The opening paragraphs to the New Romance

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The tide was going out. There was that faint smell =
of seaweed and dead fish in the air. Sand had blown onto the porch in =
the night and was gritty beneath Emily’s thin house shoes. The old man =
on the promenade seemed to have forgotten to continue to walk =
The horizon was invisible. Emily squinted to try to see =
through the glare and penetrate the haze. It was an otherwise  =
bright morning but for some reason there was this sea mist so light that =
it really was just a haze. It hid everything except the grey shapes of =
the giant container ships that seemed to steal ghost like across the =
indistinct horizon. Imperious. Silent. Mysterious. =46rom the shoreline =
in front of her guesthouse the haze seemed to thicken as the distance =
increased until all the eye could see was the pale blue sky far above =
where you knew the horizon should actually be. There was a slight chill =
in the air and Emily shivered slightly.
She turned back toward the French doors. Jack was =
still picking up glass shards from the floor, the result of the door =
slamming in the wind last night. 
It looked as though at least half of the small =
squares had shattered. Emily looked at the damage and shook her head. =
One more expense. Glass repairs were not cheap these days but of course =
had to be done.
Jack had turned up at the reception desk a few days =
previously. She had one tiny room left right at the top of the building, =
built by her late father as a loft conversion. More of a large cupboard =
space she often thought, and the easiest access was via the fire escape =
attached to the building. Jack had taken the room enthusiastically =
declaring it perfect for his needs.
He wasn’t on holidays she could see that, but nor =
was he a business type. He had a quality carryall bag and his clothes =
were clean and he looked, well=E2=80=A6 well kept. A little older than =
Emily herself she would have guessed, somewhere in his thirties.  =
She had looked for an accent but there was nothing she could pin down. A =
trace of somewhere though, but she couldn’t catch where. One of those =
International accents.

Robert Chalmers


Last Updated on November 8, 2017 by @R_A_Chalmers

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