The New Generation of Classic Short Stories

Vol. 14, No. 1

Channel 17

by Helen Simpson

“That was definitely her in the Eurostar queue,” says Paul from the small double where he lies zapping the television atop the wardrobe with a remote control.
     “It certainly looked like her,” says Jackie, rezipping their suitcase and stowing it behind the door. “Despite the sunglasses. Oh if the children think they can hold wild parties while the cat’s away, I’ll kill them.”
     “Being very friendly with that bloke who definitely wasn’t her husband,” says Paul. “Seventeen channels but they’re all in French.”
     “Imagine if they were staying at this hotel,” says Jackie. “Imagine if we bumped into them at breakfast.”
     “A nasty shock,” Paul agrees. “That’s what Paris is for, though, isn’t it? That’s what it means to the English. Somewhere you won’t get caught.” 

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