My phone alarm heralded the start of yet another manic day. One packed to the rafters with the usual meetings and phone calls; one that needed to be rushed through as quickly as possible before falling into bed unprepared for the following manic day. Sighing, I switched off the irritating noise, and noticed among all the usual notifications a destination alert: ‘9 miles to The Silent Woman.’
It took me a sleep fuddled moment before I realised that this was the name of the venue for today’s tedious seminar on ‘True Brand Awareness’. Good God…who actually needs this meaningless crap that I deliver to rooms full of smug millennials? They all wear suits with no socks, with eyes glued to Iphones, and sip on sugar-free, non-fat, vanilla soy, decaf latte’s with extra syrup.
I at least hoped that Alison had chosen the venue based on it’s ability to serve a decent glass of wine. I needed something to briefly enjoy after the session, once all the attendees had wandered off to solve their companies’ first world marketing problems.
I sometimes felt that my whole life was just a race to get to the end. The emails poured in to my phone overnight while I took a precious five hours to reboot. The phone calls would start as soon as it was considered polite to be able to ring, and the social media alerts were constant. I wish I had the time in the day to work out how to turn the bloody things off.
Alison fielded what she could, as all great PA’s do, but even she can’t field my own family. There’s the husband who needs feeding, the mother who needs taking to the doctors, the dog that needs walking, and the kids with their endless cries of ‘Muuuuuuuum!’
In the car en route to the venue I wished it could be a longer journey than just 9 miles. It wasn’t long enough to be able to deviate from my diary, from my overflowing in tray, and the constant white noise that permeated my life. And even now, I still had the radio on, bleating about a new restaurant in town, and the sat nav guiding me to my destination. The noise was never ending.
The sound of traffic lessened as the countryside swelled, and I turned off the gabbling radio and the insistent sat nav too, which left only the sound of the tyres on the road. I was pretty sure I knew the directions from here, although I hadn’t been for a while.
Eventually pulling into a small carpark I was surprised not to see a country pub with the usual swinging sign outside, but instead the building recently renovated into a yoga retreat with the same name. It worked.
In a panic, with the imminent arrival of my attendees, I texted Alison to tell her she’d sent me to the wrong place.
Her reply came back quickly “No I haven’t. You need this. Enjoy the silence.”
She really is a great PA.
[This piece of flash fiction was written with the brief that the main character had to wake up with a destination alert on their phone: ‘9 miles to The Silent Woman.’ I had 500 words to use and the rest was up to me…]
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