Little, Tiny Room. Short Story.

Sorry this is up kind of late, it’s been a weird day full of procrastination.

I hope everyone enjoyed their easter weekend, mine was pretty uneventful, I was supposed to go out with some friends, but the plans fell through. I’m in the home run of college now. I only have one exam on the 30th of this month and that’s it. I’ll be done third year. I don’t really know what to think or even how I’ll feel when I’m done. It’s all so very strange.
Anyway, one with the show!

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Rain, rain and more rain. She sat and stared out the window, or tried to. The rain pelted the glass with a steady drum beat, the streaks of water preventing her from really seeing anything outside. Shapes and colours moved outside in the wind, she squinted, trying to discern exactly what they were before giving up. It was getting darker and much harder to see outside. Finally she stood and moved away from the window, there were things she had to do. The wind and rain increased in its intensity, she left the blinds open, occasionally glancing at the window as she worked. She had no real interest in this work, she didn’t hate it but nor did she enjoy it. It was tolerated, mostly because it had to be. She had no real choice. She glanced at the clock, then began to work a little faster, he’d be home soon, he’d expect the work to be done when he was back. It was ridiculous really, it’s not like anything she ever did would be used for anything useful. She put down her tools and stood from the table. The room was small, apparently to avoid distractions building up for her. Not that that worked. It made it worse. Before she had books, a radio, even a television, though the timer on the switch only allowed it to be on for two hours a day. Now she had nothing but the window. She tidied up a few of the bits and pieces littering the desk, then she made her bed, smoothing down the creases. When it was done, she stood and looked around the small room and with nothing else to do, she sighed and sat back down at the desk. She picked up the soldering iron, then waited a few moments for it to heat, once it was done, she began to slowly burn something into the wood. It wouldn’t take too long and it didn’t really need to be done, but she enjoyed this part. The smell of singed and charred wood filled the room. When she was done, she looked at the numbers critically. It was a bit arty, more so than it needed to be but it was clearly legible. She unplugged the iron and set it down to cool. Reaching into the box, she removed a few pieces of wire and connected them to the small machine. It was pretty much done now, a few more bits and pieces, then she would get to work on the next one.

Lights flared briefly in the window, the sound of a car pulling into the driveway. Sudden panic, her fingers moved quickly and deftly, swapping wires, replacing others. She welcomed the panic, it was nice, a sudden jolt of distraction to break the monotony. She could hear the key going in the lock, her heat beat quickened. Almost there, she could do it, she could. Her hands were steady, no hint of a tremble. Just one more wire. It slid into its place with ease, completing it, she quickly placed the final piece of wood on top.  Below the door slammed shut. He would be another few minutes. She carefully finished assembling the small box. It sat on the table, completely innocuous. It was done.

He unlocked the door and walked in, he gazed at her with a detached interest. “Oh. It’s done. Good.” He lay a tray  on her bed, on it was a plate of food, her dinner. “Once you’re done eating, I’ll bring you to use the bathroom.” He left the room and locked the door behind him, leaving the box in her room. She cleared away the various debris that littered her table and laid out the food. It wasn’t anything fancy, the left over’s from his dinner yesterday, cold lasagne and cold potatoes. She ate slowly, enjoying the food despite its lack of heat. When she was finished, she left the cutlery on her plate, then she took the glass of water and drank it. She had water, bottles and bottles of it, but it was warm. She enjoyed the cold water he brought with her meals. As usual, a few moments after she finished he came back into the room, she stood from the table and followed him down the hall. He opened the bathroom door and gestured for her to go in. She stepped through the door and behind her, it closed and locked. In the bathroom there were clean clothes and clean towels. She turned on the shower and while it heated, began her ritual.

When she was done, she had brushed her teeth, used the toilet, showered and redressed herself. There was a knock on the door, “Are you decent?” He didn’t wait for an answer, he never did. The door was unlocked and opened, she walked the short distance back to her room. Inside the plates were gone, as was the box, in its place were materials. Materials for the next one. Her heart thudded wildly, on her bedside table was a book. It was a great surprise and a rare treat. The book would be gone in the morning, he would take it when he brought her her breakfast. She ignored the materials laid out on the desk and sat on her bed, reverently she picked up the book, feeling it’s smooth surface, smelling it. She turned it over and read the back, drinking in the words, not really caring what it was about. When she had finished, she turned it over and opened the first page. She would spend the entire night awake, awake and reading the book slowly. She would be tired tomorrow, but the book was worth it. The story contained in the cover would keep her occupied for weeks, she could relive it, over and over again, quell the growing boredom. She heard him moving around the house, but the sounds quickly dropped away and she allowed herself to be taken into another world, one far away from her tiny little room.

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About Alan James Keogh

I am a 24 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.
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