Rough Day. Short Story.

Sorry this is up so late! I had to go into college today to fill in some forms and meet with some people and it took longer than I expected. Hope everyone’s week is progressing pleasantly!

On with the show!


Mary leaned against the kitchen counter, waiting for the kettle to boil. She had turned the radio on but it was hard to hear the music over the low rumble of the kettle. It had been a long day, she was tired and feeling generally down. The kettle clicked and with a sigh, she pushed herself upright. The water quickly filled the cup, steam partially obscuring her vision. She put the kettle back and started to stir the tea. She didn’t even really want it, it was just something she normally did when she got home. She put the mug on the counter and went to the fridge. Nothing seemed to go right at work that day, pens kept disappearing, forms were filed incorrectly, not her doing of course, but she was still blamed. It was a dreadful day. She picked up the mug and wrapped both her hands around it, she walked slowly into the sitting room, then sat on the couch, curling her legs beneath her. Carefully she took a sip, not wanting to burn herself. She was in the house by herself for another few hours at least, Frank wouldn’t be back until eight or nine, Nora probably wouldn’t be back. She was going on a date with some new guy, Ben or Brian or something with a B. Mary sometimes found it hard to keep track. Nora seemed to pick up and dump men with an alarming frequency, and here was she, alone. Not that she could really complain. She had been in a relationship until recently, almost two years they were together. The break up had been amicable, at least, as far as break ups could be. They still chatted occasionally which was nice if a little odd. It had been coming to an end anyway, they just pre-empted it. Apparently he was going out with a new girl and it seemed pretty serious, though she wasn’t really jealous, she was happy for him. He deserved someone, so did she.

She took another sip from her mug, she didn’t really know what to do with herself. She was too tired to bother with dinner and would probably have a bowl of cereal or a sandwich later. The house seemed strangely empty, as if there was no one else around for a hundred miles. She jumped, almost spilling tea on herself, outside someone was blaring their horn. Probably a taxi man or something. The noise continued uninterrupted until she stood up and looked out the window, wondering if someone was being robbed or something. It took her a moment to spot the car, but she realised what was happening when she did. It belonged to the girl across the road, or her boyfriend, Mary was never really sure. They were always shouting and screaming at one another, they were both to blame, picking fights over stupid little things. He was staring at their house and showed no signs of stopping, across the road she could see other people looking out, wondering what was going on. The noise stopped suddenly, silence replacing it. Nothing seemed to be happening, so she turned from the window and went back to her seat. There was some banging from outside, then the vague noise of someone shouting. She was pleased the windows were thick in the house. This wasn’t the first time they had brought their argument to the public arena. The yells became louder, higher. The girl was screeching. Mary tried to think of her name, sure they had introduced themselves when they moved in but couldn’t for the life of her figure out what it was. The yelling was getting a bit ridiculous, maybe it would be the final argument. She stood again, planning to look out in case she needed to call the police, if they didn’t stop soon she probably would anyway and make a noise complaint. There were people on the road with young babies. She looked out the window, shocked at what she was seeing. The girl was screeching at her boyfriend who stood staring at her, grinning, beside him the car was in flames, thick black smoke billowed from the car, flames and sparks shot in the air. She stood watching, mesmerised by the flickering flames and swirling smoke. A few people had ventured outside to get a better view, Mary considered doing the same but decided against it, the smell of the smoke would be thick and acrid. The boyfriend stood staring at the woman, her shouting seemed to be petering out now, she was calming down. The cars horn started blaring again, Mary could see the girl was still shouting, probably louder, trying to compete with the car horn. She seemed to slow, then give up, accepting that the car was just too loud. She could hear sirens in the distance, barely audible over the annoying screech. Shaking her head slightly, Mary moved away from the window, she liked watching things like that, everyone did, but the girl had started to cry and Mary had begun to feel slightly dirty, perverse. She sat back down and took a gulp from her tea. Well, at least her day wasn’t as bad as theirs.


About Alan James Keogh

I am a 26 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
This entry was posted in Drama, Short Stories and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Rough Day. Short Story.

  1. eddychambers says:

    Hey man, I really liked your last post ‘rough day.’ It was interesting and casual with a good ending. I read briefly your earlier posts which seemed interesting, and will attend to them soon enough. In the meanwhile I’ll be looking forward to you’re next post.
    Keep up to the good work,

  2. Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed it.
    I hope you enjoy the other short stories just as much.


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