At first, Randall was appalled when the noisy bathroom fan suggested that he murder his girlfriend right there and then, but then he grew intrigued. With the fan’s persuasive voice, the thought of murder solidified into an ideal. Was it possible? In fact, was it the only thing that would set things right?
He was beginning to think so.
The bathroom fan had been broken since Randall had moved into the small corner unit five months ago. So, instead of the calming thrum that accompanied most properly functioning, well-maintained exhaust fans –it instead produced a violent, garbled choking that resembled a dying animal in heat. Its multi-layered rattling occasionally peaked into a wild banshee-like scream that almost seemed deliberate and threatened to take over everything.
And one day it did just that when it simply began to speak.
“Yes?” Randall looked around then up at the fan. “Hello? Is somebody in there?”
…You have to take her out, Randall. Use one of your long kitchen knives…make it dirty…
“Why would anybody do that? And why would I, especially? I really, really like her.” Randall held a quizzical expression on his face. He didn’t really understand, but the noisy bathroom fan would help him with that.
…That’s why you’ve got to do it, to protect yourself from people like her…she’s going to get in and eat you all up from the inside like a cancer…
The voice that came from the fan seemed to fall directly into Randall’s ear in a soothing lull that betrayed its chaotically abrasive presence. The fan knew things. The fan was Randall’s friend and was only looking out for him. But still…
“No! No!” Randall struggled with the idea now. Amy was perfect for him, wasn’t she?
…She’s gonna mess you up, Randall, just like your ex-wife…because she doesn’t know any better…
The fan’s words swept through Randall’s mind, bringing light into where there once was only darkness and planting seeds where that light now was so that ideas could grow. Randall’s eyes widened. He was beginning to see.
“Yes, you’re right. I need to do this.”
…Gotta mess her up, Randall…
“I’m gonna mess her up!”
…Do it now…do it now…
“I’m gonna do it right now!”
Randall left the bathroom and quietly walked past the living room where Amy was sprawled on the sofa watching Netflix. Randall slowly entered into the small side kitchen where he pulled a long, stainless steel knife from a drawer. He then approached Amy slowly from behind raising the knife over his head, readying to plunge it deep into the back of her neck just like the fan wanted.
Amy sensed Randall behind her and spun her head around to see him standing right there. It looked like Randall was holding something behind his back.
“What’s up, Babe?” She asked, eyes widened.
“Nothing, Hon.” Randall swayed on his feet just enough to lean over and leave the knife on the counter. That would have to do, for now. “Hey listen, do you think you can stay over tonight? I can take you home in the morning.”
“Ok, sure. Come, sit down on your favourite recliner.” Randall looked like he thought it was a good idea. Amy tilted her head. “You alright? You look a little triggered.”
“No, everything’s fine,” Randall sighed, “I just have to fix the exhaust fan in the bathroom.”
“I noticed. It’s rather noisy.”
“Oh yeah? You were in there for quite a while earlier. Forgot about that.”
“It told me you were going to kill me.”
Randall laughed nervously as he usually did when he didn’t know what to do or say. The bathroom fan was right: he was a big pussy. Amy slowly pulled a larger kitchen knife than the one Randall had out from under the cushion she sat upon and held it in a firm grip.
“Think this is a joke?” Amy said as she got up.