by Heidi Tassone
Jack McCarthy stared at his computer screen, unlocked his desk drawer, pulled out one of three discs, and placed it halfway into his drive. He looked over his shoulder at the closed door of his den and listened for the sound of his wife puttering around the kitchen. Hearing her faint humming and the clinking of dishes, he smiled and pushed the disc into the computer. His fingers moved swiftly across the keypad. Once the transfer was completed, he removed the disc, labeled it, and repeated the process two more times.
When he heard his wife’s slippers flapping on the hardwood floors, he struck a few more keys and switched screens.
The door slowly opened and she peeked in. “Honey, would you like some tea with lunch?”
“That would be great.” Jack swiveled his chair around.
Mary walked over to him nearly tripping as their cat scurried under her feet and ran toward the back door. “Do you need to go out, boy?” She opened the door and Felix rushed outside. She turned toward Jack, noticed the Disney animation dancing on his computer screen and smiled. “What’s that?” She pushed the door shut, then went over to Jack.
“I was just thinking, maybe we could go to Disney World for our vacation. You always wanted to go there.” Jack smiled up at her.
She wrapped her arms around him, squeezed and kissed him hard on the cheek. “I’d love that. Since you retired, all you want to do is play around on that computer. I’m glad you finally found something useful on that thing.”
He rubbed her hand, pulled it to his lips and kissed it. “Honey, anything you want to do, I’m yours.”
“Thanks, Jack. I’ll go get us some lunch, okay?” As she turned to leave, she shivered. “I think you have the air conditioning up too high,” she said, and headed for the kitchen.
Jack turned toward the computer and was about to hit the button for the previous screen when he heard a soft voice behind him.
“Hello, Jack. Don’t turn around, and be very quiet.”
The cold steel at the back of his head forced him to listen. “What do you want?” he asked without moving.
“Shh … you know what I want.” A leather-gloved hand reached over his shoulder, pushed the eject button on the computer and removed the disc. “Where’s the rest?”
Jack nodded his head toward the small metal box.
The hand reached down and plucked it up. “Thank you, Captain McCarthy.”
Mary returned to the den, tray in hand. “Jack, open the door for me, my hands are full. Jack? Do you hear me? Jack?” She balanced the tray on her hip, holding it with one hand and turned the knob with the other. Pushing the door open, she entered the den.
“Damn it, Jack, why didn’t you …” The tea and sandwiches crashed to the floor. “Oh, God! Jack!”