Chapter Zero

480 Words
Chapter Zero The lady in blue stood still, looking at the corner of the room. The air was undisturbed around her, dust particles descending, a few sun beams briefly illuminating their swirling trajectory. The body that had caused all this dust upheaval was lying still in the middle of the thick carpet. A tall man, heavy, not of muscle but rather of spaghetti and feta cheese, was facedown, his limbs motionless, drool dripping on the carpet, absorbed instantly. His small glasses were crushed underneath his skull, their skeleton distorted but their lenses intact. The lady in blue raised her eyes to the whiteboard. The movement of her eyelashes was not enough to disturb the falling dust. Mathematical symbols were scrawled on the whiteboard, half of it seemingly written, erased and rewritten a billion times. The top left part was dry, scratched, old. A beginning that had tormented the heavy man for years. The whiteboard was featured prominently in the room, a totem raised high, a constant reminder for the heavy man to keep on working, keep on thinking about what the symbols meant. There was not much else worth mentioning in the room. It was as if someone had inherited their mother’s house, full of bric-a-brac – drawn thread work linens doilies and other handicrafted item characteristic of a Greek house – and then meticulously removed everything, leaving an obvious discolored patch on the varnish of the furniture. Old, handmade furniture, with creaky latches and uneven feet, made steady through a well-placed folded newspaper page, pressed flat by the weight of years, almost back to the wood pulp it had come from. Someone raised in such a home could easily identify most of the objects missing, from their shadows alone. There, a thick photo frame. There, hung by the missing nail, be a decorated plate, one that people once seemed to love putting on their walls. Its shape was almost a perfect print on the wall, like an inverse shadow. There, a white crocheted doily would cover that perfect triangular shape. All of it missing. The woman in blue walked towards the whiteboard, her soft steps finally disturbing the dust motes and causing them to circle around her. She picked up the marker from the floor, carefully cut a page from a notepad and wrote down the mathematical symbols from the board. She double-checked them, making sure it was all there and then grabbed the torn cloth beside her and wiped the board slowly. She pressed the cloth hard and made sure it was all wiped off properly. The top left part of the symbols resisted for a time, but then gave way. She put the cloth back and folded the page. Effortlessly. Then she tucked the folded page inside her blue dress, right next to her heart. Effortlessly. And then she dragged the heavy man by his leg all the way down the hall. Effortlessly.
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