by Dean Clayton Edwards
Leather swivel chairs, enormous desk, celebrity photos neatly-framed on stark, white walls.
“Didn’t you get my email?”
“I’ve been on holiday,” said Graham. “Don’t people use the phone anymore?”
“Things have changed a lot,” said Tony.
“Everything but me,” Graham chirped.
“Yeah,” said Tony. “Everything but you. Graham - the new series didn’t do as well as we had hoped. The latest polls show that people aren’t switching on anymore. I’m sorry, but your contract won’t be renewed. If it’s any consolation, it’s been a ... magnificent ... long ... career.”
He should have known. Even his wife didn’t watch him anymore. She said he made her cringe.
“It’s ok,” he said and Tony looked relieved. “I was thinking of spending more time with the kids. I can’t go on forever.”
Much later, on his way home, he got out of the car, leaving the engine running. Tower Bridge. Below, the river was muddy and inviting. He climbed the railing. Slippery shoes.
Above, a bird flew in silhouette against the lightening sky. He raised his arms and closed his eyes, imagining his descent, like an ancient bird of prey.
And then he slipped.
He screamed, but his fall was interrupted by the pavement.
He scrabbled to his feet, embarrassed, but it was ok. No-one was watching.