The Blue Light: Part One

This is the first part of a fiction serial, in 843 words.

George hadn’t been sleeping that well since retiring. Losing the routine of working all day had upset his body clock, and left him restless at night. And being around Eileen all day felt strange too. He had realised that you can be married to someone for forty years, and hardly know them. Forty-three years in the same job, doing it well, but with no ambition to change. What did that say about him? He thought about that a lot now he wasn’t working.

Still, they were only sixty, and probably had a good twenty years ahead of them doing things that they had always said they would do once they could. But so far, they had done almost nothing. The days passed by in a blur, and before he knew it, George was coming up to his first anniversary of retirement, and they hadn’t even been on a holiday, let alone done anything remotely exciting. Perhaps if they had children it might have been different. But one or the other of them hadn’t worked properly, the children had never come along, and they never bothered to find out why.

Eileen had resisted the idea of moving. Their small semi-detached on the edge of a market town suited her nicely, so she said. George wanted to sell up and move to a completely different part of the country, but his wife liked the neighbours, and enjoyed her moderate social life. He used some of his savings to change the car, and Eileen had chuckled when he came home with the two-door fastback. “Will we even get all the shopping in the back of that, George? What were you thinking, love?” So she didn’t really want to go for drives, and George ended up washing and polishing the car every weekend, dreaming of swooping around sharp bends and enjoying country lanes.

But so far the only place he had swooped to was the new Aldi on the trading estate. Sitting inside the car waiting for Eileen to return with a trolley load of groceries.

It wasn’t long before she started to suggest that he found himself a hobby. She had her crochet, her lunch club, and she helped out at the library too, reading to illiterate adults. The husbands of most of her friends went fishing, or spent the day in garden sheds making things. Some of them made models, collected stamps, or followed the local football team. None of that interested George though. He had hoped they would do things together, explore new places, just drive off somewhere and find a hotel, come home when they liked.

Then she talked about him landscaping the garden, or decorating all the rooms in the house. She bought him books to read, without even asking if he wanted to read them. Very soon the bookcase was full of books he had no intention of ever reading. The final straw was when Eileen bought him a new electric drill with all the accessories for his birthday. What did she expect him to drill? The house already had every hole drilled it would ever need. That went up into the loft, never to see the light of day.

He still loved her of course. His first, and only love. They had been together for so long it had become a habit. It was a good habit, he had always thought, but forced together twenty-four seven, he could see the cracks starting to emerge.

There were also the differences he could also feel in himself. After a year of doing almost nothing, he was slowing down, feeling his age. Many of the people they knew had carried on working, determined not to retire until they had no other option. But he had always planned to leave at sixty, while he still had some life left in him. He had planned for it, saved hard, and paid extra into his job pension. Eileen had gone part-time when she was fifty-five, mainly so she could do more of her other activities.

Sometimes, he thought she had given up, and couldn’t wait to be an old lady, sitting in a chair working her crochet hooks, and staring out the window at the garden.

Another unsettled night. Eileen snoring softly next to him as he tossed and turned, trying to get off to sleep. No sooner had he managed to do that, when the room was bathed in a blue light. It was strong enough to show through the curtains, and seemed to be directed at his face. He got out of bed and opened one side of the curtains, amazed to see the blue light illuminating the garden and boring into his eyes through the window. What could it be, at three in the morning? Something one of the neighbours in the street behind had set up perhaps? Eileen hadn’t noticed it, and was still sleeping soundly.

Closing the curtains and going back to bed, George decided he would walk around the corner and have a word with that neighbour tomorrow.

Then the light went out.

38 thoughts on “The Blue Light: Part One

  1. The power has been out for days at my house! Charging the phone has been challenging! I’m just catching up today with light and a warm house. This looks like a good one. I’ll read through and leave one comment at the last one. I’m relating well to this couple! 💕C

    Liked by 2 people

  2. (1) George: “Eileen, you’re fat!”
    (2) “George ended up washing and polishing the car every weekend, dreaming of swooping around sharp bends and enjoying country lanes.” George is not cut out to off-road in the rocky, rutted desert with a banged-up 4×4. (I’m reminded of Jack Lemmon’s fussy “George” in “The Out-of-Towners”.)
    (3) “She…helped out at the library too, reading to illiterate adults.” I recently watched “The Reader,” where David Kross’s character reads to Kate Winslet, who plays an illiterate adult. Instead of a library, the reading is done in the bedroom.
    (3) Overheard:
    George: “What do you expect me to drill?”
    Eileen: “Drill for oil. If you do that, I’ll consent to moving to Beverly Hills. Swimming pools. Movie stars.”
    (4) In the Midwest, many unwanted things get put in the attic. But they do risk seeing the light of day. #TornadoAlley
    (5) George could see the cracks emerging. It all began with smile lines and crow’s feet…
    (6) David, who is artificially intelligent, has a message for George: “The blue light is emanating from the Blue Fairy. You’re in a DreamWorks movie!”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. From the odd comment or two, I have often said “why don’t you get a hobby” men don’t always though it seems they don’t like us mentioning it…A good start, Pete interesting ..Aliens ? xx

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Sam will end up following me around – I know he will. However, he says he’ll get out in the garden more. He does have a low boredom threshold. At the moment his job keeps him occupied 24/7. I dread to think what he’ll be like when he retires, lol.

        Liked by 1 person

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