Friday, 25 February 2011

Friday Fiction #3 - TMA 01 part 1

This is part one of the first University assignment for A174. I lost points for not realising that it was meant to be a character portrait rather than just an emotion - I got confused with one of our earlier tutorial exercises - sigh. I have removed two small lines that my tutor deemed unnecessary, but otherwise it's unedited. Warning - swear words included!


Despite the drizzle, the open plaza of Colchester’s Culver Square positively buzzed with people. The fountain in the middle had been vandalised again with a heavy dose of detergent, foaming manically with the bronze figures at the centre hidden behind a mass of bubbles. The grey of the flagstones, of the circular fountain and the miniature carven temple at its heart matched the steely gloom of the skies above and the dour faces of the passers-by. Around them, a mixture of clothes shops, little cafes and the inevitable phone retailers marked the boundary. The lurid orange facing of one particular mobile phone shop dominated the others with its offensive glare of colour.

Marie sat alone on the stone bench that ran the circumference of the fountain. The dirge of Dead Can Dance bled from her earphones, earning her the occasional scowl of reproof from those nearest. In deference to the weather she had drawn the hood of her Gothic coat over the lank tendrils of her hair, but it failed to cover her head completely so that the black make-up streaking her pale face was clear for all to see. One hand tugged a phone from her pocket and she slid up the panel with a black painted thumb encircled by a patterned ring of silver. A single press of a button wiped the wallpaper of a solar eclipse from the screen, replacing it instead with the dreaded message that had scrawled across it earlier that morning.

‘It’s finished. Jason.’

No explanation, no apology. The stupid geek had even added his name, like she might have forgotten it. She wished she could. And yet she could not bring herself to erase that last text from him.

In a sudden frenzy, her thumb darted over the tiny keys in a chorus of irritating clicks as she typed back.

‘Your loss, creep. Now go to hell!’ Her thumb hesitated over the final button that would send but only for the merest instant. The phone asked for confirmation, and she gave it.

As the message shot home, she snapped the mobile closed and stuffed it back into her pocket. With vicious swipes of her fingers, Marie roughly scrubbed the tears and make-up from her eyes until it seemed she was weeping shadows, before hugging her raised knees close to her chest once more. Her hands, white against her black clothing, clutched at the fabric as if on the verge of ripping it apart.

‘Fuck you, Jason Sorens,’ she spat, drawing a shocked glare from the elderly lady seated beside her who rose and left with a disapproving shake of her grey head. ‘I hope you drop dead.’

© 2009-2011 Copyright Philippa J. Green All Rights Reserved

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