One of my favorite kills of Freddy Krueger was where he smashes a girls head into a TV that he has just grown out of, moments before he quips ‘Welcome to prime time, Bitch!’ don’t ask why but I had that in mind for the title of a story so…yea this was basically based around that line alone.
Billy Hanley lay lengthwise across a sofa, his head resting on one arm
rest, his legs dangling over the other. Idly he flicked through the
channels on his TV, bored. The room was dark, the curtains closed so
as to prevent any glare on the screen and the lights switched off. On
one channel a pair of cowboys dodged between rocks as they popped
shots off at each other, on another a heard of animals drank from a
river in Africa, in yet another the news was showing some old woman
receiving some award or another as if it mattered. Billy sighed and
dropped the remote to the floor where it bounced and the channel
flicked back to the wildlife documentary.
Just then the door to the room swung open and a stream of light poured
in, followed by Billy’s mother. Who looked around the darkened room
before finding Billy’s prone form and scowling.
“William Hanley you have spent the whole holiday on that sofa watching
the television, why can’t you go play outside like all the normal
twelve year olds?”
William took a few seconds to even respond, slowly turning his head to
gaze through bored eyes at his mother.
“All the other twelve year olds are at home playing on their games
consoles that their normal parents bought them” he said with a hint of
frustration in his voice.
“Well I pity them I really do, while they lock themselves away,
rotting their brains with their toys you have a chance to have some
real fun and maybe learn something, a chance you consistently
“If you wanted me to have fun you would buy me a console like I asked
for mum!” Billy half yelled at her.
“I am not having this argument with you again William; you can have
one of those toys when you can buy one for yourself.” She turned and
went to leave the room before stopping.
“And keep the lights on while you’re in here wasting away, watching TV
in the dark will ruin your eyes.” And with that she flicked the lights
on and stormed out.
Billy closed his eyes for a few seconds against the harsh new light
that filled the room. His mum had told him a hundred times about
watching the TV in the dark and it was as bullshit then as it was now,
it had done him no harm. He adjusted his position on the sofa and
returned to watching the documentary but was bored within the minute.
Picking up the remote again he started flicking through channels
again. Old movies, reality shows, news and documentaries were all that
was on. TV during the holidays sucked.
Billy was just considering, with a bitter taste afterthought, of
taking his mother’s advice and taking his football out to the back
garden and kicking it again the wall for a while when he noticed
something on the TV screen, A small crack like a brilliant lightning
bolt crashing across the top corner of the screen. Curious Billy
changed the channel a few times and on every channel the mark was
there. Billy’s stomach tightened, if the TV was broken or damaged then
there would be no point in buying a games console, he would have
nothing to play it on. Getting up from the sofa Billy approached the
TV and sank to his knees to examine the crack. It looked to him like a
tear in a piece of paper, a jagged line that almost separated the
corner from the rest of the screen. Billy raised his hand and ran his
finger across the mark, not sure what he expected to feel. To his
horror as he ran his finger down the length of the mark a small piece
of the screen, about the size of his finger nail, came away from the
rest and fell to the floor like a leaf in a breeze.
Billy scrabbled and grabbed the small piece of screen, it was thin as
tracing paper and weighed nothing and held it up to the screen, trying
to piece it back together like a jigsaw but in his panicked state he
only succeeded in knocking off another flake of screen which drifted
away. Billy turned away, planning to call for him mum, maybe she could
fix the TV but his voice caught in his throat. He couldn’t bring
himself to reveal that the TV was broken; he knew he would be blamed
and then his parents would never trust him again. He desperately
turned back to the screen and then noticed something.
Behind the screen, it wasn’t just bright white like he had first
thought, there seemed to be some depth to the screen despite the TV
being flat screen. In fact there seemed to be room behind the screen.
Slowly Billy reached up to the screen, his panic completely replaced
by curiosity. Very carefully he scratched at the corner of the rip in
the screen and pulled away a few inches more of the screen, the
picture that was on the TV continuing to play despite chunks of the
screen being removed, as if the rip wasn’t there at all. The picture
on the screen disappeared from the chunks that Billy scratched away,
turning pitch black and floating away like ash.
As Billy scratched he seemed to fin there was more and more room
behind the screen for his fingers to fit into and before long his
entire hand could pass into the void behind the screen, allowing him
to pull away almost all the screen in one go. Sitting back, the ragged
tatters of screen in his hand Billy looked into the space behind the
screen. It was like a huge empty space behind the TV, the floor was a
polished, shiny white and the walls were so far back and the ceiling
so high they could not be seen, they seemed to fade away into just
Billy stared, moving closer and closer trying to see more of what was
behind there, he could see something, small moving squares that
floated freely in the air but they were all too far away to be seen.
Carefully, Billy reached his hand forward; it passed through the empty
screen and into the world behind it. Leaning forward he placed his
palm on the floor, it was solid, it was really there. Billy pulled his
hand back, looked to the door, contemplating again whether to call for
his mother but again something stopped him. He took a deep breath,
looked to the screen, and leaned forward.
He passed his head and shoulders through the screen. Looking about he
found that he was very close to the ground, about as high as a cat
flap. He leaned further in so he could fit his arms through the
screen, placing his hands on the ground he found himself in a weird
position where his upper body was close to the ground where his legs
were almost standing up. Billy wiggled and pulled with his hands,
feebly crawling until he could get him knees through the screen, then
he managed to leopard crawl like a soldier on TV till he managed to
get his legs and feet through.
Standing slowly Billy looked around him. The world seemed to be
exactly how he had seen it. Nothing more than a wide open space that
faded into white rather than blackness. His footfalls made no sound
upon the white floor and despite the emptiness, when he spoke there
was no echo, his voice completely lost in the air. Looking back where
he had come from Billy saw that his TV screen was nothing but a small
opening in the air, floating a few inches off the ground, peering
through it he could see the room he had just left, empty and unmoving
like an image on a CCTV camera, he was looking through the screen back
into the room he had left like one would look through a window.
Looking around again Billy saw that the moving shapes he had seen
before were more screens floating in the void, some the same height as
his own some at head height, some so high in the air he would never be
able to see them. Walking cautiously up to one of these screens he
stooped slightly to see through it. Beyond there was someone’s living
room. A family were lounged around on two sofas arranged around a
coffee table. The first sofa had a rather fat man on it, rapidly
emptying a packet of crisps into his mouth. On the next sofa there was
a woman a lot thinner than the man who threw a worried glance across
at who Billy assumed was her husband. Between them sat a small girl
with dark hair in pigtails who watched the screen intently, clearly
oblivious to her parents.
Billy waved, pulled funny faces and even shouted but they all seemed
unable to see or hear him. Cautiously he reached his hand forward,
expecting to pass through the screen as easily as he had his own but
to his surprise his hand hit something and there was the dull clunk as
his hand hit glass. Billy pushed against the glass with all his
strength but it didn’t seem to move. He knocked hard against the
screen and for a second the girl looked around as if she had heard
something, but then her mother turned and said something to her, Billy
could hear nothing on the other side of the glass, and the girl
returned to intently watching the television.
Billy walked away a bit and paused for thought; he guessed that the
reason he couldn’t be seen or heard was because the people on the
other side of the screen were watching the TV, not what was behind it.
He guessed that they hadn’t pulled their screen away like he had and
could not see through like he had. He wondered if the girl would have
so willingly clambered through the screen to this world like he had.
But then he saw another screen, this one at perfect head height for
him and he bound over to it.
As Billy ran along towards the new screen he was vaguely aware of a
sound, very quiet as if it was in the distance, it sounded a bit like
wind rushing along far away. But he dismissed it as nothing so interested was he in seeing through more screens.
When Billy reached the next screen he peered through and saw another rather large man, this one though was somewhat younger, sat very close to the TV and he had a games controller in his hand. He was rocking back and forward with the motions he was making on the controller and he had a microphone almost in his mouth. Suddenly the man threw his controller to the floor and screamed something into the microphone. Billy couldn’t hear what the man had shouted but by the look on his face he could tell it wasn’t something good. Probably something full of abuse and swear words. Billy moved on from this screen and wandered around, looking through as many screens as he could find.
Through the next one he checked he saw an old woman stood doing the ironing, occasionally looking up and staring out at Billy, not seeing him like everyone else. Another screen had a pair of children fighting to sit closer to the screen, while a mother walked around in the background, carrying a baby and talking on her phone. The children looked to be trying their hardest to fit through the screen like billy had but they also hadn’t removed their screen so they wouldn’t be able to. Billy smiled to himself when he thought this as if he had been so clever to be the only person to figure this out.
The next screen that Billy came to had a woman in front of it doing exercises, Billy couldn’t help but find her pretty and the figure hugging outfit she had on was far from covering, billy sat and watched he going for a while, partly wishing he could push through the screen and get to her but more just enjoying the voyeurism of the situation. Finally Billy pulled himself away and looked about for another window. He noticed however as he glanced around that the world seemed to have gotten significantly darker, something he had not notices as he had been running around. Indeed, where it had once been a brilliant white in colour it was now rather a drab grey. Also the rushing sound he had heard before had grown louder rather than abated and seemed to be coming from all around him.
Billy decided it was time to leave this new world he had discovered and get back to his screen. Looking around he saw how many screens there were surrounding him each with people he didn’t recognise and none of them showing his own home. Running Billy looked this way and that, up and down, everywhere he could think of but the world was so vast and the screens so numerous he couldn’t imagine finding his own. Worse the noise had grown louder still and the ground was now not just grew but seemed to be moving around. It looked like a thousand ants ruching beneath his feet. It looked like static.
Billy was in full panic, his heart beating in his chest, he saw the pretty lady doing exercise again, the family, the old woman, he saw people he didn’t recognise, a woman sat on her own, a guy asleep on a sofa. Billy started yelling but nobody could hear him. There were no distinguishing features of the world at all, Billy was lost, he didn’t know how far he had walked, and he didn’t know if he was even going in the right direction. Every time he saw a smiling face through a screen they looked to be leering at him, every laugh he saw was directed at him.
Then finally Billy saw it, he saw his sofa through a distant screen, it was far off but he would recognise it anywhere. He started to run as fast as he could towards it. He feet beating off the ground and his breath coming in ragged gasps. As he drew close he saw something move on his screen, his mother had walked into the room. Billy called as loud as he could but she still could not hear him. His heart leapt to see her, he was almost home safely. But then his heart sank. His mother had tuned to face the screen and she was holding the remote in her hand. Billy could imagine what she would be saying to herself. Complaining he had left the TV on again. Billy screamed and cried and shouted for her to stop. He was so close now. He slid down on his knees, hoping to slide through the screen but just as he drew within feet of the screen his mother pressed the button and all of a sudden the screen was black.
Billy hit the screen with his knees and heard that dull thunk of something hitting glass. He screamed and beat his fists off the screen but to no avail. His cried did nothing and eventually his fists started to slip in the blood they were leaving he had been pounding away for so long but finally in the end Billy’s tears were lost to the sound of static.