Susan arrived at her appointment fifteen minutes early, as was her usual practise. The bored looking receptionist glanced at her appointment letter and sniffed.
“You’ve been re-assigned.”
“I’m sorry?” Susan said, confused.
“Here’s all the details.” The receptionist said looking up. She pushed a piece of paper across at Susan.
“Next!” she barked. The man behind Susan in the queue came to the desk.
“I’ve got an appointment at nine—“ he started.
“Where’s Doctor Bradley?” Susan interrupted.
“Gone.” The receptionist said
“I’ve got an appointment at nine—“ the man started again.
“Gone where?” Susan demanded.
“Just gone.” The receptionist said frowning. Then she looked straight past Susan dismissing her.
“Next!” she barked again, at the small man dressed in brown, his toilet brush moustache bristling in indignation.
“I’ve got an appointment at nine… with Doctor Kenyatta.” He said, glancing sideways at Susan.
Susan backed off and read the piece of paper the receptionist had given her. It didn’t make much sense. She considered returning to ask the receptionist but she was now dealing with a young mother.
Your appointment has been moved due to the unavailability of Doctor Bradley. Pleased report to the below address immediately. The note read, with an address in the north of the city. Susan looked at the receptionist again and saw that she was being ignored. She clutched the note to her and fled the centre.
Susan got out her mobile phone and planned her route to the new counsellor’s office. Sighing as she walked out of the building she phoned her own office to tell them she was going to be late. Again. This was probably cause for disciplinary procedures. She’d had a lot of time off. They’d been solicitous at first, but slowly over the last few weeks she’d detected a slow erosion in patience.
When she got to the address she’d been given she was a bit sceptical. It was a Victorian terraced house, on a quiet cul-de-sac, in the suburbs. She hesitated to ring the bell as the house had no signs to show that it was a business address at all. The door was completely wood so she could not see in, the front window had blinds, which were drawn. The house, unlike its neighbours was painted white.
As Susan dithered on the doorstep an old lady with a very small, very fluffy dog, walked slowly past leaning heavily on one of those shopping trolley bag things. She looked at Susan suspiciously. Susan rang the bell. She realised that she didn’t have a name for the counsellor.
When the door opened there was a woman standing in a white hallway. She looked Finnish or Swedish, one of those Scandinavian countries, all blonde and statuesque. She was wearing an Arran sweater and white slacks and holding a steaming cup.
“Susan?” She asked.
“You’d best come in” she said and walked down the hall turning right into the front room. Susan followed closing the door behind her.
“Drink?” asked the woman.
Susan shook her head.
There was something about the woman that seemed like a blank page to a writer with writer’s block. Full of hidden possibility yet utterly daunting. Susan furtively looked around the room whilst the woman studied her. It was also a blank slate, white walls, a circular mirror above the fireplace, several white pictures with small writing that it took Susan a couple of seconds to realise were mathematical formulae.
“Please sit. Did you have a good journey here?” the woman said, pointing to a white couch as she herself took a seat at one end of it.
“The usual” Susan said noncommittally, “I got the bus.”
“Let’s make a start shall we? I’ve read your file but I think it’d be best to hear it in your own words. Take a deep breath and then tell me all about Adam and the fire” the Woman said.
|What I Write
Work in progress – working title: Sick City Syndrome – “What if stories were real?”
Airship shape and Bristol Fashion
NFFD Flash flood
SciArt in America
North by Southwest
Fossil Lake: The Refossiling