Sunday, March 05, 2023

Micro Fiction March Day 5


After writing a sonnet about unconditional love yesterday, today's challenge gave me a chance to splash around in more familiar waters. I can't say I'm deliriously happy with what I've written today, but it's more important to write something than write something great (at least, that's what I'm telling myself right now!). Today's idea arrived reasonably fully formed and it was a challenge to whittle it down to 300 words but I managed - just. So, without further ado, here it is...

First Person Train Journey

I didn’t mean to kill him. 

Actually, that's not strictly true. I did mean to kill him, but I didn't mean to kill him tonight or leave behind so much evidence. But he always knew how to press my buttons, and I just snapped.

The kitchen knife slid in so much easier than I expected. His eyes wide. Hands clutching the handle.

I left him there on the floor. Packed a bag. Took money and passport. Booked a flight from Heathrow to Costa Rica after googling who doesn't have an extradition treaty with the UK. And now it's 5.59am, I'm 10 minutes into my train journey and we're stuck in a tunnel.

No one else in carriage and the lights go out. Fuck. And no signal on my phone. The phone's torch is working though, so I thumb it on and head to the next carriage. 

The door is locked.

There's a pained groan from behind me and the hairs go up on the back of my neck. It's impossible but I know it's him before I even turn around. The knife still lodged in his stomach. He drags himself down the aisle towards me, a trail of blood slick behind him. This can't be happening, my brain screams. But it is.

My back to the locked door, I watch as he inches closer. He's dead but he's coming for me all the same. Blood-soaked fingers outstretched to me.

I scream, finally, as I feel his hands close on my ankles like steel manacles.

And I know this is the end.

*    *    *

Police have named Amy Carruthers, 38, as the main suspect in the murder of Dominic Pierce. CCTV footage shows Carruthers stepping onto the platform at Tamworth Station but she never got on the earliest train at 6.03am.


Andy Roberts said...

The wheels of the train clickety-clacked relentlessly, the uneven rhythm almost hypnotic as the train hurtled through the countryside.

The night sky was peppered with a myriad stars and the moonlight bathed the mountains in a glow so ominous they looked like giant amorphous monsters looming over the horizon.

It had been a difficult few months, but I was excited at the prospect of seeing my mother and sister again. In fact, it had felt like an eternity since Papa and I had set out on our “little adventure” one chilly evening back in September. Despite not being able to say goodbye to Imma and Hannah, Papa assured me they’d be just fine.

December without them was especially difficult, though.

I fully understood the weight of responsibility on our shoulders: the war had been in full swing for some time, and our country needed brave soldiers like Papa and I to help out on the front lines.

As I sat up to get a better view of the mountains, I felt Papa’s hand on my shoulder.

“You should probably get some sleep,” he said.

“I can’t,” I whispered, “I’m too excited.”

Papa took a deep breath, and gave me his best reassuring smile.

“They’ll probably be pretty tired too,” he said. “Rest, ok?”

For the next few hours I drifted in and out of consciousness curled up on Papa’s lap, as we hurtled through the night towards our family reunion.

“Where are we, Papa?” I said, as the train ground to a halt, brakes squealing.

“Treblinka,” he said softly.

“Will we get a chance to shower before we see Imma and Hannah?”

I looked up as tears rolled down Papa’s cheeks.

“We will,” he said. “In fact, that’s where we’re going right now.”

Oliver Davies said...

This is sad, and brilliant, Andy.