Short Story--Easy Peasy--Day 3
Thanks so much for joining us this week to read my birthday gift to you, a short story. If you need to catch up, the first day is here and yesterday is here. Have fun!
If Chris had half the faith in how easy this project would be that Jane did, he wouldn’t have read the instructions three times. But he’d never been very handy at fixing things. Not like Jane’s dad and grandfather. And yet, she kept coming up with these “easy” projects she wanted them to tackle.
The idea of letting her down in any way tore him up inside. So, here he was again, trying to live up to her expectations. And wondering how he was going to fail this time.
The screws on top came out easily enough. He worked them all the way up and then lowered himself to where Jane held up the appliance. Now, to lift it off ...
“Okay. I’m going to try and lift it away. Ready?”
“Got it.” She stepped back, allowing him room to maneuver.
He gripped each side and jerked it forward, but it barely moved.
He tried wiggling it side to side and then forward, but it still hardly budged.
“What’s wrong?” Jane stood, hands outstretched, as if to catch the microwave should it fly away from the wall.
“I’m not sure. It’s not coming loose.” He grunted as he pulled again. This time a cracking sound came from the top.
Jane’s eyes widened.
“Well, that’s not right.” Chris muttered as he motioned Jane back under the microwave and he climbed up to examine the tiny crack between cabinet and top of the appliance. “Looks like someone wedged a piece of wood under the cabinet itself to brace the top of this thing.”
“I’m not sure I can get it out, but maybe if I do, we can work it the rest of the way free.”
“Okay. Let me know if I can help.” Jane’s voice was slightly strained and he felt sorry that she was holding the weight of the microwave, but he didn’t know anything else to do to make it work better, either.
Five minutes later, he finally got the broken chunk of wood out. But the microwave still wouldn’t move.
After quite a few more grunts and mutters his mom probably wouldn’t approve of, he worked it far enough away from the wall that he could shine a light in the back to see what it was caught on. “Is that a wire?”
“What?” Jane peeked over his shoulder, blocking some of the light he was using to look.
“There’s a wire running from the wall into the back of the microwave.”
“But why?” Jane’s eyes scanned everything around the kitchen. “It was plugged in up top just like a microwave is supposed to be. There was no reason any other wire would need to be coming out of it.”
Chris got it to move another inch and just about gave up right then and there when he realized what had happened. “Jane?”
“Know those lights under all the cabinets that have never worked?”
“Yes.” Her voice was wary and he didn’t blame her.
“I think they ran the wire for them through the back of the microwave.”
“You’ve got to be kidding me.”
If only he were.
Tentatively, he stepped away and let the appliance hang to see what would happen. It shifted maybe a millimeter, but then stayed. Okay. He needed to figure out what breaker this was all attached to so he could go flip it. Because there was no way he was messing with a loused-up home-electrician job before the wires weren’t live anymore.
“Where are you going?” Jane followed as he headed back to the garage.
“To try and find the right breaker. You stay and tell me when things go off or stay on.”
He moved a stack of boxes that should probably be recycled and opened the metal door. Of course, few of the switches were labeled and the ones that were didn’t mean anything to him since he had no idea who Andrew was or which room had belonged to him. Guess he would just start at the top.
“Okay. Let me know if the stove goes off. I’m hoping it’s on the same breaker since they’re on the same wall.”
“Okay.” Jane hollered back from the kitchen. “Go.”
He flipped the first switch. “Anything?”
Four switches later, he still hadn’t found it. Fifth time the charm? Here went nothing.
“That did it!” Jane’s voice was way too excited.
“Okay, God, I’m trusting you to not let me get electrocuted.” Chris sent up the semi-prayer and then started unscrewing the plate around the light switch they’d never figured out what it went to. It probably hadn’t worked because the wire had been through the back of the microwave. Which didn’t help much now.
He’d barely touched one of the wires when a loud zap sounded and he jerked back right as a bright flash filled the kitchen. Jane screamed and jumped. He wasn’t feeling very stable either.
“You okay?” Jane’s question came out rather breathless.
“I think so.” He stood and backed up a few more inches. “Won’t be touching that again anytime soon, though.”
“I don’t blame you.”
Then the microwave shifted.
And crashed on the tile floor, the sound of breaking glass almost as loud as Jane’s second scream.
Oops? Did that end the way you thought it would? Don't worry. You have two more days of story for things to be made right. Come back tomorrow to find out what happens next.
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