Where are his hands at? Craig worried next.
Currently, they were still on the table. But, it bothered him even more the further he made assumptions.
How had he killed Gina? How had he done so much damage in such short time?? He had to get to that phone. He could feel it now.
They hadn’t said anything for thirty seconds now. The silence screamed in Craig’s ears. A deaf warning only to those who know all to well of such a feeling.
A distraction was in order.
He yawned and stretched. He knew he shouldn’t have in his position at the table. But that was the point.
The bottle of wine hit the floor and shattered to pieces, the sanguine fluid spattering outward in an oddly familiar pattern that Craig tried hard not to vomit over.
“Oh God! I’m sorry!” He shouted.
“Craig, be careful!” Kayla reacted as she leaned down to try and soak some of the alcohol up with a towel and napkins. Andy in the meantime began to cry; the sudden sound ruining what happiness he’d carried for the last hour or so.
“Sorry, watch out for the glass.” Craig apologized again.
Avi hopped out of his seat slightly to get a better look at the spill. He seemed slightly jarred at the commotion himself, but that dull stoic calm still remained.
“…Here.” Craig said as he grabbed Kayla’s shoulder. “You get Andy and go into the living room. I’ll get the glass cleaned up.”
“Need some help??” Avi asked as he move to his side of the table.
“Sure.” Craig mumbled. “There’s a brushpan under the sink in there.”
Craig quit dabbing wine with napkins. He acted like he was going for a mop, but stopped to grab his phone. As he hit ’emergency call’ Avi looked up, causing himself to drop it back to the counter.
“Where’s this thing at in here?” He asked expectantly.
“Oh man, it must be all the way in the back there.” Craig promised. “We just had it out the other day. Here, I’ll get some water. Mop this up no problem.”
No. Don’t be stupid. He realized, He’ll hear them pick up. And then…
“Hey, there we go.” Avi said as he stood up. He had the brushpan in his hand and he leaned onto the counter next to Craig.
“Kind of late to be answering a business call, yeah?” He joked as he spotted the phone in Craig’s hand.
“Oh, yeah.” Craig tested, “One of those scam numbers again. Talking about a car warranty. And you know I don’t even know anyone in Pittsburgh.”
“Right? I always get them from the most random places, as if I’m not going to figure it out. Hell, one called me from my own phone number.”
“What?” Craig scoffed.
“I swear. It was the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen. I’ve got the voicemail and everything. Here I’ll show-“
“-Hey, let’s get this wine up.”
“Yeah, good point.”
Avi swept up the glass after Craig sopped up the wine. He texted a short message as one could.
“You think something like this could stain the floor?” Avi asked next.
“Wine. Red wine.” Avi pointed at the ring left over on the floor. “I mean, it ruins carpet. Can it ruin hardwood?”
“Maybe?” Craig reacted, “I’ve never tested it. But everything else mops up so…”
“…Good.” Avi smirked.
Why would you tell him that?? WHY??
Avi dumped the glass as Craig refilled the bucket with some dish soap and hot water. Another awkward silence. Followed by the tap of something against the counter made Craig jump.
Avi freed a cigarette from the pack and shoved it in the corner of his mouth. He glared at his brother now. The look not one of happiness anymore. Recognition. Sizing someone up.
“I thought you quit.” Craig asked him.
“I did. Mostly.” Avi promised. “Don’t tell Gina, okay? That’s the last thing I need to hear from her.”
Craig laughed again. Just enough to convince Avi to wander onto the back patio and close the door. His phone vibrated and he fumbled to check it.
“What is your emergency?”
“My brother. He’s crazy. I think he hurt someone. Help us.”
Rustling in the trash cans caused him to look through the screen. Avi was gone. Craig couldn’t smell any smoke either. He walked slowly back through the house, listening. He made sure the front door was locked. And while he didn’t want to alarm Kayla, the windows too.
“Hey, where’s Avi?”
“Oh, he had to run to his car.” Craig dismissed. “Hey, do me a favor…”
He made sure to lean in over Andy carefully to whisper his thoughts to her. For a second, it seemed like she didn’t even register the idea.
“Whoa…” She shook in confusion, “I’m sorry. What??”
He whispered to her now.
“Something is wrong with him. Police are on the way. Go upstairs and-“
A thud and clattering from the kitchen now. Now both of them had interest in the sounds. Kayla turned down the TV for a second to get a better ear for the situation.
“…Avi?” Craig called out.
The lack of noise made him shiver, and he gave her a motion to turn the TV back up. The logic was not fullproof. But if he couldn’t here them, they at least were on even ground.
The kitchen didn’t hold any clues as to Avi’s disappearance. Only when Craig turned past the nook in the room did he see it. The phone cord ripped from the wall.
“Kayla.” He whispered as he returned to the living room. “Go upstairs. Now. Get Amber, lock the door.”
And then the lights went out. Andy began to cry as all the appliances wound down. This wasn’t the most populated neighborhood. It was dark outside. The moonless night it was pitched things even blacker than usual.
Kayla stood up now. Both of them listening as Andy cried harder. She quietly rocked him as both of them listened further. Craig checked his phone. He was receiving a message, but it wouldn’t load.
“Go upstairs.” He whispered.
“What’re you going to do??”
“I’m going to check the house.”