Furious Fiction publication week has rolled by again, this time set on a train. This months criteria for the competition were;
– The story must take place on a train,
– It must include something frozen,
– It must include three consecutive three word sentences.
I often found myself captivated when travelling by train, lost in the scenery racing by. The panorama was majestic; it felt like I was observing an untouched wilderness with snow-capped peaks sparkling above crowded forests. I stared out the window to a world filled with inspiration, untouched by the trespasses of modern man.
The sketch pad and pencil in my lap lay almost forgotten, immersed as I was in the experience. I can’t say why my eyes found her as she walked into my carriage.
The pencil became animate in my hand. With stolen glances I began to sketch her likeness on the page. The familiar nose. Those green eyes. It was remarkable.
She appeared to be alone and captured her own images from a camera handled with a confident carriage. A fellow artist, it seemed. My hand scribbled details, soft black hair hanging around her face, the dimple on her cheek as she smiled.
My mind cast back to a time long gone, a relationship ended. I had thought, but no, she told me she wasn’t. I never saw her again after that.
I watched her let out a deep breath and crane her head as she let the camera dangle around her neck. She made to move on, perhaps to another carriage with a better angle, and as she drew near, her eyes found mine.
I couldn’t look away, my mouth hung open and my hand froze on the page. My heart hammered, the only sound I heard in the close confine of people.
Her eyes widened as she frowned, she looked like her mother when she did that, but there was no mistaking the resemblance. I swallowed and took a shuddering breath.
She closed the final few steps and stopped in front of me, casting her eyes down to the page where her face was mirrored.
“Mary Wilson.” I breathed.
“That’s my mother’s name.” Her voice shook, and she turned her eyes up, searching my features.
“How old are you?” It was barely a whisper
“My daughter, she’s seventeen, she could be your twin.” My voice cracked, and the world spun around me.
Holding a trembling hand to her mouth, her eyes glistened. “She never spoke about you.” Tears spilled down her cheek. “She used to tell me I should call her husband dad.”
“I never knew.”
“She told me that too.” Her hand fell and her mouth twisted. “I never even knew your name.”
My mouth worked, tears stung the corners of my own eyes. “Barry. My name is Barry Yates.”
That moment in time remained forever etched into my soul. There are times and experiences that defy logic — when serendipity visits, we can only marvel at our happy coincidences.
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