Wednesday, 8 April 2009

The Calm After the Storm.

I began writing a series of short stories all based around the idea of a storm.
This is the first part (of three) of the first story.

The calm after the storm. Part I.

When afternoons were like this it would remind him of why he had not made some great push to better himself. There were aspects of the job he enjoyed, but mostly he wished he didn’t have to, bar work is just bar work. However, afternoons like this he embraced, quiet and peaceful, perfect with a book and a coffee. If only he had remembered his book. Instead, he stood in the doorway, with a coffee, facing the outside worlds.
The sky seemed split in to two.
On his right, above the trees and rolling hills, the sky left remains of morning. A pale, thin, white cloud had spread itself over too much surface area, and so left pockets of a lighter shade like patchwork. The largest was home to the beating midday sun trying to find its way through by glowing white behind the filter cloud. It was a peaceful sky. Not bright, not empty but soft and at ease.
The other sky painted a different picture. To his left, above the courtyard and car park, the clouds closed in. Thunderous and black it could quite easily have been a picture from the suspense scene of a sci-fi film; the skyline telling us that the inevitable and uncontrollable was about to happen. There were no aliens on their way but a storm seemed to be.
He considered the cosiness of bad weather. He remembered being at home as a child, in a dinning table chairs and duvet covered den, listening to the thunder and counting the distance in limbo between light and sound. Even as a child, he would acknowledge the sordid pleasure of being right at the heart of the storm. The light would strike as he waited for it, not knowing when it would jump out and scare him. Then he would count with a careful precision until the sound of thunder would tell him to stop and wait once more, embracing the excitement and fear of it rolling closer. But the safety it offered is what he loved. If it had found its way above his head then surely it will only leave in the same way, now it was here.
‘The calm before the storm’ would get his adrenalin pumping through fear and apprehension but the peace, the gratitude and the calm after is what he most loved.
He stood, staring at the two contrasting skies considering which would win, whilst absorbing the nostalgic feeling of travelling to a past place.

Then the phone rang, bringing him back and removing him from the hair on his arms, which stood on end. It was like a wake up call. “Good afternoon, the White Hart bar. How can I help you?” he answered, not for the first time.
“Hello...?” a hesitant and small voice asked.
“Hello. This is the White Hart bar. What can I do for you?”
“Is this the…White…Heart?”
Normally he hated this situation, however at this moment he did not mind the prospect of an awkward phone call.
“I hope so.” He joked.
And that was the end of the conversation. The small, unusual voice on the other end had become a larger, familiar dial tone. He held the receiver away from his ear, looked at it then placed it back where it came from. He turned to tell a colleague about the mystery hang-up caller but she spoke first, “The concert’s now ending, “ she said, “it’s gonna kick off.”
Then the call was forgotten.

No comments: