A night of magic.A night of mischief <bgsound src="hearse.mid" LOOP="1">

Stop Playing with the Lights

   © 2000
by

RUTH WILLERTH



Long ago, before video games were invented, before compact disks replaced the vinyl twelve inch record, cassette tapes were still a novelty. Some people had color television sets. Most people still watched black and white TV.

Star Trek was being re-run for the very first time since it had gone off the air. Dad garbage picked a colored tv. It worked, but you had to warm it up for half an hour before the picture came in clearly.

I went into my brother's room and turned on the set an hour ahead of time. I wanted to fiddle was the color adjustments one more time. One question, that no one could answer, remained to solved. Was Spock's face really suppose to be green?

The power went out as I pondered this mystery. I reset the circuit breaker in the hall, and the sound of the tv set filled the air. The light was on again in the bedroom.

As I stepped into the room, the power died. I quickly returned to the circuit breaker box, and reset the switch.

The lights and power to the tv set, came back on. I watched the fuzzy screen hoping that the power would stay on long enough to warm up the tv. Everyone would be mad if I failed. We were not certain that Star Trek would be re-run for a second time.

The power failed again. I dashed down the hall, reset the circuit breaker and returned to the bedroom. Behind the tv, on the window sill sat my brothers prize collection of brass objects. I checked them while I waited. Good, they were all in the right order.

My brother was furious that someone had rearranged them earlier that day before we went to school. I had been the most likely candidate for the crime. I was innocent, but no one had a better explanation.

I considered going downstairs, and asking Mom for help as the power went off again. It was no use. Circuit breakers were Dad's domain. He wouldn't be home from work until just before the show began. It would be too late. I rushed back to the circuit breaker box and reset the switch.

I looked at my brother's collection of bronze objects in horror. They were in the order that he had found them in the morning. My brother would be home soon. I quickly moved them back to the way he had showed me. Then the power died.

I reset the breaker box and returned to the room. The brass figures were in the wrong order again. I rearranged them back to their proper order. The power failed.

Before I could reset the circuit breaker, the switch moved by itself, and the power came back on.

My brother's footsteps could be heard coming up the stairs. My heart sank as I looked at my brothers collection of brass. They were in the wrong order again.

"Is the tv set warmed up?" My brother asked, as he stepped into the room.

"I don't know." I answered. "It might not be long enough. I started at the right time but the ghost keeps turning off the circuit breaker. I know it's the ghost, because the last time I watched the circuit breaker reset itself, without me touching it. I need to show you something." I pointed at the brass objects on the window sill. "I know that's not how you want to arrange them, but that's how the ghost wants them arranged. I switched them back to the way you want them, but when I come back they are rearranged like this. I think the ghost wants them this way. I don't know why. I liked the way you arranged them just as well."

the US Enterprise

"They can be in that order if the ghost wants them that way." My brother answered.

The television set warmed up. Me and my brother sat in front of the tv and watched Star Trek. The power stayed on. We never had that problem again.

When we got a new color tv, Spock's face was the same color as everyone else's face. I just found out recently that Spock's face really was green. However, we never found out why the ghost wanted the brass objects arranged the way he did.

 
 
 
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