Monday, 8 December 2014

Day 8 Daylight Saving by Marc Owen Jones

Andrew’s reading the paper on the sofa and Debbie’s on the computer. Classic FM murmurs in the background and spring rain patters silently on the floor to ceiling windows. It’s an overcast mid-morning but the automatic lighting warms the room. From the end of the walled-in garden they’re a human exhibit for small mammals and brave burglars.
“Have you seen this?” she says.
“Seen what, dear?”
“This email from Ted.”
“What’s he got to say for himself?”
“Cheeky bastard.”
Andrew closes the cover on his tablet, stands up and wanders over to his wife. He rests his hands gently on her shoulders and peers at the screen. He is momentarily reminded of the miracle of laser eye surgery.
“Do you remember the other day, when I hadn’t quite heard what you’d said and you sniped at me and I snarled back?”
“You didn’t snarl, pumpkin, you purred,” he says and leans forward to plant a kiss on her cheek.
“Quite,” she strokes the side of his face before continuing, “but these are Ted’s words.” She shifts her head sideways so that he can get a better view. “Anyway, the station’s saying there was a positive blip in the ratings after that. More people stayed on during the ad break and for a few hours we were trending, whatever that means. They’re saying we should do more stuff like that.”
“More stuff like what?”
“You know, contentious, argumentative.”
“But we’re Mr and Mrs Happily Married.”
“They’re saying that people want to see us disagreeing once in a while.”
“I’m not sure I can do that.”
“It looks like we’re going to have to try.”
“Or what? They’ll cancel us? Come off it Debbie, Daylight Saving’s our segment. We own it. They’re hardly going to pull it just because we look too happy.”
“I know, darling, but I think we might have to meet them half way on this. Ted’s pretty blunt.” She tilts her head and Andrew lowers his head. They kiss and it feels as soft and sensual as it did when they’d first met.

They stare at each other in the dressing room mirror, breathless and exhilarated. Andrew is laughing so much that tears streak his makeup. He wipes them away with the back of his hand and his face turns two-tone. This makes him laugh harder and Debbie joins in.
“I want you,” she says.
“Now?” Andrew looks at his wife with renewed lust. Their sex life is good, but for more years than he can remember it has been a weekly fixture in his diary, like squash.
“Now,” she confirms and Andrew jumps up, but before he can twist the lock on the door, it opens.
“Perfect,” Ted says. He’s a small man with a big voice. People who haven’t seen him assume he’s tall and handsome. In the flesh he disappoints; so nondescript that people look beyond him to the person they presume must be just behind. Andrew pulls up short and turns his reach into a stretch. “Are you okay?” Ted  says.
“We’re fine, now sod off, I want to get changed,” she says.
Ted widens his grin, “just one thing before I leave you gorgeous people to your own devices. Let’s get some social media pumping. Andrew, put out a tweet saying ‘I’m mightily pissed off’ and Debbie, update your Facebook with ‘serves him right’.” He looks at both of them in turn, waiting for their agreement. They nod and he leaves with, “Good work, darlings, keep it up,” trailing behind him.
Andrew locks the door and looks at his wife.
“Tweet first, then sex,” she says. 

About the author:
Marc Owen Jones is currently writing a novel and a linked collection of short stories. His story, The Murder of Crows, was recently published by Unthank Books in Unthology 4.
Marc Jones works in the holiday industry.
Marc lives in a small village just outside Norwich with his wife, two daughters and a seemingly un-trainable puppy.
He can be found at and can be followed on twitter @marcgjones.

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