Whispers In The Static

The only way to describe Elliott's seven hour shift in The Woodman Arms would be to say that it probably made water boarding seem like some kind of relaxing beauty treatment session. The drunkards had been out in force, and not just the pleasant chatty drunks – Elliott got along with them just fine. No, these were the grabby, drooling drunks that were like perverted zombies, although they most certainly didn't want you for your brains.

Elliott wasn't a particularly stunning girl; she had black hair that reached down to just below her shoulders – straight from the roots but kinked of its own accord about half way down. She thought it looked like she had a bin bag draped over her head most of the time. Her skin was just normal and boring – she wasn't pale, but stay out in the sun too long and she would turn beetroot. Her round dark green eyes were framed with thick black eyelashes and seemed to remind most people of a particularly stunned deer, but Elliott did tend to look stunned a lot of the time. She dressed... well... comfortably, was probably the best word to use. Jeans that had usually had a vacation from the washing machine for a week or so. A casual (usually) red, knee-length jersey dress that looked like nothing more than an oversized t-shirt. Black shirt over the top of that – usually her work shirt. Flip flops on her feet. Comfortable and easy to get into.

But, as always, with a couple of pints of John Smith's down their neck the old farts in the pub immediately thought every woman was an Angelina Jolie clone. Elliott's rear still hurt from where some giant, bald Mr Potato head lookalike had smacked it like she was some kind of race horse. So she was grateful to get out of the lecherous grabs and leers and the evil glares of her co-worker Chelsea. In all honesty it was Chelsea who worried her. She had that kind of gleam in her eye that she would try and choke you with some concealed piano wire if you kept your back to her for too long.

Elliott made it through her front door, blinking blearily, and dumped her bag on the floor in the right spot to trip up anyone who tried to enter after her. Which would be Taylor. Usually now she would go into the kitchen, eat the easiest thing available (which would usually be a Pot Noodle and a packet of Space Raiders) , and then crash on the couch and watch something unbearable like Worst A&E Ever and Spoilt Brats Throw Hissy Fits. But after that shift she couldn't even make a detour to the toilet, so she dragged herself into the living room and fell face first onto the couch.

After dozing there for about ten minutes, she finally summed up the energy to turn her head and reach out for the TV remote. There was a terrifying moment where it nearly slipped from her fingers and fell miles down to the floor, but she managed to get a firm grip and mash the red power button with her thumb. A second later and the radio turned on.

Elliott frowned, looking towards the small, cow-print portable radio on the window ledge. She peered curiously at the remote in her hand, wondering if Taylor had bought one of those fancy all-inclusive remotes. If she had then awesome; especially if it was the kind that opened curtains and stuff. She searched for a button that might do that.

The radio crackled, losing signal from whatever bass heavy pop song had been playing when it had magically turned on. Elliott pressed the power button again, but it didn't turn off.

Great. That meant she had to get up.

With a grunt she rolled off the couch, landing clumsily on the floor before hauling herself up and moving across the room. She reached out to turn the dial, but something stopped her. A faint sound in the static. It almost sounded like...

'zzzt...Oh... blast!'

Elliott cocked her head and fiddled with the tuner. It was probably just some random radio story, but if there was nothing on the TV it might be worth listening to. At least then she wouldn't have to use her eyes.

'Zzzzz... oh that's izzzzz..zzt... There? Come on...zzzz... someone's there!'

On second thoughts, maybe not. If it was just some guy having a stress – which it certainly sounded like – it might just rile her up further. She didn't want to have to deal with stressful or thought provoking things. She just wanted to watch something dumb and mindless. It was a shame Big Brother wasn't on anymore.

'Bugger that,' she muttered. 'I'll just bang on a DVD.'

'Oi!' the voice on the radio yelled, clearer than it had been a moment ago. 'Who's that?'

Elliott chuckled. 'Your mother.' She mumbled, going to turn it off.

'My what? Who is this? I don't appreciate your mother jokes, y'know. They're crude and immature.'

Elliott hand froze above the radio, eyes widening. That had to be a coincidence, unless they invented some kind of two way radio while she had been at work today. Although a two way radio would technically be a phone, wouldn't it? So why bother building one into an actual radio?

'Um...' Elliott paused, feeling a little silly. 'Hello?'

'Yes, hello, finally,' the radio-voice sighed in exasperation. 'It's good to know I'm getting through to someone with at least half a brain. Now who is this?'

Elliott frowned, trying to recall if she had drank anything at work. She didn't think so. 'Are you talking to me?' she tested.

'What? Oh...' Another impatient sigh. 'Who do you think I'm talking to? Look, do you have a superior around or something? I need to talk to someone about your outgoing signals. I have no idea what technology you're running wherever you are, but it's managing to put a lockdown on my Tardis, and I can tell you now that that is not an easy thing to do. Impossible even. So, Miss whoever you are, can you go and get someone who can speak in sentences and not questions?'

Elliott stared at the radio. She hadn't been drinking, but apparently she had suffered major brain damage at some point today. Maybe Chelsea had smacked her with a beer bottle or something and the force had made her forget it happened. She felt the back of her head for any bumps or dried blood, but found nothing.

'Hello?' the voice demanded impatiently.

Swallowing hard, Elliott picked up the radio in both hands. She held it at arm distance and like it was some precious antique that was worth millions. She hesitated, cleared her throat, and whispered; 'Is this God?'

'Elliott, what the hell are you doing?'

At the sound of the new voice, Elliott shrieked and dropped the radio. It did a spectacular twirl and hit the floor hard, power immediately cutting out. She whirled around, wide eyed, to see her sister standing in the doorway with a frown on her face. At twenty-two Taylor was older than her only by a year, but she looked a lot more mature. She was similar in appearance to Elliott; only her hair was cropped and straightened, and she wore skirts and heels and all that kind of stuff. Elliott didn't understand that. It looked uncomfortable.

'I think God is trying to talk to me through the radio.' Elliott said, still feeling a little lightheaded.

Taylor looked at her impassively before cocking one eyebrow. 'I thought you were an atheist?'

'Well I didn't say which God.' Elliott replied with a slight shrug. 'Could have been Buddah or... I dunno...' She paused and winced. 'Vishnu? Although he had a British accent.'

Taylor pointed a finger at her. 'You're insane.' She stated, and left the doorway. 'And please don't leave your bag in the middle of the floor, Elliott. I nearly broke my neck. I sometimes wonder why I agreed to move in with you at all.'

Elliott glanced down at the radio suspiciously before pushing it with her foot. It didn't turn on. No one tried to speak to her. But still, she felt uneasy being in the same room as it so she scampered after Taylor, needing the company.