Autumn Girl

The sign reads: Choir meetings held Thursday evenings, 6-7. Light refreshments provided afterwards. All welcome. You realise that you could have lived quite easily without this information, but without checking you would never have known this, so it was best to find out; best to be quickly disappointed than to be left simmering quietly in curiosity.

Music plays that is flavoured in the hardship of those countries that once fell behind an iron curtain. The day is continental. It would taste as sweet as croissants dipped in jam if only it were edible. The music plays out from the space directly ahead of you, a square where there are many benches and a fountain and many beautifully old-fashioned features that piece together around a mass of faces that look as though they’re all avoiding you, and everyone else, and all the things that could be being shared.

In your pocket you store your phone, and contained in it is a safe list of names that if you should need to, you could contact, right now, if that feeling of panic were to set in.

You start the page of your book over and you listen in to another conversation, then you fear the man who smiles at you because he saw that you might need one, because his mercy extends towards pretty strangers.

The music that’s playing sounds almost pixelated, and your viewpoint is swathed in mute disorder. You yearn for distractions, and you decide to wear the new boots you’ve just bought. You’ll place your old shoes in the shoe-box, an act performed in the reverse of how a sly bird would steal from another’s nest, and your performance will be so well accomplished, that the street-pigeons will flap their wings for you in a round of applause.

You inspect how ill the scuffed leather of your old shoes looks, set there, in among the crisp white tissue of newness. You lean into the box so much that you cover your head with the lid of the box, and to others it will look as though you’re being eaten by a box in the slow but obvious constriction of a shoe-box snake.

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2 Responses to “Autumn Girl”

  1. November 23, 2010 at 8:00 am, Joanne said:

    Your story captivated me yet at the same time eased my worried mind. Thank you.

  2. November 26, 2010 at 7:57 pm, Bilbo Baggins said:

    I checked your Blog to see if you were indeed a pretty stranger. It’s safe to say you have a nice pair of cheeks, and a talent for writing short stories.


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