“Jersey, you have to stop obsessing over that thing. It’s fine – really.”

  She doesn’t respond. She doesn’t move. Her face is inches from the screen, scrutinizing every last pixel. Bam rubs his eyes and blinks wearily, unsure of how to proceed. A muted Sin City is playing on the screen, but Bam had seen it enough times over the last few days to know that a surly Bruce Willis was about to shoot a paedophile in the genitals.

  Absently Bam picks up a slip of paper from the glass tabletop in the room. He squints in the darkness to see the text upon it. A returns receipt with no god damn explanation as to why it was being returned. He wishes they’d never spotted it in that window.

  They never worked on the weekends but it had been too good to be true; A boxed fifty-incher sitting in someone’s front room. They were coming home from dinner at the Pad Thai Palace when she’d pointed it out to him through the window. He knew something felt off when the tumblers had proven a pushover and they were in within a minute. Should have just left well enough alone, walked away and called it a night. His instincts had yet to fail him.

  But no. They’d hauled it out onto the road and hidden it behind a parked truck. They’d raced across the outskirts to their own house and driven back at speed with their van. It was turning out to be a damn good day off and then came that damn piece of paper which proved the fourth commandment wasn’t kidding. It was due to go back to the warehouse the next day and nowhere – not on the box, on the receipt – not anywhere did it say why.

  Still, they’d set it up. Plugged it in with the hopes of some minor qualm. They’d been in the game long enough to know slightly faulty still sells. What they hadn’t expected was to be unable to find a single flaw in the mammoth screen. It had baffled Bam for a couple of hours or so, shoulder to shoulder with Jersey and flicking between different feeds whilst they searched for what was wrong.

  “Looks like we got ourselves a winner,” Bam had said cheerfully as he stood up whilst the credits rolled on Last of the Mohicans, a film they’d enjoyed unimpaired by whatever had impaired it’s previous owner. But Jersey wasn’t satisfied. The search began to consume her. She’d grabbed a blu-ray player from our stockroom and unboxed it – a cardinal sin, Bam complained – and began seriously testing the screen. She’d even researched the model number online to find any common issues but all to no avail.

  “That thing is cursed,” Bam says, putting the receipt back on the table and staring again at the back of Jersey’s head.

  “Go steal me a Playstation,” she says without turning around.

  “Excuse me?” Bam replies, incredulous, “you don’t even play games.”

  “Maybe there’s some lag or something,” she says quickly, “I don’t know Bam just go grab me one okay? Jeez.”

  It’s official Bam thinks to himself as he goes over to the coat rack. Heist or not he wanted to get out of the house and away from the television. That god damn thing is cursed.


~ by Joseph Blame on December 4, 2010.

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