The Price of Entanglement - Chapter 2, pt. 4

Fidgeting restlessly, the growing subtle anger left her anxious to get to the gym; she needed to burn off some energy. Today was definitely going to be a tall overhang kind of day, she thought.

The cab passed the last few blocks in a downpour so hard she could barely see out the windows until it had slowed to a stop out in front of the Society building; it was an old concrete building distinguished mostly by its complete lack of distinguishing features. It looked faded and somehow worn down; she couldn’t decide if that boded well or ill for an organization that was known primarily for the restoration of historic buildings. What did it say about them that they couldn’t, or didn’t, maintain their own?

She opened the car door and left the thought aside as she struggled to open her umbrella and get out without getting soaked. The sound of the rain pelting the windshield yielded to the sharp patter of rain on concrete as she dashed up the steps and inside; behind her, she heard the cab drive off. Luckily for her the gym wasn’t far.

Inside, the building lived up to its own exterior. The walls were that shade somewhere between off-white and yellow that said they were seriously overdue for repainting, and the carpeted floor was badly worn in distinct paths crisscrossing the room. It was the sort of place you in which you expected to encounter short tempers and irritated glares; to her mild surprise, though, the reception staff were polite and friendly, and she was on her way again within minutes. The new package bound for Sal was almost indistinguishable from the two she’d brought, though it was wrapped in new-looking heavy white paper rather than brown.

The rain had eased off again somewhat when she left the building; she’d been toying in the back of her mind with the idea of summoning another cab, but with some relief she decided to walk it. Downtown wasn’t her favorite place to walk anymore; it had used to be nicer, when it had green spaces and trees planted here and there, but over the last decade, everything had died and eventually just about everyone gave up trying to get anything to grow.

Twenty minutes later, she was too busy clinging to the underside of an underhang to think much about rain and dead plants. Sweat beaded her forehead and her muscles burned; it’d been too long since she climbed this course, she decided. She’d been too easy on herself lately.

By Gordon S. McLeod

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