El.Li “Going Out”

“So what do you think?”

“About what?”

“About…tonight.”

“Li, do we really have to have that conversation?”

“Yes El, we do. I want to go out past 12th street tonight. I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t, since we’ll already be out anyways. If we went over by the club we could watch all the people dancing. Wouldn’t that be fun?” Li said.

“Why do I feel like we’ve had thin conversation before…?”

“That’s impossible. Wait, what am I saying? No,” El said plainly.

No to the dancing, or no that wouldn’t be fun?” Li asked.

“No to both!”

“But why? Why can’t we go if we’re going to be out already anyways? We might as well do something fun, tonight. Plus, the baby will be asleep the entire time once we’re out.”

You don’t know that,” El said with a stern look as he walked past Li, while she eagerly smiled back in hopes that he might give in.

“Come on. You know there’s no chance of him waking up once we’re out. When we’re out, we’re out, plain and simple. It’s been that way for the past ten years consistently. The old woman hasn’t come back once before 6:00am, nor has she ever had trouble sleeping, so…” Li said pleading her case.

“You know there’s always a chance the old woman could wake up, and furthermore unknowingly wake up the baby…” El said as he took a seat kitty-corner to where Li was currently standing.

“Yes. I suppose your right, but, it’s not like the baby would be upset if we were gone. Fil never cried; not even when he was made.

“I see what you’re saying, and you do make a good point, but…” El said.

“But…what?”

“What if she woke up this time? She would notice almost immediately that we were gone and then our baby would be taken away and replaced with a new one. Just, like, that! Would that make you happy? You know that’s what would happen. How many times have we been through this before?”

“Too many,” Li agreed as she shrugged and leaned herself against the glass wall.

“So are we agreed then?” El asked.

“I suppose…but, what if there were a way that we could be sure the old woman wouldn’t wake up?” Li said, as her body perked with the new idea she was about to disclose.

“How could we possibly be sure? Even if we had the help of our friends, the other El’s and Li’s, we wouldn’t get back fast enough, before she could replace our baby,” El said.

“See. That’s where I think you’re wrong. I think we could get back in time. You know we can run faster than the speed of sound itself, right?”

“Yes…” El said, unsure of where she was going with her thought.

“So if we can travel that fast, and there will be plenty of other El’s and Li’s left behind in the house, then they could run over past 12th street by the dance club and worn us first,” Li suggested.

“The dance club huh? So you mean, if we told the Li’s and El’s that are in the old woman’s room right now?”

“That’s exactly what I mean!” Li said coming to her feet as her excitement made a slight spark against the tungsten floor.

“Don’t get too excited Li. You might cause a,” El said when he was interrupted.

“I’ll be careful. I’m just so sure that this could work, I mean, really work. I’ve been thinking about it for a while now, and I’m sure,” Li said unable to finish when El came to his feet and the two met face to face.

“Li. I love you. I really do, and, you know I want to make you happy, but I think that it’s a risk not worth taking. I know that on the one hand it would make you very happy…” El said taking her hands in his before continuing.

“But, if we can’t be sure, we can’t take the chance. I mean, have you even asked the other Li’s and El’s about informing us? You know they could lose their children too if they went along with this idea of yours. We would be risking their children’s lives.”

“Well when you put it that way, I guess I…I guess you’re right,” Li said as their foreheads touched and made a slight spark against one another.

“Whoa. We better be more careful,” El said taking a step back.

Li watched El for a moment, hating how he used their circumstance as way to keep himself away from his wife as often as possible.

The two stood for a moment, husband and wife, both unhappy in their own way. Then, their silence broke once, they heard a buzzing from down below.

“Come in!” El yelled, keeping his eyes on Li as tears began to run from her cheeks, and a stream of sparks trickled to the floor.

Li wiped each hand against the opposite eye once she could feel that company was well within her reach. She was hurt; there was no denying that. However, she knew she did not want the other El’s and Li’s to know. It might cause unnecessary sparking, which as the Li’s and El’s law was strictly prohibited.

“El, how are you doing man?” a slightly taller gentleman said as he entered the home from below.

“How are you? We haven’t seen you in a while,” El said as the gentleman approached.

“Well you know I have a broken leg. I’ve had it for about a week now, but my house still works so I have yet to be replaced. That’s what I’ve always liked about the old woman. I think she likes me,” the gentleman said standing upright with a gleaming glow about him that was difficult to ignore.

“Is it brighter over here? I mean brighter then at your place?” Li said turning to face him.

“Oh yeah! You know you guys have always had the brightest home. All of us El’s and Li’s have been jealous of you from the start,” he joked laughing a little.

“So you would agree that we shouldn’t try and mess things up?” El asked.

“What do you mean?” he questioned.

“Well my wife here, wants to go watch some people dance in that club over past 12th street tonight. She keeps telling me that it will be alright because we’ll be out anyway. But I say it’s a risk,” El said standing beside the gentleman as the two faced Li as if they were guarding her escape.

“That’s not entirely fair. You know that I run the risk every time I come and visit you guys, which is why I haven’t been by in a while but…if it will make her happy then, you should go,” he agreed, putting a much needed smile on Li’s face.

“Really? But what about,” El said when he was interrupted.

“Fil? I can watch him for you. He’ll be asleep while you’re gone anyways, so I guess there won’t be much to watch. The old woman will be going to bed soon. In the next, five minutes, if that clock over on the wall is correct,” he said calmly.

“See. I told you we could do it!” Li said with excitement as she danced against the floor and sparks flew all around.

“You’ll be risking your life,” El said as he leaned into the gentlemen, giving him a look of uncertainty.

“You guys have fun! Just make sure you’re only gone for a couple of hours though. As long as you stay within that time frame you’ll be fine. And I’ll be here waiting for you to get back,” he said with a smile.

“Please El!” Li said clasping her hands together as if she were praying.

“Alright. Go say goodnight to Fil, and I’ll get all the wires ready,” El said giving in.

“Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! I just know we’re going to have fun. You’ll see,” Li said as she ran off to the baby’s room to kiss him goodnight.

The time passed, as the clock struck 6:00pm, and the old lady carefully made her rounds, before going to bed. The three were still, in the house. They stood hunched over in the dark, watching the old woman turn the corner down the hall towards her bedroom. She hadn’t noticed them there, even as she sluggishly walked past. But there they were carefully watching her.

“Alright. I think it’s safe for you to go now. I’ll be here, don’t worry,” he said coercing them on.

“You first Darling. You know the way,” El said to Li as she made contact with the wire and slid herself down to the base, and continued to walk the path of the cord against the carpet floor.

“Remember. Two hours,” he whispered to El, in a tone that would not wake the baby.

“Thank you again,” El said before he was out of the gentleman’s visible range.

The gentleman placed the wires in a circle, around the room, sat back and watched the clock on the wall. The sound ticking against his ears echoed louder than he expected. His home was nowhere near the living-room, which was where El’s and Li’s home had been placed.

“That ticking. It must drive them crazy,” he said with a yawn, as he settled himself against the glass wall and proceeded to fall asleep.

The clock ticked and tocked well into the night when the sound of the coo-coo bird electrified the gentleman’s heart as he rose to his feet.

“Ah. How long have I been asleep? I should go check on Fil,” he said as he walked back to the baby’s room.

Once he was there he saw that Fil was quite asleep, just as he had predicted. He then closed the door, quietly behind, as he came back to the front room, and glanced up at the clock.

“Am I reading that right? 6:00? They couldn’t have just left. I feel like I’ve been sleeping for a while,” he said aloud, unbending himself so that he might stand more upright.

The clock chimed as the big hand hit the 12, and the coo-coo bird came out to flap its wings.

“Is it 6:00am, in the morning?”

The gentleman looked out past the windows and off to the distance where he could get a good look at the sky. It was true. The sun was rising. It was morning.

In a panic he rushed over to the wires and strategically placed them against the bottom of the home.

“I hope they come back soon. I told them two hours. Why were they gone all night?” he said.

A creaking sound caught his attention when he realized the old woman had come to her senses. Her voice was low and mumbled off in the distance as he looked up towards the hall and saw her, making her way steadily towards the home.

“No! No, no, no, no, no. Not now. Not right now. Go back to bed. Go back to bed!” he said sternly, in a whisper.

A shining light flickered in the next room amidst the tableside lamp, in a glow that was recognizable as being El and Li.

“There here! Good. Hurry. Come on you guys, hurry!” he said still whispering, afraid that his tone might wake Fil.

The florescent light jumped and splashed against the wires in the walls, the lamps and cords that were scattered about the old woman’s home, until it reached the end of the plug which was connected firmly in the outlet against the wall.

“Sorry it took us so long! We, lost track of time somehow,” El said as the two ran up the cord, towards their home.

“No time to explain! Hurry!” he replied as he held the two wires steady, with both hands, so that the current might stay connected properly.

The woman’s steps drew near, in a loud yawn, as she shuffled herself to the lamp, accidently knocking the cord from its connection.

El and Li were thrown back against the outlet in the wall, being that it was the last place that held their charge as the viable components of (Li) Light, and (El) Electricity.

They could not get back to their home without a connection with which to travel upon. And, without this connection would not be inside their light bulb house as the old woman reached out to turn the antique nob against the ticking crank that sat just below the bulbs socket.

The gentleman, who was actually just an (El) himself, would not be able to create a glowing fuse of (Fil) Filament, because the baby was not his.

However, none of that mattered as the old woman tried her hand at the task once more, turning the nob several more times, as her wrinkled eyes rose above a blanket of sleep, and she spoke.

“Dag-nabit! Blasted light bulb is out again! That’s another $1.50 I’ll have to spend at the store today. Wasting, all my money on these good for nothing lamps, just so I can get enough light in this house!” the old woman said as she slowly untwisted the bulb with her right hand.

“Now where did I put that pack? I think I left them right over, ah, here they are!” she said as she popped open a box of 60w florescent bulbs, tightening a new one into place.

“Let me try that again,” the old woman said aloud when she realized that the light still wouldn’t budge.

“What’s this thing, caught against my foot? Oh, the plug came out. Silly me. Let me get that back in first,” she said returning the end to the wall, as El and Li wasted no time, running back up the lamp into the bulb.

The old woman turned the nob again, and there was light.

“That’s better. Now what was I doing again?” she mumbled carrying the old bulb in her right hand towards the trashcan in a careless fashion.

“What about Fil?” Li asked frightened as to who they might find instead of their baby, and the gentleman waiting at the bottom when they returned.

“We can’t worry about that now. It’s happened before, and we were fine. I’m sure whoever’s there…will be just as good,” El said as they reached the bottom, and pulled themselves up through the light, and into the living room.

“So what do you think?”

“About what?”

“About…tonight.”

“Li, do we really have to have that conversation?”

“Yes El, we do. I want to go out past 12th street tonight. I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t, since we’ll already be out anyways. If we went over by the club we could watch all the people dancing. Wouldn’t that be fun?” Li said.

“Why do I feel like we’ve had this conversation before…?”

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