A Short Story for the STSC Symposium: Romance
I wrote this story for the Soaring Twenties Social Club (STSC) Symposium. The STSC is a small, exclusive online speakeasy where a dauntless band of raconteurs, writers, artists, philosophers, flaneurs, musicians, idlers, and bohemians share ideas and companionship. Each month STSC members create something around a set theme. This cycle, the theme was “Romance.”
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The weather was warm enough for the pub to open its large wooden windows out to the street. The Man sat near the front entrance with his back to the mid-afternoon passersby. The breeze on his neck was an unfamiliar sensation, and he tamped down his discomfort with it. No need to worry about exposure anymore.
It was a business day. The pub’s clientele were quiet and largely consisted of late lunches from people who could take as long as they’d like. The Man counted off before he could stop himself — the bankers in the back who thought they owned the world and that their day-drinking was a show of material edge; the nurse who got off of work and this bright normality was his schedule’s midnight; the couple in the corner…
The Man indulged the couple a second look. Normally, he’d write them off — obviously no threat. Oblivious, even.
It was a first date. The girl was sitting with her legs together and pointed toward the boy; the boy had his legs apart but his torso turned away from her so as not to seem too eager. However his left leg was brushing up against hers. He thought the girl didn’t notice. The girl noticed. The Man noticed.
The Other arrived and stared at The Man before sitting down. The stare was too long to be planned but too short to say anything.