Singing in the Shower
963 words long
Do you hear it, too? Are you sure?
Notes from the author:
Apophenia is the very human tendency to perceive patterns where patterns are not. Pareidolia is a specific type of apophenia involving visual and audio stimuli: seeing faces in random wallpaper stains or in geological formations, hearing recognizable tunes in the white noise of the air conditioner.
There’s a lot of story mileage in imagining that the eyes and ears aren’t playing tricks, that the face in the wallpaper is real and alive and has something to say to the viewer. Coming up with stories based on stuff like this, that’s probably a form of apophenia, too.
The only warning Veronica got was an unreasonably high utility bill. It turned out Ashley had gotten into the habit of taking ultra-long showers. When Veronica confronted her, she just shrugged and said, “I’ll pay the difference.”
“You’d better,” Veronica said, and left it at that.
Later Veronica would wish she hadn’t, but how was she to know? Her roommate regularly took an hour prepping her hair and make-up for the day. She had the capacity to turn the task of clothing herself into an ordeal fraught with life-changing meaning. If Ashley was going to take an hour and a half in the shower, that was par for the course. Veronica couldn’t be blamed for failing to see any importance in it.
Nevertheless, it was the only clue she was going to get before it was too late....
This has been an excerpt from the Friday Fictionette for July 8, 2016. Subscribers can download the full-length fictionette (963 words) from Patreon as an ebook or audiobook depending on their pledge tier.
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