Logie's Curse - Short Story Inspired by Sandi Thom Lyrics.
Tom sat in his armchair, his viewing of the latest episode of a TV programme was interrupted by the sound of his doorbell. Ordinarily he would’ve seriously considered not answering the door, purely to avoid missing some moments on screen, but on this occasion he was virtually certain who was ringing the doorbell and he simply couldn’t allow himself to ignore her.
‘Hey Nat!’ Tom couldn’t even finish that short sentence before being hugged emphatically by the young lady on the doorstep. ‘So you made it home then,’ Tom added as the hug showed no sign of ending. ‘You should have told me when your train was getting in, and I could’ve come and got you.’
‘No way,’ Nat said as she finally broke off the hug. ‘That would’ve ruined the moment,’ she added with a smile.
‘Of course, you left me on this doorstep exactly a year ago today, and I know how you like your symmetry. Come on in,’ Tom said and then gestured for Nat to follow him into the living room.
Nat picked up her bag, which Tom dutifully took off her and dropped in the hall way, on route back to the living room.
‘You not going to offer me a drink?’ Nat asked with more than a hint of incredulity. ‘Your social etiquette was always shocking.’
‘You know where the drinks are, I’ve not moved them while you’ve been away, so you can help yourself,’ Tom added with a smile that Nat had seen several times over the years. ‘The adverts are on now anyway, so I suppose I can sort you one out,’ Tom went to the kitchen and returned with a can of Coke that he gently tossed at Nat, who was now sitting on the sofa.
‘So tell me all about your Phileas Fogg like adventures,’ Tom said as he sat back in his armchair.
‘Travelling the world is awesome, it was even better than I wanted it to be, I’m feeling pretty exhausted right now, glad to be home and I’m definitely still going to go to uni, don’t worry about that, but I’m also sure that I will do more travelling. Europe was my favourite, and there’s plenty more places there I want to see and plenty of places I want to go back to,’ Nat sat holding the can in one hand, wildly gesticulating with the other, not finding the time between words for pulling on the ring pull. ‘Can we please turn the TV off? I’ve gone a year without watching any and I would like to keep that run going for as long as possible.’
‘Sure, sure,’ Tom said then reached for the remote control. ‘I guess I can Sky Plus it,’ he said as he went through the, all too easy, motion of recording the programme.
‘Are you kidding?’ Nat sounded annoyed and surprised in equal measure. ‘The girl you took pretty much off the streets to foster when you she was fourteen, gave a home to, helped her to get outstanding GCSE and A-level results and turned into an excellently well rounded young person, has been travelling on her own for a year after finishing college and when she gets back you’re thinking about some TV programme?’
‘Sorry, but you know how they reel you in and make you really want to watch the next episode,’ Tom weakly offered.
‘Oh my God, what has happened to you while I’ve been away? Are you really the same guy who used to push me to pursue dreams and get as far away from mediocrity and the norms of society as possible?’
Tom leant back in his armchair, gently shook his head and sighed. ‘You never did believe me all those times I told you that you were helping me more than I was helping you.’
‘I know I gave your life purpose and all that, but there’s no need to give up on life completely. You were thirty-two when I left, you appear to be acting more like sixty-two now.’
‘Watching a bit of telly doesn’t make me Satan,’ Tom defended himself with a smile.
‘No, it just gives your soul over to him. It is the Devil’s playground for mediocrity and settling for lesser ambitions.’
‘Someone brought you up well,’ Tom nodded, still smiling.
‘Even the news and documentary programmes aren’t a saving grace, there have been several occasions over the last year when I’ve had proof of what you said all along, that the media can present any image they want and call it the truth and that most people will believe them,’ Nat said, can still unopened. ‘Add up all the hours you spend watching television, then think how many conversations you could’ve had in that time, how many books you could read or written, how many parties you could’ve been too, how many foreign languages you could’ve learned, musical instruments learnt to play, people you could’ve helped.’
‘Now you’re directly quoting me,’ Tom allowed himself a little chuckle.
‘Don’t get me started on the adverts, the ultimate device that we really don’t need, spends almost half it’s time convincing people to spend more money on other crap they don’t need. It started out as a well meaning way of entertaining the mass public, sadly though the mass public have turned out to be utter morons, eventually they have won the battle to get television dumbed down, so much so that now a lot of it is morons entertaining other morons. If you still want me to live here whilst I’m at Uni then I’m telling you I won’t be watching TV with you.’
Tom sat in his chair and started laughing, quietly at first, then it gradually became uncontrollable.
‘I daren’t ask what’s up with you?’ Nat said as she looked on in puzzlement.
‘Pass me the old cricket bat will you,’ Tom said after finally getting his laughter under control and slowly standing up out of his chair.
‘Good to see your ornaments are still as quirky as when I left,’ Nat said as she passed over the bat that looked like it would’ve been classed as old during the Bodyline series, the look of puzzlement still on her face.
Tom took the bat and held it up more like a baseball bat. A smile came across his face as he stepped towards the television. He swung the bat, with enough velocity to hit a six over the long boundary at the Melbourne Cricket ground, straight into the television screen.
‘Now that’s the sort of welcome home gesture I was waiting for!’ Nat said as she jumped up, leaving the unopened can on the sofa. ‘Now we can start making plans for the next three years.’
‘Not yet,’ Tom said and marched towards the kitchen, carrying the bat over his shoulder.
‘Don’t tell me you’ve got a telly in the kitchen now,’ Nat said as she followed him in.
Tom didn’t answer, instead he just gave the small television in the kitchen the same treatment the big one in the living had received.
Nat offered Tom a high five, but he walked past her, still holding the bat and headed for the stairs.
‘If you’ve got one in the bedroom then it looks like I came back just in time,’ Nat said as she followed him up the stairs.
Tom opened the window in his bedroom, put down the bat and then hurled the telly out of the window, and loved the noise it made as it shattered on impact with the concreted patio area. The sight of the destroyed television brought a broad smile to Tom’s face as he turned to face Nat and offered her a high five.
Nat’s smile more than matched Tom’s as she joyously slapped his hand.
‘Okay, so I’m thinking,’ Nat said. ‘That our own bedrooms we can do what we want with, the bathroom walls should be full facts to learn and great quotes, as can the walls on the landing, hall way and as you go down the stairs. Now then, the two rooms downstairs,’ Nat was talking faster than an old school auctioneer, as she headed down the stairs, followed by Tom. ‘This back room can be the music and writing room, the record player and iPod docking station gives us a great mix of old and new, you should put your keyboard in here and I’ll put my Guitar in, and we can finally get round to learning how to play them. The table is perfect for writing and studying, whether on paper or on the laptop, all four walls should be lined with bookshelves. I’m thinking the front room can have the sports equipment in, your exercise bike and maybe we can get a rowing machine from somewhere, one of the walls should have a massive map of the world on it,’ the ideas continued to flow out of Nat. ‘Oh and,’ she started clapping her hands. ‘We could get games like air hockey, and old arcade games, they’d be perfect for our parties.’
‘Our parties?’ Tom checked with a little smile.
‘Yeah I’m thinking we could have a dinner party once a fortnight maybe and a party here every Saturday, you could finally become that modern day Gatsby you always wanted to be.’
Tom looked at Nat, his smile getting bigger again as he started to nod.
‘Welcome home, thanks for saving me again Nat,’ the pair hugged again as they had on the doorstep, only this time Tom was hugging just as emphatically as Nat.
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