First and Forsaken Ivy

Christ this is a bleak intro. Suits the 'summer' we're having though.

Chris Davenport folded his collar up in a vain attempt to avoid the bitter rain that had, for the last few months, become a constant adversary for those living in London. Today's effort was a particularly cold torrent which slashed through coats and around umbrellas with uncanny accuracy, much to the irritation of everyone unlucky enough to get caught in it.

Chris' old trench coat had served him admirably for many years but, as with any long-serving veteran there were definite signs of wear and tear, including a slight rip in the stitching beneath his armpit. While he himself had been previously unaware of this small breach, the ever-cunning deluge had found it quickly and within seconds the right side of his shirt was uncomfortably damp.

He muttered an automatic apology as a portly businessman knocked his clockwork gait slightly off kilter and into a puddle in his haste to get into a shining, red BMW parked by the side of the road. He was no doubt on his way to a 3 bed/2 bath detached just outside the city limits complete with smiling family, faithful dog and dishwasher, Chris thought. He choked back a sneer before launching into an impressive coughing fit which reminded him simultaneously that he needed to buy more cigarettes and book an appointment at the doctor's about his frequent coughing fits, which he already knew were a consequence of  smoking too much and for too long.

Stopping  briefly to shake water to a less unpleasant part of his shoe, he continued robotically through the almost deserted streets towards the newsagents. Unusually for central London the roads were quiet and the traffic subdued as most wound their way home after a typical weekday evening at the office. The rain seemed to have washed away what little optimism had been left since Osgarde and his cronies had come to power years previously.

The shoddy halogen sign for Abbas' Newz and Booze was flickering half-heartedly as Chris pushed himself inside through a door plastered with fliers that looked as though it had not been cleaned since the middle ages into a shop that was only in marginally better repair. 

"This weather eh, Abbas?" He said to the blank face behind the counter, shaking his head. 

"20 Marlboro Reds, yeah?" was the reply in heavily accented English. Without waiting for a reply he pulled a packet out of the cabinet under the till and placed them on the desk. Chris rifled in his pocket for a few moments before triumphantly presenting a soggy £10 note to the unimpressed cashier. Abbas looked as though he might complain before thinking better of it and dropping two pound coins next to the packet on the desk.

"Cheers." Chris said with sarcastic cheer before sweeping the whole lot into his inside pocket. The walk home was another cold and miserable trip, but thankfully it was only another couple of minutes to the humble high-rise flat he had called home for the past 6 years. The block was also home to somewhere in the region of 40 families, most of whom had come to London hopeful for work after the collapse of the government and subsequent reinstatement of the Aristocracy. The building itself was a monolith of grey, stony concrete and was a true testament to Thatcherite aesthetics in all its ugly glory.

The door to the stairwell had long since been broken by vandals, and the doors to the two bottom floor flats were fine examples of resilient plyboard, having both received numerous attacks from various blunt objects and, in some cases, fireworks. The doors became less and less battle-scarred as Chris scaled the steps, as most of the vandals had far too much to do to bother with climbing 10 flights of steps. Chris' door on the 14th floor was relatively untouched, besides a three inch wide dent which was the result of the resident of 14b throwing an iron at her husband as he came back late from the pub one night. 

The ill-fitting key slotted into position on the third try and the door squeaked open into a dark flat. Closing and locking the door behind himself, Chris flipped his hat onto the hook and  shrugged out of his coat before making for the cramped kitchen space that also served as a wash room and dining room. 

As he went to flick the light on there was a loud rapping at the door. He turned to answer it with a sigh.

"Mr. Davenport, I'd strongly advise you stand very still and do not, under any circumstances, answer the door."

Chris froze. 

The End

0 comments about this story Feed