Confused Messages

Sandy always turned to the horoscopes first. In the beginning out of habit; it was the one part of the paper her father never looked at. So she didn't have to wait until he'd finished. Later, her interest grew. Not that she started to believe in them. She merely wanted to see how they were written, how precise the predictions were, how they managed to fool people into believing. This morning they gave her food for thought: "Get around today but beware of new acquaintances."

Well, that was alright then. Sandy had a busy day ahead of her. She was due to help out at the club's stall. Selling was her thing and when the club decided they would prepare and sell their own flower arrangements as part of their town's charity weekend, she was one of the first to volunteer. After all, she reasoned to herself, not one of her stories had sold yet. So what was the point in just writing more and more. She'd take a break, wait until something sold. And then... But for now, she could afford to help others a little more.

Sandy did, of course, consider that being on the stall might mean new acquaintances but she didn't believe in all that nonsense anyway. Besides, most of the people with her, she knew already. And she didn't have to get close to any she didn't know.

When she arrived, Jacky already had everything set up and they did a brisk trade until just before eleven when the streets suddenly emptied. Soon they were the only ones left in the town square when someone from a neighbouring store came rushing out and told them to told them to get inside.

"It's just been announced on the radio... explosion in a chemical factory... poisonous fumes." The announcement was somewhat muddled, the woman even more. Jacky made straight for home while Sandy raced into the café on the corner. This was her big chance. Something was happening on her very own doorstep. All the country's newspapers were beckoning.

Some two hours later Sandy was putting the finishing touches to her own peculiar slant to the adventure, when she noticed the café owner pointing her out to a stranger who had just come in. The man paid for his coffee and came up to her.

"Mind if I join you. My name's Richard Hartnall. I'm commissioning editor for the Bracknell County News. I'm looking for a few personal stories to accompany our coverage of the Damson explosion. Several people have mentioned you. Maybe you'd like to..."

Sandy's heart leapt. Fame at last. Then she remembered the oracle: beware... So she got up and left the café, convinced that now was not the right time.

10 comments:

Such clear and precise writing! A pleasure to read. It sucked me right in and love the ending!

14 November 2009 at 15:18  

Horoscopes - devilish devices ;-)

14 November 2009 at 19:54  

I was reading on in anticipation of someting happening to her, but now I am left feeling she's missed an opportunity despite her warning. A great read.

14 November 2009 at 22:29  

beautiful !!!

15 November 2009 at 11:09  

what happens next? There is a story here...

15 November 2009 at 15:18  

I'd have run a mile! Nice piece

15 November 2009 at 21:35  

Sandy missed her big chance and she told us she didn't believe in the horoscopes! Bad Girl. She might have had her own by line by now.

Great stuff.

16 November 2009 at 06:40  

16 November 2009 at 07:20  

interesting story...maybe her chance is gone forever. maybe not
I'll root for not. enjoyed the read

16 November 2009 at 07:24  

conflict and opportunity dynamite!

17 November 2009 at 02:16  

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