TOE Short Story :: A Private Affair – Part Two


The street is equally as congested as it was previously, packed with people making their way home from work. They fill the pavements and our man struggles to push through the unforgiving rush-hour crowd. People push past with fury, jolting his shoulders from side to side as he continues to battle onwards. He turns off into an alleyway, where he stops briefly to collect a few notes in his small leather book, and then continues out onto the adjacent street. The journey home proves uneventful and the crowds soon dissipate.

He reaches the door to his apartment in a timely fashion given the distance covered on his journey home. From the exterior, his home looks typical and relatively dull with a heavy, old-fashioned door serving as an entrance and a single window allowing light to enter. He lets himself in and treads on an assortment of letters as he does so. He sifts through the mail, taking notice of only one item which bears a watermark of particular interest to him. The letter is addressed to: Joseph Arthdale of 2A Spearmint. He places the letter on the mantle beside a clock as he enters the living room.

The first striking aspect of the room is the sheer amount of books, standing on bookcases which run the length of the room. From the fiction of Hemingway and Shakespeare to medical and philosophical works of non-fiction, it is all there. Joseph takes great pride in his vast collection of reading material, though he does long for the time to actually read many of the books in his collection. At one time in his life this may have been possible, but that time has since passed. Much to his regret, his dealings in the outside world require much of his time.

Joseph is fatigued and his body feels curiously heavy – a sensation probably exacerbated by a day of alcohol consumption, stress and conflict. He retires to his bed.

Joseph wakes the following morning to the enduring tweets, chirps and cheeps of the birds outside, merrily singing their songs for all to hear. Despite waking several times during the night to expel the contents of his bladder, Joseph has slept well and made a miraculous recovery from his excess of alcohol. He gets up and shuffles into the kitchen to make a coffee. The kitchen is compact, containing only the basics – Joseph cares little for food preparation and cookery. He sets down on a chair in the living room, observing the view from the window. It is a bright morning and the sun shines brightly into the room. Joseph’s morning coffee comes to an abrupt halt when he receives a frantic phone call from a contact. He grabs his coat and bag on his way out of the apartment.

::Andrew also writes at The Robed Scribe::

June 11, 2009 7:22 am

Older Conceptions »
::the open end:: Copyright © 2016 All Rights Reserved.