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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Self Help · #1536201
Snap! Crackle! Pop! goes Henry (3/06/09 Daily Flash entry)
Chills and Thrills

"Are you sure you should be doing that, Henry?" the woman asked in her querulous voice.  "You aren't an electrician, you know," she chided.

Clenching his teeth, the old man ground out, "I'm sure it's just a loose wire, dear.  I knocked this little heater over yesterday, remember, and it hasn't worked right since.  Take a look at the thermometer, Nettie; it must be below sixty in here.  I'm taking a look, and that's that!"

Henry removed the last of the screws.  He pried the back free and set it aside, then picked up a flashlight and shone it on the heater's inner workings.  He started to poke around with the screwdriver.

"Did you at least unplug it, Henry?" his wife asked anxiously.  "You don't know much about electrical things and I wouldn't want you to get hurt."

"No, I didn't unplug it, Nettie," Henry replied crossly, "I just turned off that power contraption."

"But, dear-" Nettie began.  She was interrupted by a brilliant flash, a flash seemingly all the brighter due to the darkness that immediately followed, a darkness only partially relieved by the flashlight's weakened glow.  After a moment, she heard Henry moan, then begin muttering something.  She couldn't quite make complete sense of what he was saying, but much of it appeared to consist of words she hadn't heard since he'd left the Navy.

"I was trying to tell you, dear," Nettie began again.  "I needed to use the power strip for that laptop computer the kids bought us, so I plugged the heater directly into the wall.  Are you all right?"  Henry began muttering again. 

She picked up the flashlight from where it had rolled away from Henry.  "I'll just go check the circuit breaker box, all right, dear?"

[293 words]
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