Yet another short story


The age old question, who’s in charge of the remote?

It was Friday night and time for the television war yet again. The never ending argument was about to begin in the Montague household once again over the ownership of the television remote control. Debbie wanted to watch her favourite soap opera – Lover’s Tryst, while Chuck insisted they watch the football game.

His argument was that it was the penultimate game before the grand final, and besides, as the head of the household and sole breadwinner it was his right to choose the programmes they watched.

Debbie argued that tonight’s episode of the soap opera was the cliff hanger ending to the current series, and anyway he could always watch the game equally well on the other television in the bedroom.

Chuck was not about to give in. He changed to the sports channel. Debbie nagged, pleaded, sighed loudly, stroked his hair, kissed the lobes of his ears, and talked incessantly in a loud voice about nothing and everything, using anything she could think of to make Chuck’s enjoyment of the game evaporate to get her own way.

When that didn’t work she briefly left the room before returning wearing next to nothing, armed with the vacuum cleaner, and began meticulously cleaning the carpet directly between the couch where Chuck sat with the remote control firmly fixed in his grip, and the television. She constantly bent over in front of him while rearranging the position of the coffee table and the magazines on it, repeatedly making him lift his legs as she poked the business end of the vacuum cleaner under the couch, doing anything and everything to obstruct his view of the game while regaling in her most annoying tone, every trivial detail of the day’s events.

Despite his best efforts to shut out her continuous annoyingly loud monologue and the noise of the vacuum cleaner, gradually Debbie’s relentless audio bombardment destroyed his concentration. In sheer frustration and anger he pointed the remote at her like a weapon and hit the red button, telling her to “just shut up for Christ sake!”

What happened next stunned both of them as Debbie was instantly struck dumb! Chuck’s attention quickly returned to the game. He showed not the least bit concern for his wife’s current predicament. all he cared about was watching the game without her constant noise making.

Debbie stood rooted to the spot crying silently with her hands stroking her neck, for the moment totally preoccupied with having mysteriously lost her voice. Chuck was by now concentrating on the game. As he at last relaxed he put the remote down to watch the play. Debbie soon recovered from being struck dumb, and in her anger she sat down heavily on the couch beside him before picking up the remote to change the channel back to her soap opera. Chuck reacted equally angrily, reaching across her in an attempt to snatch the remote back.

In the vigorous struggle for physical control over the remote Debbie’s finger inadvertently pressed the blue button. She watched with a mixture of horror, revenge and delicious satisfaction as Chuck evaporated in front of her eyes. Still angry and not the least bit concerned that her husband had vanished she settled down to watch her soap. For the next hour she was totally engrossed in the final scenes of the programme. Just before the soap ended and the credits began to roll down the screen, she too disappeared.

Starlight congratulated herself. She wore her enigmatic Persian expression while purring with contentment after retracting her claws. She began meticulously grooming herself. Pressing the green button had finally brought her the peace and quiet a Friday night at her house demanded…



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