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”
“Wahid,” I barked into the handset. “Wahid!” Down the line I heard a sound like boiling soup.
“Justin, I told you never to call me before 2pm.”
“You said don’t, but-”
“If you’re intoxicated or it is money that you want, then please, not today.”
“No, it’s much worse.” I recounted the morning’s adventures to Wahid. “And now it’s blinking like a ballerina in a boxing ring and I don’t know if I should touch it.” Continue reading “Orbiting eccentrics – Chapter 5”
Marta stepped out of the shower and shook her head. With each pass, her black hair whipped lashes of water over the steamed mirror.
She stamped her feet and swung her arms. This is how she dried herself.
Lorenzo watched her from the bed, limbs splayed to each corner, the aftershocks of their recent lovemaking still surging in his pelvis. Not a single ripple, not a lonely nugget of fat had corrupted Marta’s form. Her skin bore no signs of incision, no bleeding birthmarks or dimples. There were only the welts. Swollen and flushed from the scalding temperature at which she showered; they ran like a chain of pink grapes from her left shoulder blade down to the small of her back. Continue reading “Escaping Marta”
The residence of Senator Salient Point sat neatly on stratosphere 180 in the Statement, which, in purely numerical terms was the exact centre.
Any higher and you were running with classes at various stages of sublimation; lower, and you were crawling back into the mire of human origin. The Senator was too intelligent to allow himself into the former and had worked too hard to be comfortable in the latter: he preferred to stay as close to the central governing structure as possible, where it was still agreeable to temporarily shift up and down when necessary. Continue reading “The dinner party”
Dial ‘W’ for WTF
It occurred to me suddenly that the object which was blinking and buzzing gaily in the trunk of my taxi could have been some form of incendiary device. Naturally I’d not let myself be taken in by the paranoia which the foaming neurotics had so effectively disseminated around the world’s airports and shopping malls and, when I did notice an unattended bag lying on the platform at a train station, I never succumbed to hysterical fits as instructed: I proceeded calmly on my way. Continue reading “Orbiting eccentrics – Chapter 4”
The school was a plain one: red bricks, concrete playgrounds and wire mesh fences, hand paintings on the windows and bottle-brush trees along every path, and it had the most valuable view in the entire city. Even from the carpark I could see right past the heads out into the Pacific Ocean. It was not my choice to send Lorelei to a Catholic school, but Diane’s new husband was lathered in dollars and could afford to invest some pennies in the education of my daughter (for which I praised the virgin Mary every holy day) and she seemed to be truly happy. That most of her teachers were, as far as I could tell, not deranged, was an added bonus. Continue reading “Orbiting eccentrics – Chapter 3”
A bunch of flowers
If some higher power was trying to send me a message by willing me into the back of a flower delivery van, then I truly didn’t understand a fucking word of it. The sequence events went something like:
Crack! Fuck! Pause. Shwoomp!
The Schwoomp! at the end was the payload of brilliantly crafted floral arrangements landing on the windscreen. An boorish mediterranean-looking man shouted at me angrily from the footpath. I checked my fingers and ran one across my teeth: nothing missing. The rearview mirror gave me a similar report.
“Hey, are you alright?” I asked. Continue reading “Orbiting eccentrics – Chapter 2”