The words over at Three Word Wednesday are bleak, hiccup and queer.
I return from the university to find my parents have converted my room into a massive time machine.
Orange power cords run everywhere, to every wall socket and snake down the hallway and disappear down the steps.
Two gunmetal gray pods sit in the center of the room and from inside each, greenish lights pulsate like a living, breathing thing. Everything hums with an eerie, metallic tone.
My furniture has been pushed haphazard against walls and I notice they’ve managed to tear nearly in half my vintage Betty Page poster.
I stomp down to the kitchen to protest and discover my parents huddled over rolls of blueprints and schematics.
Dad’s clumsily writing a column of numbers down a legal pad, checking them against a slide rule. Mother has my father’s rough and hairy hands resting on his shoulders.
He’s dressed in mother’s favorite floral sundress, tufts of chest hair sprouting from the swell of my mother’s buxom bosom. Mother’s dressed in a black wool pants, dad’s Oxford shirt (tie loosened at the neck like he likes it) and every so often, she glides his nervous hand across her face, smoothing his bushy mustache under her delicate, upturned nose.
And I notice why he’s having such a hard time writing. His hands are slight, graceful and boney – their my mother’s – and he’s gripping a mechanical pencil in her French-manicured fingers. He’s trying to scrawl with his left, mother’s dominate hand. He’s a righty.
The queerness of the scene leaves me lightheaded, nauseous.
“What in the living hell?” I manage to squeak in protest.
They both look up, startled, and seem a bit guilty.
“There have been hiccups, no doubt about it,” she says, in dad’s rich baritone. “But it’s always bleakest before the dawn, dear. We’re working through all the transmogrifications.”