The face looked down on them with the scorn of passing seconds that went ignored. They each were experiencing time in oddity of slow and fast-moving pieces like a packed highway heading north parallel to speeding mobs running south.
A kettle had been filled and boiled by distracted hands. The early heating of it had been unheard, and the deeper bubbling and tufts of steam that came went unnoticed until its auto shut-off silenced it. The light shone off of the heated, onyx-painted skin unable to catch an eye of any one of the three pairs in the room.
The bright blue pair gazed unfixed on the carpeting. Common geometric shapes repeated over the surface in a mediocre attempt at style, but the grey and black did an ample job of contributing to the coldness in the room: a keelfat of hopes for the coming announcement. The woman’s hair was tied back every morning in preparation for the work-day ahead, however to roots of her hairline were pulled on this day with a harder desperation not typically a part of her uniform.
A window in the back corner of the room had become of great interest for a man who, despite the glistening color of his face, was committed to wearing his three-piece suit. The occasional break to re-examine the room around him was the only reprieve from his sentinel-like watch through the glass to the street below. Like a worried parent he watched over an old bench across the street as it was passed by school-children, professionally dressed women and men, and hunch-backed elderly moving slothfully. Had one inquired, he would not have been able to recall having ever seen that bench before despite its position along his daily walk in to work. It appeared rustic at best and flirting with being replaced and yet the man, a modernist in taste and ideals, looked to it with an affection that seemed long buried and fresh all at once.
When paused from his watch, the man’s gaze would take in the room, yes, but also the woman pacing a large circle within it. Her shoes removed, her stocking covered feet disorderedly made the loop around the table in the middle of the room and the blonde woman seated at it. She was short and so were her steps, with her arms drawn tight around herself she also kept her eyes on the carpeting. One particular spot on the carpet had something ruining the black and grey. With each loop she rediscovered it and begun theorizing its origin. A spill? A defect? Maybe she was seeing things?
Finally, she unwrapped her arms so she could kneel down and inspect the spot. As she did so a phone buzzed to life with a bright screen and sound that instantly refashioned the look of the room. The attention of the three occupants turned towards it with rapt attentiveness that shook with weak-knees of apprehension, and they found the about-face from “never-ending” to “not long enough” paralyzed them all for a moment.
The moment passed and a hand forced to be steady picked up the device of deliverance as they all held their breath to see where the hammer would drop.