The Recorder – Mandy Sandhu

The orange lounger was such a luxurious treat to lift up the mood for anybody who was feeling low. It had such a nice touch that the skin would dive into it, the stress would melt out like a wax and you would find yourself in your own little haven. On the opposite side was a huge soft green single chair, which depicted the authority figure in the room and was refreshing to the tired eyes. In the middle of both was a clear white table to accentuate the colors. The curtains were black and white with a zigzag pattern to neutralize the bold furniture in the room. A huge glass table was on the right side cluttered with lots of papers, notes and an audio recorder and player. In the middle was a laptop with few files opened under the name of Ben Liu. The printer was flashing red light for the low ink and waiting to print the rest of the pages from Ben Liu’s report. At the back was a wooden bookshelf in the shape of a head.

You could hear a soft but firm voice in the room. A man was questioning Ben Liu.

“I would show you a few cards and I want you to explain to me what you see. There is nothing to worry. Anything that comes to your mind. It will help me understand you. If you have any questions feel free to ask me anytime.”

Ben leaned over the table to see the first card on it. He was curious to look at the image. He kept on looking at it for a few seconds.

“It’s beautiful. I see three puppies talking to each other. Do you know what they are talking? They look very happy.”

“That’s good Ben. I have no idea what they are talking about, but we can find out later once we are done with all this. Tell me about this card now.”

Ben jumped and picked up the card and started looking at it so excitedly. The Elephants are wearing red hats and dancing and uh uh, they are crushing the other hats under their feet’s. Write one more question from me, which you have to tell me later. Which tune are they dancing to?”

“Sure I will jot down your questions.”

The next card was set out on the right side of the other cards on the table. Ben quickly picked it up and threw it back on the table.

“I don’t like this one. Take it and put it away. It’s scary.”

“What do you see Ben? Why is it scary?”

“No, No don’t talk about it. It’s evil.”

Ben shrinked himself onto the orange lounge chair.

“It’s okay. It is just a picture. I am asking you because you insisted on taking this test and now you are running away. Take a few minutes and then answer.”

Ben started curling his toes and shrinked his head into the seat. The card actually disturbed his emotions but he pushed himself and I guess it took him a lot of courage to actually sit straight again. He was still hesitant. He did not pick up the card but instead just moved his head closer to the table to have a look at it again.

“It’s an evil girl’s face with red hair pins, red nose and two bunny teeth. Her bunny teeth are not scary, they are cute.”

The table was cleared quickly to make Ben more comfortable and relaxed for the next card. As soon as Ben saw the card, it perked him up. A big smile from ear to ear and his mood had a whole hundred and eighty degree turn.

“It’s a really cute and big puppy drinking milk out of a bottle in front of him. He looks exactly like me when I was little. I like him. This is a nice card. You should show me more like these. This card is like a man butterfly. Like the ant-man.”

There was a new card laid on the table. To get a closer look Ben bent his knees on the plush white diamond-patterned carpet and folded his arms on the table. He looked a little tired. He has been there for an hour or so now.

“This man has really long hair and his two arms are spreading out. Why is he wearing pointy shoulder pads and why is the dragonfly flying at his forehead? I am tired now. Could I go?”

“I will lay out all the rest of the cards on the table. There are only four of them left and then we will be done. Start with this one here.”

“Ok. This has two thumbs up and few fists. This one has smiling Bears; Cheetah is walking on a rock. This one has two pigs, mama and papa pigs in the middle and two dinosaurs at the back smiling and at the front there are few piglets. This has an Eiffel Tower, two crabs holding pan, lobster dragging their tails, nemo fishes and other sea animals. This last one looks like a squirrel face. She is really cute.” Ben had a sweet smile on his face while pointing his fingers at the card.

“Joe and Ben. I was looking for both of you all over the house and you both are hiding in daddy’s study. What are you guys up to?”

“Mama! We were just playing daddy and Ben from yesterday’s test.,” said Joe smilingly.

“But I did not turn on the player. He did. It is my test recording.”

“Collect all your toys from the study and turn off the player. Daddy will be home soon.”

Mandy Sandhu is an emerging writer in short-short stories and flash fiction. She wants to leave an impact with her writing and wants to be the voice of expression for women. She is currently working on a Collection of Short-Short Stories. She is also a poet, whose work has appeared in Anthologies From Wayside & Woodland, & The Departing Day by Poetry Institute of Canada.