Harry Boyle was sitting by the French doors that opened out onto the balcony on the thirteenth floor, the Mayoress just summing up her talk to the Townswomen’s Guild as Harry looked out at the beautiful sunset. The view was breath-taking, and Alice’s voice faded into the background as he gazed at the muting of the colourful scene as dusk fell. The Mayoress turned and beckoned Mrs Hameed to join her at the podium.
“Finally, I’d like to thank your President, Fara Hameed for allowing me to address the Guild today. It has been a personal highlight in a week that has been testing for all of us at times, but ultimately fulfilling in the fact that the town is achieving a worldwide status it never had before. Thank you all.”
The audience all stood, giving Alice Paterson a standing ovation as she started to gather her notes from the lectern.
A page fluttered to the floor and Alice bent over to pick it up, gasping when she saw it was the page that she’d thrown into the waste bin in her office. She picked the aged browning page up and looked at the symbols, then looked across at her number two Harry Boyle suspiciously.
Harry was startled to feel a vibration in his jacket pocket and he reached into it, taking out a piece of paper. He looked at the page he’d seen Alice throw into the wastepaper bin and stared at the Mayoress, puzzled. She was holding up an identical piece of paper and looked furious.
Alice stormed across the room towards him as Boyle stood up and opened the heavy
French doors leading onto the thirteenth floor balcony, stepping out and standing by the guard-rail.
By this time the entire audience were watching them, there was obviously trouble brewing and they had no idea how it started.
Mrs Hameed hurried after the Mayoress, Paterson was expected to spend a little time
mingling with the Guild members before departing, stepping out onto the balcony had not been part of the prepared agenda.
A strong breeze blew through the open doors as members of the audience hurried over to see what was going on. Alice Paterson and Harry Boyle were standing, facing each other with not a word being spoken. Members of the Guild filed out of the doors and stood quietly by, keeping a respectful distance.
Harry Boyle held his hand up and the ancient page fluttered in the breeze. Alice Paterson held up her hand with the identical page fluttering in the wind.
They both turned to look at the crowd, then held up their hands releasing the pages into the breeze, before throwing themselves over the balcony guard-rails.
There was a moment of silence, then the screaming started.