“Are you there?” Bob held his head very still, making sure to not make any sound. Even the slightest rush of blood could make him miss their answer.
Bob looked out of the window. Across the street the neighbour woman was watering the plants at her balcony. Again. Not that he was complaining. She was a treat to look at. Long blond hair. Great rack. And lately she had been wearing these tight skirts that left him wondering about more than just how much water those plants actually needed. But still. He’d prefer to have neighbours not looking into his house at all times of the day.
Bob jumped out of his chair. Freaking heavenly father. He was right. “Marcy! It’s happening again!”
“What is it, Bob?” Marcy came running from the kitchen, her hands covered in dough. She was making pie for dessert.
“Go wash up, and be quick about it! They’re back. And this time I want to get a recording.”
Marcy was not the smartest wife he ever had, but he couldn’t put the probes in by himself. It was kind of delicate. The technology involved wasn’t the kind you could just order online. So she’d have to make sure not to damage it. Nor kill him.
Bob watched Marcy as she returned from the kitchen, drying her hands on a towel. “I love you, honey. But please be careful.”
“I’m always careful when I stick things in your head.” Marcy smiled as she picked up the first of the needles. “Let’s get it over with. I want to finally hear those voices you’ve been yapping about.”
Bob sat back in his chair and closed his eyes. If only they wouldn’t start talking immediately and wait until all three probes were in place. The first probe went smoothly. Marcy attached the chords to it, and just as she reached for the second probe, the doorbell rang.
Bob opened his eyes and could just keep himself from jumping up in his chair. With a needle sticking ten inches into his brain, he’d better keep real still. His eyes darted to Marcy. “Who could that be? Are you expecting anyone?”
Marcy shook her head and walked to the hallway to open the door. “It’s Katie.”
Katie was the woman living across the street. The one obsessed with watering her plants. Bob wondered how she could have found the time to stop by at such an inconvenient time, leaving her plants to wither in the sun. He hoped each and every one of them would die.
Bob started tapping his shoes on the floor. What was taking her so long? “Marcy!”
The voices might be back any moment now. She should get back here and finish this, before blabbering with the neighbours.
“Remove the probe. Don’t try to resist.”
What was that? Probably the sound of sweat trickling down his shirt. It couldn’t be them. How would they know about the probe? “Marcy!”
Still no response from the hallway. Blimey. What should he do now?
“Don’t pretend you didn’t hear us. Do as we say.”
Bob let out a sarcastic laugh. Do as we say. Yeah. Sure. Or what?
“You don’t really think you’re our only test subject, do you?”
Bob scratched his neck. His wound from last time’s probing hadn’t fully healed yet and was itching a lot. He tried not to touch it for fear of infection, but he had other things on his mind now. Like, figuring out what the hell was going on here.
“Never mind. Just get rid of the probe. Let’s just say Katie didn’t just randomly rang your door bell just now.”
Bob stared at the window but didn’t actually see anything. His mind was a complete blank.
“Oh, dear. Let me put it more directly. Bob. Take out the probe. We have your wife.”
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This story was written for @mctiller’s #24hourshortstory contest, using the prompt he so generously provides every week.
Photo Credit: Spiffing Images Media Flickr via Compfight cc.