Unthinkable Cramps | Murky.Dinner

Detective Hank Murky sits at the dinner table dripping blood into his meatloaf. His wife, Daisy, watches him as if waiting for a response. On both sides his twin 11 year old daughters, Emily and Rosinda, shout at him with excitement. Murky disappears behind his eyes. Their Golden Retriever, Pitbull, begs by his side. 

Emily’s face blurs when she speaks as if her movements are too fast for reality to keep up with. Murky wipes the blood from his eyes, but Emily’s face continues to blur. He can’t hear a word she says, because he’s listening to something else. A separate voice. One inside his head. He thinks it’s his own, but he can’t be certain. What if the voice he had grown used to in his head which he thought to be his own was really an imposter? A perfect imitation, he wonders. 

Daisy flings mashed potatoes at Murky’s head. A cacophony of noise crashes into him. One voice cutting through the rest.

Daisy: Hank! Hank! What the hell?

Murky: What the hell what?

Daisy: For twenty five minutes you’ve sat there not saying a word or moving a muscle.

Murky: I’m a cop, Daze. A real bloody cop. I do weird shit sometimes.

Daisy: More so than usual lately. I’m just gonna come out and ask you. Are you having an…an. Are you having an affordable dinner before you come home every night? Is that why you aren’t eating?

Murky: It’s not like that, okay?

Daisy: Then what is it? Your daughters were telling you all about their wrestling and karate tournaments and you weren’t even listening. 

Murky: I guess I tried.

Daisy: You tried?

Murky: Her face—the Emily’s face. It was—what did she do to it?

Daisy: I let her play with my makeup.

Murky: Does it—her face looks like a wind machine is blowing her skin off. Look at her. 

Murky looks where Emily was sitting and sees an empty seat. He looks around the table and neither of the twins are there.

Murky: Where—she was right there. 

He bends down and looks under the table. Pitbull licks the blood off his face.

Daisy: Hank, are you feeling okay?

Murky: I just can’t stop thinking about this case, ya know? It’s really eating at me. Dammit, she was sitting right there a minute ago.

Daisy: It’s fine. It’s probably the government agent people recalibrating the reality projectors. They warned us this might happen.

Murky: Warned who? When? 

Daisy: It was in this week’s special announcements. Did you not read the special announcements this week, Hank? You always read the special announcements.

Murky: No, I didn’t read the special announcements. I’ve been dealing with a town full of people talking to their damn appliances. 

Daisy: That’s what this is about?

Murky: I need to get to the bottom of it.

Daisy; Right.

Murky: You know how many coffee machines I had to pry away from elderly people this week and quote unquote interrogate with my shotgun? More than I would like. 

Daisy: Copping ain’t easy, hun.

Murky stands up and hands his bloody meatloaf to Pitbull who devours it. 

Daisy: Do you wanna tuck the kids in before you get in the shower?

Murky: Shower? I’m not washing my disgusting man skin right now. I’m locking myself in the garage to work on this case.

Daisy: We don’t have a garage.

Murky: Why do I even live here? Do we have a basement?

Daisy: Hank, you know we don’t have a basement.

Murky: Do I? Because I don’t remember that being one of my cases. I don’t recall investigating whether this house has a basement or not. 

Daisy: We have a crawlspace. 

Murky: Was that so hard, Daze? Thank you. 

Daisy: So are you going to tuck in the girls now?

Murky: Well I was planning on locking myself in the crawlspace and just, ya know, solving the biggest mystery man has ever known. But sure I’ll tuck the girls in. Because that’s real important. Blurry ass faces that I can’t even see. 

Daisy: You know what? Don’t bother.

Murky: No. I’m sure it will be just as exciting as getting to the bottom of why people are promising their bones to their dishwasher. 

Daisy: It won’t be. So just go do your copping. I’ll tuck them in. 

Murky: And where exactly is this crawlspace you speak of?

Murky stomps the kitchen floor. Walks a few paces and stomps again. He continues stomping the kitchen floor trying to get to the crawlspace. 

Daisy rolls her eyes and walks away. She can still hear the echo of his stomps as she approaches her daughters’ room. 

*** ** *** **

For table of contents or to start from the beginning of Unthinkable Cramps click here, right here and nowhere else.

Published by tony espino

a human. for now.

4 thoughts on “Unthinkable Cramps | Murky.Dinner

  1. This was so fun to read. I still can’t get over the appliances. Your writing has a Stephen King vibe to it. Unexplainable scenarios but portrayed with so much conviction.
    Looking forward to more. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Terveen! That’s such a lovely compliment. I honestly have no idea where I’m going with this story. I’m just really fascinated with the day to day lives of these characters. Guess we’ll see what happens.

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