climbed down the ladder, she closed the hatch and said, “I can’t understand it. Everything in the attic is the way we left it a few months ago when we put the Christmas decoration up there.”

As her feet hit the floor, Ian said, “Well, mom, I know we didn’t imagine it. We have wet towels in the tub to prove it! But maybe we can worry about that later, Let’s take care of your bed.”

Ani carried the ladder back down to the basement and felt a very odd chill. Ignoring it, Ani placed the ladder in the corner room where she kept the odd tools she’d collected throughout the years.

She walked toward her bedroom and saw that Ian and Luke had already pulled the bed linens off the upended bed and placed them on the living room couch.

After a few minutes, Ani’s bedroom was back to the way it had been before, well, before what happened had happened.

Ani hugged her sons and said, “If you were old enough for glass of wine, I’d offer it but since you’re not, how about a dish of ice cream?”

Luke smiled and said, “Mom, you’re on! I’ll get the bowls.”

As they walked towards the kitchen, they stopped dead in their tracks as they heard the unmistakable wail of a baby crying.

Short Story

About the Creator

Margaret Brennan

I am a 77-year old grandmother who loves to write, fish, and grab my camera to capture the beautiful scenery I see around me.

My husband and I found our paradise in Punta Gorda Florida where the weather always keeps us guessing.

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Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insight

  1. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

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Comments (4)

  • Solomon Walker8 days ago

    a wonderful story

  • Murali30 days ago

    What a cliffhanger! I need to know what happens next.

  • Denelsia Walkerabout a month ago

    This is wonderful! Excellent wordplay, painted scripted scenery, and artwork. I look forward to hearing more. 😍🪄🎉 Love the family vibing together. 💕 Suspense. Suspense. Suspense. 🤩

  • Kendall Defoe about a month ago

    Yikes! I need to know more now...

Margaret BrennanWritten by Margaret Brennan

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