The joy of a Bank holiday weekend is behind but the joy of writing is not! Thanks to the lovely creative suggestions of Inspiration Monday I have been able to spend lunch today thinking up a new piece of Flash Fiction. Thanks to: http://bekindrewrite.net/2012/04/30/inspiration-monday-post-apocalyptic-daydream/
Hungry for Less
She walked through the vast hallway and slowly ascended the over-sized wooden staircase, her fingers trailing lightly over its smooth surface. They had been so proud of the beauty of the workmanship when it had first been installed: “a reflection of our characters”, they had called it. Carved from a giant oak it stood as the centre-piece of the magnificent new house they had lovingly designed from scratch barely 5 years ago. It represented all they hoped for: success, achievement, growth and substance. Day after day they had watched its creation, a labour of love for the craftsman who had worked so diligently. It was only now she recalled the arguments as they forced him to work weekends and all night to get it ready for their “house-warming”. The invitations had been sent, the caterers, quartets, waiters and bartenders all booked and paid for and their outfits were already being designed. It would never have done for the centre-piece of it all to be late. He never tolerated lateness.
She gazed up at the obscenely expensive paintings that glared at her from every wall and recalled the charity auction when they made their last purchase. The auction house had started late – that had been his excuse. She wasn’t sure now exactly how it had happened but one moment they were bidding for the latest in the stream of successful paintings from a lesser-known but upcoming artist and the next he was accusing the auctioneer of bribe-taking. In the end they had walked away with the very painting he had wanted at only three-quarters of the value that should have been paid. He knew all the right people and they had known his threats were never empty. For her it had been the start of the end. No longer could she bear the wasteful excesses that they had grown to enjoy. Her work suddenly seemed soulless. Yes, she had achieved her success but to what end? She answered to the requests to speak to “that brilliant lawyer”, she smiled sweetly as she was required in her role of banker’s wife and kept up enough small-talk to fill a library but she was lost inside. Who was she when no-one was looking? Perhaps that was just it, she was no-one.
She had once been desperate for more. For bigger, better, brighter, more expensive, more attractive, more, more, more – hoping something would fill her empty heart. His heart was full: full of his own pride and bloated sense of importance in the world. There was no room for her anymore. She thought it had only been a matter of time until she could step up to the podium and join him there. Now she had proof that she never would. Only one thought kept her awake at night. She had to set herself free.
She reached the top of the staircase and watched through the side window as his chauffeur drove him away. Her bag was packed. It was time.