By Victoria D’Andrea
A short story
For Today’s SCAB I decided to do something I haven’t done for almost 5 months. Write a story. My desire to pick up the metaphorical pen again is mainly due to a master class we had with Shekhar, as it reminded me that what I most wanted from this school was improve my writing. Since joining the school, I’ve done very little of this. So here is my chance.
This short story is courtesy of writing.prompt.s (it’s on Instagram, definitely deserves a follow)- quite useful for writers with nothing to write, but that want to practise their skills in short burst regularly. I’ve decided to reveal the prompt at the end, if anyone reads that far.
The only source of light in the room was a small window in the far right corner.
The top part of the window was open, allowing some fresh air to infiltrate the stale room. A particularly strong gust of wind insinuated its way through the small opening, managing to reach the back of the room, where a cloak was hanging. Black, silky and expensive-looking, it was heavier than it looked. In fact, the breeze only slightly disturbed it. But it did move, the keys in its pocket jingling softly.
The figure in the armchair jolted awake. A leaf that had settled on the figure’s lap fell in flight again, finally finding a final resting place on the floor. The sudden movement irked with the calm and peaceful atmosphere, as if the room had been immersed in a dream-like state until this latest development.
Now standing, the figure extricated from its side an arm. The pale limb instinctively reached towards the phone, grabbing the old-style receiver before hesitating and then slowly, reluctantly, dropping the arm back to its side.
The phone never rang anymore. Not since the humans had decided that they no longer needed his services. More than that, they no longer wanted his services. The impossible had happened. And now Death was jobless and depressed.
She glanced at the clock on the wall, then her eyes dropped to the calendar hanging underneath. She sighed deeply and closed her eyes, trying to pretend to herself she had not seen the big red X on today’s date.
However, it was no use denying the truth and he knew the time had come.
He made his way to the front door, the hand lightly touching the cloak, but then settling on the smart coat hanging next to it. She slid her arms in the sleeves, the white bones disappearing behind the black material, hidden for good. No matter the newfound disrespect the humans had towards her job, they were still unnerved by the sight of her white, skeletal body.
“What was the world coming to?” he wandered in despair. Not only had he been made redundant from the position he had held for millennia, he had now been forced to start hiding his form behind this new, unnatural garment.
She left the apartment, locking the door behind her, and headed west. She glanced at the note she had tucked away in her pocket. She would have to walk west for at least half an hour before reaching the closest Job Centre Plus.
Perhaps a new job would not be that bad a thing. He could even find a place as a receptionist. He did have the people-skills, after all.
Prompt: People have started boycotting death. It’s working.