Bob’s cry resounded across the street like an analog alarm clock. The visuals were nothing much to speak of, though.
He hadn’t broken anything, only his self-esteem. He picked himself quickly just as the front door opened.
The person who stepped out was the size of a bear, with whiskers like a walrus and arms like hammers. He was unnecessarily holding a shotgun in his hand – the kind that made noise instead of recording it.
This IMAX-like presence was Cathy’s father.
“Who is it, Teddy?” It was Cathy’s mom, Rachel. Bob couldn’t see her, but he assumed she was hiding behind Teddy.
Where to go? There were houses in every direction, he was sure to be seen. Primal instincts took over, and he did the one thing any evolved being would do – he climbed.
Maybe the silence was too much, because the first thing he did after stumbling in was knock down a chair. She woke up.
It could be argued that he did the one thing that instantly put an end to all his worries – he fainted ungracefully, right at his lady love’s feet. She screamed.
Cathy recognized him, of course. She hadn’t screamed because of his presence. It was the fainting that did it.
“Cathy! Are you all right?” It was dad, from outside the window. She looked out. She wanted to scream for help.
But instead, she said: “I saw someone running away, in that direction!” She pointed to the main street.
“Damn, must have been a burglar. I’m going to call the police.”
Just then Rachel entered without knocking. Cathy froze like a stuck pixel.
“Are you all right, honey?” Rachel was coming towards her, oblivious to the sleeping disaster behind Cathy’s bed. Cathy rushed forward and hugged her mother.
“I’m all right, mom.”
“I can’t go back to sleep now.”
“Let’s go down and make some coffee.”
Bob was switched off, like an empty battery.