Storm Doris

Lighting Strike

England braced itself for the worst storm of the winter. Heavy rain fell, causing fast flowing streams to run down the side of the road. Large puddles gathered and formed mini lakes. The wind whipped up into a gale and swept up everything it could. In the higher lands, snow fell thickly.

People battled through the elements. Driving their cars out into the storm named as Doris, determined not to let ‘a little rain,’ halt their day. Soon though they had no choice as the wind swept the rain in sheets and caused all the coastlines to become tidal pools. Cars were turned about and those people who had walked hurried back home.

Reports came flying in about people being injured, public transports being cancelled, delayed and the traffic at a stand still. It was an all day storm and people should stay at home. Instead though, those that could, hurried to the shops and brought everything possible. Full shelves suddenly became empty and cupboards became full.

The wind roared, making the sea hit the wave breaking walls and wash up and over into the seaside towns. People gathered to see the waves but were driven back by the strong winds and spraying water. They retreated to the safety of their homes and watched storm Doris rage.

 

Bus Jam

Aerial Photography of Cars on Road Intersection

I slide the sleeve of my black jacket up and checked my watch for the countless time then looked down the road. The huddle of people who were at the bus stop with me turned to look too. I caught a glimmer of exception on some faces but that quickly faded when they saw that there was still no bus.

Trying not to grind my teeth, I stepped back into the crowd which was a mixture of school children, parents, older adults and workers but I was the only man dressed in a business suit.

‘There should have been two buses by now!’ an angry tubby woman shouted.

‘Three,’ an older man corrected, ‘the eighty-five hasn’t turned up yet.’

‘Mummy, I’m going to be late for school!’ a small girl in a grey skirt and blue uniform jumper cried out.

I looked over. The mother, an African woman with a towering head scarf on, lengthy brown coat and a long, very brightly coloured pattern skirt looked tried. She was half leaning on the double buggy which had months old twin boys almost stacked on top of each other. Behind her, six more children-four girls and two boys, wearing the same school uniform, played on the grass.

The little girl tugged her mother’s coat. The woman muttered and sent her to play with the other children.

Someone tutted at my elbow and I turned back to see a supermarket worker scrolling through his phone.

I checked my watch again. Time hadn’t moved. I grounded my teeth together, caught myself and stopped.

Looking up I saw cars lining the road. Their drivers tapping the wheel or dropping their hands out of sight. One woman was even putting on lipstick. Then the traffic began moving again, the lights further ahead had changed colour.

‘Look a bus!’ a high school girl cried.

Everyone twisted their heads to look and there just peeking around the corner was the front of the bus.

People flew into a flurry. Pushing each other, getting out their purses, money, bus passes. The children raced back from the grass, pressing against their mother and the pram. Someone dropped their phone, but the sound of it hitting the pavement was lost in the babble of voices and mixture of movement.

The traffic crawled to a stop. The crowd sighed like a deflating balloon and became still again.

‘Which one is it?’ the old man asked.

‘I think it’s a seventeen,’ the same girl answered.

‘Pah! Not the one I want!’ he grumbled.

It wasn’t the one I wanted either but it would get me into the city centre of Manchester. I checked my watch again and the hands had crept around. With a sinking feeling, I realised no matter what I was going to be late to my new job again. I needed a car! Or maybe a motorbike? Perhaps, a bicycle would be better? At least my mother wouldn’t have to worry about me as much with one of those.

The traffic moved on and finally the bus pulled up. Everyone charged up as the doors opened. People getting off and on mixed together then broke free of each other. I squeezed on, waving my pass then I saw the bus was totally full.

There was nowhere for me to go as there was a blockade of people before me. I tried to look over them to see if there was any seats, but there appeared not to be. The way to the stairs was also blocked, a mother had her three children pressed into the stairwell.

‘I’m sorry but you won’t get that pram on here,’ the bus driver shouted.

I turned, my hands slipping over the cold blue metal handrail. The African family were trying to get on. The mother was rocking the buggy back, causing the front wheels to lift and her sea of children were all ready on and huddling against the other passengers.

‘Hey, excuse me! No room! Stop!’ the bus driver shouted loudly.

The woman looked up, balancing the front wheels of the pram on the floor of the bus.

‘You’ll have to get the next bus. I’m sorry.’

The woman said something under her breath that sounded like it was in a different language. She slowly reversed the pram and yelled at her children in English, ‘get off! Come over here! Tilly, come!’

The children, like tumbling puppies got off the bus and clustered around her. The little girl who really wanted to go to school burst into tears. Two of the boys started fighting and the other girls walked back to the grass again.

The doors of the bus closed and we left the family and a few other people behind us.

I clung to the handrail, though there was no need really, the press of bodies against mine was enough to keep me stable. I shut my eyes tried hard not to think about who’s fingers had just brushed my hip and who’s elbow had bumped into my bag.

Taking deep breaths, I thought about over things, like what I was going to say to my supervisor, what I might grab for lunch today, if I’d get the guts to talk to that pretty blonde a few desks away from me.

First though, I had to get through this.

The Receptionist (Part 2)

Free stock photo of marketing, woman, apple, desk

Emily stayed behind her desk, though her body and mind were eager to get up and go. Pretending to type and look at paperwork, she kept her eyes on the door leading out. She heard the elevator, a few footsteps and passing voices before everything fell silent.

Stealing a last look around, she pulled out her tiny phone again and checked the messages. Nothing flashed on the phone. She closed it and grabbed her voice recorder instead.

‘I don’t think he’s coming back. Time to snoop around his office again. Maybe I can find out why he left,’ she whispered into the mic.

Switching it off and making sure it and the secret phone where in the small pockets of her jacket, she got up. Picking up two files that needed go on to his desk, she walked over and opened the door.

His office looked just like her work space did; spotless. The large glass desk dominated the room and the small white laptop on top was almost unnoticeable. There was a large fake green plant in the right corner next to a row of floor to ceiling windows. Thankfully, the blinds were closed. Two landscape paintings faced each other on the right and left walls, they looked old and expensive.

Emily placed the files on the desk and lifted the laptop. She turned it on with a tap of the screen, remembering seeing him do that once. She sat on his chair, feeling it cushion her back and behind straight away. She smoothed her skirt out and watched the laptop demand a password.

He fingers reached out then she paused. Of course, it would be passworded. She glanced around, pouting her lips, hoping she would spot something that would give her a clue to what the lock was. Her eyes landed on something on the floor she hadn’t noticed before.

Getting up, she walked over and picked it up. It was a napkin from a bar with a number penned on it. Wondering how it got there, she slipped it into her pocket. She walked back to the desk and the wired bin that was next to it.  Emily bent and looked through the scraps of paper and other rubbish.

If anyone comes in, just say you lost an earring, she reminded herself.

She found nothing of interested.Straightening, Emily heard the phone ringing on her desk. Sighing, she walked out and answered it.

‘It’s me. I forgot something,’ her new boss’s voice growled into her ear.

In the background, she could hear traffic and beeping car horns.

‘Oh?’ Emily answered.

‘There’s a paper file, a red one. Do you know where it is?’

‘Yes. I just put it on your desk,’ Emily gushed.

‘Get it and bring to this address,’ her boss uttered then sighed deeply.

Emily snatched up a pen and wrote it down. She nodded into the phone and said, ‘I’ll find someone to bring it to you, right now, sir.’

‘It’ll take you less time to walk there then it will to find someone! And bring my laptop too.’

The phone clicked off. Emily looked at it in her hand then placed it back down. Her mind spun, but she didn’t give it time to develop any of those thoughts. Going back into his office, she grab the red file and his laptop. She went back to her desk and slipped both into her large black fake leather handbag.

She pulled out her recorder, made a quick note then prepared to leave.

   To Be Continued…

Spring Flowers

Tulips, Yellow, Spring, Green, Floral, Flower, Nature

She looked out of the window as the bus came to a red light. Across the pavement was a large strip of grass that boarded the park fence. She could see the green shoots of flowers poking upwards. She wondered what they were. Maybe snowbells? Perhaps bluebells? Those at the back had to be daffodils as they looked too big to be anything else. The bus started up again and she told herself it was a sure sign that Spring was on it’s way.