Alex picked up the manila piece and got back on the bus. He held tightly onto the envelope and sat down. When it was his stop, he thanked the driver and sauntered down the street.
“Hi honey I’m home! Put the kettle on please love,” he proudly requested as he opened his front door and stepped into the kitchen.
His wife was anxiously awaiting his return, pacing the room. “Did you get it?” she asked.
Alex sat at the kitchen table and produced the manila envelope, “Ta-rah!” He tore the flap, to his wife’s eager stare, and flipped it so the open end faced the table top. He wriggled the package and frowned, wriggled it some more and repeated the process a couple more times.
His wife was lost for words as he tore open the thing to find it empty. “Where are the forms then?” she gasped.
“T…t….they was inside when I left, I swear they were,” Alex stumbled.
His wife swung around to face away from him, “I don’t believe it, I just don’t believe it; you’ve lost them haven’t you?”
Alex gave it some thought, “I’m sorry love, I errmmm….”
“You fool, you complete and utter turnip!” she screeched at him, “what do we do now? Marjorie and Roy next door have filled in their forms and sent them off, what if they’re selected, huh; what then?”
Alex pondered aloud, “I must have lost them on the bus; it was busy. I was squashed through the door by a right hippo; she wanted to get out as I was getting on and knocked me right back into the street! I’ll bet that’s when they fell out! I’ll nip down the bus depot and see if anyone handed them in.”
“Seriously,” she quipped, “do you think anyone in their right mind is going to hand them in, you crazy old fool?!”
“Have you put the kettle on yet love?”
“For crying out loud Alex,” she smashed her head on the cupboard door in annoyance. “This is the end of everything, and all you’re concerned about is a cup of tea!”
He stayed sitting at the table, looking glumly at the table-cloth, “I think you’re exaggerating slightly love, we don’t need to go on a cruise anyway.”
“A cruise did you say?” she turned back to him in disbelief, “It is far from a cruise Alex, you saw the man, you heard what he said.”
“The man on the tele, with the beard!” she continued.
“Oh, him; they always say the worst, to cover their back,” offered Alex.
“He doesn’t work for the Met Office Alex; he had a message, from God!”
“A message from the bottom of a bottle more like!” complained Alex, “listen honey, calm down, it’s not so bad.”
“So bad?” his wife screeched, “it’s going to wipe out everything, and we had the one chance of survival, the one chance and you, you lost the flipping application forms!”
“Misplaced,” Alex corrected.
“No one is going to hand them into the bus depot!” she repeated.
“I’m sorry love. Anyway, I don’t think it’s going to flood, really.”
“They only take two you know?” she reminded him but Alex continued to stare blankly at the tablecloth.
His wife returned to pacing the room, her anger at boiling point. There was a silence in the kitchen that could be cut with a knife. She tried to compose herself and turned to him once again, “I suggest Alex, you be a giraffe about it for once in your life, call that Noah bloke personally, to apologise, and pray he’ll see sense and let us on his ark before it’s too late!”
Alex sighed, stretched out his long yellow neck and switched the kettle on with his left ossicone.