• 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 5d

    The restaurant is small and cosy, the décor dull earth tones – the walls brown, the carpet tan, the tablecloths beige. Candelabras – actual antique crystal candelabras with candles – hang from the ceiling, casting flickering shadows across the floor. The mood is subdued, with even the music from the lounges muffled, as the restaurant is mostly soundproofed. There are not many here presently – there rarely are. Although the restaurant is (or can be) first class with both the menu and the service, the few people who come here want something fast and quick. The exceptions are the romances, couples staring lovingly into one another’s eyes, investing in the…