The picture hung askew on the wall. He tilted his head to get a better look. He couldn’t stand modern art but it pleased his wife.
‘It’s straight’, she said.
‘What? Don’t be ridiculous Alice.’
‘You looked at it wrong when you stepped into the room; it’s the impression it gives.’
‘It’s not straight, it doesn’t matter how I step into the room.’
As he looked, the black and white pixels began to merge.
‘And you can’t see it change, I suppose?’ he said.
‘The only thing that’s changing is your view of it. Of course I can’t.’
He laughed, not meaning to. It was the stupidity of the situation. A hamster-wheel rolled in his stomach. The last time he’d felt like this was on a cross-channel ferry.
Alice fiddled with a coat-button and looked at her husband.
‘You’ve gone a funny colour’.
‘I’m going to find a chair.’
He looked up and the pixels had become rows of black and white teeth; moving, masticating. Grinding, he thought. His chest felt tight.
‘I said I’m going to find a chair, I’ll wait for you in the corridor.’
‘Stay!’ It was an order.
He backed away and the room lurched as he reached for the doorhandle.
A sound like air escaping a radiator made him stop, as did the click of heels. But there’s a carpet, his mind argued.
‘Don’t go darling,’ she purred.
He turned, and she smiled; rows and rows of black and white teeth; grinding.