06 Jan Excerpt from ‘Today’ by Andrew Webber
Below is an excerpt from my new short novel “Today” following three characters through twenty-four hours of their lives that force them to reevaluate what’s important to them. It is available for pre-order now by .
Laura stared blankly out of the window as the bus crawled onwards. Out into the abyss. Stuck on a loop, like the other dead souls on board being seamlessly trafficked back and forth between their faceless offices and overpriced shoebox homes. The temperature had dropped as the sun had gone down, and it looked like it was going to rain judging by the heavy storm clouds gathering overhead. She couldn’t face the walk back to the station, especially as she had left her umbrella at home today in her rush to leave on time. She decided instead to hop on the bus, just a quick five minutes up the main road in time to make the next train, and hopefully shave a few minutes off her journey home. However, the early evening traffic was horrific as normal, resulting in the bus now being at a standstill. The frustration of the passengers grew with each passing minute they spent not moving. They were going nowhere fast.
She barely registered the athletic types jogging past the bus, making a mockery of its slow progress. She peered into the barren grass of the park alongside them, lush and green a few months back, now icy and bleak. Previously filled with people throwing balls, picnicking, laughing and generally enjoying being outside, now just a few braving the cold to walk their dogs or do some exercise. The darkness of the treeline suddenly brought her own reflection into focus. Laura noticed how pale she looked, how lifeless her skin was. This sedentary office existence, cooped up in the built up surroundings of the city, had robbed her of her vitality. She could see it in her deadened eyes and blotchy skin. She wanted to cry at the reflection staring back at her so different was it to only a year ago. She’d put weight on too, with no time for exercise and the odd glass of wine in the evening becoming most of a bottle these days.
The vacantness of her expression was magnified by the shock of the meeting. The mindless battle to work every morning rendered even more pointless by the lack of reward and the realisation that her boss, and employer, were in fact, taking the piss out of her. Bleeding her dry of every ounce of energy and life for the smallest possible return. Paying her enough to live on in purely the most survivalist sense, but not enough to truly live in the human sense. Enough to cover her rent, in a crowded soulless city that she hated and enough to cover her travel to and from a place she didn’t want to go. The irrationality of modern city life made her want to cry. Again. But she would wait until she got home to the privacy of her own flat for that.