His wife had gone to bed hours ago, bunkered into a pile of pillows, legs elevated to help [[ease the swelling.]]When he reached to turn off the lamp on the end table he happened to see the reflection of himself in [[the sliding glass door of the dining room.]]Sigerson had [[stayed up late]] again reading astronomy journals, but he was tired now. He set the tablet on the coffee table, and [[sat up.]]
He'd never noted the [[strangeness of that reflection]] before.The lines of the leather couch squiggled. The edges of the walls wobbled. It was a strange image and in the late night quiet of the house, Sigerson, having never noticed it before, felt [[drawn to it tonight.]]He stood up and [[walked slowly towards the glass door.]]
Standing next to the glass he could see two images [[simultaneously.]]He could see the entirety of the living room, but in the sliding door it appeared as if the living room had been rendered by an [[artist with an unsteady hand.]]
The image of the living room had [[changed.]]The wavering lines of the picture window had coalesced into a more accurate view of themselves, straight and true, however, the second image in the door was his own [[shadowy reflection,]]a dark silhouette through which in the absence of light he could see a dark [[view of the backyard;]]the trunks of elderly silver maple trees, and [[the neighbor’s fence beyond.]]Sigerson craved silence, and now there was an almost perfect vacuum of it - no low hum of a running furnace, [[no wind outside.]]
The air in the room ceased to move and Sigerson’s breathing slowed to a trancelike [[inhale and exhale.]]The living room was quiet. This late night silence was part of the attraction of staying up after his wife had gone to bed. His wife didn’t understand this need for solitude. She could never be alone; had to have some company even if it was just an on televesion.
He set the tablet on the coffee table, and [[sat up.]]He brought his hand up to the glass and [[his dark reflection did the same.]]inhale
He brought his hand up to the glass and [[his dark reflection did the same.]]Sigerson pressed his [[hand to the door,]]and it seemed that if he [[continued to push,]] he would [[press straight through -]] the glass to exist in that boundary state between his living room and [[the much darker nighttime world beyond his backyard.]]the molecules of glass bending around his fingers like a glove
and he would merge with his own dark silhouette in the glass to exist in that boundary state between his living room and [[the much darker nighttime world beyond his backyard.]]
The glass [[held.]]His hands did not push through. The dark reflection of his silhouette remained on [[the other side of the glass.]]He slid his fingertips down the cool window.
He walked back to the couch and [[turned off the lamp,]]the sliding doors just a pair of black rectangles [[in the low light.]]He climbed up the stairs and walked down the hall, stopping at the bedroom door. [[He put his hand on the door knob.]]The furnace clicked on. He heard warm air push through the ducts. He turned the knob, opened the door, and walked through the threshold, [[slowly closing the door behind him.]]He undressed in the dark, leaving his clothes in a pile next to the bed. He lifted the sheets and the winter blankets and climbed into bed. His wife was asleep on her side. He reached his hand out and gently pressed his palm against the warmth and firmness of her belly and felt [[the future]] press back.[[the glass door]]
short screen fiction by tone
<a href="https://screentone.org/>screentone.org</a>to be continued