Today I was thinking about colder weather and decided that I would share one the of the first short stories I published, which is now in my little Kindled Unlimited book, ‘Short Dates’.
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As the 8:40 bus disappeared into the distance, I knew that I was without any alternative. I had to run to University if I stood any chance of getting there in time for my lecture. Mark had shown me a short cut once and today was my chance to try it. The only thing making it difficult was the fact that the ground was covered with half -melted snow. The white sludge had moments of darkness which I suspected might be black ice. I hoped that an awkward slip didn’t finish me off, especially as I had already missed this lecture three times this semester and I really could not get into trouble. The thought of a painful injury was also unappealing.
As I swung round the corner, passing the newsagents, I noticed that the bad weather filled the newspaper adverts. ‘Worst winter in ten years!’ and ‘UK at a standstill due to icy blanket’ were the types of hype that this bad spell had been attracting. Right now, I began to wonder why Uni was even open today. After all, the local schools had opted for a snow day and lecturers seemed like the types to appreciate time off. Plus, there was more snow forecasted. I guess the fact that I had a submission deadline today was adding to my torment. Midday was the cut off for my essay about Soil formation. Oh what an exciting night I had had looking up synopses about how soil accrues when rocks deplete and weathering takes on natural materials. I was meant to give in the essay before my lecture as I had three hour-long sessions in a row and there was some distance between the lecture hall and the handing in room.
Anyway, I went for it, brushing against a guy who was stood right in the middle of the path, trying to take a snow selfie. I think I definitely photobombed his shot but he did not realise until I was already long gone. I heard him shout, ‘Oi!’ moments later, in a disgruntled yell. Facing forwards, I carried on, crossing the road and nipping through the park. My mind returned to thinking about that credit card bill. I needed to get a few more extra shifts in at Waitrose if I was ever going to bring my balance down. Maybe I could see if they had any shifts tonight. The trouble was, the more work I did for them, the less energy I had for Uni. But an Ibiza holiday was calling and so I knew my card would take a massive hit when I finally booked up. I sighed out loud as I slid slightly, crossing the slushy grass, trying to shave yet more seconds off my journey.
Only now did I realise that I was drastically out of breath. My chest was heaving and a painful stitch had grasped my body, causing me to stop for a moment, leaning forward to suck in the wintry air, seemingly anaesthetising my mouth each time I inhaled sharply. A random dog sniffed at my shoes as I leaned there, prompting myself to get a move on and take off again. My legs seemed weighted down suddenly, but perhaps this was due to the layer of heavy snow engulfing the grass and attempting to infiltrate my shoes, wetting my feet. It came to my attention that this park was pretty much untouched by human tracks this morning and there was hardly anyone around.
For another extract from the book ‘Short Dates’ click here.