Tell A Tale in 500 Words

People of a Revolution By Katy Sheridan

If pressed to describe the scene, she might have said it was reminiscent of a Satie piano piece; sad, even depressing, but with a subtle beauty. And the beauty of the moment was not lost on the woman as she rested her head on her hands in patient expectation - because even in that quiet corner of the city the murmurings of dissent could be heard if you listened closely enough.

She drummed her fingers against the table as she glanced at the clock, once, twice, then resigned herself to the laborious task of stirring a third sugar cube into her cooling black coffee. The dim yellow bulbs that hung above her did little to counteract the grey sky that encroached on the little café. In the time she had spent lingering there, waiting, her enjoyment gained from people-watching had increased considerably; her meandering gaze and not-so-subtle eavesdropping painting what she imagined to be a fairly complete portrait of those around her. The man at the next table she was sure was recently unemployed, passing his now plentiful free time by embracing the stereotype of born again academic, sipping at his bitter coffee as he blundered through the opening of his third never-to-be-finished play script. He was fitting company, she thought, for the old couple sitting nearby, who begged attention with wonderfully flamboyant dress, and loud, gestural conversation – another commendable attempt to smother the emptiness gradually hollowed out by long and purposeless lives. Even the café itself wasn’t to be left out of the woman’s condemning portrait; appearing to have clung so tightly to its prestigious past that it too had fallen into dusty irrelevance. She thought these characters coexisted quite peacefully together under the same blanket of inertia, woven over time from the effort of trying to belong in an era when they were neither wanted nor needed.

But still she waited, and still time moved exceptionally slowly.

Faintly at first, but quickly growing in intensity, the sound of chanting drifted up the street. And just like that – the moment came and the window no longer looked out over a quiet street, but instead over a sea of movement. It was people, hundreds of bodies, convulsing and surging through the streets.

She sat back in her chair and smiled, as the waiter gingerly walked up to the window, slack-jawed and staring. ‘My God,’ she thought, as the man at the next table knocked over his chair in surprise, ‘it bloody well worked’. Those around her had now fully woken up to the arising situation, shaking off the dust of stagnation and jumping into a flurry of movement. Now oblivious to the other customers, the woman calmly counted out the last of her coins to pay for her coffee, and even the croissant that had never arrived, grabbed her coat off the back of her chair, and slipped out the door. She merged seamlessly into the throng of people, adding one more voice to the crescendo-ing chorus of revolution.

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