The Twilight Zone: a short tale of repetition

Mr James Jones, 43-years old, is as confused as a three-year-old child trying to calculate how many square metres of carpet is needed for a hallway. The big house, chores being completed without any sign of a butler or chambermaid. We get a small snippet of James’ day to day life – a life of repetition, in The Twilight Zone

I NEED TO GET OUT! I need to escape from this house.

Four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a huge kitchen packed with high tech domestic appliances that I don’t know how to operate. A heated indoor swimming pool, the wafer-thin TV set with endless channels, and decor that would make any guest gasp in awe.

Sounds perfect?

I’ve lost track of what day it is. I don’t know how I arrived here. I’ve tried to escape on numerous occasions, but the front door won’t budge – same with the back door and the windows. The combination of the huge windows and the loud ticking clock reveals sunrise at 6.42am and sunset at 7.27pm every day. My observation during my time here is that the spring, autumn and winter seasons don’t exist.

I need to get out!

I can’t get my head around the aroma of freshly baked bread creeping into the bedroom at the crack of dawn. Breakfast all laid out on the kitchen table. The rumbling of the washing machine. The hissing of the steam iron in the utility room. The bedrooms laundered every day. The endless supply of toiletries in the bathroom – it’s like a 5-star hotel with invisible housekeepers. I hear footsteps and a dialect I don’t understand. I see dishes being put away, freshly ironed shirts floating into the wardrobe and the vacuum cleaner roaring back and forth in the hallway. Still, I see no people.

I crave company – just one person who I can talk to – someone who I can help me understand why I’m here. I just need someone. I want to see a face – a man, a lady, a cheeky teenager – anyone!

The cellar: maybe it’s worth another try. I open the door and head down the steep dark steps. I stand in total darkness at the bottom of the cellar. This is the point where I chickened out last time, but I need to take a leap of faith to escape. One step, two steps … three … four … more steps into the depths of blackness. It’s so hot down here. The heat intensifies as I feel beads of sweat soak my entire body. Still I persist and take a few more hesitant steps, but the heat is unbearable. I turn around in defeat and head back up the stairs and re-enter the kitchen. I slump on a chair and start beating myself up over my failed attempt to escape.

“What did you do on the outside?”

Who said that? Where are you?

I saw him briefly in front of me, but before I could reply, he’d gone… poof!

I sit and consider. The outside? It’s slowly coming back to me – the numerous homes I’d sneaked into, cleaned-out, then shuffled out of with various expensive items.

I get off the chair and head upstairs to bed. I know what to expect tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that. I lay my head on the pillow knowing there is no escape whilst holding up the imaginary white flag.

Mr James Jones is existing in the fifth dimension. A dimension of submission and loneliness. A dimension of predictability, regrets and mental torture. He’s living in a dimension some people refer to as The Twilight Zone.

Not quite as spooky as The Twilight Zone – Section N Underpass: the hardback with enough clout to send flying back to the 80s and 70s: The Milk Tray Man, mouthfuls of Angel Delight, smashing Smash Hits magazine, splashing it all over with Brut aftershave, World of Sport or Grandstand? A fat wallet or your flexible friend the Access Card? Could you survive a term at Grange Hill? Click image below to get the rundown:

Twilight Zone intro

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