A Common Phobia

A Common Phobia
by Horace James

When he heard the bedroom door open, Jay pulled the help-wanted section from the paper and spread it before him on the kitchen counter. Lurking beneath several layers of want ads, lost dogs and used cars was his fresh copy of “Boobs Gone Wild 3: Junior Prom Confidential.”

“Morning, Dee!”

“Morning.”  She poured herself a cup of non-dairy creamer with a little coffee, then came and nuzzle-pecked his cheek.  “So. What’s on the job-hunt agenda today?”

He looked at the job listings.  It was hard not to think about the titty mag beneath, and he wondered if this was how it felt to have a girl chained up in the basement.

“Well, I’m going to follow up on yesterday’s interview. Definitely!” Her wrist entered his view, and he fumbled with her bracelet’s tiny clasp. “First thing.”


“And… make some more calls? There’s a couple of fresh ads in the paper.”

She turned, sighed and waited for him to zip her. “You told me you’d call Larry a week ago.”

He watched the zipper devour the long, fair wedge of skin and thought about that blond on page 73.

“Sure, Larry’s numero uno on the list, but thanks for the reminder.” He was almost positive that Larry — whatsizname? Assradish? — was still on vacation. Or at a conference. Or something; dead, maybe.

“Please. Call him. Larry Azaradis is connected.”

“I know, honey. I know.” Connected. He made a mental note to check the connector on his Xbox controller. It had compromised his score on “Urban Vigilante 5.”

“Make my lunch?”

“Yup! Turkey sandwich. By your briefcase.”

“Okay. I need to go. Love you.” She sighed and bestowed his cheek with a dry peck.

“Love you too!”

He listened to her clacky steps recede toward the back door.  Even when he expected it, her scream still made him wince.

She clacked back to the kitchen, her face pale, her mouth twisted with terror.

“What’s wrong, babe? Was it… a cockroach?”

She leaned against the wall, hyperventilating, finger and thumb spread to the intruder’s size: two inches, minimum.

He gave her a reassuring hug, patted her cheek and marched forth to battle with his.

Out of her view, he swatted an empty piece of floor with his shoe. Then he carefully lifted the long-dead roach carcass by its hind leg and gently returned it to the little wooden box he kept in his pocket.

© Horace James 2008

  1. […] it’s called A Common Phobia and it’s now out there for all the world to crap on.  It’s not really horror, just […]

  2. Zoe says:

    Hehe, funny. I guess that’s one way to stay useful. ^_^

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