Saturday, 7 April 2012

Chucking-Out Time - Short Story

There is a lag between me writing stuff for the writers' group and it appearing here, so there will be a break for a while covering the period I have been away over Easter.  This story came from a task we were set to 'show rather than tell'.  We were given three sentences to convert into a more showing format and then encouraged to develop one of them into something longer.  This story was stimulated by the sentence: 'Claire walked in the door, still feeling angry with John'.  How it develops was stimulated by incidents occurring in the library where the group meets as every week at closing time there is a scene between the librarians and security guards and a man who tries to inhabit the library.

Chucking-Out Time
Claire thrust the door open, sending it crashing against the hinges before it swung back and closed. 

“Bastard!”  She spat back at John who stood the other side of the glass. 

John’s eyes remained as if seeking to scorch the glass; Claire shuddered as she turned away still sensing their weight.  She tried to busy herself with tidying the leaflets on the front desk but soon was looking back out to the dark street. 

Claire marched away from the reception area up to the mezzanine.  It was tidy with no books or magazines out of place but she stomped around straightening items with no need of straightening.  She went to the bank of switches and with her fingers spread across them all, she clicked them off, then back on and off once more with a force which turned the flesh of her fingers pale. 

Below, the eyes, the body shape, the pale-lit coat remained, made more spectral by the glass between.  Claire almost ran back to the glass and bringing her palm up underarm as if to slap on the pane.  She held it back at the last; her arm muscles straining at the sudden halt to the motion. 

Pedantically now Claire went into the disabled toilet and pulled out one sheet, two, three and returned to the glass, wiping away her spittle as if it was a true health hazard; putting her hand between her line of sight and John’s static gaze.  She rubbed as if to erase him. 

“Ready to go?”  Narinder asked. 

“Sure.”  Claire responded, but forcing the words out.  “I’ll come out the back way tonight.”  She added. 

“Suit yourself.” 

Claire snapped a look back at the glass and sneered and then turned to walk to the other exit.

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