Thursday 13 December 2018

Rescue Me, Saving You by Linda Flynn

John Staines celebrated the first day of his retirement by buying his wife a shiny red Mazda. Then he stood back in his front garden as she drove off, out of his life in it, the metallic gleam disappearing into the sunset.

It didn’t take long for John to learn that when Priscilla folded herself and her blonde bob into the driving seat, they hadn’t gone far. She parked at Barney the plumber’s at number 46; an acquaintance that had developed when their pipes had needed lagging.

All that was left of John’s retirement bonus was the elaborate gilt and rather distasteful carriage clock that had been presented. It seemed he was given it to watch its interminable ticking, now that his life no longer needed to revolve around clocks. Time hung heavily.

The company retained Priscilla’s services, but no longer had any need for his “pernickety perfectionism.” Technology could deal with the more fastidious details. In any case, they could employ two younger people for his salary, a two for one deal.

John discovered that if he leaned out of his bathroom window, he could see number 46 quite clearly. He started to jog along the road and into the park, as though his speed would make the day move faster. Each time he would look in through their windows, memorising all the details.

One morning he slid along the park track with his head lowered, when he had a sensation of being followed. His hood was wrapped around his head and rain ran in rivulets down his face. Mud slithered over his legs as his trainers slipped and squelched. There was a sniffing, snuffling, panting sound around his heels.   
John looked down at a creature with mud mangled fur. He kept running. So did the dog, keeping perfect time. Never before had John been the recipient of so much attention.

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