Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Agent Chin-Wag

This was the first piece I submitted for WoW, before I entered the universe of blogging. 

The Write on Wednesday Spark: Agent Chin- Wag
Pay attention to the conversations around you: at the dinner table, in the supermarket, while DVD Returning, wherever. You are looking for one line, one tiny sentence of dialogue. You may find your words lurking in a D&M or perhaps you will choose a phrase from everyday chatter. Write down your line. Use it to inspire your Write on Wednesday post. Keep your post on the short side: up to 500 words OR a 5 minute stream of consciousness exercise. Link your finished piece to the list and begin popping by the other links. Oh and enjoy.

"It's my sisters 82nd birthday"

His stride hit full speed, well, as fast as a rickety knee, osteoarthritic hip and walking cane would allow. Today that didn't matter as he was filled with an urgency he hadn't felt in years. His memory had begun to fail him more regularly than he changed his clothes. Today was different as he proudly wore his best shirt, starched and crisp, reflecting his current memory. 

He entered the icy air of the modern supermarket, instantly feeling the chill in his only four remaining teeth, as they nattered with his ever-present shaking. He charged directly for the trolleys, unwittingly intercepted by an old neighbour. He was slightly annoyed by his slowing momentum and manoeuvred his way out of the conversation by exclaiming “It is my sisters 82nd birthday today". He despised the fight he always had with the trolley, as he felt it mimicked him. The clunky wheels that always wandered off without purpose, the steely frame all bent out of shape and, most of all, the empty space that it held within.

He spoke out loud as he compiled his shopping list, merely because he enjoyed the small spoils that being elderly allowed as acceptable. "Full Cream milk...because why would you water it down?" he asked, rhetorically, to anyone listening. "Tea Leaves...and most importantly" he trailed off, almost losing his train of thought. "Ah, most importantly, Sponge Cake with fresh cream and pink icing, because that has always been her favourite."

His spirit deflated slightly when he reached the truckload of groceries in the line-up ahead of him. He thought he would play the 'old person' card by asking, in his most frail and polite voice, "Excuse me madam, it is my sisters 82nd Birthday today and I was in a hurry because ..." The venomous look shot back caused him to wain, but he persisted anyway. "I was hopeful that I could…" his request was bought to a halt, mid-sentence, by the tirade that followed. 

His eyes glazed and his stature slumped as though the woman’s words had physically beaten him down. He didn't have the life left in him to fight such an impolite battle. He felt a nervous tingle in his bladder, partly from his embarrassment, but mainly because of the vibration of his mobile phone ringing. Another impolite interruption in his day. His gnarled hands were shaking more than usual as they struggled to remove the phone from his pocket.

The monotone voice on the receiver spoke without emotion, relaying a simple message, "Sir, we are sorry to inform you that your sister didn't make it through the night". His only reply "It is my sisters 82nd Birthday today".

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