Excerpt from The Protectors
Still in their robes, the two men came out of the bedroom.
Jake followed Wiley into the kitchen and grinned. "That there shower was like standin' under the waterfall me an' Wiley found in the Horseshoe River. 'Specially after the water got cold. Right, Wiley?" He grinned at Wiley, but his smile faded when he realized Wiley wasn't listening to him, being completely taken up by something in the other room.
Jake turned toward the living room and saw a man's moving face on the front of a black box. He reached for the sleeve of Wiley's robe.
"What is that?" Wiley asked.
"That's the TV," Jim answered. "Here's two mugs of hot chocolate. Take them in and watch it. I told you I couldn't describe it."
"Wiley, that man's in that box!" Jake turned and looked at Jim. "How'd he get in there?"
"He's not in the box. It's just a picture on the screen. That's the News Channel. Go on in and watch it."
The two men slowly walked into the living room. They held onto each other the entire way as they stared at the TV. Their forgotten hot chocolate still sat on the counter that divided the kitchen from the open dining and living room.
As the blood brothers slowly sat down on the couch, Jim brought in their mugs and set them on the coffee table. He smiled when he saw their faces, then crept upstairs to get Dave, not wanting him to miss this unusual event.
"So, what do you think of TV?" Dave asked as he reached the bottom step.
Wiley tore his eyes away from the screen and looked at Dave.
"What do you think of TV?"
"It. . .it's amazing." Wiley glanced back at the screen and asked, "How does it work?"
Before Dave could answer, Jake stood up, went over to the set and touched the screen. "Wiley, there's glass closin' in that little man."
Suddenly, the picture changed. A red truck spun its wheels as it roared up the side of a mountain.
Jake jumped back and yelled, "How'd that truck get in there? What happened to that man?" He touched the screen again, felt a static shock, gasped and rushed back to the couch.
"Wiley, that thing bit me," Jake whispered. He stuck his finger in his mouth.
Wiley slid his hand across Jake's shoulders and frowned at the screen.
"The truck's not really inside the box," Dave said. "But I don't know how it works well enough to explain it." He grabbed the remote. "There's quite a few channels to watch since we have cable." He pushed the "channel up" button and the scene changed to a black-and-white movie.
"Hey, there ain't no color now!" Jake yelled. "That looks like one'a them pitchers of people Ma used to have."
Dave flipped a couple more channels and stopped at professional wrestling. "I watch this a lot."
The two men in the ring bounced off the ropes and slammed into each other.
"Is that some kind of wrestling?" Wiley asked. "It looks phony to me. No real wrestler would do that."
Two more wrestlers leaped into the ring and it became a free-for-all. When one man bashed two others' heads together, Jake yelled, "Wiley, that's like the fight we had in the Silver Heels Bar!"
Later, as Dave and Jim cuddled in bed in the far corner of the attic, they faintly heard Jake and Wiley yelling as they watched late-night wrestling.