The twenty-second floor

At 4:38pm on the 31st of June, Colin Doring entered the elevator at the fifteenth floor, pressed twenty-two and, immediately after, held down the button to close the doors.
When he heard the click from the elevator shaft that meant that the doors were fully closed, he held the rectangular folder before him and inspected it. His hand spidered over the folder’s milky plastic; down the heat-pressed seams, over the sharp corners and came to rest on the reassuring bulge of the underside. Continue reading “The twenty-second floor”

The new girl

Mr Howard peers over his broom handle glasses. “We both know that there is no truth to what you said, don’t we, Miss Collins?”

Theresa shrugs and fidgets with her hair. She wants to have it cut on Saturday.

“I’ll take that as a ‘yes’. In all my years as principal of Caraway High, I’ve never seen such dishonest and disrespectful behaviour. Poisonous lies such as these ruin reputations, Miss Collins. Do you understand what I’m talking about?”

Theresa shrugs again and decides that Howard can take it anyway he likes. Continue reading “The new girl”

A conversation

I slowed my pace and tried to take in as much of the luxury as I could – futuristic armchairs, adjustable displays, champagne glasses.

A bulbous man in an ill-fitting suit was struggling with a seat belt. He cursed loudly in a gargling voice and the old lady behind me tutted. I didn’t have far to walk – I had been assigned a seat in the first row of economy, just beyond the curtain that separated the two worlds. It was the middle seat: the one built for people with no elbows or hands or bladders. The row was empty so I took the window and placed my water bottle and sudoku book on my lap. There were still twenty minutes before take off and the cabin crew were chirping up and down the aisles with paper cups, fending off demanding parents. A phone rang in the row directly behind me. Continue reading “A conversation”