Just a couple of minutes…

I’ve decided this year I need a new challenge. So, I’ll be dipping my toe into a bit of fictional writing… something I haven’t done since school. I have no idea if it will be any good, but it could be a great way to flex my writing muscles a bit.

Anyway, this was my first attempt. A very short, very tongue-in-cheek 400-and-odd word piece I knocked together last night. Feel free to let me know what you think. Unless you think it’s shit, in which case, feel free to move along…

Just a couple of minutes…

Just a couple of minutes. That’s all she needed to escape the chaos and collect her thoughts. In the next room, eight or nine kids (she’d lost count by this point) ran riot while their parents shouted over one another. Football, holidays, careers; the same inane subjects vaguely connected humans turn to when forced into awkward social gatherings.

And yet, amid the yelling, the shouting and the din of the Frozen DVD no one was watching, she had found a sliver of semi silence in the hall. And it was in that moment, just seconds earlier, she’d been cornered by Max. Like a true professional, Max had used the sound dampening coats and scarves of strangers, each saturated in a different and unfamiliar smell, to deliver eight carefully selected words. Eight cold, calculated words she wished she’d never had to hear. And all she could think about was how, after all the years they’d known one another, trusted and looked after one another, he’d picked today to drop such a bombshell. It was just so fucking selfish.

An unexpected snort of laughter crept out as she tried to remember feeling anything but the sheer hatred she had for him now. But she couldn’t. All she could recall was the day they met, the first day of the eight years they would work together side by side. So much had happened since then… and now, none of it mattered. Dwelling on the past (she thought to herself in Max’s stern, condescending voice) was impractical. More than that, it went against everything she’d been taught. Everything he’d taught her.

All that was left was the terrifying reality of what would come next. The inevitable mess she’d be cleaning up because of a decision he’d made – a decision she’d had no say in. Whispered phone conversations, unpredictable mood swings, it was all starting to make sense. And all those late nights in the office, the same office she left behind after being convinced to spend more time at home. Swallowing the obvious truth she was clearly the smarter, more efficient half of their partnership was the hardest part. But she did it. For the family.

Fuck it, she thought. There was now a chance to prove herself. Max had gifted her an opportunity to blow off the dust of the last few years and go back to the thing she did best. It was what she was born to do, what she was trained to do. In fact, the more she thought about it, the more it started to feel like actually, this couldn’t have come at a better time.

She had a purpose now. A new chapter was beginning. Whether he realised it or not, Max’s eight words had set her free. “We need you to kill the prime minister.”

Written by:

Noel is a professional marketing writer and content producer born and bred in Manchester, England. His first book, a self published cult movie memoir called Adventures in VHS, is now available here.

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