My shot at a short story.

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by XC, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. The glass windows of the train were repeatedly peppered by an onslaught of raindrops and the sky outside was a murky grey, occasionally rendered asunder by a streak of blue lightning; nature's ultimate force of destruction. So powerful and deadly, yet so beautiful.

    That was the thought that was going through the girl's mind as she looked outside, the landscape having come to a pause as a slightly nasal sounding woman announced their arrival at a train station. The girl's gaze flitted to the clock that hung on top of the door to the next carriage. The second, minute and hour hand simultaneously melded together, and the clock struck midnight. She had been sitting in this booth for quite a while now. She had no idea where she was going either. She was from a small town. A town so small its name was insignificant. Problem? This girl had big dreams. The small town life didn't suit her. Two days ago, on her eighteenth birthday she packed up and left. Two bags of clothes and her own personal belongings and a fifty or two in her pocket with some spare change. That was all she had left in the world.

    That, and her dreams.

    She wanted to write. She loved to write. To her, it felt like playing God. To shape every detail about the world, its people, its trees, its sky, its grass. All to your liking. Your characters acted upon your every whim and their life was in your hands.

    If that was not playing God, then what was?

    The thought brought a wry smile to her lips, her cheek cold against the glass. The pitter patter of rain drops had become natural. It had been there for so long the girl had already considered it a part of her environment. The denizens of the train kept to themselves, immersed in whatever they had, be it sleep, a book, work or just the landscape outside.
    The girl was enjoying the solitude, the overall serenity of things when one sentence. Just one sentence, one voice, brought its fragile balance all crashing down.

    "May I sit here?" A male's voice asked. It was youthful and it carried an unfamiliar burr to it. American, definitely, but America was a big, big place and all sorts of accents came into play.

    The girl glanced up with - a look of annoyance had crossed her face, at how the careful balance of her quiet world had been brought crashing down. All because of a single sentence. A single question.

    "Can't you sit elsewhere?" The girl half-snapped, her voice irritated.

    The boy shrugged, his cheerful smile still plastered all over his face. "Thought you'd like some company," he said, "looks like you've been here for a while and you've been alone the whole time."

    "What makes you think I don't have a very jealous boyfriend that has just gone to the washroom?" She snapped back.

    "The seat opposite you is empty and the cushion is smooth. No one's sat there for a long time. And seriously, girl, with an attitude like that?" The boy shot her a grin that looked like it could melt ice before he settled himself into the seat opposite her.

    The girl didn't say anything. The boy did get her this time around. All she did was grunt and turn back to lean her face against the glass, feeling, and hearing the train vibrate. However, she did find herself taking occasional glances at the boy - he wasn't a bad looking person. Neither was he Tom Cruise. There was just something about that boyish grin .. It made the cold train feel warm all of a sudden.

    "So .. You play?" The girl asked softly, jerking her head towards the guitar case that sat in the seat beside the boy. "Whats it to you .. ? Thought you liked being alone." The boy said it in a cheerful tone - there was no malice in it. Just playfulness.

    The girl couldn't help but smile. It wasn't everyday you met someone like him. Someone who could take your shit and still smile at you and joke around. Maybe he wasn't as bad as he first seemed to be. Maybe she was just annoyed that someone broke her train of thought.

    "Fine, fine. You're welcome to sit here, okay?" The girl shook her head with a look of amusement.

    "Thank you!" The boy clapped both hands together as if he had been starving and the girl gave him a sandwich. "Right, yeah. I play. I wanna be a singer someday. What about you? A writer?" The boy inclined his head towards the table, where the girl's thick notebook sat. In there was dozens and dozens of her short stories.

    "Mmhmm. Where are you from?" The girl inquired curiously.

    "South Detroit. Born and raised there. I'm a city boy, out to see the world. You?"

    "Nowhere of any interest. Trust me."

    There was a short silence. And then the both of them spoke at the same time.

    "Where are you heading?"

    "Anywhere."

    They promptly broke out into laughter. It was a good contrast against the silence of the train. It brought some life to the inactivity, added a bit of colour to the dull grey that had smothered the entire place. For the rest of their train ride, they talked and joked and laughed. It was good company for a boring train ride. In the end, the both of them went their separate ways, after getting off at Seattle.

    "Hey, I didn't get your name!" The girl called out, suddenly remembering - that was how much they were into the conversation. Names, normally the first things exchanged when two met had become negligible. They had talked like old friends that had known each other for decades.

    "Or however I should contact you." The girl muttered under her breath glumly, when she realized that the boy was gone. Lost in the crowd.

    "He's probably like that to everyone." The girl tried to comfort herself, before she walked away. In the opposite direction.

    Little did she know - little did the both of them know.

    They had been thinking the same, after they parted.

    End of Part 1.

    Cookies to those that notice something.
     
  2. The girl closed the umbrella just as she walked into the dingy bar. She shook the umbrella slightly, her coat darkening in a million different spots from the spray and placed it in a rack right next to the door before she took off her coat - underneath she wore a blue turtleneck that fit her snugly and a pair of jeans. She hadn't planned to get into this bar, but the rain just forced her off the road. You know that you shouldn't be walking when you couldn't even see what was going on right in front of you. The air in the bar smelt faintly of cheap perfume, expected from the entourage of the bar. There was a slight tinge of wine, too. It was as if those who walked into this bar dreamt of the good life and tried to live it, entering a shadow of what they considered truly the good life - smelling of cheap perfume and sipping cheap wine in a dimly lit bar that was so more likely because they didn't have money to pay the bills instead of trying to contribute to the ambience.

    It appears that she was the only person in the bar, safe for the bartender who was cleaning a line of shot glasses with a rag and the musician, who sat on his stool on the small raised platform that constituted the stage and played a few bars of music here and there to compensate for the silence.

    There was a .. familiarity to how the boy looked but .. No. She just couldn't put a finger as to where she had seen the boy before. She gave up anyway. It was too taxing for her. She had just gone through a round of pitches with different publishers regarding her book and none of them had gone well. It looked like every publisher was only interested in vampires and angels and romance and werewolves nowadays. It's been the better half of a decade since she left her hometown to fulfill her dreams but their fulfilment seemed nowhere in sight yet. The girl still held hope, though.

    Sbe was in New York City. The city of dreams, right?

    For the boy, it had also been the better half of a decade since he had gotten out of Detroit and went to New York. He's been to multiple auditions but none of the record producers wanted his sound - he had insisted that his sound remain untampered and clean of any editing and that had been his folly. His morality had become his downfall. Now, all he did was play at small time bars and earning barely enough money to scrape by in life. When the girl entered, however, he found a sense of nostalgia stirring within him.

    Something.

    Something he wasn't able to pin point.

    *Must be the beer I had just now,* he thought.

    The girl bought a drink from the bar. If she was going to take shelter here, the least that she could do was get something. With her bottle of beer she sat down on one of the wooden stools that filled the area and the boy started to strum a tune on his guitar. This time it was complete and it wasn't just for practice.

    In a gravelly voice the boy did his acoustic rendition of "Piano Man", A rather ironic song choice due to his instrument but it was good. The girl found herself smiling as she sipped the beer and felt it warm her insides. She shuddered, both from the emotion that lined the song and the comfort of the surge of warmth.

    When the boy finished, the girl clapped in appreciation, earning a boyish grin that she found oh so familiar but decided against pondering on it because of how tiring it would be and walked forward, dropping a five dollar note in the boy's jar.

    "Thanks." The boy nodded once more. It was the first amount of money he had received today.

    "I like good music. Ever thought about signing on?" The girl replied with a small smile.

    "You flatter me. And yeah, I have. The wanted me to change my sound so I said no. What about you .. ?" The boy inquired, putting away his guitar since the girl didn't seem like she would want another song for a moment.

    "I .. Wanna write. I mean, I do but I'm not publis-"

    The girl's voice was cut off by a beep from her phone. It was a text from another publishing company; they wanted to give her another chance, another listen. They asked if she could get there in fifteen minutes.

    Her eyes shot to the small square windows that gave the bar's inhabitants a view of the feet of those that walked by. The rain had more or less died down and .. But she had to find out who this boy is but ..

    Getting to know a boy could wait.

    "I gotta go. Wish me luck!" The girl half shouted as she put down her beer and threw on her coat, running out of the bar while opening her umbrella in one smooth motion.

    It was only then, when they were both out of sight that they remembered.

    Back to a time where they were on a midnight train, when they were both just starting up.

    The regret of not finding out each other's names, and how to keep in contact.

    It left both of them, a bitter after taste in their mouths. There had been .. so much promise if they had managed to keep in contact.

    The boy blinked away the thin film of tears that had gathered in his eyes; sad at his own stupidity, own inability to make the girl stay.

    As for the girl .. ? While she was running the drizzle peppered her face and as the droplets rolled down her cheek, she realized one thing.

    The rain tasted of salt.

    End of Part 2.