Eagerly, the two sat down and began to examine the directions. They had some disagreement about where to start, and how many steps there were. Sean seemed to think 36, and Anna 33. Later, Anna was sure there were 37, Sean 55. It didn’t help that the steps were convoluted and not in sequential order. Sean commented that it was like someone who had never written directions before had written the guidelines. Anna rejoined that it seemed that the directions had been translated from some other language, though which she could not discern. Still, they pressed on. Sitting on the floor, they managed to build the base of the thing – thick planks of some exotic wood joined together into a square. Sean could have sworn that he wiped sand off the planks as he pulled them together. He got up and mumbled something to Anna about needing to go wash his hands. Meandering towards the kitchen, the house about him seemed to spin. It was still his house, but he had an odd sense that it should not take this long to get back to the sink. He bent his head down and ran the water, rinsing his hands of the sand from the boards. On the walk back to the front hall, he did not notice the traces of sand and stone on the rug. He rejoined Anna in the front hall, who was
Happy Birthday Lovecraft!
bent over the thing and trying to work out the next section. Anna was convinced that they had to simply place the screw into the hole on the base and it would set up the next section. As she worked with the tools, the piece just didn’t seem to fit. Looking at the instructions, they were clear. The piece just seemed not to fit. Sean, taking the piece, easily tightened it into place. He reached over and ruffled her hair, smiled at her. Silly girl. She looked down, hiding her eyes. She hated it when he did that. They got back to work. There seem to be an endless amount of pieces – screws, bolts, washers. Little black pieces with sharp edges composed of some strange metal. Bigger, heavy pieces that didn’t seem like they could fit in the box. The directions continued to be opaque and confusing. The small, folded sheet seemed to get bigger and bigger as Anna struggled with it. She spread it out on the wood floor, pushing sand out of the way as it got on the thin paper. As she tried to puzzle through the directions, a sharp gust of wind blew through the hall. You left the damned window open again, she muttered, grasping at the paper as it buckled on the floor.
Dedicated to the late, great H.P. Lovecraft