This is an activity from the A215 Creative Writing Course that I’m doing with the Open University. The idea is to portray antagonism between a character and a place (6.3 Part 2).
Jason Black had worked as a Postman at the sorting office on Pebbledash Lane, Bolton, since its inaugural opening. In thirty-three years he had only had two days sick leave, two weeks maternity leave, and his annual 20 days holiday entitlement. It was a standing joke with his wife Brenda, when leaving their home for work, that he was going home, due to the amount of overtime hours worked. However, three decades of the sameness, day in and day out, had convinced him that it was time for a change. After taking redundancy, when the sorting office closed, instead of relocating to Byron Street Distribution Centre, he went solo and became a self-employed taxi driver.
Last week, while driving Mr Patel and his family to the airport, he drove past his old work place, which, in the interim six months had been converted into a modern gym complex. Studying the layout of the place, he happily noticed that not everything had changed: the parking bays were still numbered in fluorescent yellow paint, and the perimeter fencing was still the same, apart from a fresh layer of bright purple paint. His vigilant eagle-like eyes noticed that the loading bays had been incorporated into the design of a graffiti-covered, outdoor skating area. Finally his nose alerted him to the familiar smell of pies from the nearby bakery. With a large grin on his face, he continued on his way to the airport with the Patel family. After dropping them off, he decided that perhaps it was a good idea to drive past the old sorting office to see if any other familiarities remained. As Jason turned right at the traffic lights into Pebbledash lane, Bill Smith, his close friend, came into view.
‘Hello Bill, where have you been?’
‘Hi Jason, I’ve just come from the gym’
‘What a coincidence! That’s where I’m going now. Must dash; see you later’
Jason drove into the car park, parked up, and walked briskly towards the reception area. After making an appointment to have an induction in two days’ time, at 3pm, he walked slowly back to his car, all-the-while looking at the building and surrounding area. As Jason approached his car, a placard on the wall grabbed his attention – ‘This building was opened by Mayor Delaney on 12 Feb 1980…’