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Short story: <i>The Train</i>



Every day when I get on the train to go to work, I stand with my toes just over the yellow safety line as my small act of rebellion for the morning.

I feel the hot breath of the approaching train blast up the tunnel like a warning system, swirling at the thick winter coats and fogging up the eyeglasses and pulling at the briefcases around me.

I’m champing at the bit to be on that train, I want to get on, get a seat, stare up at the armpits of all of those I’ve thwarted in my bid to rest my feet for half an hour who have to stand up, clutching at the rail and pretending to read.

When the train pulls up, the layer of snow from it’s brief sojourn outside melting rapidly, I step a little further out over the line. The crowd jostles behind me. I’m tense, I’m poised, I’m ready to spring. The doors hiss open, and I race into the warmth of the carriage and cast my practiced eyes around for an empty seat.

I find one, next to a fat man in pinstripes and a toupee eating cornchips at seven in the morning. It’s a seat.

The crowd becomes subdued as the train pulls out. The station is exciting, the beginning of a new day. The journey is a sober reminder of what awaits at the ultimate stop—the gruelling ten hour day, the boss, the repetition, the boredom of the boardroom, the destruction of a soul.

The silence of the settled despair is deafening.

And I, who was so eager to be on the train in a prime sitting position, am now desperate for solitude.

I offer up my prime position next to the fat man and head to the door. I’m champing at the bit to be off the train, in the station, heading to my office where I can lock myself in the toilet for the first hour just to get a little peace and quiet.

Just a regular day at the office.

This is the result of a fifteen minute writing exercise. The only constrictions were the time limit and five randomly selected words from the dictionary. Today the words were: solitude, snow, deafening, love, and me.

Image courtesy of halighalie.

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Comments

For a 15 minute excercise this is an excellent read. "The silence of the settled despair is deafening." what a magic line.