Lost

She is lost, sluggishly moving in a direction that isn't quite backwards, yet is close enough to that that the clothes she gets from the lost and found do as good a job at defining her as anything else she does. Then something happens, and she begins to find a way forward... But to where?

She sits, huddled into the corner of the grungy red sofa, taking desperate drags on a cigarette. The sofa is pushed up next to the radiator, and she is sitting there in the hope of warming herself, but it is old and grimy, and produces strange noises more than it does heat. There is little insulation in the pocked and spattered walls, and besides, the room is too large and empty for the radiator to be effective.

It is 10AM, and still close enough to winter that the light struggling through the worn lace curtains does not fully illuminate the interior. Still, her knobbly knees are visible through her pyjama bottoms, and narrow, purpling feet protrude on spindly ankles, the soles still gritty from the carpet which she thoughtlessly ashes onto. Reaching over, she takes a frayed cushion and presses it against her side, the one facing the rest of the room.

Finishing her cigarette, she twists it out on the stained coffee-table in front of her and, after pressing her hands briefly against the radiator, she gets up. She hobbles across the kitchen floor’s cold surface on the edges of her feet, trying not to let the sticky linoleum touch them. With an expert sniff of the milk and a glance at its expiry date, she pours herself a bowl of cornflakes drowned in lumpy sugar. She eats it there at the counter, warming one foot on the other, and then swapping them around. The kettle boils amidst the crumbs and cutlery of the counter, and she throws together a cup of tea. Hovering impatiently as she lets the tea infuse, she runs her fingers through her hair, untangling the dirty-blonde knots and trying to smooth it out somewhat.

Clutching her tea, the cushion, and the TV remote, she tries to find something worth watching, but after flicking through all six channels a few times, she settles with a sigh on a cartoon she is vaguely familiar with. She notices a filmy layer of grease on the surface of her tea, but shrugs slightly and takes a sip anyway, wincing as it burns her tongue. She drinks the tea slowly then, carefully, and it is nearly cold by the time she has drank half of it. Finally she places it down, now absorbed in the garish cartoon buzzing on the screen.

There on the table where she blindly pushes space for it, crowd innumerable other cups. Each contains the same inch of cold tea from another day when she has done exactly the same thing as this morning, each cup as cold and forgotten as she herself is. But something is different this morning, though she doesn't know it yet.

Something is approaching, something hot and fast and bright and loud.  

Something is coming her direction, and it won't pause to let her get out of the way.

Something... It's here.

The End

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