As I dragged my feet to the kitchen of my house. I walked past my television set in my living room. The speaker was blaring with a blizzard of static layering the screen. As I poured my glass of gin and reheated some fried chicken.
“And tomorrow there will be heavy thunderstorms and flood watches…” The TV said. The static seemed to have changed to a weather report somewhere between me walking past it and pouring a drink. “What? When did my TV-? Ugh, Whatever.” I thought to myself as I walked back to my living room.
As I sat in my leather chair watching the Movie Channel, the grandfather clock in my living room chimed 11 times to signal that the time indeed was 11 o’clock at night.
*PSSSHHHHCRCK* the television screamed. “Hey! Get away from those negroes, Timmy!” The TV yelled. What? I wasn’t watching this. How did this happen? The TV didn’t have a channel watermark or number in the corner. I checked the TV Guide on the couch. “The Godfather – 11:00 PM to 2:30 AM” This wasn’t any scene in the Godfather I remembered.
It was a scene of a man yelling uncontrollably and angrily at a seemingly innocent black man in overalls. The man pulled a whip from under his coat and began lashing mercilessly at the black man. It looked like a movie in the South before the abolition of slavery. But it looked far too real to be any movie I’d seen before. What is going on with this TV?
*KSSHHRK* the television screamed again. “You come to me on the day of my daughter’s wedding and ask me to kill people I do not know.” It was the opening scene of the film The Godfather.
Could the wiring be going bad? Could the cable box be damaged? Could the TV have roaches inside it?
I unplugged the television to look inside and see what was wrong. No roaches, no cobwebs, no dirt, no dust, no hair, nothing. OK, next was to check the wiring. The wiring was completely fine, no signs of chewing from rats, no rotting from age, no- (I had almost considered the possibility of sabotage) -destroyed wires from moving to this house.
*BONG* *BONG* *BONG* The clock signaled to me that It was no longer 11 o’clock. The next day had finally begun.
“I guess I’ll leave this out and fix it in the morning.” I said to myself, climbing the stairs up to my bedroom. *BUZZZZZ* I stopped as though I was glued to my staircase and felt my body temperature drop like a bee in the rain. I slowly turned my head to lay eyes on what was making that sound. As if I needed any confirmation. I could feel deep in the pit of my stomach that I was already aware of what I was going to see.
“Aye, she be a witch! She sends her unholy spirits to attack me every night!” It was a scene of a woman standing in a wagon as two men wrapped a thick brown rope around her neck. The woman is sobbing and looking around with deep fear. As was the scene with the man and the whip, this scene looked far too realistic, with no TV logo or watermark to speak of in the corner of the screen.
This looked like a Salem Witch Trial. All I could do was stare at the screen with two sweaty palms and all my hair standing like soldiers at camp.
*CREAK* *SNAP* The woman dropped a foot in elevation from where she was standing and seemingly levitated in mid-air, unmoving.
The woman was dead.
After about thirty long, eternity-like seconds of staring at the sight of the woman’s body dangling from the tree, I snapped back to my previous state of awareness, trying to make heads or tails of what I just saw. “How!? I unplugged this damn thing!” My mind shrieked at me. I left the TV dismantled and unplugged, the TV box disconnected, and the power cords all unplugged. There was physically no way this television could have turned on without fulfilling those criteria. But it did, and it showed me a woman getting publicly hanged right before my shocked, frozen, unblinking eyes.
I stared up at the clock, 12:04 PM. I quickly sprinted back up to my room and laid in bed with my eyes wider open than a schizophrenic eagle’s. I stayed up trying to contemplate what was going on with that television and what I could do about it. I laid against the soft, warm embrace of my bed sheets and blankets for 6 hours or so before the sunlight greeted me with it’s annoying rays. I went downstairs to make breakfast and prepare for the day.
I looked up at the clock, 6:57 AM. I sat down in front of my TV tray and flipped up my stool. The TV flickered, and squealed as if the TV itself had suddenly come to life and was wailing in excruciating pain.
I knew what was coming and decided that I had enough of this. I quickly rocketed upstairs to grab my shotgun. I loaded it at seemingly light speed and returned to the living room to put an end to this. I didn’t even look at the television before opening fire on it.
I opened my eyes to see a shattered television screen and buckshot pocketing the wall behind it. I gathered up all of the pieces and threw them into a plastic bin. I carried the plastic bin outside, and ran to the shed to get some gas or lighter fluid. I ran back out, poured the gas on the bin, pulled out a match from my pocket, and lit the bin on fire.
“It was all over” I thought, and it was. There was no more insane squealing, and I can now enjoy my day without issue. After I repair the wall.