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My day off: 
Lynda leaves to go shopping. Turn on dining room light, ceiling fan goes on high. Fiddle with remote, fan refuses to turn off. Change battery. Switch breaker off and on. Look for manual—gone. Turn off breaker, climb on top of dining room table, remove cover on fan, change pin combo, climb down, turn on breaker, fan refuses to turn off. Eat lunch. Go to Home Depot, buy new light switch, install, fan still on. Google everything. Go to Rona Home & Garden, buy new remote, install, fan still on. Turn off breaker, climb back up on table, pull everything out again, consider installing new receiver. Put everything back the way it was. Go to bed. Cry a little bit.

One hour later:
Google everything again. Note that the receiver is connected by 5 wires to the 2 powered wires which come out of the ceiling box. The receiver, a small rectangular box, the wires, and plastic twist-on wire connectors all have to fit in a tiny space inside the decorative housing "cup" that snugs up to the ceiling. The overall design was done by James Elmer Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, 2 psychologists noted for their work on the CIA's enhanced interrogation program. The mathematical equation used for the design was: total space = all necessary components - 1. After 3 hours, I'm on a break reviewing the installation instructions using the online Greek - English translation service at babylon.com.

Later that afternoon: 
Climb back up on the table, remove all the wires and redo them. Yank the wires below the receiver as I notice a gnat-sized opening where the "extra" wire might fit. Watch as one of the wires falls out of its twist-on connector. Attempt to create a longer wire to twist inside the connector by stripping off some extra insulation. Don't have a stripping tool so I use my teeth. Chomp down on the wire and pull. Nearly fall backwards off the table and accidentally bite off the end of the wire. Climb down off table and lay down for a while. Climb back up. Chew ½ inch of insulation off the shortened wire and shove it back into the twist-on connector. Yank the final wire into the gnat-opening and wrestle with the decorative housing, ball and socket, down-rod, lamp and blades. Hold everything in place with my right hand, elbow, left shoulder and top of head, and jam in the screw which secures the decorative cup in place. Climb down. Turn on the breaker. Pick up the remote control and... is that an extra screw lying on the table?

Back in bed: 
Comments censored.

Around suppertime: 
Throw the extra screw into the junk drawer. Lynda comes back from shopping. I pick up the remote, take a deep breath, and click on all the buttons. Everything works. Lynda smiles and somehow says with a straight face, "You're really quite handy." We hug, and I tell her how much I love her (for lying).

Views: 136

Comment by Preston Randall on December 15, 2014 at 19:56
I realize this isn't a "traditional" horror story, but everyone has a different idea of what is truly terrifying, and, for me, it's home maintenance. So I hope readers are willing to go outside the box a bit with me on this one.
Comment by CAKeane on December 15, 2014 at 21:10
It's really good!! You're right, not terrifying in the traditional sense but I was concerned about the blood that may have been spilt had the tongue been bitten. And the possibility of electrocution was always hanging over his head...literally. Mostly I laughed however and silently prayed that this never happens to me. Excellent work!! :)
Comment by Salvatore Buttaci on December 16, 2014 at 13:55

Horror stories need not star only the frighteningly grotesque creatures that might bombard our sanity. Preston Randall has written a step-by-step horror that is such because it can befall any one of us, that though perhaps taken to a tongue-in-cheek extreme, does excellently make its point. Here is writing with such clear images one can envision working alongside the "repair guy." No question and no pun intended: I've become a fan of Preston Randall!

Comment by Ronnie Capaldi on December 16, 2014 at 16:42

Hey Preston. Horror ...manual style! lol. I liked it, had a uniqueness... very identifiable have done similar and it is a horror in more ways then one! "Comments censored".. like that! My advice thou.. next time use a stepladder!! :)

Comment by Glynis Rankin on December 18, 2014 at 2:38

I enjoyed this untraditional horror story. The most frightening of horror stories for me are those that happen in real life situations. Our fears, and the challenges that forces us to overcome those fears, is what makes for a good horror story. Well done Preston!  

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