Hiding in the Summer Haze

 

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                “You’re listening to WKRN’s Wicked Summer. Stay tuned for more of today’s top hits,” the radio crackled over the cicadas. Jon laid on a towel in the bed of his truck, soaking up the sun after the hard work he had put in on the farm. It wasn’t often he got the free time to relax. Right now, all he wanted to do was just lay back, listen to the music, and adjust to the heat. “Up next we have… by…” the signal started fading in and out, drowning the introduction for the next song in static. He sat up, adjusting his gaze to the front of the truck. The antenna wasn’t covered by anything, and no one had been in the cab, but for some reason, the signal was lost to his favorite station.

                “It never fails… something always has to ruin my peace,” he muttered as he slid out of the bed. Throwing open the door into his truck, he started messing with the dial to try and get something, anything, to come on. Though he played with the tuner, all he did was warp and twist the static sound into varying degrees of discomfort. He sighed, figuring his rest time was up, when the static started to distort on its own. A garbled voice was speaking through the static, though he found it difficult to understand. He leaned in, playing with the dial some more to try and get it to come in clearer, but the words would only distort with the static as well.

                He closed his eyes and focused on what was attempting to be said. Somehow, the static seemed to soften, the words crisping in the air around him. “Jon…” His eyes flew open and he darted his gaze straight to the radio. “Jon…” it repeated over and over. He wasn’t sure if it was directly talking to him, or if the name was of someone else, but it was definitely unnerving to him to hear it coming through the static. He turned off the radio and sat in the truck for a few moments, his mind firing off so many warning signs that he wasn’t sure what to do next. The chirping of the cicadas off in the distance faded in and out around him, helping him calm down.

                It’s the heat, he thought to himself. I clearly fried my brain already. Time to go home. He got out of the cab to gather everything in the back. As he closed the tailgate, he heard the radio snap back on. “Jon…” the voice spoke out, this time in clearer quality. He ran back to the open door and gazed at the radio in disbelief. He hesitated reaching for the dial a second time to turn it off when the voice spoke out again. “Jon, you can’t hide forever.” He didn’t wait for more, breaking the dial as he turned it off.

 

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