HARD KNOCKS - DES NNOCHIRI
That was seven, now. Seven times he'd knocked on the door. Each time, harder than the last.
He'd started with a soft tap. Figured it was polite, them being academics, and all. Didn't want to disrupt their little conference. Forum. Seminar. Whatever.
But the acoustics in this place...
The baffles made it almost impossible for someone outside the hall to hear what was going on inside. And just as hard for anyone inside to hear out.
And there was no porthole, in the door. Didn't want the speaker to be distracted by curious faces popping up in the glass.
They ought to have a bell, or something. But they didn't.
So, he'd continued knocking. Until this last time, when he'd really been pounding the wood.
Had to; the hotel had booked the room for another event. It was the season, there were a lot of these little confabs going on. And the forum - seminar, whatever - had overrun.
He raised his chafing knuckles, set for the eighth round.
Just then, the door swung inward. Wide open, now.
It was a toss-up as to which of them was more surprised.
The conference steward, staring wide-eyed into a lecture room littered with slumped academics, and reeking of cordite and fresh blood.
Or the eminent professor standing in the doorway. Preternaturally calm, as he slid a fresh magazine into the Uzi he carried in one perfectly manicured hand.
Absurdly, all the steward could think of was the nightmare that Housekeeping was going to have, getting the room ready for the next conference.
BIO: Desmond (Des) Nnochiri spent his early years traveling with his parents, and was educated in England, the USA, and the Republic of Ireland (Eire). He writes freelance now, and has taken his first steps into the world of screenwriting. He has contributed stories to A Twist of Noir, The Flash Fiction Offensive, and Powder Burn Flash. He has just started blogging, at Des Nnochiri's Write to Speak.
One to Watch: THE MELODY by Jim Crace
3 hours ago