by Chris Barnes
read by Graeme Dunlop
First published in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine (ASIM) #28, in 2007.
The voice hummed the tune again, softer. George blinked, rubbed his eyes and focused on the bedside clock’s green glowing hands. Twelve-something.
Kitchen. The song was coming from the kitchen. He sat up and listened. The tempo slowed, the voice faded, vanished. The house fell silent, expectant.
George climbed out of bed, switched on the lamp, put on his glasses and stumbled into the hallway. He stood and listened. Nothing. Through the living room, the dining room, into the kitchen. The linoleum chilled the soles of his feet. He tried the back door. Locked, as it should be. Then where …?
The sweet potato woman?
Chris Barnes attended the inaugural Clarion South writing workshop in 2004. He hasn’t written many stories after the initial flurry of those years, but those stories helped secure a job at the consumer organisation CHOICE where for the past 10-odd years he has written stories on more mundane subjects such as vacuum cleaners and lawn mowers. (Oh the glamour!)