Episode Forty Two: Tannenbaum’s Escape

Heh, heh. My love of Numbers is showing itself again. I think the number 42 may be the funniest thing in the world. If you guys didn’t know by now, I am a huge fan of Douglas Adams’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It’s a crazy madcap adventure through space with a British accent, and it explains that the meaning to Life, the Universe, and Everything is 42.

Now, obviously, we know that’s not true.

The answer is Peach Fanta.

Thanks again so much for stopping by and catching up with my story. Although I will readily admit that I’m no Shakespeare, the greatest compliment I can ever receive is when a reader tells me that I’m amusing. I hope I have amused you today. -BW

Walking into his living room, Tannenbaum saw Quin sitting on his couch.

Hi.” Quin said. He ate a bowl of frosted corn flakes as he spoke. “I’ve noticed that you don’t have a TV. I could tell this because your furniture looks confused, like it doesn’t know which direction to point towards.”

It was true. The furniture of the front sitting room pointed in all directions, with no specific point of the compass in mind. With a shock, Tannenbaum realized that Quin had claimed possession of his couch with squatter’s rights. His ever present satchel and an airline blanket were intermingled on the sofa, which had collected perhaps every pillow in the house. If Tannenbaum didn’t act quickly, he would never have his couch back.

Have you been sleeping on my couch?” he asked.

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Why, yes. Yes I have.” Quin answered. “When we got home, you locked yourself away somewhere, and I didn’t want to disturb you, so I just made myself at home. I knew you wouldn’t mind.”

Don’t do that, Quin.” said Tannenbaum. “I do mind.”

Quin didn’t look confused. He understood the pull of conflicting thoughts in his host’s head. He understood, but he just didn’t care.

Okay. I’ll find another place to sleep.” Quin said, getting up and taking a second look at the room again.

With a new horror, Tannenbaum saw that Quin sleeping and claiming the couch was the cleanest and simplest solution to a host of worse possible choices.

Quin, I’ll find you a place to stay.” he said. “How would you like to stay in a hotel until our meeting with Lennard’s boss?”

Quin gestured in a lapsidaisical manner.

I wouldn’t really care for it. There’s no need to go to that expense, Big T. Do you mind if I call you Big T?”

Yes. Very much.”

And besides, I would much rather stay here with you.”

At the utterance of those words, Tannenbaum ran frightfully to his study. He had played fast and loose with the notion that living with Quin under his roof would be easy. He had wrongfully assumed that two people in the same house can live their lives as easily as can one. Tannenbaum had thought that the only indication that Quin was living quietly in the house would be the more rapid disappearance of toilet paper. He was wrong. Even now, he could hear the idle chatter of Quin talking to himself, reading to himself, and pacing up and down the hallway, just outside of Tannenbaum’s study.

In an instant, Tannenbaum realized with unbelievable clarity. He felt hunted in his own house, because the house was no longer his own. Quin had absorbed it like he absorbed everything else he touches; bottles of soda pop, rational conversation, and people. Tannenbaum believe he would be safe from Quin’s consuming grasp. He would leave the house to him. Now, his own home felt like a trap. Running for safety would be the only thing he could do to save himself.

Quin,” Tannenbaum called out as he exited his study and quickly pulled on a sportcoat, “I’m heading out.”

Cool. Have fun. Would you bring me back a soda?” Quin requested.

Tannenbaum didn’t hear him, because he was already out the door and driving down the street.

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Thank you for reading! Stop by again on Saturday! -BW

 

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