He set the needle down gently on the black grooved circle and closed the glass top. A crackling hiss came from the speaker system, followed by Beethoven’s 5th. “Ahhh” he said as he poured a glass of wine and sat in his reclining chair, “my favorite.” For the next hour Side A of the record played as the man sank deeper into his chair, reminiscing about the week’s events, and hoping that Side B was just as warm as he remembered it all those years ago.
Earlier that day he had found himself in a tiny mom-and-pop record shop in North Seattle, just poking around looking for gems, as was his Friday custom. He was looking in the classical section, when he came across the record now playing on his stereo system. Oh how he had LOVED this record as a young boy some 40+ years ago. He carefully took the record out of its sleeve, and examined it, followed by the sleeve, and saw the mark. Yes, this was it! This was the record he had given away by accident all those years ago. He hugged it close to his chest and proceeded to the checkout line, paid the teenage cashier with two crisp 20-dollar bills and went home.
His thoughts broke as Side A ended. He got up slowly, clutching his lower back and stretching as he walked across the now dark room to the record player. With trembling hands full of excitement and fear, he opened the glass on the player, gently removed the record and flipped it to Side B.
The man gently set the record down on the player and lowered the needle to the fourth black groove, closed the glass top and sat back in his chair as that familiar crackling hiss came from the speakers.
Muffled screams emanated from the speakers this time, along with a second voice: “Now, now, calm down. I don’t want to hurt you; I just want to have a little fun,” said the calm, comforting male voice.
A muffled shriek, followed by cries of pain echoed from the speakers and through the house.
“Shhhh, shhh. It’s just a little fire… nothing to worry about…”
As the screams and shrieks continued, the man eased back into his chair, sipped his wine, and smiled…