is disturbing his sleep but he cant quite work out what it
is. He rolls over onto his back but the noise is persistent and
getting louder. His wife sticks a rather bony elbow in his side
a mumbles incoherently. The man opens an eye, trying to identify
the source of the noise, but the darkness is total. Another elbow
in the ribs, this time sharper and with more force.
Turn it off, for heavens sake
Turn what off, he wonders and then it comes to him, the alarm of
course. He sits up slightly startled, reaches out into the darkness
and finds the button. Silence returns once more. It is cold in the
bedroom and he shivers slightly, the central heating hasnt
switched on yet, maybe they should invest in some double-glazing
He tries to focus
a bleary eye on the luminous face of the clock radio, the green display
informing him it is now five thirty three, another day about to begin.
He turns, placing both feet firmly on the floor; thank goodness for
wall-to-wall carpets he thinks, standing up slowly and carefully feeling
his way to the bedroom door. Ouch! Bloody hell, what was that? He reaches
down for the sharp object that has just dug itself rather painfully
into his foot, identifying it as one of their young sons toy cars.
He wishes once again that his wife were perhaps a little stricter with
the children. On finding the handle for the door he lets himself
out onto the landing. He turns on the light, checking quickly that the
door to the childrens room is shut. There would be hell to pay
if he woke them up at this time of the morning. Going into the bathroom
he pulls the cord that turns on the light and takes his first look in
the mirror. The face that stares back is only barely recognisable as
his own, he really shouldnt have finished that bottle of wine
last night. Still, with a breastfeeding wife unable to drink what else
was a red blooded man to do?
Some ten minutes later, washed and shaved, he stumbles downstairs, careful
to avoid the creaking third stair from the top.
Mustnt wake the kids, mustnt wake the kids he
mutters under his breath.
He sees his paper lodged in the letterbox of the front door and smiles,
pleased he will have something to read on the train. As quietly as he
can he opens the front door and picks up the two milk bottles already
delivered an hour ago. A bottle in each hand and the newspaper tucked
securely under his arm he goes into the kitchen. His suit is on a hanger
behind the kitchen door, a freshly ironed shirt hanging from the back
of one of the chairs. He shakes some cornflakes into a bowl and
boils the kettle for coffee, noting they are running low on Nescafe.
He checks the time, its getting late, cant afford to miss
the six thirty train, so no time for toast this morning, bugger. He
puts the milk in the fridge and removes his sandwiches, good, looks
like ham and egg today, his favourite. Leaving the remains of his breakfast
on the table for her to clear away he reminds himself once again how
wonderful it is to have a wife who doesnt work. Putting on his
jacket he takes the car keys off the hook near the toaster and, as silently
as possible, lets himself out of the house. He looks across at his wifes
car before getting in his own, it looks a bit dirty, hell wash
them both on Sunday morning, maybe after he has cut the grass.
Within fifteen minutes of leaving home he pulls into the railway
station car park. He checks the time once again, only five minutes before
the train, great timing. He locks the car, takes one last look, hoping
it will not have been vandalised or stolen before his return at six
thirty this evening, and walks onto the station platform. He nods to
one or two of the other people also waiting. Strange, in all these years
they still havent actually spoken to each other, but then that
would be a breach of the commuter code. The train pulls into the station,
on time for a change. Second carriage from the back as usual, he climbs
aboard and sits in one of the remaining window seats. He takes out his
newspaper and looks out of the window at the slowly breaking dawn.
An hour and a half to go he thinks to himself, oh well only another
fourteen years to go before retirement. With a wry smile of resignation
the commuter sits back in his seat, opens his newspaper and begins to
© Ian Bowie
Ian Bowie firstname.lastname@example.org
Ian earns his living from a combination of teaching English and writing.
In addition to a bi-weekly newspaper column he writes content for company
websites, customer newsletters and press releases. He has just finished
his first book, a work of non-fiction called 'Done Deal '. It is primarily
a guide to sales and business etiquette in the UK. Once illustrated
I hope publish the book and also develop a couple of one and two
day training seminars based on the content. I'm currently looking for
a suitable illustrator I can afford.
He has also almost completed an action thriller based in the
UK, Finland and Russia.
This is Ian's first piece for Hacks. He now lives and works in Finland
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