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#36: Heard

#36: Heard

Bill stood up from the nightly news, careful to not tip the mound of vegetables left untouched on his plate. Marge looked up from her plate.

"What's wrong?" she asked with a panic in her voice that Bill knew to ignore.

"Just had an idea," Bill muttered.

"But your food will get cold."

Bill placed the plate on the kitchen bench.

Outside, the dusk sky shone above him the colour of freshly poured beer. The roof of his house, the place where he and Marge raised a family, the place where he hoped he'll draw his final breath, stood amongst the other houses, identical in almost everything, including the ambition of the occupants.

The footage of the remote outback town holding a regatta in the dry river sparked an idea, and it formed in the pit of his stomach as if this was what he'd been waiting for. That this was what would occupy him in his retirement.

He loved the Aussie spirit of leaning into adversity, of making fun of it. The town did exactly what they couldn't do each year. The idea of having a boat race on the river-bed was absurd.

When Bill looked at the roof of his modest brick house, he saw a giant shark perched above it as if it had fallen from the sky and chosen his house to rest.

Marge ambled out and stood on the steps. Her eyes were searching him for answers. For thirty years, they ate their dinners, watching the nightly news.

"Bill," she called.

Her voice silencing the thrum of crickets that only now, in their absence, he heard.