Editor Don Webb has just posted my short story, “Cable Window,” at Bewildering Stories (http://www.bewilderingstories.com/issue271/cable_window.html). This bit of gee-whiz is less an exercise in sci-fi than a way to unveil our heroine’s loneliness over the loss of her husband. Missing a TV signal does not compare to the death of a loved one, but some metaphorical comparison could be made.*
The time-out-of-synch plot isn’t original. It’s been the core story plot a number of times over the decades. Philip K. Dick was a master of the sub-genre. The fact that there’s a “February 29th” in “Cable Window” is my predilection for things that are sometimes overlooked. Perhaps it’s a stranger’s earring found in your bed, or finding a strange cigarette end in the car ashtray. Who knows where that could lead?
The story grew out of a prompt years ago that made me ask, “What the heck is a cable window?” Well, I now know it’s that period when time stops because Macy’s is going to deliver that whatchamacallit, or the repairman will visit—and you better be home to receive the delivery or service call. Haven’t we all taken a day off work to wait for the person who doesn’t come? The window closes, we’re often dissatisfied, then we have to muddle through as best we can.
Give “Cable Window” a read and let me know about the windows of waiting in your life.
* I can’t leave this without digressing into humorous absurdity. Someone has asked, “How can you tell if your husband is dead?” (Answer: The sex is the same but you get the remote.)