Thursday, June 3, 2010
Sitting on the couch, wrapped up in a blanket, watching The Devil's Advocate. Megan's asleep in the next room and the volume is as low as I can manage, although I know she's a heavy sleeper. My thoughts are occupied with my schedule for the next few days, as I play with an array of vitamins laying in front of me on the coffee table, picking them up with a pair of chop sticks and rearranging them in different patterns.
The part of the movie where Mary is out shopping with her New York Stepford wife neighbour comes on, and the woman's facial features suddenly melt into an ugly distorted blur of evil for one split second, and then slip back perfectly into place making me question whether it actually happened or if I may have imagined it. The part where the movie begins to pick up on the eerie suspense. Cut to the next scene: Mary is having a breakdown. She doesn't look like herself anymore. Her hair is different, she's pale and terrified. The brilliant acting reaches my stomach and I'm afraid for her.
The screen begins to shake, lines run across the television. The screen flashes from varying shades of grey to a vision of solid, blinding blue, radiating with loud, confusing, static noise that eventually calms down to nearly quiet. Nothing but a soft hum. The orange lettering on the cable box begins to seizure through several combinations of numbers and letters, making up words that make no sense to me.
I sit dead still, waiting for the lights to go out and flood the apartment in total darkness, or maybe for something to crawl out of the television screen and drag me to hell. The suspense builds and I wonder if the cable is ever going to fix itself, when the screen bursts back into colour and the room explodes with the sound at maximum volume, making me jump clean out of my skin. I grab the remote as fast as I possibly can and hit down frantically on the volume button, knowing that I'll be lucky if it hasn't woken Megan from her deep sleep on the other side of the wall.
The movie plays on like nothing's happened and a commercial break comes on, so I leave my safe haven to go get some water. I reach the sink and turn on the tap, then open the cupboard doors and reach up for a glass. As the glass begins to fill with water I'm sure I can hear a faint scream, and my eyes dart behind me back to the t.v. screen.
One of those annoying Everest Institute commercials is on, giving me no explanation as to where the sound is coming from. I turn off the cold water and listen in suspense, and almost perfectly on cue a child runs down the hallway screaming at the top of his lungs and hitting the walls with both hands. Chills run up and down my back.
Tonight is one of those nights where a person might feel more comfortable not sleeping alone. That is, if said person could sleep at all...