Friday, 30 March 2018

Fic: Meeting Alexei

Alexei sat on the rough stone cot. Even though there was no one to see, he sat with elegance and poise; back against one wall, leg up on the bed, arm stretched out to the knee, forming a delicate equilateral triangle of disdain, silently announcing to the otherwise empty cell that he held it personally responsible for his lack of entertainment.
  “I’m bored,” he declared. There was no immediate response, which only served to remind him that no-one was listening. He rolled his eyes in disgust, his head falling back against the wall. What was even the point of witty commentary without an audience?
  Presently there was a soft shuffling noise outside the solid metal door - a click - and the door swung slowly open. A hooded figure leaned into the room, looked around, apparently caught sight of Alexei, and nodded in a “follow-me” gesture before ducking back out into the corridor.
  Alexei remained still.
  Shortly the hooded figure reappeared. “Hello?” it asked quietly.
  Alexei languidly turned his head to face his visitor.
  “Are you room service?” he asked flatly.
  “Wh-? Um,” replied the stranger, drawing back his hood to reveal a beard and long, matted hair. “No, no. I’m egress. Your way out. Come on.”
  The stranger disappeared again before, after a further moment of stubborn inactivity from Alexei, returning to step fully into the room.
  “So, not in a hurry?” asked the stranger.
  “Congratulations on noticing a thing,” said Alexei.
  “Hm,” said the stranger. “Well, I know that you don’t want to be here.”
  “Really. And how do you know that.”
  “The door’s open,” said the stranger. “Wouldn’t be open if you wanted to stay, now, would it?”
  Alexei looked at the man properly for the first time. He had the stupidest smile on his face, as though he’d just made a hilarious joke. And he was old, really old. Like thirty. What the hell was his deal.
  “So, well,” the stranger continued. “I’m going to leave. And, you should know, whatever it is you did to get put in here, the people upstairs are talking execution. So. I mean, you’re free to do what you want.”
  The stranger raised his hand noncommittally and slipped out of the cell as easily as he’d arrived, leaving the door open behind him. Alexei waited a little longer. Then he rolled his eyes again.
  “Ugh,” he moaned loudly, before slipping off the cot and padding gracefully out of the door.
  He was definitely not following the the strange, strange man. He was just heading in the same direction. For now.