Postcard

St Petersburg Russia, Nonoj Petersburg

Hey, look I finally made it! Can’t believe I’m actually here in Russia. I so had to send you a postcard as it’s taking me ages to find an internet cafe. Though chances are I’ll have found one and spoke to you way before you get this. Still, it’s the thoughts right? I still can’t believe you’re wasting your summer working. No way does that make you more creative! Getting out and seeing the world does! Think about and let me know if you’re going to met us in Rome. See you soon, Chad.

Love

Heart, Love, Romance, Valentine, Romantic

Everyday he went it into the woods and made love hearts out of the largest fallen branches. One day he hoped to give them to his wife and daughters when he saw them again.

Cacti

Cactus, Plant, Plant Rack, Green, Sting, Spur

The cacti was dead. Linda wasn’t sure how she had done it but she had killed the only plant she’d been told was impossible to kill. Picking it up from the office window sill, Linda carried the potted plant outside.

Laying the shriveled, brown remains to rest in the bin, Linda couldn’t help but compare this event to her current situation. Sighing, she closed the bin lid and went back to her desk.

The lawyer’s office was quiet with only the hint of distant voices, ringing phones and tapping keyboards. Linda looked at the piles of papers and other things cluttering the desk. All ready, she felt tried and it was only a few minutes past nine. She pushed things around for a few moments in the attempt to try and get her motivated.

Giving up, she sat back and dropped her hands to her small stomach bump. Too many ifs and buts swirled through her mind. Trying to avoid the coming tears, she tried to move her thoughts on to how long this time it would take to lose the weight.

Pulling over a calendar, Linda looked at the days but the sight of clinic and doctor’s appointments marked down made her toss the thing away. She turned again to the work on her desk and threw herself into it.

Lost It

Dictionary, Focus, Book, Word, Text, Education

And the words just wouldn’t come. It was like gobbledygook in his head and he didn’t understand it. Quickly closing his mouth, he tried to pull it together, but it was just gone. Sweat beaded on his brow and hands as it began drenching him. Trying to ignore the twenty pairs of staring eyes, he calmly placed down his note cards and grabbed the glass of water. Taking a few sips, he then coughed and attempted to carry on with the business speech.

‘As them, THE, sorry, data shows….’ he stuttered to a stop again.

He had to get out of the room.

Glancing at the stern and stretching face of his boss, he swallowed, but it didn’t go down. It felt like there were feathers in his throat and mouth. He drank some more water and tried to pep talk himself back into things. Fixing his tie and coughing again, he shuffled the cards, but the words upon them were now blurred.

He looked at the projected image behind him, which showed a graph of the data.

‘We are predicating all of this,’ he said and waved a hand at the rectangle blocks, ‘and that’ll help bring more business to this area and more employment and improvement and money and overall it’s just a good investment. Thank you for your time,’ he rambled.

Grabbing his water, he went back to his seat and moved it so he had his back to everyone in the room. He sipped his water and tried not to meet anyone’s eyes.

His boss’s voice rumbled with ‘as anyone got any questions?’

There was a slight mumble then a few people spoke out.

He carried on sipping his water and when the meeting was over, he fled the room and locked himself in the bathroom until the words had come back.

Little Black Book (Part 1)

Book, Open, Pages, Literature, Textbook, School

Kimmy squeezed her way on to the train just as the doors were closing. Yanking her plated rainbow coloured hair and the hood of her grey duffel coat out of the way, she glanced at the sealed doors. Catching her breath and pushing up her purple framed glasses, she felt the train moving and watched the platform sliding away.

Heading into the carriage, Kimmy looked for a double or table seat which was empty. People looked up at her then back to their screens or books. There was a low mumble of chatter as people talked to one another or their phones. At the back, she found a double spot and dumped her small rucksack down. Sliding across to the window, she looked at the darkening cityscape rumbling by.

Liverpool in all its grimy glory, she thought wearily, not that it differs much from Manchester.

The PA binged on and a rusty man’s voice began announcing the route. Kimmy rested the side of her head against the icy cold glass and shut her eyes. Something knocked against her shuffling foot. Looking down, she saw a black shape and reached a hand down to grab it. Soft worn, leather brushed against her skin and there was a rustle of paper. Balancing it in both hands, she inspected the small rectangle book. Written along the bottom in sliver ink was; If found do not open.

Staring hard, she tried to decide if the handwriting looked female or male. Her fingers sort the edge of the cover and she almost flipped it over. The words lingered in her head, causing her to wonder what was so important inside the pages that the writer had to instructed people to stay out. She pressed the book between her palms.

The train juddered into a station, bring her back. Out of the window, Kimmy saw people moving to and from, those walking away were opening umbrellas and pulling up hoods. Rain was dripping from the platform roof and beyond gathering on the wired fence. The sky was now dark grey boarding on black, threatening heavier rain, prepares even a storm.

The last passengers got on and began searching for a seat as the train started up again. Kimmy watched two businessmen sit down at a table were a young couple were holding hands across the thin plastic. They began talking loudly about a meeting they had just come from and making rude jokes.

Slotting the notebook between her legs, Kimmy unzipped her bag and pulled out her IPod and noise cancelling headphones. She put on some heavy metal and let the loud booming songs carry her away. Tugging up the notebook, she slotted it into the rucksack and without any further thought, watched the ever changing view going passed the window.

 

To Be Continued…

Baker’s Remorse

Sweets, Cupcakes, Bun, The Cake, Cake, Chocolate

The smell of burning filled the kitchen. Sandy put her hands on her hips and looked down at the tray of blackened cupcakes. A small line of smoke was drifting upwards. Throwing down the oven gloves, she let out a loud growl and pulled her hair out of the bun. Shiny, slightly damp ginger locks tumbled down her shoulders and back.

The phone rang, breaking the muted stillness around Sandy.

She ignored it and turned off the oven. Popping open the kitchen window, a freezing gale force wind swept inside, stealing away all the heat and smoke. Grabbing the oven gloves, she picked up the tray and dumped the destroyed cupcakes in the bin. Then abandoning the tray and gloves, she walked into the hallway and snatched the phone up.

Listening, she heard a call centre’s beeping break off and a crackling voice asked to speak to her.

‘Depends what you want,’ Sandy mumbled into the phone.

‘We are doing a life style questionnaire and a price draw for a holiday,’ the clipped female Asian voice explained.

Sandy shook her head, ‘no thanks.’

Hanging up, she went upstairs and got changed for her very important meeting. There’s going to an uproar, she thought, and I don’t really have time to go to the shops now. Why did I agree to bring cakes anyway?

Sighing, she did the buttons on her blouse up and checked the time. If she left now, she could just make it to the supermarket. Mulling things over, she put on her high heels, gathered her things and got into the car. The dashboard clock, told her there was still time and Sandy decided it was better than no cake.

Starting the car, she drove to the supermarket and gathered a range of cupcakes, muffins, doughnuts and small cakes. Returning, she placed everything in the car, got in and drove off. Telling herself, she’d just say there’d been no time, she drove to her meeting and hoped the company heads and directors didn’t have sweet teeth.

Office Window Part 1

I grabbed my mug as I abandoned my headset on my desk. Around me, the office flowed with voices, phones ringing and the taping of keys. It was mid-afternoon, time for my second cup of coffee and my first sneaky break. Getting up, I stretched and heard something cracking in my back. I sort the slight pain with my free hand and rubbed the spot.

Something flickered in the corner of my eyes and I looked across at the window. The city’s tallest buildings stared blindly back at me. Behind their glazed windows, people like myself were busy at work. I placed my mug down, lent over my desk and looked harder outside.

I could only see a touch of the skyline because the rest was blocked by buildings. A few birds circled passed then I saw it, a white drone. It was hovering a few windows down from mine, it’s four propellers a wild blur. There was black camera attached to the top of it. I looked down, but of course couldn’t see anything.

Grabbing my mug again, I walked away from my desk and counted the windows as I went down. At the fourth I stopped. Peering into the cubical, I saw the blonde head of a woman. She was talking on her headset, but was almost slummed down on her desk. The drone was outside the window and she seemed not to have noticed it.

‘Hey,’ I whispered, ‘hi.’

She didn’t respond.

‘Hello? Sorry, excuse me?’ I said louder.

With a deep sigh, she moved and looked up at me. Her hair was a mess and her face was strangely blotchy. Her makeup was all in place, but it didn’t hide the tiredness etched into her skin. With a single movement, she ended the phone call and turned to me fully. She was wearing a black suit and a white blouse.

‘Sorry. There’s a drone outside,’ I stated when it seemed like she wasn’t going to speak.

‘Oh? There are drones everywhere. Is that all?’ she threw back at me.

‘It seems interested in you.’

She shrugged and turned back to the computer screen. On it was the normal list of numbers and names we had to connect. She selected another number and called it up.

I looked at the drone, trying to see if there were any markings on it. I felt her eyes on me and instinctively, I left.

I went back to my desk then suddenly remembered my coffee and hurried to the kitchen. No one else seemed to have noticed anything and were hard at work cold calling the latest company deals. I made my coffee and went back to my desk. As I went to sit down, I noticed the drone hovering outside. I took my chair, put on my headset and ignoring everything, selected a new number to dial.

Whatever was going on, I didn’t want to know. I listened to the dial tone in my ear and quickly scanned through my lines in my head. Nobody answered the phone. I hung up and went for the next one, my eyes slide to the side and I saw the drone. It was still there, hovering and with the camera still staring at me.

The dial tone rung in my ears, but no one answered. I hung up and took the headset off. I picked up my coffee and walked back into the kitchen. I drink my coffee, acting like I was taking a break. A few people came in and out. I kept my back to the window, not daring to look. My mind whirled, who owned that drone? What did it want? Was it actually tracking me?

I shook my head, called myself crazy and got back to my desk. The drone was gone. Feeling relived, I got back to work. Throughout the rest of the afternoon, my eyes kept glancing to the window. Of course nothing was there, but I couldn’t help it, something was watching me. I knew it. The end of the shift came and I didn’t want to leave. What if something was waiting for me?

I went to the kitchen and tried to delay leaving as much as possible. Someone else had all ready cleaned up and the rest was normally the cleaners’ responsibility. I rubbed my hands and felt sweaty and agitated. I couldn’t leave, I just couldn’t do it. The rumours always spoke about the spying drones before people disappeared. Didn’t they? But weren’t they seen for a lot longer than just an afternoon?

I stopped and noticed I had been pacing. I had to leave. I got my stuff and headed downstairs. My bag banged against my hip and my clothes were stuck to me. I hurried down, passing three other floors before getting to the front doors. The receptionists and security guards didn’t even look up. I walked out, glanced around then rushed for the coming tram.

I expected to hear the drone overhead and people yelling for me to stop, but there wasn’t anything. I got to the station and boarded the tram. It was packed with rush-hour travellers. I hung on and waited for my stop. I hardly remind calm and when I got to my apartment, I fell up the stairs twice before getting to my rooms.

Everything looked the same. Nothing was out of place and no odd smell hung in the air. I firmly locked the door and went into the bathroom. Locking that door, I dropped my stuff and took my clothes off. I ran the shower and waited for the water to warm. Stepping in, I let the water relax me. I felt myself un-tense and began to enjoy the cascading waters.

A buzzing at the front door burst my bubble. I froze and listened hard over the shower. It was nothing, nothing. I turned back and washed my hair. The buzzer sounded again. Ignoring it, I half drowned myself. I got out a good few minutes later and was drying off when there was a knocking on my door.

To Be Continued…

Hailstone

The hailstone bounced off the window as Eureka sat alone at her desk. Turning her head to the side, she watched the tiny chips of ice peppering the newly flowering pink bush. She sighed and turned back to her computer, wondering if she would ever get this presentation done. Tapping the mouse, she flicked through the first four slides, but didn’t get the motivation she was looking for.

Maybe I should just go home and finish this tomorrow? She thought.

A quick glance at the clock told her it was a little after nine pm. She had done just five slides, one of which was the title, since she had started three hours ago. Rubbing her aching head, Eureka decided to give up and emailed the presentation to her home computer. Slowly, she gathered all the paperwork she needed that was scattered around her desk and placed them in her small suitcase.

Leaving the office, she made sure her computer had turned off, the lights were out and the windows closed. She gave the cleaners a hurried goodbye at reception and walked across the road and up the ramp to the tram station. Checking the timetable, she saw there was a tram due in a few minutes. Feeling relieved about that, she sat down on the edge of the metal grill bench and rubbed her swollen ankles.

Wrapping her woollen coat more tightly around her, Eureka fixed her gaze down the line and looked out for the headlights of the tram. A soft shuffling caught her intention, but she deicide it was only the breeze moving leaves or some animal. Clutching her handbag and the suitcase handle, she tried not to think about how dark it was.

The light in the shelter was on, but it wasn’t very bright and only a handful of lights came from the surrounding offices’ windows. The only two streetlamps were out and the rest were gathered further down and shone out over the docks.

The tram will be here soon, she thought and kept her eyes fixed ahead.

The shuffling came again, followed by a raspy cough.

Eureka knew she wasn’t alone.

Desperately trying not to move, she told herself to remain calm. It was probably just someone else who had been working late like her and was waiting for the tram home. The homeless never drifted this far from the city centre to bed down. A light patter caused her to look up. It was hailstone again. Having moved, she glanced around, but saw no one standing on the platform or going passed on the road.

Still feeling uncomfortable, she looked up the tram tracks and saw two headlights bobbing upwards. The tram was here. Standing up, she went to the edge of the shelter and watched the white lights growing. Clutching her things, she moved further out, but instead of feeling hailstones on the back of her neck, she felt fingers grabbing her.

True Feelings About Winter

In winter Molly liked to hibernate. She loved sleeping in even though she had gone to bed early the night before. Somehow, it never felt like she could get enough rest and wake up refreshed. She enjoyed creating a nest out of all her clean bedding and surrounding herself with soft toys as if they were her family.

Best though, Molly relished her new pile of books from Christmas. She would reshuffle her shelf on the first day of the New Year and make plans on what to read. Then she would begin and devour each book as if it was a wonderful slice of her favourite cake. She found that the winter season give her the excuse to stay in and read, which the other seasons often didn’t.

Also, she cherished winter food. The bitterly cold wind, icy rain and snow blankets caused her to crave hot soups, stews, hearty meat dishes and warm gooey puddings. Luckily, Molly still lived with her parents and felt grateful for her mother’s cooking. There was just something about coming home from a long day at work and finding that her mother had slow cooked stew and dumplings. The heavy warm food smell hugged the air and drew her straight in from the cold.

Molly would find herself having endless hot drinks and wearing so many layers it was like she was on an artic trek. Really though, she was just trying to stay awake and get a nice level of warmth against her skin. The weekends were better for her, because she would find reasons to spend most of the day in bed. For her, there was no better place to be and with a book in her hands, there was no reason for her to leave and battle against the winter weather.

Distraction

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