by Dan Nielsen

It was hot in Clyde Yorkshire’s furnished room. He opened the window. Along with a welcomed breeze came that discordant clamor from the Harrison porch directly across the street. Clyde hated the Harrisons for any number of reasons, but mostly for their windchimes.

Clyde consulted the Yellow Pages and found a listing for Quiet Night Windchime Removal. It was 2AM, but the ad said 24-Hour Service. The place wasn’t far. Clyde walked there.

The lights were on. Clyde knocked. The door opened.

“Come in.”

Trent Wheeler was a tall man. He bent slightly at the waist and extended a long arm at the end of which was a huge hand. Clyde was surprised to find windchimes hanging everywhere.

“There must be some mistake. Am I in the wrong place?”

“Have a seat.”

There was only a couch with bed pillows and a blanket.

“I’m confused.” Clyde sat. “You remove windchimes—and sell them?”

“I also make them. It’s a full-service operation.” Trent sat beside Clyde and rested a soothing hand on his shoulder.

Clyde leaned back. He’d never felt this comfortable.

“It’s okay to lie down. But before you fall asleep, I’ll need some information.”

Clyde reclined. Trent tucked him in.

“Tell me about the ones you make,” Clyde whispered, his eyes slowly closing.

“My most popular chime is called Fingernails on a Chalkboard. I’m often hired to remove my own work.”

Clyde felt himself drifting. A hand touched his cheek.      
       “I need an address. It’s best to get these things done before dawn.”

Clyde mumbled some numbers and the name of his street. The last thing he heard was the front door closing.

Then silence.        

Dan Nielsen plays solo ping pong, which is like Tai Chi, but fun. His flash manuscript Flavored Water was a semi-finalist in the Rose Metal Press 2017 SHORT SHORT CHAPBOOK CONTEST. His recent work appears in Bird’s Thumb, Minor Literature[s], Cheap Pop, Random Sample, Spelk, and The Dirty Pool. Dan has a website, Preponderous, and you can follow him on Twitter @DanNielsenFIVES