Tuesday 19 December 2017

Tilt - Flash Fiction

Naturally I have no recollection of this, being pre-neuronal and rod and cone focal, but my head shoved through the membraneous flaps of my mother’s mucosal vestibule on its way to inaugural appointment with light, air and future memories.

I tromped through an interior gloom barely illuminated by radioactive decay’s palpating the stencilled phosphorescence of the word ‘Exit’ and pushed through the cinema doors. The screen was so distant from the back of the auditorium it was barely visible, but a cone of light was appointed towards it from the projector and I froze, transfixed by the play of the tiny figures held captive within its beam just above my head.

The restaurant was busy and since my company was uninteresting to me, I settled for watching the waiting staff barrel and weave around tables with trays high above their heads like funambulating jugglers. Whenever they surged through the kitchen’s doors, dangerous stabs of flame briefly fulgurated, before the return swing of the portal eclipsed and re-sheathed them. 

With me supine on a hospital trolley, my porters used the metal frame to ram through the doors and plunge me straight into the harsh glare of the overhead surgical spotlight. My paper gown parted of its own volition with the impact’s vibration shaking it free from my quailing body, my shaking fingers trying to pincer its hem back in place.

The belt began its dolefully sedate rolling towards the shutters, inching the wooden crate along with arthritic solemnity. However any serenity was dissevered by the hiccup motion of the coffin bumping up against the incinerator doors, like a stage actor doffing his hat before taking his final leave and then battering through door and curtain lining. 

I threw my whole body into the two side buttons of the table to distend the flippers to their maximum, yet we were thwarted by the pinball shooting straight down the middle out of reach. I couldn’t even access my two remaining silver orbs since the flashing lights announced ‘Tilt’. 

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