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Monday, 18 January 2010

The Englishman at Table 19 (excerpt)

The first part of my story that was shortlisted for the MPH-Alliance Bank National Short Story Award 2009. 

Since dinner began half an hour ago, Lauren had been spying on the Englishman.  She looked up and he was seated at a table in the corner.  She set the dessert menu upright like a folding screen on the tabletop, to hide her curious glances in his direction.  Lauren noticed the chrome-plated steel stand on his table bearing a piece of white card with the number ‘19’ printed on it in large black numbers.  An identical steel stand near her glass informed Lauren that she sat at table 32 with her elder sister Marilyn, her parents, and Mr. and Mrs. Quek. Lauren did the mental arithmetic and noted that ‘32’ subtracted from ‘19’ equals ‘negative 13’.

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