No need to turn on the mood organ, Iran realized as she pressed the button which made the windows of the bedroom opaque. The gray light of day disappeared.
On the bed Rick, after a moment, slept.
She stayed there for a time, keeping him in sight to be sure he wouldn't wake up, wouldn't spring to a sitting position in fear as he sometimes did at night. And then, presently, she returned to the kitchen, reseated herself at the kitchen table.
Next to her the electric toad flopped and rustled in its box; she wondered what it "ate," and what repairs on it would run. Artificial flies, she decided.
Opening the phone book she looked in the yellow paces under animal accessories, electric; she dialed and when the saleswoman answered, said, "I'd like to order one pound of artificial flies that really fly around and buzz, please."
"Is it for an electric turtle, ma'am?"
"A toad," she said.
"Then I suggest our mixed assortment of artificial crawling and flying bugs of all types including - "
"The flies will do," Iran said. "Will you deliver? I don't want to leave my apartment; my husband's asleep and I want to be sure he's all right."
The clerk said, "For a toad I'd suggest also a perpetually renewing puddle, unless it's a horned toad, in which case there's a kit containing sand, multicolored pebbles, and bits of organic debris. And if you're going to be putting it through its feed cycle regularly I suggest you let our service department make a periodic tongue adjustment. In a toad that's vital."
"Fine," Iran said. "I want it to work perfectly. My husband is devoted to it." She gave her address and hung up.
And, feeling better, fixed herself at last a cup of black, hot coffee.