As his footsteps thundered down the stairs, she took up her seat by the window. Upright, back straight, hands in her lap worrying at the cloth wound tight between her fingers. She stared, unseeing, across the field and waited. The slam of the door, though expected, made her flinch. A ragged sigh escaped her lips and her fingers gradually released their stranglehold on the cloth. Her body sagged into the cushioned chair. She closed her eyes and breathed deeply, willing the tight knot inside her to loosen. When she finally opened her eyes, they were clear and focussed, steadily taking in the view across the field. Nothing. No-one. No children screeching in the school yard, no yapping dogs chasing sticks across the green. The scene was perfectly empty, the only discernible movement that of the dark clouds drifting towards the horizon.
Picture ©James Procopis