Revolutions

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Cover image: pixabay.com.

Submitted: June 17, 2019

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Submitted: June 17, 2019

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Revolutions.

It was hot. Too hot to move, let alone think of anything romantic. The air in the hotel room was thick with heat, stifling, making it hard to even breathe.

Hannah opened the window as far as it would go. For some reason it would not move more than a couple of inches. She reached her arm through the gap, let her hand unfurl and her fingers open. It didn’t really matter that the window was stuck then.

She turned to Tony. “There’s no breeze at all!”

Would you stop fiddling with the window and just come and lie down, Han. Getting worked up about it isn’t going to cool anyone down.”

Hannah lay down next to Tony. They kept a slight distance between them, contented themselves with just holding hands. Hannah rolled over, picked up the bottle of water from beside the bed and took a swig. It was very warm, but at least it was wet. She went to pass the bottle to Tony but he was starting to sit up.

I wonder if this thing will work...” he said.

What? What thing?” Hannah had no idea what he was talking about until she let her eyes follow his gaze up towards the ceiling.

On the ceiling was an ancient looking light. But it was not just a light, but a fan too. From an ornate ceiling rose, four blades, at least three feet each in length, spread out around the center-piece. Hannah could see the dust on them from where she lay, so thick was it. If it worked it had not been used for a long, long time. Beneath the blades was a cluster of lights, five in all, looking like flowers with the bulbs held firmly in the centers.

She didn’t like it one bit, but Tony seemed determined to try it out. On the wall by the door was a pair of switches. He flicked down one and two of the lights lit up, the other three staying dull, their bulbs apparently dead. Tony flicked the switch back up; they did not need lights right now, and they would only add that bit more to the stifling heat.

The other switch had two positions. It had to be for the fan. Pressing the switch down to the first position, Tony turned to look. At first nothing happened, but then very slowly the fan blades began to revolve.

Wow!” Hannah said. “The wonders of modern technology.” Before she could continue the sarcastic comment she had in mind, she was seized by a fit of coughing which silenced her once she got her breath back. “Turn it off, Tony. It’s useless!”

Not one to give in easily, Tony pressed the switch harder, to get it in to the second position. The blades began to move in faster revolutions, dispersing the last of the remaining dust in to the air, and finally causing a slight breeze.

See, Han! Success! Your problem is that you give up too easily.” Tony had a big smile on his face, but Hannah’s expression far from matched it. She stared up at the blades as they whizzed round and round.

I don’t like it, Tony. Please can you turn it off?”

It’s a fan, to cool things down, and it’s working too. Well, okay, sort of. The air is still warm but at least it is a moving warmth now.”

Tony walked back and lay down on the bed. He closed his eyes but Hannah kept staring at the ceiling. The fan made a clicking noise with each of its revolutions, making her think that as it twisted around it was loosening itself somehow.

Tony, please...I don’t like it. What if it...?”

You know what, Hannah, you’ve watched too many horror films. This is a hotel, they have standards that they have to adhere to. This fan is perfectly safe but if it will make you feel better I’ll slow it down.” Tony got up again, pressed the switch to it’s halfway point.

The fan groaned as it began to slow. Hannah gasped. Was slowing it down going to make it drop? Gradually the blades slowed to the selected speed and the groaning noise stopped. It was not an improvement though for now, instead of a clicking noise there was a slower and deeper clunk.

She tried to shut her eyes, to shut out the sound and the dread. Hannah kept telling herself she was being stupid, childish, totally irrational. Tony was seeing the same thing, hearing the same noise, and it was not bothering him at all. She felt her hands begin to shake, she ground her teeth together, and finally sat up and said: “Please, Tony...turn it off!”

You’d rather swelter, is it? Well, okay then, I’ll turn the damn thing off if it will make you feel better.” He was cross, she could see that from his posture, but it couldn’t be helped; she’d tried but simply could not stand the tension.

As Tony flicked the switch to off, there was a pop as one of the two working lightbulbs died a sudden death. They both looked up as the bulb dimmed, as the blades slowed, looking away too soon to see the blades, still moving, drop towards their heads in the final throws of their revolution.


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