To be honest with you, I’m a professor of Literary Studies at the University of British Columbia. I’ve been writing this blog in order to create a literary equivalent to “channel surfing.” By changing the narrative voice on a daily basis – and encompassing these changes in growing layers of lies – I’m hoping to provide readers with a unique, web-based literary experience that can exist only in this medium. I will be publishing a paper on the entire process sometime later in the year.
    For now, here’s today’s short-short story with a more serious tone…

The Hand Behind the Sofa

     Tom stepped out into the winter morning and the freezing air wrapped around his face. He exhaled white clouds of relief that floated behind him as he hurried across the street to the bright yellow convenience store/gas station. Usually, he hated having to rise so early but this morning the cold felt good against the still fresh bruise beneath his right eye. His eight-hour old shiner. The memory made flesh in a bulge beneath his eye that had buzzed all night. 
     Tom walked up the blue-painted, wooden steps at the front of the store and he opened the yellow door. Bells chimed and Vic looked up from behind the cash register. He gave Tom his morning nod but afterwards stared for a couple seconds at the black eye.
    “You okay ?” he said suspiciously.
     “Yeah.”
     “Trouble at school ?”
     Tom shrugged and gave a noncommittal grunt.
     Vic gave him the keys to turn on the pumps and open the shed which was full of empties. Stepping outside, he saw his house across the street. He felt freakish beneath the skin of his face which stretched up to the bulge beneath his eye. All because of a stupid joke that had backfired. 
     The night before, he’d hidden behind the living-room couch with the brand new tv’s remote control. There were five buttons on it. His father had gotten home from work late; the door slammed shut behind him. The fridge door opened and Tom could hear the pssst of an opened beer.
     “Tom !”
     His father’s heavy footsteps shook the floor of the living room. The t.v. was turned on.
     “Tom ! Where’s  that remote ?”
      Tom’s body was pressed at an angle between the couch and the wall. He pointed the remote up against the ceiling and the channel changed.  A week into life with this new t.v. he’d learned that the remote’s signal bounced against the walls or ceiling. 
     “What the hell ?” his dad said as he got up to change the channel back.  “Tom !! Do you know where that remote is ?” 
      Tom turned the volume of Fantasy Island down to a whisper. Once again his dad cursed loudly as he got up to adjust the volume. “Da plane. Da plane.”  Tom felt as if the remote were controlling his father. He wished there were more buttons on it. He turned the channel once again but froze at his dad’s burst of profanity.
    “Where the fuck is that remote control ?” he shouted as he upturned the cushions on the couch. Whatever it was that he found beneath the floral cushions, he hucked it towards the screen of their new television. There was a crack.
     “Holy Christ.”
      When he found Tom behind the sofa he smacked him across the face. Tom ran to his room and locked the door, finding a brand new use for the lock. The heart-beat of his body found a new epicenter beneath his eye. 
     He remembered all this as he opened the shed with the empties. He took the remote out from his back pocket and threw it at the back wall. It felt into several pieces.

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