A Witch With No Sense Of Commitment
“Penny Fledge had to run, she had to escape. Like never before in her life she needed to move. She burst out of the pub and into the oily wet night, gasping down fistfuls of slick corrosive air like she was a witch on a ducking stool. London was close and cold, like a pervert in a crowd, but she was in no place to judge or complain. What was behind her, what was back there in the pub, lurking and simmering and infesting, was far worse. She had just seen something honest, something honest like atomic fire, and it had re-arranged all her prejudices and suspicions and fears into an order that was as undeniable and instructive as a blow to the face. Her brain felt like it was being tattooed with prophetic obscenities and as wonderful as enlightenment sounded in theory, in grey matter it was altogether another matter. Her enlightenment was here, and it was sordid.
It made her cry. A woman in her mid-twenties, crying in public.
Behind her seethed the pub, practically palpating with menace and significance. Across the road, just opposite, was another pub, this one dashed with banality. The R-Complex reptilian brain skittering in the dark over her spinal column radiated fight-or-flight incitements like a poorly nailed Catherine wheel: she flew towards the banality.
At the bar she ordered two glasses of red wine from a handsome thing in a handsome waistcoat. Impossible to remember the breed of wine, and one glass was a memory before the thing had even returned her change. The reflection across from her leered back at Penny with blue-stained lips, like a clown who had gotten dressed in the dark.”
(c) Ian Bird 2013