Short-Term Lets EP3
This episode of Short-Term Lets was written by Chevanne Scordinsky, a writer and healthcare leader who explores genres from horror to romance to the surreal. She is the author of The FLARE, a collection of deeply personal and passionate work which launched in July 2021. You can read more of Chevanne’s fiction on Medium.
Raymond returned to the flat and slumped into his armchair exhausted. His boss actually did have a new client and urgent business, only Raymond hadn’t realised he’d actually be working. A white lie materialised… perfect, he thought. The business had started expanding and his foothold in the area office meant he was the first to be called for potential clients. His imaginary consultancy at Aimes & Farthing Textiles would soon evaporate. With Tanner ramping up operations, it wouldn’t be long before his wife would be coming regularly. His haven was crumbling.
He sat staring at the blank TV screen and thought of Mary. Why do I keep hiding from her? It was a question of aimless wandering. He was still in search of a passion, not just work. Raymond had built a career over 10 years and was good at what he did. There was even the potential for advancement, but something stalled him. This isn’t it, he kept thinking. The hesitance drove him out of the house early some mornings on long walks alone. He could not dislodge the discomfort and thought weekends away, without distraction and immersed in his own world, would be the cure.
A knock jarred him from his pensiveness.
‘It’s meee…’ a wailing voice called.
He opened the door to Tom, who entered and went straight to the kitchen for a drink. He returned with a glass of water and his signature stern look. ‘You need to do something.’
‘Like what? The cover is working. I just got a new client so now I have to come here.’
‘You should talk to Mary. She’s a sweetheart and wants you to be happy.’
‘I can’t. She’ll hate me.’
‘She’ll hate you more if you don’t.’
The weight of feeling lost sunk Raymond deeper into the armchair. Tom sat beside him on the floor, letting the silence settle between them. Raymond sank deeper still in thought, considering what he really wanted and if pining for a place on a talent show was really the answer to his disillusionment. He couldn’t help but fantasise about his body grooving or fingers flying across piano keys to a riotous audience. The dream resurfaced over and over, and he couldn’t let it go. It had to mean something. There had to be some element of truth, some morsel of himself trapped between dance steps.
‘You know, I always think of the early days when I used to call off work for nonsense. I was such a slacker. Not sure I’ve ever made the right choices,’ Raymond said.
‘You weren’t a slacker, you just wanted different things. We live in a world where we can’t all have the same freedom to pursue a passion or be reckless. The key might be to use the boring work to fund your real life, the real you.’ Tom patted Raymond on the thigh and turned on the TV to watch the next talent show episode.
What is The Short-Term Lets?
Short-Term Lets is a spinoff from The Links, with episodes written by guest writers. The setting is Alistair Sinclair’s flat, which is let on a short-term basis. In each episode, new characters come to stay, each with their own reasons for being there and their own stories to tell.
These episodes stand separately from the main The Links stories (although familiar characters may appear) and anything might happen. You don’t need to read The Links to follow these episodes, but if you’re not reading The Links, you should be!
Catch up with The Links and the rest of the episodes in the Short-Term Lets series:
If you’re interested in contributing an episode to Short-Term Lets, submissions are welcome! Reply to this post or email email@example.com for more details.
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