10-minute reads: The Commuter
Get the free free Kindle app (which you can use on any device), search 'naked novelist' on it and step out of your world and into someone else's with an intense and moving short story by Carol Muskoron...
A fast-moving, tragi-comedy dedicated to anyone who has ever had trouble getting to work - take the journey if you dare! Here's an excerpt from this thought-provoking, blatant short story...
' Where’s that bloody mobile phone? Might be in the kitchen. Got to find it. Got to chase the estate agent. Got to call on the train. Won’t have time once she gets to work. Won’t have time for a lunchbreak, so can’t call then. Won’t be able to look for another job until she’s got the mortgage. Will be stuck in that God-awful open-plan office where a personal call is never personal, and with all those smiling executives, who’d as soon stab you in the back as buy you a café latte.
Phone’s not in front pocket of bag - looks around blindly for it, thrashes through bag contents frantically. Thinks of bunking off. Could she have a tummy upset? Had one two weeks ago. Faked flu the week before that. Could try a migraine but not sure of the symptoms. Blindness? Seeing stars? Both? Oh, forget the bunking. She’s going in. Can’t have a dodgy absence record. Got to keep this job ’til she gets the mortgage. Got to chase the building society. Got to call them on the train too. Got to find that bloody mobile phone! Got to get to work!!
Takes deep breath and checks clock on microwave. 09.20. She’s going to be late. And her colleagues hate her being late. Don’t actually say so but they don’t ever look up when she walks in with her head down and slips her coat onto the back of the chair. ‘Train trouble,’ she mumbles to no one in particular. And no one in particular answers with a sniff here, a cough there. Never any eye contact until she’s taken her seat. They’re angry, see. Angry that she can never, ever make it in on time. What is her problem? It’s not as if she’s got kids to drop off, like Angela. Or a sick husband to sort out, like Jill. No. She just can’t be bothered to make the effort like everybody else, can she? Thinks she’s different. Well, she is different – different to them, at least. She’s 37 and single – and it’s bloody hard having no one to share all the tasks of life with; having no one to blame when things things – like the phone – go missing.
Dashes to bedroom. Glances at bedside clock. 09.22. Casts eye around room - mobile phone not immediately visible. Checks under bed. Nothing. Runs to lounge. Checks on top of TV. It’s not there. Quick feel under sofa pillows. Nada. Back to kitchen. Maybe she missed it the first time. This is ridiculous. Where’s the bloody mobile… Phone! Got it! Was in her bag all along. Keys? Yes. Purse? Yes!
Heads for front door, sweating. Wonders: why is she wearing tights in June? Remembers: hasn’t waxed legs – calves look like avocado flesh streaked with stringy mould. Wonders: is it better to arrive at work stinking and only as late as usual, or not stinking and even later than usual? Checks watch: 09.23. Rushes to bathroom. Grabs salon-style waxing strips – might be seeing ex-boyfriend tonight. Can do legs quickly in the loo at work before going off to meet him. Might end up in bed together. Might fall in love with him again and end up tying the knot and having a family together. Be nice not to die alone and childless.’
To find out what happens buy The Commuter
Featured in Good Housekeeping: Philip the Dog
A fast-moving novel about a lawyer, a checkout girl, and a dying dog whose lives become inextricably entwined one fateful night in London.
'PHILIP THE DOG'
''Mad and in a good way' - Good Housekeeping Features:
'Terribly charming and original.' - Bloomsbury:
'Refreshingly different' -Random House
BUY PHILIP THE DOG
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