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 Post subject: A Short Story
Post Number:#1  PostPosted: 23 Sep 2011 10:05 
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I posted this story shortly after my operation in 2009.I was still in hospital and was semi paralysed ,but I could manage to type............
The Floor

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Jonathan Hindsmith was a creature of habit,he arose from his slumbers at 5.30 every morning,weekends and holidays included . He would go downstairs to the kitchen to make his breakfast, a breakfast that never varied. First he would pour some muesli into a bowl,add some milk,put on the kettle to make a herb tea infusion and then pour a glass of ice cold fresh orange juice.
He would take the glass,bowl and tea cup to the dining table and then switch on the financial news on the t.v. while he had breakfast.
Some people would say that he was an Obsessive ,such was his pattern of behaviour,but he was someone who took comfort in things being regular.
After breakfast he would retire to the bathroomand do his toilet; his teeth came first,he would apply an exact amount of toothpaste to his toothbrush,this was laid in a perfect line down the middle of the bristles. He would then scrub the upper and lower teeth for exactly three minutes.After rinsing his mouth he would then apply some shaving foam to his cheeks and neck and scrape away the emerging beard to leave his skin smooth and pink.These two tasks accomplished he would then proceed to sit down on the lavatory and do his "business",as he termed it. He would finish his toilet with a brisk shower and then ,after applying his deodorant and after shave,would get dressed for work.
He and his wife had discussed having a new bathroom, they spent a few weekends visiting the various showrooms to see what was available and settled on a suite that comprised of a deep bath with a seperate walk in shower and a porcelain basin and new lavatory. They had a difficult time in choosing a suitable floor covering ,she preferred stone tiles and he wanted laminate flooring. They made a tour of all the flooring centres before they settled upon a laminate with a faux granite effect. They took a sample home to see if it matched the suite and, as they were leaving the store they stopped to take down a telephone number from a handyman's business card that was pinned to the shops notice board, it professed expert workmanship at economic prices.
They rang the number when they got home and it rang for a while before someone answered. The voice at the other end was high pitched and squeaky, it sounded Welsh. "Evans Home Services here" he said,"How can I help you?"
Jonathan told him that he wanted some laminate flooring fitted in his bathroom and was looking for some quotes." That's my speciality boyo" he replied. "Ave you bought it yet ?" Jonathan answered that he had'nt but that he was pretty sure of what he and his wife wanted.
"If it's laminate from the place I left my card,don't go buying it from there,I can get you whatever you require for 20% less than what they would charge"
Jonanthan made an appointment for that Saturday, he was keen to get it done.
Soon the appointed day arrived and Evans of Evans Home Services turned up in his little van. When Jonathan opened the door to him he saw a wiry little man with a goatee, his caprine features reminded him of a Welsh mountain goat.
"Mr and Mrs 'Indsmith" he said with a flourish "Evans 'ere; can I come in?"
He took Evans to the kitchen and introduced him to his wife,she asked if he would like some tea and he said "That'll be fine ,I'll measure up first though"
He took out a pad and a pencil from his tool box and then ascended the stairs with Mr Hindsmith .There he quickly measured the length and breadth and jotted down a rough sketch of the layout. "I've got enough to work on 'ere,let's go an' 'ave that tea your good lady is brewin'"
In the kitchen Evans asked for a look at the sample they had,Mrs Hindsmith passed him the sample and he said "Yerse, I can get you that,just give me a minute an' I'll give you a price for the lot ,fittin' included " The Hindsmiths sat and watched him working out the costs,he slurped his tea and sucked his teeth as he did his calculations. He pocketed his pencil and told them the price. It was so inexpensive that they were afraid that the laminate would not be the same as that they saw in the showroom. " It is exactly the same I assure you,very special that brand mind." They settled the deal and their bathroom was completed the following week. Soon order was restored to the Hindsmith household.
Jonathan was immensely proud of his new bathroom and took great pleasure whenever he used it. When he sat down to do his "business" he began to discern patterns in the faux granite floor;if he let his eyes wander idly over the floor he could make out birds and other features."Funny what your eyes can be tricked into seeing " he thought.
He began to spend more time doing his business, the images the floor threw up amazed him. They were nearly all faces and ,as he looked closer, realised that they were faces of people that he had known.
He broached the subject with his wife at their evening meal "That flooring in the bathroom....,do you ever see pictures in it?" he asked her. She gave him a puzzled look "No " she answered "Do you?" He felt foolish at that and let it go.
When he went to the bathroom now he did'nt have to search for images ,they were looking at him as soon as he walked through the bathroom door. And they all had something in common, they were all people that he had known and were now dead and buried.
He tried to talk his wife into changing the bathroom floor but she was adamant,"We've not got the money" was all she would say.
He stopped using his beloved bathroom and started to use the W,C, in the hallway. He took no more baths but had strip washes in the kitchen sink. It was'nt long before his colleagues at work began to notice that he was'nt his usual fragrant self;his wife noticed too and no matter how much after shave and deodorant he used it never covered that underlying odour.
His wife told him that he was being foolish and if he did'nt have a proper shower she would play merry hell with him. He told himself that he was being foolish, it was only a floor. He helped himself to a scotch and ascended the stairs...........................................
He stripped off in the bedroom and entered the bathroom, never once looking at the floor; he stood under the shower and let the hot water flow over his frame.This felt so good "Gawd,I've missed this " he said and started to sing ,sing like he had'nt done for a long while .Clean and refreshed ,he stepped out of the shower and started to dry himself off with a large terry bath towel. All was well with the world, and then he dropped the towel. Bending down to pick it up he saw the face of his old friend George who had been killed in a motor accident ten years ago. The face turned to look at him and smiled,"Hello Jonathan" it said " We wondered where you had been"
Downstairs Mrs Hindsmith looked at the clock and saw that Jonathan had been more than an hour in the bath. She went to the foot of the stairs and called up to him,there was no answer.She went up to the bathroom and tapped the door,it swung open on to an empty room. Over there were his slippers and there was the bathtowel,but where was Jonathan? As she bent down to pick up his slippers she thought she saw his face in the pattern on the floor.



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 Post subject: Re: A Short Story
Post Number:#2  PostPosted: 23 Sep 2011 11:10 
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Good one Brian - glad to see you are still being creative! Keep it up...



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 Post subject: Re: A Short Story
Post Number:#3  PostPosted: 23 Sep 2011 17:43 
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Oh wow, Brian! What an unusual story! Guess he was right to avoid that bathroom... You have quite the mind there mate! and as usual, your story painted a picture and I could see the details in my head. Thanks for the good read~ Image



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 Post subject: Re: A Short Story
Post Number:#4  PostPosted: 23 Sep 2011 18:28 
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Thank you both, I'm glad you liked it. Do you ever see pictures or portraits in wallpaper ,or floorcoverings,tiles etc? I do and it led me to thinking about it, they're out there you know. Don't let them see you looking!!
BrianD



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