Write On Edge: Red-Writing-Hood

She looked like a college student on her way to class, trying to read a textbook as she clung to the subway car’s pole. Her mass of electrified ginger curls was tucked up in the hood of her slightly threadbare duster-length khaki sweater jacket. The military style boots on her feet shifted with the train, trying to keep her still enough to read.

She was not reading.

She was watching.

And counting.

There were four. Then two. Then up to six. Changing as the train stopped and the load of passengers changed with the destinations. Each ride, the new number made a drumbeat in her head. Seven. Four. Five.

She turned a page in the book.

The next stop. It would happen at the next stop.

The number rattled in her head with the rhythm of the train. Five. There were five.

Would it be enough to make it worth it? If any got off, it would not be, she knew.

The train slowed as it pulled into the dim station. None made a move as if to disembark.

It stopped.

She shifted her book, her hand turned a page, and as she gripped the edge again, the fingers of her right hand splayed. To anyone looking, her eyes never left the page.

The man leaning against the wall, waiting for the train bound for the other direction, stopped reading his paper and turned his head towards the front of her train. After a short pause, he tucked the paper under his arm.

She sucked in a quiet breath and closed her book. The doors opened. She swung her bag forward and put the book away. Crouching down, she tied her shoe. When she got up, her bag was not on her shoulder. She made a leap and squeezed through before the doors closed.

She was just emerging from the station, she was on the last step, entering the sunlight, when she felt the rumble of the explosion through the soles of her boots.


18 thoughts on “Motion

  1. This was an interesting scene. You built up the tension well, giving just the slightest hints that something bad was about to happen.

    Small concrit: I think it should be “slowed” instead of slows where the train comes to the station. Using slows changes tense šŸ™‚

  2. I was not expecting that ending at all! You did a great job of setting the scene, building the tension in it as she questions whether there will be ‘enough’. the rumble of the explosion in the soles of her feet is a great image as well

  3. Hello! I followed a link which led to another link, and ultimately I found you through the Red Writing Hood link up. As a former wanna be writer and the mother of a teen who is struggling her way through learning to craft a novel of her own, I really enjoyed reading this. It was sparse, descriptive, and above all, drew me to a place where I wanted, with all my being, to know who this girl was, what had pushed her toward this dastardly deed, and what happened to those who she encountered. I get that it’s a small piece, unconnected to a whole, but boy, you did it! You captured me. I read a little deeper into your blog, and came to find that you are a mother, student, and writer. DON’T STOP. There is a gift in your words, and I wanted to tell you that I, for one, would read more from you any time. Keep up the good work. Don’t let the life that goes on around you keep you from crafting words into stories and worlds. This was excellent. I will be back to read more! I wish you all the best… Erin, from MI

  4. I have a love affair with NYC. I moved here this December and have been carefully recording my developing relationship with the subway. You write with such authority. Even down to her clothing, I felt like she was a girl I’d seen over a thousand times on the subway. Great job. I knew something bad was about to happen, but your ending was surprising and intense. Loved this.

    • Thanks! I actually linked to the incorrect post though. This was one I wrote for WOE for the violence prompt. My lastest post, Halt, is the anti-hero and a continuation of Motion.

  5. Tight prose, a sense of foreboding fulfilled, and you left us with lots of questions to find answers for.

    You’ve definitely blurred the lines of good and bad here. Brava!

    • Thanks. I actually wrote this one for the violence prompt. I wrote another section of the same story for the anti-hero. It’s my latest post, Halt.

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