• Prudence

    Prudence: Chapter 6b

    Quinn sits in a toilet cubical, elbows on his knees, head bowed into his hands, eyes clenched to stem the tears. The bathroom reeks of disinfectant. They must pump it in for it to remain this strong at this time of night. Perhaps it’s a way to keep people from congregating in the bathroom for too long, or perhaps it’s just a constant antiseptic safeguard. For Quinn, it’s irrelevant. He’s not moving. The bathroom door swings open. Laughter. Then footsteps, heading across to the urinals. ‘You see that blonde?’ one voice says. It’s deep but coarse, the sound of somebody who’s been smoking too heavily for too long, although Quinn…

  • Prudence

    Prudence: Chapter 5b

    Constance paces back and forth, pausing only to stare at the array of screens and survey what’s going on while her attention is squandered here. It’s rare for any long-serving employee to betray the trust invested in them. Transgressions usually occur in the first three months, when either the novelty and infamy, or demands and scrutiny, of working here is likeliest to overwhelm them. Constance stops in front of Patricia. Patricia’s eyes are big and dark, her face bereft of all guile. She is like a child who has misbehaved, yet does not understand why she will be punished. ‘If Noah had any hope of finding it in himself to…