Channa Karunaratne

Channa wrote the descriptive piece below as part of an exercise on creating mood and setting for a specific character. Can you guess who sleeps here?

The Bedroom

The rain lashes against the dirty window. Outside, the neon sign flashes its tuneless staccato song. Blue and red lights bounce off the drab walls occasionally hitting a lazy trail of cigarette smoke spiralling from the ashtray. On the cheap bedside table a sinister dark shape lies carelessly on top of a Bible coated in a thin layer of dust.

In the corner of the darkened room, a hi-spec laptop keeps a silent vigil, endlessly and mercilessly fulfilling its programming. Faces, addresses and numbers tumble across the screen in a seamless procession of facts.

A sharply pressed suit hangs expectant in the wardrobe and a metallic briefcase gleams malevolently from the overhead compartment.

The bed hasn’t been slept in recently. Its cheap white sheets betray the blood-red passport lying on it. A thick manila envelope pokes out of a folder labelled in a foreign language. A crumpled map, with indecipherable markings, is weighed down with a wallet and a pair of Aviator sunglasses.

Lightning cuts through the room like a white hot knife, cleaving it in two. A perfect ‘O’ of cigarette smoke moves like a spectral figure through the stillness. The chain is on the door.

Answer: A ruthless mercenary

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