Switched Off

“Did you turn off the radio?” Tyler turned to his wife and asked.

Amanda flipped through a magazine “I think I did. Why? What would happen if I forgot to turn the radio off?”

Tyler slid out of bed and moved towards the door. “How long did we have it on today?” he stopped at the door “couldn’t of been more then four hours? Right?”

His wife stared at him thinking

“Right?!” He asked frantically.

“Well we started listening when the dodgers came on, then that odd broadcast about the horse races, that was six hours ago.”

Tyler cursed sharply and swung the door open and cast him self down staircase to the kitchen where the radio was. She could hear him descend the steps and creak in to the kitchen. Then there was silence. The house held no movement in it anymore.

Suddenly the walls shook violently, she could feel the furniture shift at each massive smash of something against the frame.

“Tyler” she yelled out the open door. The slamming continued and then it was silent once again. Amanda got out of bed and moved slowly to the top of the stairs. She called down once again.

“Tyler? What’s going on down there? Are you okay?” Her heart started to pick up speed as the house seemed empty. She could see the kitchen light spilling towards the front door at the bottom of the stairs, but the rest of the house remained dark.

“I’m coming down” her voice shook as she descended the stairs. She gripped the railing with white knuckles and cranked her head around them to see into the kitchen. It seemed fine from her view, but as she approached the door she saw Tyler.

The opposite side of the kitchen where the sink and a window outlooking their yard was covered in bits of blood and bone. Tyler lay on the linoleum floor. His body was twisted in unimaginable pose. Bones protruding from his legs and arms, everything bruised and bludgeoned.

She stared in stunned horror. Her mind taking in the scene and processing if it was a nightmare. A high pitched hiss and crackle came from the radio that sat on the kitchen table. She jerked her attention towards it with a scream.

Fashioned out of old wood and brass the radio sat smiling at her. The two dials, an on and off switch for the left eye and a frequency dial for the right eye. The AM/FM window curved into a smile and old textured clothe covered the speaker grills which formed eye brows that seemed always in a sinister point. The mouth lit up with a fuzzy yellow and the red power indicator light sat right above the mouth. Like a nose. The finder rolled through the different frequencies till it came to a certain station.

In an old time radio voice it spoke “Amanda, welcome down to the kitchen. Hope all is well.”

Amanda turned to run, but something grasped her wrist, her feet squealed against her floor as it pulled her back into the kitchen. She covered her eyes and sobbed. “What is happening?”

The radio flickered “Your husband didn’t tell you the rules, did he?”

Amanda shook her head

“Then, I shall explain them once again! Only once, listen carefully.

  1. The radio can only be on for a maximum four hours at a time.
  2. The radio can only give three days predictions at a time.
  3. The radio only needs one soul per year.
  4. The radio can only be turned on twice a day.

Any breakage of these rule, well you can tell what happens.”

Static returned to the airwaves. Amanda slid across the bloody floor and grabbed the meat hammer from the top drawer. She stepped forward and drove it down at the radio with all her strength. Inches away the hammer felt as it if was stuck in honey.

The voice returned “Also forgot two rules. The radio cannot be harmed and two the radio must be used every twenty four hours. By the newest owner. Congratulations Amanda,you have inherited me from your now deceased husband.”

There was a wave of pressure that hit Amanda and she slipped backwards slamming into the counter top.

“Looking forward to working with you, and please, take good care of me” The radio’s smile seems to grow as it spoke and then the power dial turned switching the yellow tint off and red nose to dark. Leaving Amanda alone.

I had recently built a vintage radio out of legos. Very cool set. It has a Sound Brick inside that you can turn on on and off and ‘browse’ channels on the other dial. Before getting bed, a question was asked, out of the blue “What happens if I don’t turn the radio off?”

I thought for a moment. It would run out of batteries. But what if something else would happen? What if that question held terrible weight to it.

Make sure you turn the radio off before leaving.