The Television
by 80sarcades


Enjoy!


There must've been something wrong with the mirror, she finally decided. Or maybe...just maybe...

What's wrong with me?

Susan Edwards sighed as she looked at her reflection again. I went out and bought the dress, she thought ruefully. Spent hours thinking about what would happen on the date...and possibly after. Makeup, hair...

All of it wasted.

Why do all the good looking ones act so weird? With short, practiced movements she removed the dress and angrily slung it toward a nearby chair. The garment missed its intended target before it fell to the floor and out of sight.

Not that it matters, does it?

He was so charming...flowers and all, too...until he started talking about his mother. About what he and his mother would do when he was off. And he wouldn't shut up, either.

A long sigh escaped her lips before she headed for the bedroom. The long hot bath she took did little to soothe her troubled nerves. She was angry, depressed, annoyed...

Men!

She threw on an old robe and sat on the bed for a moment. Tom, her cat, jumped on the soft surface beside her and nuzzled against her hand for a moment. At least cats are more reliable. They don't expect much...

Tom flopped over and stretched lazily for a moment before curling up into a small ball.

...and they're low maintenance.

Susan briefly stroked his white coat before she walked to the living room.

Maybe watching TV will make me feel better.

She picked up the remote and was just in time to see Clark Gable kiss Claudette Colbert in It Happened One Night.* The way she melted into his arms...

Will that ever be me? she wistfully wondered. Or will I be doomed to live with cats? She giggled, the light sound echoing throughout the room. The neighborhood crazy cat lady.

Susan flipped through the other channels and was mildly disappointed that nothing was on. She briefly stopped on an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and watched in heartache as Odo finally kissed Major Kira for the first time.

Even he knows how to treat a woman! More or less, anyway. The next channel was more interesting.

Hogan's Heroes! A slow grin tugged at the corners of her lips as Colonel Hogan danced around the Kommandant in their usual battle of wits.

Klink is like a gun, she thought cheerfully, her spirits lightening up. He may be good for show but he only fires blanks. As usual, he's hopelessly outmatched. Her eyes wandered over to the other figure. Then again, I wouldn't mind a match with good old Colonel Hogan there. Hogan's cute, charming, witty...and probably good in bed, too... She stopped the thoughts before they went too far.

Well, he has everything that I'm looking for, anyway. Though I like Newkirk too. There's just something about him. Not to mention that he's so cute...

The show ended. To Susan's surprise, another episode appeared.

Must be a marathon! Good. I need some cheering up!

She felt her muscles relax as the boys from barracks two carried out their latest plan. Another smile graced her lips as her eyes briefly closed...


...and then snapped open. Reluctantly, she forced herself to stay awake.

I must have fallen asleep. She glanced at the time. 11:19.

Guess I better go to bed.

Susan raised the remote to turn the TV off...and froze. Her tired eyes opened fully as her mind tried to process the image on the screen.

That's impossible!

"...yes, come on down to Hogan's Pre-Owned Cars, where everyone can get a great deal on the car of their dreams!" The man cheerfully grinned, jarring Susan's world further.

That's Colonel Hogan! she thought in disbelief. But how...how did he get in a used car commercial?

Must be a lookalike. Right?

"Take this 2006 Ford Focus, for instance," the Colonel's doppelganger went on as he stopped next to a yellow car. "Low miles, a pristine paint job, and a steal at $6,995! And if you're into older cars, take a look at this one." The salesman patted the hood of the next vehicle. "The jewel of the lot," he announced. "A 1936 Mercedes 260D in pristine condition. You just can't beat the classic feel of a vintage automobile-"

Just then a familiar bald-headed man walked into the camera view. "Hogan!" he yelled. "What are you doing to my car?"

A cocky smile spread over Hogan's face. "I'm sorry, sir," he smoothly soothed. "All sales are final. Now then-"

"But I didn't sell you my car!" the other man whined. "Your men were supposed to be working on it!"

"As I was saying," Hogan continued, shrugging off the interruption as if nothing had happened, "this vintage example is one of a kind. It only had one owner, a little old man from Potsdam-"

"HOOOGANN!" Klink screamed, shaking his fist at the salesman. "I"m from Leipzig! And I didn't sell you this car!"

"Did too," his opponent casually countered.

"Did not!" Klink bellowed.

"Did too," Hogan said easily. Susan changed the channel and watched the exchange dissolve into gray static. She shook her head, puzzled.

Maybe that was one of those weird shows...you know, the ones that recycle familiar characters? A frown appeared on her face as she considered the thought.

But it was so real...

She flicked a button on the remote. Reality reappeared in the form of a Viagra commercial.

Not that I need any, thank you! she thought, irritated. Do I look like someone hard up on his luck...

Susan's mind caught up with the pun before a giggle turned into a stream of laughter.

God, I needed that!

The ad finally disappeared. A news program, hot on its heels, announced its presence. Susan raised the remote once more.

I'm going to bed, she decided. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

At that moment she accidentally dropped the remote onto the carpet below. Cursing, she reached down to pick up the device just as the announcer started to speak.

"As of this hour, the fighting in Iraq rages on," a deep manly tone began. "ISIS forces continue their march toward Baghdad..." Susan's head snapped up -

-I know that voice!-

-and her blue eyes looked straight into those of James Kinchloe. Silence descended as the doppelgänger stopped speaking. Instead, he merely continued to gaze into the camera.

At me.

Why do I have the feeling he's looking at me?

Suddenly, a chiseled grin appeared on the man's mustached face. "The Colonel's right," his friendly tone rumbled. "You are cute."

A strangled yelp emanated from Susan's throat. Without thinking, she changed the channel; another familiar voice filled the room. Relief spread through her body as a repeat of Law & Order began. She smiled knowingly as a man and woman walked toward their 'discovery.'

It's only fair, an envious part of her mind judged. If my night is ruined then theirs should be too! An evil chuckle died in her throat as the victim-of-the-episode finally appeared. Oh my God, she thought, unwilling to believe her eyes. That's...that's...

"-Wolfgang Hochstetter," a police officer announced. "Queens." He gestured to the stunned faces of the nearby couple. "The lovebirds over there discovered the body at 5:35."

Detective Newkirk, clad in a off-the-rack suit, examined the body with dispassionate eyes. "Any witnesses?" he asked, his Cockney accent louder than normal.

"Not yet," the officer responded before he tipped his head toward the assembled gawkers. "We've got uniforms canvassing the neighborhood." Newkirk merely nodded in reply. His partner, Detective LeBeau, leaned down next to the deceased for the moment before he glanced over at the medical examiner.

"What do you have, Vince?" he inquired.

The balding man shook his head. "This guy has it all," he quietly announced. "He's been shot twice, stabbed six times, run over by a dump truck at least once, been partially set on fire, hung - you can see the ligature marks here on the neck - drowned and of course electrocuted. If I had to guess, someone also tortured him with the bonus American Idol Singing Rejects DVD set. Notice the particularly contorted angled grimace characteristic of watching season six."

"Great," Detective Newkirk groused, rolling his eyes to the heavens. "Another senseless American Idol related death. The Captain's gonna love this." He pursed his lips in thought before he met his partner's eyes. "So, what do you think?"

LeBeau chuckled darkly. "Obviously, I think he committed suicide," he said flatly.

"I agree," Newkirk nodded, his somber expression turning thoughtful. "Still...I wonder if there is something we're missing..."

"Hi, guys!" a new voice announced. Detective Newkirk stifled an annoyed groan.

"Carter, don't you know we're investigating a murder?" he said sharply. To his chagrin the other man continued to flash a dopey smile.

"Gee, sorry Newkirk..." he began lamely. At that moment he belatedly noticed the mangled body. Oddly, his face suddenly brightened. "Hey, I remember this episode!" he exclaimed. "Isn't this the episode where the Colonel and Hochstetter were unknowingly involved in a love triangle with the same woman? And Hochstetter found out about it and told her to break it off or else but she couldn't give the Colonel up... His broke off as he finally saw Detective Newkirk's furious expression.

"Carter!" he snapped. "You've just ruined the whole plot! Now what are we going to do for the next fifty minutes!?"

"Well, gee guys..." Carter said lamely. "I was just trying to help your homicide along..."

Newkirk raised a fist. "I'll homicide you, you..."

Susan quickly changed the television to one of the Sirius music channels. To her surprise the Hogan's Heroes theme music played on a recurring loop. A similar channel played the dramatic theme music used on the show. She narrowed her puzzled eyes at the cable box.

What the hell is this? The Hogan's Heroes comedy hour? Her fingers flipped the flickering screen to another channel...

...and the dramatic music of Star Trek: The Original Series filled the room. The view screen, complete with flashing lights, appeared on the glassy surface of the television.

It's about time!

"Status, Mr. Spock?" a commanding voice inquired. Susan frowned.

That's not Captain Kirk!

As if on cue, the screen switched. Her jaw dropped as it revealed Colonel Hogan, now dressed in a Starfleet uniform, sitting in the familiar command chair.

"One moment," Kinch/Spock said, a bluish glow outlining his dark features. Suddenly, he turned his head. "Captain, Hochstetter Bird-of-Prey decloaking," his impassive voice stated.

"Now, Mr. Sulu!" Captain Hogan/Kirk snapped. Instantly, phaser beams and photon torpedoes pummeled the birdlike ship. A series of explosions wracked the outer hull before the now-helpless craft drifted lazily in space.

"Captain, the Bird-of-Prey is signaling," Hilda/Uhura announced. "Their Captain wants to speak to you."

"Put it on the viewer," Hogan/Kirk ordered calmly. Seconds later, the image of a burning bridge appeared on the screen. The enemy Captain, his face bloody, glared at his opponent.

"I'll get you for this, you p'tagh!" the man spat. "Soon, I will surround you with a ring of steel that you won't be able to escape from!" For his part Hogan/Kirk looked amused.

"Tomorrow, perhaps, but not today," he said, his voice carrying easily across the gulf of space. "Do you require assistance?"

"Never!" Hochstetter/Klingon roared before he angrily closed the connection. Seconds later the other ship warped out of sight. Just then the turbolift door hissed open before a new arrival walked onto the bridge.

"Well, Jim," Newkirk/McCoy announced, "You saved the universe once again. I wonder if he'll be back?" He waved a hand at the viewscreen. Hogan/Kirk merely smiled.

"Of course he will, Bones," he announced. "He's the bad guy. They always show up in later episodes."

"A logical presumption," Kinch/Spock agreed. Newkirk/McCoy glared at him.

"Spare me your logical presumptions, Mr. Spock!" his gravelly voice declared. "I'm a doctor, not a series creator!"

"That much is evident," Kinch/Spock replied. "Only a logical mind could devise a series such as this." The doctor's eyes narrowed towards the science officer.

"Why, you insufferable..."

Susan changed the channel once more. This time the flat screen TV revealed a familiar arena.

Boxing! she thought gratefully. You can't go wrong with boxing! A high-pitched giggle slipped from her throat and echoed against the walls. You can't go wrong with hunky guys and boxing! she thought, trying to reassure herself.

"...And in this corner!" the announcer declared, waving his hand grandly towards one of the corners. "The reigning two-time American heavyweight champion! The odds-on and my personal favorite to win the match! Heeeres...Knockout Kinchloe!"

Susan felt a cold chill in her stomach as she watched the now-recognizable man bounce around his corner of the ring.

Not again!

"Annnd in this corner!" the MC continued, pointing towards a heavyset man in the opposite corner. "The terror of Stalag 13! Stuttering...Schuuulltz!" For once, the Luftwaffe Sergeant looked unusually focused.

Maybe somebody promised him a buffet after the fight?

A bell started the round. Instead of coming out swinging, however, Kinch held up a silver tray.

"Schultz..." the black man teased. "I've got some special strudel..."

"For me?" his opponent beamed, all traces of aggression gone. "You're such nice boys..." Without hesitation, Schultz bit into the treat. On the fifth bite his eyes glazed over before his large body crashed to the floor. The referee did the count before holding up the victor's hand.

"And the winner!" he cried out. "By technical knockout with a drugged strudel within one minute! Knockout Kinchloe!"

Susan flipped the channel. Surprisingly, two well-dressed women were on the screen. A shopping channel. She breathed another sigh of relief.

It's over...oh, no... A mask of horror descended onto her face.

"...our wonderful Wolfgang has outdone himself with his new line of lingerie," one of the women gushed. "Really, he's managed to combine simplicity with style in his newest creation: the Hochstetter holdup." She held up a lacy multicolored bra. "As you know, the comfort factor is so important when you choose a new bra. However, you always seem to lose something between form and function."

"Right you are, Connie!" the other woman ecstatically replied. "However, the Hochstetter holdup lives up to it's name! At first glance it seems like any other bra that you are so ready to whip off at the end of the day." The host modeled the undergarment against her own buxom form. "However, that will soon be a thing of the past with this beauty!" she exclaimed, the words flowing like honey from her grinning lips. "Not only does it hold the girls up in a comfortable embrace all day but it is also quite stylish and sexy to boot! You'll never know it's there, ladies..."

The woman's excited voice droned on as Susan restrained the urge to throw up. In spades.

Hochstetter? Bras? I doubt his character knows what a bra is, let alone how to open one! She turned her attention back to the program.

"...and quite the deal for $49.99!" Connie gushed, her white teeth radiating out to her invisible audience. "Coming up after the break, we have a special treat for all you lovebirds! Wolfgang's special line of toys designed to spice up your love life-"

Oh, HELL NO! Susan quickly pressed the button to take her away. This time, however, the scene was of a familiar barracks...

...from Hogan's Heroes. Barracks Two. She frowned.

Why is it empty?

Susan flipped the channel once. Then twice. Then she didn't stop.

Every channel was the same. The same angle. The same barracks.

What is going on?

She stood up and walked over to the screen. Maybe they're hiding somewhere... On impulse, she tapped her knuckles against the screen...

...and was shocked to see them pass through the plastic surface and beyond. Suddenly, an unseen force sucked her body through the screen and into darkness.


I'm dreaming.

The first she noticed was the smell. It wasn't unpleasant; just musty and dry. Susan dazedly blinked her eyes open against the bare bulb that dangled from the ceiling.

Bare bulb?

Suddenly awake, she bolted upward and onto her feet before her eyes darted around the rough wooden interior.

I'm in Barracks Two!

Susan raced to the window and looked outside. Sure enough, men in colored uniforms - some holding rifles - roamed the compound outside. Guard towers and barbed wire surrounded it all.

Susan did what any responsible person would do in that sort of situation: she panicked.

Where's the screen? she thought desperately. Try as she might, she found only wooden walls and firm bunks.

I've got to get out of here! At that moment she looked down at her 'outfit' and blanched.

I need some clothes, too!

Just then she heard the squeal of brakes outside. Moments later, heavy German accents grew louder as they approached the barracks.

I've got to hide!

Reflexes kicked in as Susan dashed to Colonel Hogan's quarters. There was a small closet there; fortunately, she was just small enough to fit in amongst the contents.

Where did Colonel Hogan get the dress uniform, anyway?

Just then the barracks door burst open. A harsh voice - recognizable as Major Hochstetter's - nasally filled the room.

"Search everything!" he ordered. "Turn over everything if you have to!" He shouted out several more commands while Susan cowered in the closet.

Maybe, just maybe...

The door suddenly burst open. A heavily muscled man in a black uniform stood there, weapon raised. Reflexively, she raised her hands in surrender.

Oh, Boy!

Suddenly, Major Hochstetter was standing in front of her. Absently, a small part of her mind decided the fanfiction rumors were true.

He DOES have bad breath!

The Major pulled a pistol from the leather holster on his belt. "Get out," he ordered, waving his weapon. "You're under arrest."

Meekly, Susan complied...then stopped. "Um, can I ask you a question?" she asked.

"What?" the Major demanded.

"You haven't seen a pair of red sparkly shoes, have you?"

The Gestapo men looked at each other in confusion. "What are you talking about?" Hochstetter spat.

"The ones left by the Wicked Witch of the East," Susan explained. "If I click the heels three times-"

"ENOUGH!" the Major bellowed. He then turned to the guards. "Take her to Klink's office!" he ordered. "We'll get the truth out of her there!"


After a stunned silence, the curious prisoners outside let out catcalls and wolf whistles while the newest addition was pulled across the compound. For her part, Susan was horribly embarrassed.

Bunny slippers! she fumed. I had to wear fuzzy bunny slippers! And a ratty bathrobe! I'm just lucky I put a nightgown on instead of going without!

The guards efficiently hustled their charge up the steps and into the office of the Kommandant. Colonel Klink, his monocle glinting, rose up from his chair, shocked.

"Who...who is this, Major?" he hesitantly demanded.

"Someone we found in Barracks Two, Klink," Hochstetter growled. "Your barracks. Care to guess who she is?"

"I take it she's not from the Auto Club?" another voice interjected. Heads twisted in surprise. Colonel Hogan, his face awash in a smile, stood in the open doorway.

"Hogan!" Major Hochstetter spat. "Good. It saves me time in arresting you." His eyes coldly examined the American airman. "And what excuse do you have for this woman being found in your closet?"

Colonel Hogan, a cheeky grin on his lips, merely looked back at the German with a delighted expression. "Well, the U.S. Navy has an old saying, Major," he began.

"And that is...?" the Major asked, his tone icy but curious.

"A woman in every port," the Colonel continued grandly. This time he briefly eyed the strange woman. Oddly, Susan felt comforted by the man's gaze. If I'm lucky maybe he'll have a plan to get me out of here!

"Naturally, the Air Force likes to keep their women in the closet," the American officer continued. "More efficient that way. Besides, if the closet is large enough for two-"

"BAH!" Hochstetter roared. "More lies!" He narrowed his eyes towards the American officer. "Do you ever tell the truth?"

"Only to the IRS," Hogan replied. "Otherwise they'll murder you with penalties." Surprisingly, the Major laughed.

"Very funny with the wit, Hogan," he lectured, wagging his finger. "However, I wonder if you'll change your tune when we discover the truth behind your friend here." He walked over to Susan and let his eyes roam over her form. This time, she felt a distinct chill in the air.

And it's not the cold air either!

"What is your name?" he demanded, pushing his bad breath into her nostrils once more.

"I object, Kommandant!" Hogan interjected loudly as he looked towards Klink. "The Geneva Convention-"

"-has no bearing on this woman!" Major Hochstetter interrupted nastily. "Unless the American Air Force has changed their uniform? Or let women fly combat missions?" Without waiting for an answer he turned toward his prize. "Well?" he yelled.

"Um...Susan. Susan Edwards," she replied, slightly intimidated. He's scary on this side of the screen. "My full name is Mary Susan Edwards," Susan continued, her voice growing stronger. "Most people call me Mary Sue. My parents couldn't decide which they liked better, Mary or-"

"And what was your mission?" he interrupted, waving his hand sharply. "What were you assigned to do, hmmm? Blow up bridges? Assassinate officials?" He stepped closer. "Tell me! What was your mission as an Allied spy?"

"Really, Major," Klink interrupted, jumping up from his chair. "The possibility of this woman being an Allied spy is preposterous..."

Major Hochstetter immediately speared Klink with a murderous glare. Predictably, the man wilted underneath the steely gaze.

"...or she might just be an Allied spy," he mumbled, limply waving his hand even while sinking back into his hard wooden chair. Unlike Klink, Susan wasn't afraid to show her spine.

"I'm not an Allied spy!" she declared. "I'm an American citizen! I'm not on any spy mission! I was just watching Hogan's Heroes-"

Instantly, she recognized her mistake and shut up. Hochstetter wasn't about to let it go, however. "Hogan's...what?" Major Hochstetter said, curiously confused. His intent eyes flicked over to the American Colonel who had a similar expression for the strange woman.

"I-well, I was just in my living room. Suddenly I was in barracks two, somehow," she explained lamely.

"And you know of barracks two as well. Perhaps you've been here before. A secret underground base perhaps?" Hochstetter raised a hand for silence. "This...Hogan's Heroes is what, hah? Some kind of secret code? Or..." He looked at the Senior POW. "Perhaps it is another name for Papa Bear?" he growled, keeping his eyes leveled at Hogan. The Colonel was unruffled.

"Really, Major," he said casually. "That may be the name of a restaurant. Or a bar. Or..."

"A television show," Sue said, revealing the truth. Blank looks greeted her response.

"What is television?" Klink and Hochstetter asked simultaneously. Hogan, for his part, had a thoughtful look on his face.

"Um...it's a kind of picture show about Stalag 13. Colonel Hogan and his men are the stars of the show-"

"And I get second billing? BAH!" the Major screamed again before he wagged a furious finger in her face. "We'll see what other lies you tell under questioning!" he yelled, spittle flying from his lips before he gestured to the guards. "Take her away!" he ordered.

As they moved to collect her, Susan spoke up. "Wait a minute," she pleaded, eyeing the guards. "Can I use the bathroom first? Please?"

Major Hochstetter looked at her for a moment. "Very well," he replied. "But no tricks. We'll be watching you." The dark gleam in his eyes filled her with dread. "And later, at headquarters, I'll be personally conducting your interrogation," the Gestapo man breathed. Hochstetter then let his lascivious eyes drift down towards her chest-

-and then found then spinning when Susan slapped him across the face. Hard. Strangely, an evil grin touched his lips before he cut his eyes over to the guards.

"Take Ms. Edwards to the bathroom," he amended. "Make sure she doesn't escape. Or else."


Susan stood in the drab bathroom and evaluated her options.

Or do I have any? How can I escape from a prison camp?

Suddenly, the question was answered for her as the sink cabinet was shoved out of the way. A familiar face - at least to her - poked out of the hole.

"Kinch!" she whispered gratefully. "I knew you'd rescue me!" The radioman gave her a puzzled look.

"Have we met before?" he asked.

"Only in reruns," she said. To her surprise, Kinch sighed.

"Not another one," he muttered.

What?!

Suddenly, he disappeared. Seconds later a blonde woman came up through the opening.

"Hurry," she said to a shocked Susan. "We have to switch clothes now-"

"But-"

"There's no time!" Tiger hissed. "I'm taking your place! Hurry!" Working quickly, Susan switched into the plain work garments. Oddly, the Frenchwoman seemed unfazed by the new clothes - or lack of clothes, rather - that she was wearing. Gingerly, the American lowered herself into the tunnel. Before she disappeared, however, she raised her head.

"Thanks, Tiger," she said, earning the same quizzical look that Kinch had given her earlier. And then, the sink hole was closed.


It looks so much bigger on TV...

The tunnels - with the exception of the main room - seemed somewhat cramped. Maybe it's my claustrophobia. Or that I'm alone down here. Kinch had politely refused to answer her questions before going upstairs.

Then again, I'm not going to be picky. Just then, a rattle of wood and a lowered ladder heralded Colonel Hogan's arrival.

"All right," he said, all traces of humor gone. "Let's have it. Who are you?"

"Like I said, I'm Susan Edwards," she began. "Mary Sue. I-"

"-came in through the television screen from your home in New Jersey," the Colonel finished. "Your phone number is 555-867-5309; your address is 1614 Palisades Park..," He flashed her a small grin. "...and you still haven't paid those two traffic tickets you got last month." This time it was Susan's mouth that opened wide.

"H-How..."

Hogan smiled knowingly. "You're not the first woman to end up here," he said simply. "You're the first one to make it out of the barracks, though. If Tiger hadn't been here you'd be in a lot of trouble."

"What will happen to her?" Susan asked, shamed that she had forgotten about the woman who had rescued her.

"We let the resistance know she was on her way into town. They'll rescue her, you'll make your escape and Hochstetter gets egg on his face. Win-win for everyone involved."

Susan nodded. "What now?"

"Now you go back to 2014." He pointed to a nearby tunnel. "Go that way and you'll be home before you know it."

"And you?" she challenged. "Why don't you leave?" Colonel Hogan shrugged.

"We belong here," he sighed. "And as long as someone believes in us, we'll always be here." He pointed at the exit again. "Time for you to go."

Susan stood up and faced the Colonel. Without thinking about it, she stepped forward and seductively pressed herself against Hogan's muscular chest before leaning upward into a soulful kiss. For one infinite moment her world lay within his strong arms as their lips, fused by passion, continued their dance of lustful love. Suddenly, Hogan's body stiffened slightly as his eyes flew open in surprise. Susan smiled inwardly.

That, my dear Colonel, is known as 'copping a feel.' She closed her eyes, savoring the moment...

...and her world fell into darkness.


Susan's eyes flew open.

The living room, lit only by the lamp and the TV, was a letdown after the...

...dream?

Of course it was.

She yawned and then looked at the television for a moment before turning it off.

Guess I'll go to bed, she decided, now depressed. Even now the dream was vivid in her memory.

But it felt so real...

She stood up and stretched her limbs. As she did so, her right leg-

Ow! crampcrampCRAMP-

Susan lifted her bare leg and put it on the armrest of the chair before she began massaging the achy muscles. At that moment a chorus of wolf whistles came out of the dead TV speakers. For a second, she stared dumbly at the black screen...

...and screamed before running out of the room. Seconds later, the sharp click of the lock on her bedroom door snapped through the air before silence descended once more. At that moment the TV flickered to life. A sad boyish face looked around the living room.

"I told you we should have said 'hi' first!" he exclaimed.

A long suffering Cockney sigh echoed throughout the empty room.

"Carter..."

[fin/ende]


*This never happened. I'm a hopeless romantic anyway:-)