FF – 21st November 2014
This week the prompt was to include a puppy with the following picture.
THE OTHER SIDE
An audience of five sit in the dimly lit study of renowned scientist Professor Parker.
“I call it the P.U.P.I,” says the Professor as he leans against his latest invention. “It stands for Portable Underworld Projection Interface. A radio to the other side.”
The device is almost as tall as the Professor and housed within a wooden cabinet. The front is covered in lights and dial, switches and buttons and the whole object emits a low humming noise.
“This machine will allow mankind to communicate with the land of the dead,” continues the Professor, “whilst remaining in the land of the living. I have invited you all here tonight, my friends and colleagues, to be witness to this historic event.”
He presses two buttons on the device and pulls a lever. “Behold!”
There’s a flash of light and the Professor is gone.
Dr Reilly eventually breaks the silence. “We’re going to need tea.”
I remove the vinyl from its sleeve and blow gently across its shinny surface. There isn’t a speck of dust on it but it feels like it’s the thing to do. I set the record down on the turntable and carefully lower the needle. The powerful voice of Enrico Coruso floods my apartment, drowning out the sound of next doors yelping puppy. Settling down in my La-Z-Boy, I let the voice and the music wrap itself around me.
The recording had been a prize possession of my late Grandfather, something he’d cherished more than either of the women he’d married. I was honoured that he left it to me.
I sit here now, recently divorced and jobless, letting the lyrical art that emanates from my Sony speakers cross from the other end of the century and relax me to my very core.
I take the last of the pills and down another tumbler of Glenlivet.
I close my eyes.