Are you hearing this? #Spokane Super Fast #Flash #Fiction #Creepy
I have a set of headphones that let me hear what other people are thinking. I got them at the North Spokane Walmart last week. They’re not fancy, the old fashioned kind you actually wear on your head. They’re black, hard plastic with foam padding for the ears.
I bought them on Thursday at 5:00am I was heading out on a three hour road trip to visit family in Missoula, and I wanted to listen to a podcast on my cell phone on the way. I used a screw driver I keep in the glove box to free my new headphones from their packaging. I was still sitting in the parking lot.
I put the head phones on my head. The padding felt soft and cool against my ears. They felt right.
Before I plugged them into the headphone jack on my iPhone, I heard a voice. It said, “Wait a minute.”
The voice in my headphones said, “Look at that couple over there.”
I looked up, and through my windshield, I saw a very fat, somehow British looking white man with red cheeks and thinning gray hair and an equally fat, silver haired black woman who, with her mahogany skin tone and ornately colored dress, looked as if she might actually be from Africa. I guessed that they were both somewhere in their sixties. They were jointly pushing a cart full of groceries from the store to the parking lot. They looked happy. I couldn’t help smiling.
“Listen,” the headphone voice said.
I watched the couple. They were not talking, only pushing the cart and looking happy. Their lips were still, but I heard their voices…in my headphones.
“I love you so much right now, but I’m afraid it wont last.” the man’s voice said.
“I wish we could die right here in this moment,” the woman’s voice answered. “Then we would always be this happy.”
I pulled the headphones off. My heart was thundering in my chest. I was having a hard time catching my breath. I looked around to see if someone was in the car with me. The headphones seemed to vibrate in my hands. I put them back on.
The couple was loading the groceries into the back of a silver Suburban, and though they still looked happy on the outside, I was overwhelmed with sadness at the possibility that their bliss would not last. I understood that it wasn’t my sadness I felt. It was theirs. I was receiving their emotions and their thoughts through my headphones.
“If we do this,” the woman was saying, “the insurance won’t pay, and our kids will be left with nothing.”
“We’d have to make it look like an accident.” the man replied.
“That never works. They have investigators.” The woman sighed.
And then they were silent.
I was overwhelmed with an all consuming desire to help them because I knew in that moment that they were right. These two would not be happy a year from now or even a day from now. Today was the happiest they would ever be. I decided.
When they left the parking lot, I followed them. They stopped at a white, two story house on tenth avenue in Spokane Valley. I drove past it and parked around the corner. The neighborhood was quiet. I gave them time to get the groceries taken care of and then I walked back to their house and right up to the front door. I knocked.
The man opened the door. There was no screen. I stabbed him in the throat with my screw driver. He went down. There was no fight in him. I pulled the screwdriver out of his neck and did my best to avoid the blood spray.
The woman came in from the kitchen. She saw me, and started to say something like a greeting, but then she saw the man sprawled out on the floor. She gasped and then, she too was down. I finished her.
I had forgotten about the headphones, but when it was all done. I heard the voices. They were thanking me.
I left that couple and went on my trip. I made a stop at a motel in Idaho to make sure I was clean. I put the headphones in the trunk. They’re still there.