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Author's Note: A short character sketch. No plot; just thoughts, emotions and an old chair. 
"Come off it, Janet. You can't really mean that?" 
"I can, and I do." The door slammed, and she was gone. 
Paul was left with a feeling of slightly dazed bewilderment. It hadn't 
really been an argument at all; in fact, it barely even hit the richter 
But of all the days she could have chosen, she had to choose his birthday. 
It wasn't as if she'd forgotten - far from it: she had gone out of her way 
to make him feel special all morning. But this afternoon, she had gone from 
happy to grumpy to a sudden bad temper, in the space of just a couple of 
hours. And now she had stormed out. 
Paul wandered aimlessly into the living room, and dropped into his chair. 
This was where he always sat when he needed to think. It was also where he 
always sat when he wanted to watch television, but this time the screen 
remained firmly switched off. He didn't even reach for the control. 
He sat picking at the exposed foam in the chair's left arm. There were 
sizable holes in both arms of the chair. It had been threadbare to begin 
with, but the legacy of years of Paul's thinking had left it looking 
somewhat cratered. 
As he sat, he found his thoughts meandering. He remembered Janet's comments 
about the state of the chair. Her wry remark that it was probably a good 
thing it was an old chair he was pulling to bits, and not one of the new 
ones. He remembered how they'd snuggled up together in the chair just the 
previous week, to watch a movie. He tried to remember something about the 
movie, but somehow he couldn't picture it - he couldn't even remember the 
title - all he could remember was sitting in the chair with Janet. 
His flow of thought tailled off, and he found that he was crying. It wasn't 
dramatic; just a trickle of tears, but it snapped him out of his thoughts 
like a piece of elastic. It was the first time he could remember crying 
since... he really couldn't think of the last time he had cried. He had 
probably done it when he was a kid, but he couldn't recall it. He hadn't 
even cried when his dog had been put to sleep when he was seven. Even his 
dad had cried then, but somehow, no matter how wreched he felt, the tears 
hadn't flowed for Paul. 
But they were flowing now. He blinked back the latest batch, and shook his 
head. How long had he been sitting here? He really wasn't sure. 

Spudley Strikes Again


The following comments are for "Character sketch"
by Spudley

good show

I must say I enjoyed this little bit of flash fiction a great deal. The dialogue was realistic and you managed to convey an complex set of emotions without talking to the reader too much. Keep them coming, you have a knack for flash.

( Posted by: Bartleby [Member] On: June 20, 2003 )

...'legacy of years' has a nice sound and a warm sense of
something to build upon...the chair seems to be an important object in this writing... Kept me reading till the end! (which is something - since I'm not much into fiction) Good write, good thought flow so far)

( Posted by: C.L. Mareydt [Member] On: June 23, 2003 )

thank you both.
I'm really glad you both liked this. I was in two minds about whether to post it at all, so it's good to get positive feedback. Thanks. :-)

( Posted by: Spudley [Member] On: June 23, 2003 )

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