Chris wandered into the dark den with a deep sigh. He flipped on the floor lamp next to his favorite recliner, set his scotch on the side table, and sagged into the seat. Instant relief flooded through his body.
Long day. Good, but long.
Christmas always was, even though the girls were grown and almost all out of the house. Still, there were traditions to be maintained and celebrations to be made and way too much food and guests and general chaos. Good day, but long.
The biggest surprise had been Leah’s boyfriend, Mark. He’d come over for part of the day and he just seemed to fit, as if he’d always been one of them. Leah had struck gold.
The day had been real nice.
Chris sipped his scotch and savored the peaty flavor wash through his mouth. Above him, the house creaked with the sounds of the last vestiges of the day. Elizabeth had already gone to bed, leaving Gina and Leah talking quietly in the kitchen. They’d smiled at him when he passed through, but then continued with their conversation.
And now he had peace and quiet.
His eyes wandered the room. The den had been largely untouched by the Christmas festivities. The girls had hung the color paper chains they’d made in grade school around the walls and silver garlands decorated the sides of the large TV. A scattered stack of Christmas movies sat near the Betamax player.
The only real new thing that caught his eye the video camera sitting on its tripod off to one side. A combined gift from Elizabeth and the girls, the cameras were so new he’d barely had time to even look at one in the stores. He’d been quite surprised they’d gotten him one, to their delight.
And, he mused, Elizabeth’s already promising some very interesting uses for it.
Now was as good as anytime to check it out.
He took another sip of scotch before hoisting himself out of his seat and going over to it. The tripod at the moment was only extended so the camera was waist high. It had made a strange shape under the wrapping paper that way. He knelt next to it and started looking at the controls.
The camera had a tape in it.
He hadn’t expected that.
Chris ejected it and held it up. The label on the side said “CNN.” The handwriting wasn’t Elizabeth’s but he couldn’t be quite sure which of the girls’ it was. It was already rewound.
Curious. Why would one of the girls label it that way? Better take a closer look.
He took it over to the Betamax, and smiled. Consumer tapes were narrower than the ones they used at the studio so there was no way this was work related. He slid it in and turned on the TV. Then he settled back in his recliner with the remote to see what came up.
To be continued…
Want more of CNN?
Chris’s family gave him a new video camera for Christmas. Leah knows what to do with it.
Now it’s just a question of what he’s gonna do when he sees her tape.
If you like the taboo tease, you’ll like CNN. A short story in Nick Scipio’s Summer Camp Swingers Universe.