Thursday, 9 February 2017

Lost at Home

For audio click here 
Lotte owned two things of note, a brand new flat and a brand new bed. Yes, she owned clothes and a kettle, some LPs and some books, but the only thing she owned of any worth were the bed she was lying on and the walls that enclosed that bed. 
It was her bed. She’d never had a bed she could call her own. She’d slept in beds in her parents’ house, but they were bought with her parents’ money. She’d called the beds in her rented accommodation hers, but they belonged to the landlords when all was said and done. This, though, was her bed, bought with her money, the only piece of furniture she could afford, for now. When you think of it, not even the flat was hers. It rightly belonged to the bank, but if the bank took the flat back, she could leave with her bed held high. 
But despite being hers, it felt strange; a strange cold bed, in a strange cold, echoey chamber. The orange glow of the room swirled and coiled with each car that passed painting ghosts and ghouls on her wall. Although the blinds protected her privacy, they also seemed to make the shapes more sinister. Every now and again the room flashed blue as sirens sped past outside.
The neighbour’s Wet Wet Wet LP faded out and then started again as it had for the last three hours; Wishing I Was Lucky bled for the walls for the umpteenth time. Another cup smashed somewhere above her, accompanied by the screaming of people destined to kill each other. Lotte couldn’t make out the words, but she understood the anger. 
Heavy curtains and earplugs had replaced towels and pots and pans at the top of the shopping list. 
The communal intercom bleeped again; another’s man’s voice asking for Mandy. The front door buzzed. That was the fifth time that night. Who were all these men? Tricks? Mandy must be a working girl. That’s all it could be. Who else gets gentleman callers at all hours? 
Boom! Boom! Boom! The fist was on her door.
Lotte froze. 
“Let me in,” the man shouted. Boom! Boom!
Lotte imagined the door shaking in the frame. Was it strong enough to resist his rage? 
“Let me in,” he shouted again.  
Should she get up and see?
“Up here you idiot.” Mandy hissed from the stairwell. 
A deadlock and bolt replaced curtains and earplugs at the top of Lotte’s shopping list. 

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