Make Room! Make Room!

Make Room! Make Room! by Harry Harrison Read Free Book Online Page A

Book: Make Room! Make Room! by Harry Harrison Read Free Book Online
Authors: Harry Harrison
had heard it often enough. When he snored like that it meant he was really sound asleep—maybe she could take a shower without his knowing it. Her bare feet were noiseless on the rug and she closed the bathroom door so slowly it never made a click. There! She switched on the fluorescents and smiled around at the plast-marble interior and the gold-covered fixtures with highlights glinting everywhere. The walls were sound-proof but if he wasn’t really deeply asleep he might hear the water knocking in the pipes. A sudden fear hit her and she gasped and stood on tiptoe to look at the water meter. Yes, her breath escaped in a relaxed sigh, he had turned it on. With water costing what it did Mike turned it off and locked it during the day, the help had been stealing so much, and he had forbidden her to take any more showers. But he always took showers and if she sneaked one once in a while he couldn’t tell from the dial.
    It was cool and lovely and she stayed in it longer than she had meant to; she looked guiltily at the meter. After she had dried herself she used the towel to mop up every drop of water in the tub and on the walls and floor, then buried the towel in the bottom of the hamper where he would never see it. Her skin tingled and she felt wonderful. She smiled to herself as she patted on dusting powder. You’re twenty-three, Shirl, and your dress size hasn’t changed since you were nineteen. Except in the bust maybe, she was using a bigger bra, but that was all right because men liked it that way. She took a clean housecoat from the cupboard and slipped it on.
    Mike was still sawing away when she passed through the bedroom, he seemed to be exhausted these days, probably tired from carrying around all that weight in this heat. In the year she had been living here he must have put on twenty pounds, most of it around the middle it looked like, but it didn’t seem to bother him and she tried not to notice it. She turned on the TV to warm up, and then went into the kitchen to make a drink. The expensive stuff, the beer and the single bottle of whiskey, were forMike only, but she didn’t mind, she really didn’t care what she drank as long as it tasted nice. There was a bottle of vodka, Mike could get all of that they needed, and it tasted good mixed with the orange concentrate. If you added some sugar.
    A man’s head filled the fifty-inch screen mouthing unheard words, looking right out at her; she pulled the gaping front of her housecoat closed and buttoned it. She smiled at herself when she did it, as she always did, because even though she knew the man couldn’t see her it made her uncomfortable. The remote-box was on the arm of the couch and she curled up next to it with the drink and tapped the button. On the next channel was an auto race and on the next an old John Barrymore picture that looked jerky and ancient and she didn’t like it. She went through most of the channels this way until she settled, as she usually did, on Channel 19, the Woman’s Own Channel, which showed nothing but soap-opera serials, one serial at a time with all the episodes compacted together into a single great, glutinous chunk sometimes running up to twenty-four hours. This was one she hadn’t seen before and when she plugged the earphone into the remote she discovered why, it was a British serial of some kind. The people all had strange accents and some of the things they did were a little hard to follow, but it was interesting enough. A woman had just given birth, sweating and without makeup, when she tuned in and the woman’s husband was in jail but the news had come he had just escaped, and the man who was the father of the baby—a blue baby, they had just discovered—was her husband’s brother. Shirl took a sip of the drink and snuggled down comfortably.
    At six o’clock she turned off the set, washed and dried her glass and went in to get her clothes. Tab came on duty at seven and she wanted to get the shopping done as

Similar Books

The Girl From Ithaca

Cherry Gregory

Magic's Promise

Mercedes Lackey

Rose Trelawney

Joan Smith

50 Shades of Kink

Tristan Taormino

The Eye of the Hunter

Dennis L. McKiernan

The Secret of the Dark

Barbara Steiner

Second Chance

Heather Brewer

The 7th Month

Lisa Gardner