Leanne threw her keys on the dresser and dropped her bag down onto the bed. She took off her sweater in one smooth movement and found herself looking at the vent above the bed once her head was free of the polar fleece. Four dark, parallel lines in the off white plasterboard of her bedroom wall that flowed out to the exterior, allowing air to circulate. She noticed a small crack had opened at the bottom right corner, linking the two bottom-most vents and dragging a further two centimetres down into the plasterboard below.
“Damn.” She cursed to herself, then she yelled down the hall. “That crack looks bigger. The one on the vent.”
Her housemate yelled back, the disembodied voice, doing it’s best to sound interested. “Oh. Shit. We’ll have to call someone.”
Leanne yelled back. “I just had Justin out to look at the foundations. He said they were fine.”
“Maybe get a second opinion. Justin’s nice and all, but we both know he’s more brawn than brains.”
Leanne thought about Justin. She became flushed as his silhouette flashed through her mind. She was right, more brawn than brains. “Okay.” Leanne yelled back down the hall. “I’ll call someone tomorrow. I’ll Google it.”
Leanne opened her bag on the bed, not giving the small crack in the wall another thought as she proceeded to unpack the trophies from her shopping sojourn.
Two new pens.
A new Keep Cup to ‘replace’ the one that she left at work today.
And three new books.
Leanne looked through her new books one by one.
The first was orange and had a title comprised of big bold black letters ‘The Power Of Now: The Art Of Getting Sh*t Done.’
The second was more substantial, a hardback with a dust cover. Depicted on the cover were the streets of Paris with long bolts of red fabric dramatically flowing down the centre of the Rues and Boulevards, like rivers of blood. The author's name was larger than the title and in flowing gold font. The book was called ‘Fashion Assassin: The True Story Of Paris’ First Lady Of Footwear.’
The final book was white with a thin line across the middle. Above it, in a small neat font, it read; ‘Transcendental Clean: De-Cluttering The Mind And The Home.’
Leanne looked at her bedside table, it was covered in books, all precariously balanced. She counted 14 books and sighed. She didn’t know what caused her to sigh, but she suspected it was embarrassment. All the knowledge in the world, the weight of ten thousand thoughts and ideas piled up in a bedside monument of shame. She figured she should try to place these new books at the bottom of the pile, to read the books she’d already bought first, however, she didn’t want to disturb the delicate forces keeping this monstrosity upright. She decided to take the easy route. One by one she placed the books onto the pile.
As she set the first, she heard a groan. Her stomach? No. She hadn’t felt anything. With the second she heard a creak from the floorboard beneath her bedside table that echoed inside the wall. She placed the final book and heard a tiny pop from above her head. She saw white, dandruff-like flakes of plaster fall onto the back of her hand. She looked up. The crack in the wall had grown longer and wider.
She gulped, then shouted back down the hall. “You wanna borrow some books?”
“Nah.” Replied the voice from the hall. “I don't read.”