I’ve been amiss, not posting for two months (while I swanned around the northern hemisphere waiting for the snow). I will continue to post to this site when I have new microfiction stories (such as the one below) or related material. But I’m also taking the time to focus on other writing projects. You can find out more at my new blog, smatter, (smatter.blog.com).

Ticking

Thornton’s watch weighed heavily on his wrist. The tick of it no longer measured an accumulation but a diminution. He wasn’t sure when this realisation had occurred to him. But time bound him twice now. It dictated his routine, dividing each week, each day, each hour into a series of repeated tasks. It marked the approach of the oblivions of age and death. It marked him as inconsequential.

Perhaps that’s why he’d slipped away at lunchtime, crossed the road to the gallery, and now stood in front of the work he’d found so inspiring in his youth, trying to reclaim that experience. But the work hung mute before him.

A woman close by motioned towards the wall. ‘It’s beautiful isn’t it?’

Thornton checked the label for an answer. ‘It’s the artist’s early period.’

The woman shrugged. She paused as if considering another enquiry, before turning slowly and wandering to the next gallery. Her floral scent draped behind her, lingering in the still air. Once he’d have kept her in his sights. But his thoughts were only of the sub-committee and the agenda he needed to circulate before three.

In front of him the painting, an image of a man alone in a snowdrift streetscape, dissolved. Thornton checked his watch again before turning away. He’d still have time to grab a sandwich from Sal’s before the team meeting.

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