The Static

Short Story Day 120 of 365

The restaurant was full when Janice and James first took their seats next to the gigantic salt water aquarium. It was a Friday lunch time crowd where people seemed to have a little extra time to socialize and visit.

Large fans with wide bamboo mesh blades turned overhead at a snail’s pace. The fans weren’t cooling anything but enhanced the casual atmosphere.

Smooth jazz played over the sound system, low enough to be heard and only slightly loud enough to tap your feet to if you were so inclined. Certainly not obnoxious or interfering.

While James and Janice were waiting for their appetizers after receiving their drinks, someone bumped the music dial.

The new noise coming over the speakers now was a cross between the smooth jazz and a punk rock station with a whole lot of static in the mix.

It took only a minute before people started to call the wait staff over.

James called for his waitress.

“Ma’am, this static is driving everybody batty.”

“Someone is on it right now, sir,” she said. “Several somebodies actually.”

Janice looked around at the other customers. Everyone seemed to now be more animated and fidgety, and the only thing that had changed with what was being piped in over the sound system.

Still low key but completely out of kilter

“James,” Janice said. “Leave him some money for the drinks, and let’s get out of here.”

“But…you’re right. It’s been ten minutes already.”

As they passed the cashier station, the sound system tuned into and settled on the punk rock station.

“Good call, Janice,” James said as he held the outside door open for her.

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