Barbara Voices Concern

by Josie Heaney 2 months ago in literature

‘Something!’ she declared ‘it’s not right’

Barbara Voices Concern

Barbara ‘Babs’ Butterford rose from her seat with a suddenness that attacked her once in a while , and often when doing so, sent her broken framed glasses askew.

"Something!" she declared "it’s not right."

A rapid pumpyness challenged her upright frame causing her pink and white flowered nightgown to beat in time with her shuddering shapeless body. The back of her throat and teeth felt excitable and

Her ears weren’t sure if they had heard something or not.

She stood in the centre of her dreamily sunlit room as a young bird cuckoo-pushed from its nest, frozen-shocked, with one arm out, and bulge eyed staring, defaced with crooked horn rimmed glasses, and feet adorned in carpet slippers (though her apartment had a wooden floor—she often wondered if it were appropriate to call them carpet slippers) and a static filled, below knee flowery, poly-cotton long-sleeved nightgown. An outfit more appropriate for a vintage child than a grown woman of forty something. Plus it around two o’clockish on a warm Tuesday in July.

She was unsure yet, but prior to this particular stance she may have been sleeping because her neck was head-bobbing-hurt and her mouth was dry. She often slept upright at odd times of the day— especially when in her favourite armchair, open mouthed, drooling, and adorned in a partially read magazine about celebrities.

But dear reader I digress, Barbara’s ears may have heard a sound and this alerted her to her current position—terrified.

At that moment, the door knocked itself.

"Oh God."

Knock, Knock, Knock

"Knockity, knock, knock—I hope someone’s making that happen that is welcome." Caution slippered and fear weakened, Barbara slid to her kitchen counter and unsheathed a rather beautiful Japanese kitchen knife from its block.

"Who… who," she owl-stuttered

"Is there?"

The silence of the heavy security door muffled a mournful cry, unevenly deep and smattered with crackled pitching.

Given Barbara’s propensity for blind panic and the odd ‘episode’ where things become frighteningly unfamiliar, upon hearing such a fearful moan, she threw the knife, sending its glittering blade twisting to the floor, triumphantly impaling a board.

She fell to her knees and accompanied the wailing, too scared to proceed with anything.

This continued on both sides of the door, until it simultaneously stopped and Barbara rose to her slippers and efficiently wiggle hurried to the door, high headed and clutching her nightgown at her chest as if to protect her already protected high necked be-clothed modesty. As if nothing had happened and she had never showed fear in her life. Fixing a palm to her roller-filled hair she checked the security camera and saw that the figure wailing was indeed familiar and of course welcome. She airily smiled and logically began unbolting all her locks.

There were eight bolts in all, and additionally a chain and two locks—a Chubb and Yale—they took a couple of minutes to open, because she was ham fisted with keys and bolts and locks.

"A devilish necessity!"

The door opened and finally revealed its visitor. "Barbara," he partially snivelled.

"Why does it always happen to me?"

"Look, you know it’s Babs, and hello to you too Marvin, do come in, I was concerned about you."

"Thanks, I will. And I could hear, I knew you’d know—have you done something with your hair?"

Barbara’s fading behind closed door voice answered

"It’s in rollers Marvin. Tell me what happened."

The door banged shut.

literature
Josie Heaney
Josie Heaney
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