Carl thumbed the wad of bills in his pocket. He had built it up slowly over a few months by getting cash-back whenever his wife sent him out for groceries. The neon sign across the street showered everything in pink as it flashed: “Live Girls.” One time, when driving past, one of his friends had joked “better than dead girls, right?”
He walked across the street toward the bar, eyes fixed on the reflections in its blacked-out windows. A bead of sweat dripped from his nose as he approached the bouncer standing outside the door. The large man looked at Carl expectantly. Carl nodded, smiled nervously, and continued walking all the way back to the bus stop.
The train’s brakes squealed urgently against the tracks; a shower of sparks cast an orange glow on the grass to either side. Uri stared into the oncoming headlight, transfixed by the instrument of his quickly approaching demise. He thought about how his girlfriend would feel when she heard the news. Would she care? Would people at work even notice that he was gone?
The train finally came to a rest about twenty feet from where Uri stood. “Oh well,” he thought, and started walking back to his car. “Maybe next time.”
Tommy crept out of his door and toward mommy and daddy’s room at the end of the dimly lit hallway. He could hear mommy moaning and gasping. What were they doing? There was another sound too, like the sound when he jumps on the bed. That’s not fair, he thought, mommy and daddy always get mad when I jump on the bed. In his mind, he walks in on mommy and daddy jumping on the bed and tells them “you could hurt yourself and break the bed,” just like they always tell him.
Tommy placed his hand on the doorknob. Mommy’s moans started getting louder. The bed jumping sounds got faster. Tommy squinted his eyes in determination and started to turn the knob when all of a sudden…
The loudest sound Tommy had ever heard echoed through the house, vibrating the floor and shaking pictures on the walls. He quickly ran back to his room, under the covers, and silently swore to never jump on the bed again.