• Prudence

    Prudence: Chapter 8d

    It’s the heat that hits Dante first. It’s been hot and stuffy all night, but now it’s thick enough in the air that it makes it hard to breathe. He closes his hand tighter around Patricia’s; it’s become so sweaty that he feels it could slip right out. ‘Take a look at that,’ he says, gesturing with a thrust of his chin. Wisps of smoke undulate across the hallway ceiling. ‘Fire?’ Patricia says. Dante shrugs, but that’s the likeliest possibility. They navigate through hallways intersecting the private rooms. The doors to the private rooms are flung wide open and they appear empty. Dante peeks in several as they pass: they…

  • 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…