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Fiction Rally – Part One

22 June, 2014

As promised, here is the first part of a new collaborative fiction project that Joanne will be writing with me. Where will the plot take us? No idea. How long will it take us to get there? Dunno. Will the plot get as complicated and inpenetrable to the casual reader (but brilliantly fun and self-twisting for those who read from the start) as the Fiction Relay did? hashtag shrug.
I’ll probably do a homepage and summary later, but it doesn’t seem worth it after one chapter.

OK here it is, Fiction Rally part one. Enjoy…

 

 

Jennifer kicked her bag along the floor as the queue shuffled forward. She glanced up to the station departures board. The next London train was due to leave in nine minutes – probably long enough for her to buy a ticket and find the platform, especially as red letters next to the time flashed “overdue”. Overdue is about right, Jennifer thought, I should have done this long ago. And if she missed the next train, well there would be another one fifteen minutes later. No rush. The rest of her life could wait.

She checked her phone as the queue moved again. No new messages, no missed calls. She flicked back through her text messages from the last few days, those that had made her decide. The anger she had felt was still there as she re-read them, but it was much reduced now, replaced by a feeling of relief, of conviction that she was doing the right thing.

A tap on her shoulder brought her back to the present. “There’s a window free, dear,” an elderly voice behind her prompted. Jennifer carried her bag to the waiting cashier.
“Where to?”
“London please,” she asked, opening her purse.
“Return?”
“No.”

 

When the train pulled in to platform two, eight minutes late, Jennifer was the only passenger boarding the rear carriage. She had never taken the 14.25 before – her journeys to London were usually on the weekday 07.30 for work, or the Saturday 09.30 for pleasure – and she was surprised to find it virtually empty. All but one of the tables were free, and usually this was where she would sit, their double-rank of facing seats gave extra legroom and there would be somewhere to place her coffee if she bought one. But if anyone else boarded, she didn’t want the risk of them sitting with her. Today was not a day for idle chatter, discussing the weather, a brief encounter, she just wanted to get this journey over, to get there and… well, after that she would see.

She chose a non-descript seat halfway along the carriage, sat down heavily at the window, dropped her bag onto the seat alongside her to ensure she would keep the double seat for herself. She lowered the elbowrest below the sill of the window and leant on it, her chin on her hand as the station guard’s whistle blew. The engine of the train revved and, slowly, the platform began to move backwards. The speed increased, the advertising boards and warnings to keep off the track began to blur as Jennifer’s eyes glazed over. The end of the station passed, then the backs of industrial units, then terraced houses with conservatories and washing in the gardens and net-curtained windows and residents with hopes and dreams and worries and cares and lives. And as Jennifer’s eyes closed, drifting her into sleep, the eight carriages of the 14:25 entered the tunnel.

 

Okay, Joanne, your turn…

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8 Comments
  1. Reblogged this on joannebest and commented:
    TaDa! And we’re off! Fiction Rally Part One ~ Next stop, my blog. Buckle up, it’s gonna be a hell of a ride!

  2. Happy dances around the world! Last time you had to learn about the USA, now it’s my turn to live in London!!!! Can’t wait to see where this train takes us! ❤ I'm so excited! Awesome start my friend 😉

  3. I shall follow this, since I caught the first.

    • HI there RSW, and thanks for stopping by. I didn’t know we had any readers for the first fiction relay other than those who were writing it, so it’s great to hear you saw it!
      I hope you enjoy this new project…

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