The room was brightly lit but still felt sombre, even dark. The faces of those silently busy at their tasks looked up neither at each other nor their subject. The task and the time was everything.
With nothing left to do, all movement in the room stopped and without that distraction the quiet tension was amplified so that the very air felt charged with electricity, as if lightning were about to strike.
Eyes were on the clock, then to the floor and then some to the telephone on the wall nearby. The telephone which had a single purpose.

The clock ticked onwards free of influence or pressure, its eternal constance as reassuring as it is relentless. Another minute left behind and clasped hands were gently flexing or  lightly straightening already pristine and pressed suits, previously steady feet creaked polished leather and shifted nervously.
One more minute and the figures suddenly moved with a mechanical purpose towards the execution of their next, simple, but final duties. When the telephone rang, to observers it might have felt as if a firecracker had been thrown into a wake, but there was no more effect on the floor than a cessation of the event.
The phone was answered with a flick of his eyes at the clock. Close.

“Yes?” He listened for a few seconds.
“Yes” The receiver was replaced.

He spoke to the room.
“A new MOT certificate has been issued, the hearse has been granted a reprieve of up to year pending other repairs and ongoing appeals.”


6 thoughts on “Reprieve”

  1. JEEEEEEZ! Petsey!

    You had me going there for a minute! For some reason, as I read it I’d conjured up images of some Victorian style workhouse making outdoorsey stuff and waiting to finish their shift.

    Anyway, reprieve it is then! Good news!

  2. Woo Hoo!! Go on the hearse!! There’s life in the old girl yet…

    Now get her pointed at a mountain :-)

    Power stuff BTW.

    Sandy, good luck with Daphne.

  3. It’s ridiculous. A car that I’ve never seen, will never use and owned by somebody that I’ve never met has passed it’s MOT.

    And yet I still find myself punching the air and shouting “Ya Beauty” out loud.

    Good for you mate. Many happy miles.

  4. I was going for a mix of Terry Gilliam’s Brazil and a southern states electric chair execution with the story.
    I do like to overcomplicate myself.

    Thank you all for the support and celebration. It’s still rattly, it still stalls on careless acceleration, but at least it’s legal and I can get it fixed without as much panic as there was a week ago.
    And breathe…

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