John’s Life, Nothing More

Short story > Charlie Mays > Brighton

Narrating a scene inside the home of a proudly languid character.

John watched as last night’s curry spun round and round in his microwave. His plate was an abundance of colours, dancing away under the lights. This beautiful bubbling scene was a stark contrast to the rest of John’s flat, a mixture of grey walls and cheap wooden fixtures.

The apartment itself could be used as a metaphor for John’s own wellbeing, a grey mood and stiff wooden mannerisms.




At last! The food was cooked.


And about fucking time, four minutes to reheat a poxy curry, they really need to create a faster microwave. Humanity is in too big of a rush, to waste four minutes reheating!


John pondered the thought as he took a seat on his tattered brown leather sofa. Searching the vast choice of channels available to him, John was delighted to find there was an new reality TV show for him to catch up on. A simple pleasure, laughing at the show’s participants.


What a waste of human life!


John glanced down at his phone for the hundredth time before staring back at the TV.


Perfect! Thank god for catch up. 


Firmly settled in, John’s mind began to drift away.


I should look for another job, or maybe I’ll just start my own business. He thought, through mouthfuls of curry, as rice fell from his mouth like confetti.


Actually, why don’t I invent a new microwave! Faster this time, much faster! People need to get on with things.


He paused for a moment to gulp down a carbonated drink. Spilling down his chin, John was too caught up in his thoughts to notice.


Nah fuck that! Take too long anyway. I’m a busy man!


He checked his phone again. No new messages since he last looked. He opened up his messages folder, just to double check he hadn’t by accident missed any. He hadn’t.


Knock Knock!


Startled, John slammed his plate down, as cutlery and crockery collided to create an intolerable symphony. Awoken by the noise, John’s imagination began to spark, imagining who it could be. After all… there ain’t no post on Sunday


Opening his front door, crestfallen, he gazed at an unfamiliar young man, half his age and half his size, smiling foolishly at him.


“Yes”, John spat.


“Ah hello, my names James and I’ve just moved in next door”


“And?” John said, wiping a crust of dried fizzy pop from his chin.


“Oh, right, to the point! Ha. Well I’ve seemed to have taken on a bit much, building my bed, wardrobe, painting the bathroom, so I was wondering, seeing as you are in today if you would like to help out.” Said James, still grinning like a fool.


“You what?!”

John wiped his face again.


“I thought it might be nice to get to know the neighbour. I’ll repay you of course, I’m cooking for friends tonight and you’re welcome to join, if not I could just bring the food over here.”


John meditated on the idea.


What is this boys game? No-one is that nice. Must think I’m stupid, working all day for a poxy meal. He’s trying to mug me off!


“Wrong neighbourhood for that mate!”


John slammed the door on a disheartened James. Laughing to himself, he slumped back in his position on the sofa. He glanced down to check his phone. Still no new messages.


The End.