Thursday, 22 November 2012

'Ilona'

Another little trailer for the next issue of ST, no. 23, which is due out by next April (probably). 'Ilona' is a short-short story by leading Queen Victoria impersonator Tina Rath, and concerns the tribulations of a hard-working employee of Britain's famous National Health Service. Like many thousands of others, Ilona has come to England from Eastern Europe to take up a low-paid manual job. Drudgery is the key word, here, as our protagonist cleans corridors, far from the light of day. But what else might be going on in Ilona's mop-centric world?
She mopped languidly. She stopped to rest her back. And when the Supervisor reappeared towards the official end of her shift the long corridor was not even half finished. 
“Oh, dear!” she exclaimed, with barely concealed pleasure. “ I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to finish this floor before you go off.”

Any of the other ladies would have launched into a voluble account of the unpredictability of night buses, the danger of the night-time streets, the anxiety of her hubby if she wasn't home on the dot, finishing with a half plea, half threat relating to the union. But Ilona only bent her head and said, meekly, “I finish it.”
Of course, it's not just the floor that's finished.

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