Day 28 – Epicenter, Tertiary and Gallifrey

Here you go Andy.


Word count: 605.



Poor little Frank and his tea-stained suit, his mismatched tie and scruffy soles; he’d only returned home to a small domestic Armageddon. He’d dropped his pathetic, battered briefcase at the sight of what had happened to his neat little lawn. His clothes were splattered all over the tulips he’d planted last spring as if it had been raining white cotton. Currently being propelled across the gravel pathway was his collection of old cassettes. They rattled like maracas as they landed into to the grass one by one.

The soon-to-be divorcees stared down each other, verbal guns poised to trigger, from either end of the driveway and separated only by years of miscommunication and ironed periwinkle blue trouser suits. Poor balding Frank never meant any harm. He didn’t mean to put his feet up where they were meant to be or snore the night away. He’d married the wrong woman and that woman had married the wrong man. She didn’t mean to drive him nuts, but if only he would learn to stop chewing with his mouth full or ask questions she couldn’t answer. He would talk over her tv shows and he would forget to not to put sugar in her tea.

Poor old Frank was the epicenter of her tension, her short fuse and sexual frustration. It had been a shotgun affair, and without that they’d not have Claire, but Frank had known she’s seen chains instead of flowers lining the aisle on their wedding day.

After the last cassette had landed in finality at his feet, she dusted her hands down and frowned the same expression she’s shown every Christmas for the past four years and slammed the door shut. Poor Frank knew fine well the entire neighbourhood was watching behind twitching curtains and carefully position flower pots on kitchen windowsills. But he didn’t care. He bent down and picked up the cassette at his feet. Though it was mostly scratched off with age, Frank made out the scrawl that he’d written to label it. It had been a compilation he’d made the week before he’d met the woman from the Tertiary period.

An hour he spent picking his clothes up from the lawn and stuffing them back into his pathetic suitcase. The neighbours were no doubt busy watching their soap operas and having their dinner parties. A wounded little soul though he was, Frank never felt himself feel even the least bit down. He felt like he’d climbed the highest mountain only to discover the view was better from the ground. But he was up there now and there was still a breeze in the air to carry him gently down to the grassy plains again.

The sun was pulling down darkness into the sky as it gently set behind the suburban housing estate. Midges started to hover around him. Frank just brushed them away and smiled to himself as he sat outside his house, back leant against the white picket fence post. The smiled turned into a chuckle as he lit up the last cigarette he bought before he’d married. Fourteen years he’d kept in his wallet. He stole a glance behind him at the silhouette of his wife pacing the front room on the phone to her sister, bemoaning the man who may has well have been from Gallifrey for all that they had in common. Frank inhaled the last drop of tobacco the cigarette had to offer and rose to his feet, gathering his life in the grips of his hands before spitting out the butt on the lawn and walking jovially down the road to the bus stop.

~ by S.G. Mark on November 4, 2011.

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