07 The First Degree – Yves Black


It’s cool indoors, for which I’m thankful; it’s too hot outside and my clothes are stuck to my body with perspiration.
Yves in the Shower

I shower and change, then I sit in front of my prehistoric lap top and stare pointlessly at the screen for a few moments, hoping to start a new novel. I have zero motivation.


Giving it up as a bad job I decide to watch some television and channel hop for a while.
There’s nothing even remotely interesting on.


I switch off the T.V and sigh, looking around me.
Maybe I shouldn’t have come here. I’m already bored out of my mind and I don’t know anyone barring my scatty driving instructor. I look at the clock and see it reads 7pm. I contemplate going to bed… maybe I’ll cancel my driving lesson and go home. I was stupid to think that travelling all this way was going to make a blind bit of difference.

I’m about to make my way to the bedroom when I hear a fumbling at the front door and a soft rustling as something is forced through the letter box and lands on the door mat.


I walk over to the front door and pick it up.
The silver envelope which I hold before me reads – “An invitation” black italic font.

Peering through the window, I attempt to get a look at whoever may have delivered it.
There’s no one around.


I turn over the smooth paper and tear it open, a shiny silver metallic card lies within.
“Congratulations! You are formally invited to the first ever screening of – “Wherever You May Be” a brand new theatre production written by none other than Paul Marina!”
Who the hell is Paul Marina?

There’s a short synopsis of the play as well as a picture of this Paul guy who looks like he completely loves himself.
“Produce this invitation at 8pm on Saturday, 30th of March for free entry to what promises to be the must see drama of the year!”
A coupon of some sort floats out of the envelope and glides slowly to the floor – I pick it up.


I glance over to the clock again, I have plenty of time to get ready, and I’ve got nothing better to do.
Unfortunately I’m fairly certain that scruffy jeans and a black t-shirt are not classed as acceptable attire for the theatre and I don’t even own a suit. The bed is looking like a good option right about now.
I traipse upstairs and flop down onto the firm mattress, starring up at the rotating ceiling fan above my head.


A noise from the wardrobe makes me jump as a coat hanger slips and deposits a garment on the floor of the cupboard – I must have disturbed what was already hung in there when I was busy trying to shove my luggage in.


 I slide off the bed and approach the wardrobe door, peering inside.
I smile.




The weather is blustery, but the wind is warm.
Walking along the marina, I peer over the boulevard wall at the boats which are tied to port; they clunk and groan as they’re shaken from side to side by the irrepressible ocean.


The suit I found is a little tight, but it fits… I can hardly believe I’m doing this, it’s completely unlike me. I avoid people at all costs, but here in Sunlit Tides I’m completely anonymous – I don’t live here so nobody has any pre-existing judgements. I’m just some guy who’s going to the theatre, not Yves Black, failed author and failed boyfriend.


I check my watch and see it reads 7:53 – I’m going to be late.
I’d checked the address for the theatre on the internet and it had said it was 0.5 of a mile away, but I feel like I’ve been walking forever. My hair is probably wild by now, I attempted to slick it back but the wind has soon put a stop to that.


I spot the building ahead and feel a rush of relief. Now I’m all dressed up I sort of want to make the most of it – I’ve not had an opportunity like this for a long time.
As I approach the entrance I notice a woman sat at the curb, her head in her hands – she looks thoroughly miserable.


Elsa turns to look at me and smiles sadly.
“Hey Yves, you look hot…”


“Er-thanks…? What are you doing?” Despite our 2 hours together this afternoon I’m still not used to her blunt way with words – she literally speaks her mind. It’s un-nerving.
Elsa stands and rubs down her green dress. “Going home…” she sighs.
“I thought you had a date…?”


“So did I…”
Elsa begins to walk away, “Wait! I shout after her,” and she turns slightly.
“Were you here to see the play?”


“So stay, I feel a little weird being here on my own… and you don’t have a date…”
“You want to be my date?” her eyes are wide.


“Um, well no… but we could see the play together?”
A grin lights up her pretty face and she laughs, “Yay! I’d love to!” she practically dances on the spot and I can’t help but laugh.
“Come on then…” I smirk and I offer her my arm, we enter the building together.



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