Alchemy

The streets are rarely this empty in the run up to Christmas; only a trickle of shoppers get off the Routemaster from Camberwell High Street. I look out from the fourth floor window onto Myatt’s Fields below. I am the last to leave the studio, only the caretaker Ernie, walking up and down the corridors, reassures me there is another living soul in the building. Three million unemployed under Thatcher’s government, the radio says. I switch it off, sling on my coat and walk down the winding steps to the double door exit.

As the first snow of the season falls, I pull my coat shut, and hurry across the art college forecourt. The foundry windows are ablaze, exuding passionate heat. I picture molten liquid roiling inside molds; nascent shapes created by young, eager hands.

He stands there, waiting for the metal to set. Retro brothel creepers on his feet, an incongruous combination with his drab work coat, buttoned-up askew. Unglamorous save for his curly, towheaded hair which made me fall in love with him. I stop for a moment, then backtrack so that another figure joins him in the frame. A woman. It’s Emma, a second-year student who wears vintage clothes, ballerina shoes and always has her dark hair in a serpent braid.

At once, I realise, from the way he leans towards her and she tilts her head back to laugh, her mouth slightly open. See their future together, know she’ll be the one he goes back to after each new muse and I will become part of his history. A photo of us on that day at Kew Gardens will lurk at the bottom of a shoebox, waiting for liver-spotted hands to find it. Or perhaps not. Sparks from the furnace die on the stone floor while one metal is subsumed into another. Turning away, I button my coat and head towards the skeleton bare trees.


About Susan Carey

Susan Carey is originally from Herefordshire and currently lives in Amsterdam where she teaches business English. She writes short stories, flash fiction, poetry and the occasional novel.

>> Susan Carey's author page

More Romance stories

Discover our random name generators

Religion Name Generator Superhero and Villain Team Name Generator Barbarian Name Generator Slavic Name Generator Island Name Generator City Name Generator Video Game Name Generator Hotel Name Generator Old English Name Generator Druid Name Generator Tribe Name Generator Gothic Name Generator DJ Name Generator Shop Name Generator Portuguese Name Generator Demon Name Generator Alien Name Generator Old Celtic Name Generator Harry Potter Name Generator Code Name Generator Hobbit Name Generator Food Name Generator Band Name Generator Anime Name Generator Pirate Ship Name Generator Dragon Name Generator Fish Name Generator Newspaper Name Generator Oasis Name Generator Princess Name Generator Polish Name Generator German Name Generator Truck Name Generator Username Generator Orc Name Generator Book Title Generator Continent Name Generator Warrior Cat Name Generator D&D Name Generator Medieval Name Generator

Would you like to see more? Then check out our full list of random name generators.