17 January 2008

a new life - part 4


The ceiling of his room was old and grey. It was cracked in neat rectangles and squares like a patchwork of farmers’ fields. Francis picked a stub of pencil from his nightstand and stood on the bed, his feet pushing deep into the old soft mattress. Reaching up he carefully marked a small X in the corner of one field.

All was quiet in his head. Satisfied, he sank back down and stretched out listening to the distant clatter of pots. The sounds were a reassuring affirmation that the world was turning and people had a purpose. He felt an inner murmur as the sleeping giant stirred. He thought about the day he walked out on his job. With the thought came a sudden incendiary burst of anger. You wasted the best years of your life, a voice thundered. Quiet reason countered, But it’s over now and you finally won, don’t forget that. You helped yourself to what you believed was yours and in so doing, balanced your life’s books. His mental referee stood poised to intervene.

He had been washed up for years and it had been a blessed relief to simply walk away. Something else played at the edge of his mind. He had needed to distance himself from an action… a deafening explosion, something utterly unspeakable. Sickened, he groaned and thought instead of the three bright silver keys which he had dropped from Westminster Bridge into the brown Thames.

Suddenly there were footsteps in the corridor outside and the sound of voices approaching. Francis stowed his memories safely away.
“… some kind of amnesia.” said a muffled official voice.
“Total?” asked another. There was no response but the footsteps ceased and knuckles rapped sharply on his door.

12 comments:

Michelle Dawn said...

I'm terrible. I have no patience for page turners (as you'd know). If you had let me, I would have read the last chapter of The Da Vinci Code before settling in to read the rest of the book.

I'm looking forward to the next installment!

fathorse said...

Funny to find freedom in a cell...

Concerning mickey, your anti AA friend, I personally think you should create a new profile and spam his website claiming to be the REAL mickey and spout carefully selected bible readings at him. Alternatively, make them up and see if he notices.

Perfect Virgo said...

M - good job I had my hand firmly on Da Vinci. I know you would have sneaked a peek at the climax!

I'll post the next one soon... promise.

FH - good idea. I have been thinking about similar strategies. Who knows, perhaps inaction is the best thing - he may be boiling with rage because I am not rising to his bait.

Yes, Francis' room is a little like a prison cell.

Mrs CeCrux said...

i love reading these!

Queen Neetee said...

Oooo! What a nice tidbit.

Just when I was checking out the little 'x' on the ceiling tile, a heavy knock is at the door.

Now we're getting down to the bottom of things!

EXCELLENT.

Perfect Virgo said...

Mrs C - keep reading and I will keep posting!

Neetee - yes things are starting to hot up in this little mystery, stay tuned.

cocaine jesus said...

thetale unravels and as it does the mystery deepens.
is this room a cell?
or a hospital room?
a flat?
what?

as for action...go tao.

Perfect Virgo said...

CJ - I'm glad you asked. Our man Francis is spending time convalescing at St Agnes' Home for the Frail as introduced in Part 1. It is not a prison cell but it feels rather like one. He is recovering his memory and his time there is short now...

{illyria} said...

i've missed reading you. there's a poignant element to your recent posts that shakes one gently into realization.

Perfect Virgo said...

{illyria} - it's good to see you back here and commenting as deeply as ever. I'd love you to read this short story. It's a mystery in 13 parts.

boulies said...

I accidentally skipped part 4. Ok, here's the first mention of the keys and his memory coming back about it. Now it feels even more cohesive.

Perfect Virgo said...

Boulies - the tale is told back and forth in time with little snippets like the keys, which you wisely latched on to, throwing light on what has already happened.