Waiting in Time

(Experimental descriptive piece)
In an alternate universe, a young woman waits for a taxi, attracting the unwanted attention of higher-classed ladies who disapprove of her appearance.

The woman with naturally curly brown hair waited impatiently in what might have seemed like a barren landscape to some, but for her it rung true with the image of home, or at least that which she had known; concrete was not a reflection of a town that had fallen to the mists of the weather, but rather a sign to show how much the town had reinvented itself over the end of the 20th Century.

Her eyes lingered on the hanging clock, dutifully displaying ten of the clock exactly, a little longer than every other time in the last ten minutes. She had been early, which had been nobody’s fault but her own, the girl told herself with an internal twinge of anger. Walking from the mid-town manor had taken as long as she had predicted- in fact, almost precisely to the minute- but she had trusted her idiocy that had told her to be cautious and to depart her childhood home with time to spare; and now the taxicab itself was running late. Such a novel piece of motorised invention seemed ridiculous to be trusted with a person’s time-keeping anyway.

The summer morning was balmy under the concrete taxi-stop shelter, and most figures did not stand their ground here, wandering along quickly when they saw that the vehicle was late.

A group of fine woman stood apart from the waiting girl, and they giggled, those giggles hitting the lone figure with painful jolts. The latter pulled back her shoulders and strode up to the women, who, though struggling to hold back their mocking smiles behind ornately-gloved hands, ceased their laughter.

“Can I help you?”

“Emilie Masters?” one woman asked.

“That is my name, yes.”

“Oh, well, we were just wondering where you got that jacket from.”

“It doesn’t quite match up to the…shape of your face,” another interjected. Before she had even finished speaking, the group burst out into their giggles again, as one.

The young woman marched away, fuming in her rejection. She counted mathematical equations on her fingers as a distraction, the images in her mind stuck on the faces of her sisters, older and forever more beautiful, the treasured children of the family, along with her successful brother. But now the higher class was picking on her again, and she so wanted to hide her face, its crooked features not living up to the style of the modern-day. Of course they would laugh. Just as they always had done. Fury built to a flame in the woman’s heart.

“I’ll tell you something,” she said, spinning around to face the women again; “the world is rotated at a forty-five degree angle; it spins in space around an infinitesimally burning sun- too hot even to be miles away from- at 29.8 kilometres per second, a speed which we cannot see because the speed of light is maximum at three-times-ten-to-the-eight metres per second. It would be impossible to calculate anything else. So, could any of you ladies tell me, in relation, how an astrolabe, in comparison with a solar-dial, predicts the movement of other stars, such as the planets that also circumnavigate our system?”


“It’s just physics.” She shrugged, turning. There was no need to fall to their tricks or to satisfy them with a full argument.

As Emilie strode back to the clock, a taxicab pulled up in front of her. The door swung open and a man jumped out. Even in his stride there was something of the artisan, rather than the arm’s-man.

His eyes connected with those of the young woman’s as a blush began to creep from her neck upwards, followed quickly be a beaming expression.

“Hello, darling. You’re late.”

The End

19 comments about this story Feed