Tuesday, 16 September 2014

The Invitation (Angry Hourglass)

Photo courtesy of Ashwin Rao (via The Angry Hourglass)

The Invitation

You pass the door several times, circling the block, before making your way to the door, invitation in hand.  No need to check the number.  You know it is here.  The sign across the frontage is faded,  unobtrusive - in contrast to the fluorescent slivers of light moving behind the glass from side to side.  You touch a hand to it, watching as the school gather swiftly about your fingertips before flitting away once more.  The door swings outward, inviting you to enter; to pass beyond the velvet curtain inside, into the warmth.  The fabric parts and you move forward through its whispering folds, which hold the remnants of a rich scent you cannot place precisely between them.

Beyond them, a white gloved hand proffers the embossed tray to you.  You exchange the crumpled paper folded into your palm for one of the chilled morsels with a nod, placing it to your lips, head back, swallowing quickly; one gulp and gone.  The aftermath is the kiss of bitter sweet brine at the back of your throat.  Pinprick lights dance overhead, their steps reflected in the sheen of the polished floor beneath your feet, before dimming down into blur.  The room spins on its axis about you, as you ride your silken slide into oblivion, over and over, colour swimming circles, around and around.

You open your eyes to dark shadows clearing.  A deserted hallway lies before you, a door at the very end.  A peal of low laughter sounds from beyond its silence.  You make your way to its promise, tiny blasts of breath creating caresses of heat at the nape of your neck as you move closer.  It is almost time.  You know your way now.

Your fingers grasp the door handle firmly.  You hear the sharp click of the mechanism as you turn the ridged metal clockwise, opening the burnished wood wide on its frame.  You move through, eyes searching; expectant.  Now you see them in front of you; take a step towards them, raising a hand in greeting to the familiar faces, brushing with the other at your moist cheeks.  You are here.  Together again.  At last.


This one was written for this last week's Angry Hourglass competition.  I wanted to try something different and so put together a - slightly tricksy - sense oriented second person point of view piece.

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