Thursday 24 March 2016

Homage (part 2)

series part four

homage part 1

I listened to the sound of his shoes fade along the corridor, then I heard the whir of the lift, the slide of the doors and the whir once more; then silence.

Nothing seemed to be moving inside the building and very little outside. The evening was beginning to settle on the city; the folk who needed to be home were already at the table expecting something to eat, those who were going out for the night were still choosing their clothes.

And that left me; neither here, nor there.

I looked at the photo of Mabel; it was a cheep black and white portrait, the kind you could get in Woolworths from an automat, and I thought that if I was lucky enough to be married to Mabel then I would carry something better to remember her by; I tried to guess the colour of her eyes.

That was when the phone on my desk rang, I looked at it like it was an unwelcome ant at a picnic.

“Mr Marlowe”, the voice was female, I could hear traffic passing.

“I think so”, I replied, “Do you need a detective?”

The caller giggled, it sounded like water in a mountain brook in mid summer, probably in The Alps someplace. I should have hung up then and there.

“I think you just met my husband, I need to speak to you. Can I come up?”

I stood up and walked over to the window and looked down at the street, there was a phone box on the corner. Sure enough a woman was standing there talking into the phone. Even at that distance and in the fading light of day I could see that her photo was an understatement. I should certainly hang up.

I hung up.

Five minutes later I heard her steps in the corridor, I hadn’t heard the whir of the lift. I was listening to music coming from somewhere very far away.


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