This was previously posted 12/31/09 as a two part series and its one my real-life firends and family mention most often. Like all good short stories, it’s simply an exaggeration of the truth. I’ll post the second half Wednesday.)
My mental state has gradually progressed from irritation, to concerned, and now alarm.
It started innocently enough, as these things usually do. I’m fairly certain the place of origin was in the bedroom, but my mind is so fragile that the facts could easily be jumbled. Where it started is hardly the issue anyway. It’s survival! It’s either me or them!!
It all began six months ago when we brought home a new comforter for the master bed. The bundle we purchased included a set of matching pillow shams. We never used shams before, so in addition to the two pillows we each slept with, now there were two more sham pillows. That’s six pillows total. After my wife made the bed each morning she would carefully place the sham pillows on top of the others, eliciting the desired decorative effect. Whatever satisfaction my wife drew from this totally eluded me, but I let her do whatever made her happy.
That’s when the other pillows started to appear.
According to my wife, the smaller throw pillows were necessary to “bring out” the color of the comforter and tie it in with tones and hues present in the room. That was their only purpose! At first there were only two pillows, but when more and more started to appear I began to wonder just how many colors we had in the room to tie together. Nobody ever laid a head upon them, used them to prop up an arm, or even stuck them under a shirt to fake pregnancy. Their whole existence revolved around adornment. Soon it wasn’t just the bed space they occupied. It became a 15 minute ordeal to remove the pillows at night and toss them in a semi-organized pile in the corner of the room. Sometimes they didn’t all make it back onto the bed the next morning and hung out elsewhere. It wasn’t long before they were everywhere in the room, under-foot and in the way. However irritating I thought the whole situation was, I humored my wife and kept my mouth shut.
The pillows soon took advantage.
A month ago I was sitting in my recliner reading a novel, when something caught my attention. I peered over the top of the page, scanning the room for anything out of the ordinary, when I spotted it. Nestled in the corner of the couch, half-hidden underneath a lap blanket . . . was a red throw pillow. I didn’t recall seeing it there when I sat down, and nobody had wandered through the room. At first I thought it could have been an escapee from the bedroom, attempting to blend in as it made its way toward the front door, and freedom? But it wasn’t a color I recalled seeing before. During an intense cross examination of my wife that evening, she admitted that her practice of using pillows to accent color combinations had spread to the living room. My mood switched to concerned.
Slowly, but surely, the pillows spread. At one point I swore that the little buggers were procreating, evidenced by the fact that I’d go to bed with three pillows on the couch and the next morning I’d find four. Of course my wife told me I was crazy, letting my writers’ imagination get the better of me. The words echoed in my head…my writer’s imagination. Regardless, I had seen enough. I put my foot down (ironically on top of a pillow) and told her NO MORE PILLOWS!
Despite my edict, soon our daughters room was infected, and then the playroom. There was nowhere to sit without moving a pillow. I was at a loss trying to figure out how they were getting around. My concern even drove me to slipping out of bed one night, easing out the backdoor and peeking in through the porch windows using my son’s night-vision goggles in an attempt to catch some sort of nefarious night time activities. But I saw nothing. The bedroom pillows must have warned the others what I was up to.
Finally, I went on the offensive and stuffed a handful in the hall closet, only to have them reappear in their original position the next day. I was reaching the end of my rope.
The rope broke last week. I caught our eleven year old son walking through the kitchen on his way to his own room, carrying a pillow. THEY HAD TAKEN CONTROL OF MY SON TO MIGRATE! NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!
So now I’m alarmed and what’s even worse, I think the pillows are on to me. Just the other day I woke from an afternoon nap, out of breath. A pillow was covering my face!
I have to find a way to turn the tide. After I finish posting this I’m going to print a copy and place it in our lockbox next to the life insurance policy. If I should die under mysterious circumstances, especially if there are PILLOWS nearby, at least the truth will be known.
This battle is only beginning!