The delivery man dropped off the new freezer. Part of the store’s deal was to take the old one away. As he loaded it onto the truck, he asked. “How did it die?”
“Pardon?” asked Melissa.
“The freezer. How did it die? It isn’t very old.”
Weird, she thought. Might be something to do with store’s return policy. “The storm last week. The power went off. When it came back on, the freezer was bust.”
“Good to know.”
He loaded it onto his hand-truck.
“R.I.P. tiny freezer.”
He stroked its white surface, as he gently placed it into the delivery truck.
That was really creepy, Melissa thought, but decided not to say anything. He was a big guy and she was on her own. She quietly closed the front door and watched as he drove away.
A couple of days later she decided it was time to fill the new freezer with food. She went shopping and returned with a car full of groceries destined for the freezer. As she climbed the stairs from the basement, after filling it with her purchases, she noticed the front door of the house was open. She closed it, disquieted.
She entered the lounge and saw the delivery driver sitting on the sofa.
“I checked it. The condenser had blown. The manual clearly says to unplug it in case of a surge after a power cut. You didn’t.”
“You could have had the condenser replaced you know, you could have fixed it, but no, you went ahead and had it destroyed. Euthanized. You killed it. You murdered that tiny freezer. It was only a baby. There can be only one punishment for that.”
He rose from the sofa.
Brian came home from work at six, to find the house dark and empty. Shrugging, he guessed Melissa must be out for a walk. There was no note and she didn’t answer her phone. He decided to get a head start on dinner. In the basement the floor was covered in thawing packs of food. Melissa had obviously forgotten to load the new freezer. He opened the lid and recoiled. His wife lay, curled in a foetal position, in the frozen compartment.
∼ RJ Meldrum
© Copyright RJ Meldrum. All Rights Reserved.