Short Story: The Descent
Words: Rosie Spence
A man is standing in the hallway; a man with a bunch of flowers clasped in his right hand. He gestures them toward me.
The green paper crackles but the waves do not break.
Peering at the flowers I feel his hand cup the side of my face and his thumb graze the surface of my cheek. My face is drawn to his chest and a hot breeze tickles my scalp.
Our limbs unlock; I take a step back; I accept his gesture; he slips off his coat. Pivoting towards the narrow staircase, I being the descent, whilst behind me I hear a weight crouch to the floor. Simon is untying the laces that are threaded through his brogues – the blackpair that are a little worn at the toes.
Entering the living room I pick up the cream vase from the mantle piece and carry it through to the kitchen. A smell of cooked mince lingers in the air and a single plate stands to the right of the sink. Placing the vase and flowers on the kitchen table I walk to the unit nearest the window. I slide the top drawer open and sift through its contents searching for a pair of scissors.
Searching through the drawer I mutter: “Why is everything I desire always hidden”
Scissors found, I shut the drawer. Looping my thumb and index finger through the handle, I retreat back to the table. I cut the green paper and remove the flowers from their cradle. One by one the flowers stems are cut at a diagonal angle, causing a crisp sound to break from their bodies. I then shovel the cuttings into my hands, walk to the bin, press my foot upon its pedal and drop the green heap into the deep black pit.
I then walk to the taps. I turn the right tap clockwise and cold water splashes at the bottom of the stainless steel sink. I pick up the cream vase, half fill it, turn the tap off and place it in the middle of the table. I drop the flowers into it and attempt to arrange them but they do not satisfy my eye.
I hear the bedroom door’s handle hit the wall as it it swung open. His feet drag down the stairs, their movement recognisable to my ear. He appears before me and our eyes meet. He is holding a bottle of white wine. He screws the top off it and pours its contents into two wine glasses that I collect from the draining board. We each take sips, our worlds loosen and we fuck.
I can smell rain as it hits a warm pavement.