Torrential

[My second free-association flash fiction inspired by an album by Braille Face.]

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She was walking through the city at night in heavy rain. Streetlamps and car headlights doubled and glared. Raindrops bounced back from the pavement. The ground and the sky were pouring into each other. She saw an open doorway and ducked into it, and, when the glass slid smoothly across to seal her in, at first she was just grateful.

The room was contoured and fissureless. She watched the rain slide down the glass. After a time, a flap opened in the wall and a sandwich was thrust out. She ate the sandwich, though it tasted of fish-fingers; the room did not really understand sandwiches. She could faintly hear light whirrings and clickings. “Where am I?” she asked. The room grew a thin surprised protuberance at one corner. “Who are you?” Another protuberance developed. Perhaps it responded to tone of voice? She tried shouting at it and it developed a row of spikes, but then she spoke in a monotone – just reciting phone numbers, all the numbers she could remember, old numbers because who remembers phone numbers any more? – and the spikes softened and disappeared. The protuberances had quietly shrunk away earlier.

She got her phone out and tried to ring her boyfriend, but there was no signal.

Next she sang. She sang cheesy tunes, disco hits. She was in a strangely happy mood; the rain was still falling but she couldn’t hear it. Perhaps there had been happiness in the sandwich. The room began to make waves and ripples and gradually it shaped itself around her. She was dancing a little to the songs she was singing and almost without noticing she began to jig off down the street, with the room enclosing her like a space suit. When she grew tired no doubt it would spread out again and she’d be stuck. It would probably give her another sandwich. She wondered where the air was coming from and if it would run out, but, for now, everything was fine.

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