2B or Not 2B
by Jeff Baker
“So, you gonna call the Super?” Horacio was sitting at the counter in Apt. 2B of the Elsinore Apartments munching the last of a bowl of chips. “I mean if the speaker in my apartment was going off at all hours and nobody was downstairs, I would.”
“I tried leaving a message,” Hammie said. He was tall, pale, skinny and brooding. Horacio was short, dark and muscular. Hammie thought he looked good.
“That damn thing keeps waking me up in the middle of the night,” Hammie said, pointing at the speaker in the wall by the apartment door. “Stuff about my Mom fooling around. Well, Dad’s been gone a year. She’s entitled. Even if the guy was Dad’s brother.”
“Half-Brother,” Horacio said, feeling under the counter for another bag of chips. “You sure you aren’t dreaming all of this? You’ve been working those double-shifts you know.”
“I know, but I was wide-awake last night when the speaker went off,” Hammie said.
“Yeah…but…that…ummfh…” Horacio had found the unopened bag of chips and was trying to pull it open. “…doesn’t mean you…umffh…weren’t…”
“Here,” Hammie said, reaching under the counter and pulling out a letter opener shaped like a small sword. “Anyway, I’m going to talk to my Mom.” He waved the letter opener in the air before handing it to Horacio. “I would speak daggers to her but use none. Here, use this.”
“Thanks,” Horacio said. “I still say you…”
There was a metallic buzz from the door. Hammie rushed to the speaker and pressed the button.
“Yeah?” He said.
The reply was a sepulchral voice.
“Hammie Dane, by my prophetic soul, even as we speak your Mother lies with your own Uncle Claude. The same Claude Duke who foully murdered me. Avenge me, Hammie Dane! Avenge me!”
The speaker clicked and went silent.
Hammie and Horacio both recognized the voice of Hammie’s late father.
Horacio handed his friend the dagger.