[Author’s Note: I normally wouldn’t post my short stories on my blog, but this one is so small and inoffensive, and a kind of study on its own, that I thought ‘what the heck’. Let me know what you think.]
The water bottle rolled unaided and equally unhindered along the table, water sloshing inside making it propel forwards even more. As it reached the very edge of the table it tittered momentarily, and the muffled sounds of the lecture on T. H. Lawrence echoed in the background. I held my breath for the fraction of the second it took the bottle to topple over the edge and onto the carpeted floor.
Silent vacant stares continued to gaze emptily forward, drowsily attempting to appear to follow the speaker’s paper on the working class and language in Lawrence’s novels, while my eyes locked on the water bottle now upended on the ground. The cap had popped off on collision and water was currently spilling out copiously, staining the carpet and seeping deep into its fibers. I wondered briefly whether there were wooden boards or cement beneath, and what the effects of the water would be on each material.
The rustle of paper distracted my theorizing, as the other academics and students in the small room turned to the next page in our handouts before promptly returning to their own individual private fantasies. I raised my eyes from the handout, giving up on identifying which paragraph the lecturer was on by this point. Instead, I once again looked at the water bottle, standing upright as it had always been, on the table.