A short Story – A little Early

A little Early

I selected my pale green jeans with the bottom seams unpicked, threads pulled out to create a fringe that spilled out over my Cuban-heeled Chelsea boots. The colourful patches I had ineptly sewn on were half hanging off, but that was cool. They were my style; my unique creation. I alternated them with the dark blue flared jeans whose low hipster cut fitted me so perfectly. I only had the two pairs but that was fine. Today was definitely one for patches.

I donned the olive denim shirt with the button-down collar and epaulettes that I had bought in France. Pretty snazzy.

My hair was now below my shoulders and looked nothing like the photo on my application. My bushy sideburns had mutated into a full-grown beard.

I looked in the mirror and nodded. The deputy head Miss McLaughlan would be having kittens. She’d perennially been on my case, but all that was behind me. I had moved on. Miss McLaughlan was nowhere.

Jimi Hendrix played the last notes of ‘Hey Joe’. With a hiss and loud click the stylus moved to the centre, lifted and swung to the side. There was a clunk as the last single dropped into place. The stylus arm moved with a jerk, paused and descended on the new disc with a clunk. Following a brief hiss Cream boomed in with ‘I Feel Free’. I had two and a half minutes to be out of the house.

Picking up my white silk scarf of the chair I casually draped it around my neck. For a moment I paused, analytically surveying my tiny room, wistfully assessing the entire content of my life summed up with the shelf of books, the piles of albums and heaps of singles, I nodded. It felt like I had already left it behind.

Jerking out of my reverie I retrieved my black fur-lined leather airman jacket from the floor, slipped into it and rearranged the scarf. I liked it streaming out behind me, mingling with my hair in the slipstream – a magnet for the speed-cops. I seemed to live at the cop shop endlessly presenting my documents, but that was how it should be – the price you paid.

Collecting my helmet from the corner of the room, scarlet with the orange and yellow flames, I closed the door behind me just as the track ended.

Weaving through the London traffic I made good time, bumping up the kerb outside the main entrance, kicking the footrest down, swinging my leg over, I stood and removed my helmet. Looking up at the old soot-stained frontage of the Victorian building I felt a flutter of nervousness overlaid with a wave of elation.

Walking through the entrance I was confronted with a poster for Roy Harper pinned to the notice-board. It felt like an omen. I found myself grinning inanely. Everything felt right.

My terms or no terms.

Glancing up at the big clock over the reception – twenty-five minutes to go.

Opher Goodwin – 500 words

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