In the center of Murry City, Thomas Kelly sits up in his chair—eventually mustering the strength to get up and move around. By all accounts, Thomas’ house is one of the more aesthetically pleasing homes in Murry City. Some say it's the best in the county! As for me, I never did care much for sharp green wooden shutters. Thomas’ hair is matted and unkempt. Where once was neatly trimmed golden brown hair sits a tangled mess. His eyes have become worn and withered—showing the effects of unfiltered thoughts and long-winded rants. As he stands up, Thomas’ back and knees remain in a seated position. He begins a fierce battle with gravity as he drags the bottoms of his feet, heels, and toes across the freshly stained hardwood floor. Gravity wins as Thomas Kelly drops to the ground. This fall comes at the price of sitting in a chair for 32 days. His leg is a useless mass connected to an ankle that can no longer support the weight of a child’s backpack. As Thomas attempts to stand, his ankles convulse in a rhythmic manor.
His attention fades.
He forgets about his lack of strength, and becomes adherently fixated with the thought of having bed bugs. Thomas trips over his steps, stumbles into the bathroom, and begins scrubbing his right arm. After minutes of scrubbing, his skin begins to peal from his now red, once pasty white forearm.
It's quite the sight to see.
He scrubs and scrubs and begins yelling at the sponge for not doing enough to rid him from an inevitable future of tiny crab like bugs crawling through his brain that he can only assume will eventually control his thoughts.
We all have our fears.
He hears the bed bugs laughing at him. He sees them grinning with delight. The bugs are enjoying themselves! Thomas Kelly contemplates the idea of going to his room, grabbing a shotgun, and blowing his arm into tiny pieces.
-That'll fucking kill bugs.
-That'll put em' in their place.
He quickly remembers that he doesn’t own a shotgun.
-It's not worth it, anyhow. Who's to say they're only on my arm?
There are no bugs. Maybe they exist…but they’re most certainly not on Thomas Kelly at this present moment in time.
Thomas leaves the bathroom and slowly makes his way back to his beloved chair. Thomas isn’t quite sure how old the chair is, though the outdated lime green color hints at it being aged enough that he could assume it being forty-five. Thomas grabs a notebook that he keeps within arms reach on his freshly dusted coffee table. This is the notebook that Thomas shares his thoughts on current events. He writes heavily about the underground “Mole Army” that is in the midst of planning, and executing a harsh and bloody takeover of North America. He’s tried to warn people for years of this fact. He’s written letters to his congressmen, posted fliers around town, and even traveled to New Brunswick, New Jersey in an attempt to track down the Commanding General who Thomas has given the name of Brigadier General Stevenson. He doesn’t know his REAL name, of course. I would never tell Thomas this, be he’s never traveled to New Jersey.
Thomas stands up and walks over to a window that overlooks the street in front of his house. Cars whistle by as he wonders where they’re trying to get to with such haste.
-It must be nice to have somewhere to be.
Thomas hasn’t been outside in nearly three weeks. In those three weeks he’s stared at the street on multiple occasions, but needless to say, the world looks different through frosted glass. Each time he hopes to see something that will beckon him to walk through his door. Thomas longs for human companionship. As Thomas scans the landscape his eyes follow a blue jay that is circling his mailbox. The blue jay safely lands on a tree branch fifteen yards from the window Thomas is spying from. The blue jay looks over to Thomas.
-Come touch me.
The blue Jay says.
Thomas looks around his living room assuming someone was standing next to him.
-Are you talking to me?
-Who else would I be talking to, silly?
The blue jay responds.
Thomas walks over to his door and rotates the over sized knob. The door groins as he slowly opens it. Thomas steps onto his porch as the door slams behind him. The air felt to be a beautiful seventy-four degrees Fahrenheit. Thomas stepped off his porch and entered his freshly cut yard. He once again made eye contact with the Blue Jay.
-I’m going to call you Henry.
Thomas says to the Blue Jay.
Thomas turns around and walks back to his door only stopping momentarily to ogle his sharp green wooden shudders. He reaches the door and jiggles the doorknob. The door won’t budge. He realizes that the door had locked behind him. He fumbles through his pockets and finds that he had left his keys on the perfectly organized key ring next to his coat and umbrella rack. Henry shows a razor smile to Thomas’ back as he flies away. The fluttering of Henry’s wings sends chills down Thomas’ spine as he attempts to accept the reality that he his trapped outside.
-I can’t break one of my windows.
Thomas says to the door.
-And I certainly can’t kick you down, either.
-You don’t have the gull to try
The door responds.
-I just might.
Thomas responds forcefully.
-You wouldn’t dare.
The door responds invitingly.
Thomas turns around and scans his yard for Henry. He half wishes he’d come back and assist him in entering his home. Thomas turns around and faces the door. He looks it up and down—eyeballing sections where paint has chipped away from years of weather abuse. His door is what townspeople describe as being a “Beautiful yellow.” As for me, I never did care much for yellow doors. Thomas wonders if the chipped paint would prove to be an easier entry point. He pounds the door until his hands become beet red and pain stricken.
-It’s not going to work, Thomas. Give up.
The door says to Thomas.
-And besides, what’s behind this door that truly interests you?
-Nothing, I suppose.
Thomas drops his hands to his side and walks away—defeated. He makes the long walk down his driveway and sits on the sidewalk. Thomas’ door opens and out steps a woman with golden brown hair. She’s in her forties. The sunlight reflects off her ivory skin as she looks at Thomas’ back from the doorway.
She yells across the yard.
-Are you going to come to dinner?
She asks walking towards Thomas.
-Do I have to?
-Yes, Thomas. Now go wash up. And where are your crutches, young man? You know your not supposed to be putting a lot of weight on your ankle. It’s still not fully healed. Go sit in the chair. I’ll bring you supper.
She says to Thomas.
He responds angrily.
Thomas hangs his head as he limps his way towards the bright yellow door.
-Until we meet again?
The door asks Thomas as he walks beneath its frame into the house.
-Same time tomorrow.
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