by Lewis Williams
The microwave emits a series of beeps that somehow seem to emanate from further in the distance than they actually are and he opens the door, removes the plastic film and empties the Chicken Kormas onto two plates.
He asks her how her day went.
“For me, it was beautiful. Look, my hairs are standing on end!”
Eat your tea, it’ll get cold.
“You got up and you sang your little heart out…”
But love –
“Your Nan would be so proud.”
He has to take what he gets. Amanda frequently ignores the topic of the conversation, trailing off into her own thoughts, but she looks so beautiful sat under the pure and empty lighting that he doesn’t even mind.
The strong cheekbones, the smooth curvature of her lips, the way her eyes sparkle through the screen.
He finishes the curry and leaves the plate in the sink. When the next contestant begins to sing he fast-forwards through it and he looks on impassively as their body spasms and twitches in double-speed until he finds her again.
He pauses the freeview box at the exact moment she blinks and, closed eyes, kisses her goodnight. The glass of the TV screen warm against his lips, he feels a small static charge.
He falls asleep like this: flaccid, draped over the armchair, forgetting to draw the blinds. Reflected in the glass of the window hangs suspended Amanda Holden’s face, watching over him, distant streetlights burning luminescent through her skull.
Lewis Williams is a writer, musician and giant reptile masquerading as human who currently resides in West Cumbria. In his spare time he enjoys sitting indoors and cheap horror films.