It was one of those lazy, horrible summer afternoons. Not one of those lovely, Kinks-style afternoons where you could just laze about in the garden, cold drink in hand, conversation drifting through the grass below your feet and barely disturbing the calmness of the air. No, this was one of those stifling, dead summer days. No-one dared go outside, no laughter of children playing or ice-cream vans (though she hated them anyway), the air seemed heavy, moisture laden and had flattened the grass outside with its weight, smothering the colour from it. No, this was not a garden day. This was an imprisoned-in-your-house day, looking out at the sun-bleached trees seemingly melting, the tarmac evaporating into the air and being afraid to move lest you generate any more heat and end up roasting alive. It was also, she thought, a day which left you with few other activities available but to lament the day itself. And still he played his game.
“I don’t know how you can even focus on that thing in this weather.” She says, thinking aloud. “I’m getting a headache just thinking about doing anything.”
“S’only ’cause you’re crap at video games. You’re getting a headache from how good I am, it’s blowing your tiny little mind.” He grins tauntingly. It’s not even worth the effort peeling herself off of the sofa to reach a cushion to throw. No, revenge will have to come later. she decides. And once again the conversation has choked, suffocated in the air between them. She watches him play, fiddling with the ring on her finger. It was swelling in the heat, her body trying to dissipate heat into the already saturated surroundings, and the ring was becoming painfully tight. Wouldn’t be surprised if it melted onto her finger, she thought.
The car screeches round a corner on the screen, almost making it, but smashing instead sideways into a bus stop. “There was a time you would have made that turn.” She prods him.
“The controller’s just old, that’s all!” He returns, slightly too quickly.
“Maybe you’re too old.”
“Why would you even say that?” Faux whimpering.
“You’ve gotten weak, soft, mentally and physically.” She’s giggling now.
“Yeah I get it, you’re referencing Battlestar, very funny.” Though he does emit the flash of a reciprocal chuckle. “Maybe if you said something original for once I wouldn’t have to play a game to fill in the gaps in our conversation.” Rolled over from his horizontal position on the floor to look at her, she decides to risk it. The cushion is thrown. The car swerves, and tumbles off of the road, cartwheeling before becoming to an uncomfortable rest in a ditch. The position obviously did not sit well within the game’s confines of reality, and the car began to jolt in and out of the ground, existing in a superposition, unable to decide which to choose.
He didn’t notice. There were no longer any observers to this quantum spectacle. Cushions were being hurled from corner to corner, reinforcements conscripted from other rooms, until the floor was covered, carpeted, blanketed, cushioned, with them. Lame description, she thought as they both collapsed onto the now-ready floor, sweating. Very cheesy.They both sat panting, and shared a laughing look that suggested they both had enough energy, despite the heat, for maybe one more activity. There was movement in that dead street once more, even as the cars began to sink into the road and the blackouts rolled in.
Revenge could wait a little bit longer. Cushion fights no longer counted.
Maybe she’d put ice down his back.