A Shriek of Radio Static

It’s ironic that I just posted about radios because Rose is having a radio moment of her own. There’s a certain amount of chemistry between her and Charlie, and she’s having a devil of a time fighting it…

I’m sure it was all in my head, but it seemed cooler in front of the radio. As if the sound radiating from the behind that golden canvas somehow pushed the stifling air, creating just the barest hint of a breeze.

Charlie sat to my right on the sofa, while Harold had pulled his chair close to the set, manning the radio knob, at the ready to squelch the shriek of radio static that always erupted at the most inopportune moment. Like tonight, when we would finally learn the true identity of Fu Manchu’s daughter.

Outside, crickets shrieked as well, their racket rising with the waning sunlight, screaming, “Chee. Chee. Chee.” I finished their half-spoken accusations in my head: cheater, cheater, cheater.

Charlie laughed. I wasn’t sure at what. How could he be so casual, as if he felt nothing? He raised his iced tea in mock salute, then guzzled the cold drink, afterwards laying the cool glass against a sheen of sweat that covered the patch of chest hair peeking from the vee of his undershirt.

I dared not look, but could not turn away.

“Rose, you look like you’re about to drown in this heat,” Harold said, offering up my paper fan in his outstretched hand.

I was drowning. In desire. In depraved wantonness. In guilt. He knew. He had to; he’d thrown Charlie and I together on the sofa, so close, the heat squalid between us.

A breeze drifted in, more a whisper, really, than a breeze, bringing with it a hint of relief. I smiled at Harold, taking the fan, fluttering the semi-circle at my neck, hoping the cool air would conceal the threatening inferno.

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