fiction

RESISTANCE

Chris R-1116 Image by Christine Renney

I make my way through a labyrinthine network of paths and alleyways. The blocks of flats are identical and even the decay is uniform; peeling paint on the weathered boards, rusty stains on the bricks from the leaking gutters, the graffiti repeating itself, the same tags and faded colours.
Most of the shops I pass are empty and no-one is at the centre of the parade. The Advocacy Bureau is closed. There is a hand painted sign above the door and I study the flyers and posters in the windows but none of the dates are forthcoming.
I move on, and walking alongside a wire mesh fence at last I find my way out onto a vast expanse of rickety paving slabs. It is more of the same here but the flat blocks are bigger and taller. It is deserted and desolate. It seems that living here is a covert operation.
The old woman is standing on the balcony and ranting. Her voice croaking and unfettered by humility. She doesn’t trust her flat, not since her husband died.
‘I don’t trust it’, she yells. ‘Not after all the trouble with the electric and the plumbing and the watermarks on the ceiling they remind me you know? All the time, you know what I mean?’
Her granddaughter is clinging to her skirt but now she pulls away, and begins to fidget.
‘He was so ill at the end’, her grandmother continues, but calmly now, and reaching out she places her hand on top of the girl’s head in an effort to still her.
‘He didn’t care, how could he like that?’
She moves to pull the girl close again but her granddaughter has stopped fidgeting and, for a few seconds, she stands firm and won’t be moved.

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11 thoughts on “RESISTANCE

  1. Hell, what can I say about this that would really mean anything? Exquisite work as always, Mark, and I’m enamoured of the point at which you often end your stories. An unexpected exit but always feels right.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You and Christine make such a creative team wherever you appear. I hear the closeness of living we are all beginning to feel as there are daily more and more of us

    Like

  3. thefeatheredsleep says:

    Finding a natural ending to a short story is probably the hardest thing to achieve. I find that only a natural story writer who writes not for lesson or intention but because he is a writer, can end a story in such a way it just works without pretense or conscious device.

    Like

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