All Stories, General Fiction, Short Fiction

Where They Are by Hugh Cron

David

I just don’t know!  What’s this world coming to?  A security guard who is nothing but a slip of a girl.  It’s not right.

But no matter.  It’s the shopping centre’s problem.  I have to admit that it’s nice that they give me my breakfast.  But in saying that I’m paying them enough. She does check on me, I’ll give her that.  But surely that should be a man’s job? 

No matter. 

I ‘ll check my diary and get to work.

 Och no!  I forgot about that franking machine.  I’ll need to get it sorted.  There’s no ink.  I’ve paid the bloody Post Office enough so it’s up to them.  I’ll mark it down in my diary for tomorrow

… Ah I see that I’ve already done that.

Now.  I have a few invoices to send out and reminders!  They’ve ignored my previous correspondence so I’ll do them again.  This Olympia is the scourge of my life.  I think it needs a new ribbon.  I’ll have a look in the petty cash and see what’s there.  I’ll mark it down in my diary for tomorrow.

Oh I didn’t realise the time.  The girl should be bringing me my coffee.  I’ll ask her about the type-writer ribbon.

Katie

I can’t believe he asked me!!!  I just love this shop.  The embroidery is beautiful. I’ll need a few more fittings before it’s perfect.  What with me in this dress and Robert in his uniform, I’m not ashamed to say that we will make a handsome couple.  I just wish that they’d get the mirror fixed. I’d like to get a complete look.  I’ll mention it to the girl when she comes back.  Nice girl.  I quite like the other one as well.  I can never remember their names, I’m too excited.  I wonder if they have any shoes? They are so nice to me in here. I am such a regular now, they even bring me a coffee.  I’ll drink that and then I’ll go home and write a list for my trousseau.  Mother will help.

Mattie

I’ll need to ask about getting paid.  I mean, I’ve been mending all these curtains but no-one has paid me. I suppose I shouldn’t complain, they do bring me food so it’s just as good as a shilling. I wish they’d look after the curtains.  I can see where they’ve been mended before but they keep abusing them.  No matter, it keeps me in a job.  I wonder what time it is?  I hope that the fellow from the tearoom next door is due in with my lunch.  I enjoy my soup and pudding after a mornings work.  Maybe I’ll keep the shop shut tomorrow and have a long lie.  I can do that you know.

Jim

Anything but that bloody song. Vera Bloody Lynn!  It makes me cry.  I don’t know when I became so emotional.  Still I love my den.  My gramophone has seen better days.  A young fellow gets some sound out of it but I don’t know what he does.

The posters have put me in the notion again.  I’ll need to organise a day at the pictures.  I think there’s one still down the street.  It’s very small  but there is waiter service which is marvellous.  I have never known a picture house where they bring you tea and biscuits.  If I was to complain, I’d say that it’s a bit too bright.

Linda

I wonder if he’ll be here tonight.  I feel excited and sad all at once.  I’ll dance with Yvonne if he doesn’t turn up. But not to Moonlight Serenade, that’s only for Thomas!  I think that it was just last week that he said he was going away but I’m sure that he should be back by now.  No matter, the music makes me happy and Yvonne is a good lead!

Frank

I just wish I could watch her using that old wringer.  The twin tub is too technical.  I provide and she uses it and looks after me.  They must work well as my clothes are always washed and pressed.  I wonder if I should put a fire on for the iron?  But she may not be ready…I don’t want a telling off!!

It must take her ages to clean the brass on those companion sets.  I know what I’ll do, I’ll give them a polish, there’s some Brasso and a cloth there.  That’ll make her happy.

 

Peter, Marilyn, Rita, Sharon & Paul

“David was asking again.”

“It’s sorted. Ebay – £3.30 for a spool of ribbon!  It should be here before we’re back on shift.”

“That’ll please him!!”

“And I’ll pick up some more Brasso.”

“Excellent.”

“What about you, did you have time to unpick Mattie’s stitching?”

“No.  But I said to night-shift. They’ll be happy to do it. They all think she’s a wee gem.”

“That’s us then! Clock off and time to face the real world”

“The real world is over-rated!”

“Pub?”

“Of course. The real pub is perfect…For now!”

 

Hugh Cron

 

7 thoughts on “Where They Are by Hugh Cron”

  1. The layout of the multiple perspectives all looking toward, essentially, the same thing is the best way to do it. I appreciate the way each character is really thinking about something else, or so they seem to be. It all comes together quite well, and, well, I guess, it comes off hopeful.
    Of course, a little romance might’ve been included for the feeble-minded reader. You know, Frank finds Mattie, loses Mattie and gets Mattie back again. But you didn’t go that way. Your stuff retains its energy even in its “nineties.”

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    1. Hi Leila,
      i think with me, hope is as good as it gets! Actuality has always been and continues to be a bastard!
      This is a subject that is close to my heart. And my hope is that in my dottage if I’m not completely with it, I hope my mind is somewhere happier.
      There was a line in the old ‘Rollerball’ film with James Caan. When his friend was in a coma and he was asked for permission to switch off the life support, he asked if his friend could still dream. He was told that this was a possibility so he said,
      ‘Face him towards the sun and let him dream.’
      In the end, happier days and happier places should be available even if they are not conventionally real!
      Thanks as always – You make me smile!
      Hugh

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    1. Hi David,
      Thanks for that. It is a bit different for me but it is easy to write something that you have experience of and as I’ve said to Leila hope for!
      All the very best my friend – Your comments always make this worth while.
      Hugh

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  2. At first I thought “Is this story some kind of riddle?” and indeed, it was; it took me a while to figure it out, but when I saw it, it was very clear. Then the title made sense in a few ways. I agree with what David said re: getting inside other people’s heads, and with Irene Allison….it’s as hopeful as it can be.

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    1. Hi Harrison,
      Yep, you’ve all caught onto what this tried to achieve.
      I love your line in your comment about taking a while to figure it out and then seeing it very clear. If there was ever an explanation on this idealism, that would be it!!!
      Thanks as always, your comments are well received and much appreciated.
      All the very best my friend.
      Hugh

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