Ozoni, The Contributor
He is alone
He is alone
He lacks a friend
He lacks a home
And being hungry
Lacks a bone
As from today
He's but a stray
He has no place
Where he can stay
He's but a dog
A lonely dog
Recent PostsLast Train Home on 7/14/2019 5:28:27 AM
Imo one of my favourites to write so far.
having said that, retarded typos don't mind me
Last Train Home on 7/14/2019 5:26:22 AM
From inside the carriage, the train purred, hushed by double glazing. He stared at himself through too-long hair, looking back through too-long hair. The darkness outside made the train's window into a passable mirror. They'd been travelling for hours now and the carriage was almost empty. He sat alone except for an elderly couple towards the front and a young woman directly behind him. Twisting around, he shifted his focus in the mirror-of-happenstance and casually examined the girl.
She was pretty in a fragile sort of way, slight and pale. She wore a pair of fashionable overly large sunglasses and a tiny red cardigan tied loosely over a short, white dress. Long black tights clung to thin legs crossed at the ankle. The overall effect was marred somewhat by a brilliant pink scarf draped elegantly over her head, giving her the appearance of an incognito 1920's film star. She was young, no older than twenty-five. Her head lay propped against the steepled fingers of one hand while the other pinned a book to her lap. He tried to make out the title at the top of the page through the jittery reflection but remembered that even if it stilled, the writing would be back to front.
"Admiring the view?" she asked, a smile bright in her voice.
He blushed. "Um... yeah, I... I guess."
A self-conscious grin pulled at the corners of his mouth. She had left the book in her lap and now sat regarding his reflection, easily resting her chin on the heel of one hand, fingers curled so that the tips lay upon the curve of her bottom lip.
"Where are you going?" he asked via the night-stained glass. The trip was long and small-talk seemed a better alternative to silence.
She smiled, teeth bright against the darkness. Marking the page with her ticket, she closed the book.
"That's a pretty complicated question," she replied enigmatically. She eased into the chair slightly, which he took as an invitation to continue.
"What do you mean?" he retorted with a grin of his own, "I get off at Maryborough."
"And where to then?" she cocked her head to one side, still smiling slightly.
"My Mum'II pick me up and take me home I guess." He began to ask whether anyone was meeting her at the station but didn't have time.
"And after that?" Her smile faded, her words hushed but intense.
"Well, my brothers come home next week, so I suppose I'll... "
She cut across him.
"And in ten years time, where then?" she murmured with a profound finality that left him speechless.
He stared at the back of the seat in front of him uneasily; these obviously weren't the answers she was looking for. In anyone else it might have been hostility but with her head to one side and the prospect of another smile, she held him captivated.
"I ... I don't know."
The silence was unpleasant even if their repartee had been somewhat one-sided. The purr of the train boomed in the void. He looked back at her reflection.
She stared out into the blackness. "I did, I knew exactly where I was going to be."
He waited for her to continue. She sighed bitterly under the scarf and sunglasses, irritably tapping a knuckle on the book cover.
He picked at the arm rest. They sat in silence as the train continued to hum.
He waited for her discomfort to ebb. It didn't seem that she was angry at him, so after a while he decided to try again. He turned around and knelt on his seat, resting his chin on arms crossed over the headrest. The novelty of the window had worn off.
She looked thinner without the window, paler too. She sat once again with head on hand, staring out into the night, probing the rushing gloom.
"So-e ... um, do you come to Brisbane much?" he stumbled lamely.
She turned, "I used to visit a lot," pausing for a moment, she casually added, "but I was just seeing some old friends at the hospital this time."
He nodded sagely.
The silence lengthened but surprisingly she spoke first, albeit quietly.
"I wonder what's out there. If it's just darkness," she said, slowly turning the book around and around in her lap.
He looked at the window. A level crossing flashed by.
"It's cattle and cane from here all the way to Bunda berg," he quipped wittily.
"Yes," she said softly, her voice barely audible above the hum of the train, "I suppose it is."
It began to rain. Thin trails crossed the glass as the droplets beetled from one side to the other. She slipped her fingers under the sunglasses and rubbed at her eyes.
The boy turned back and slumped down, silently fumbling with his hands before choking out, "You ... I just, I just wanted to say... "
He was interrupted by a long crackling tone.
He sat disheartened as the PA garbled; the next stop was Maryborough.
"You said Maryborough was yours, didn't you?" she said to the window over the static. He nodded.
The train had arrived late. The boy wrestled his bag from the rack and dragged it onto the freezing platform.
His mother was there. They shared a one armed squeeze in the frigid drizzle before shepherding the unruly suitcase to the car.
The girl sat alone now except for the elderly couple. She watched the night engulf the station as the train drew away. She took off her sunglasses and massaged her eyes with pale fingertips. The treatment meant that she had lost her eyelashes along with the rest of her hair and now her eyes were permanently swollen and raw. The boy had left her puzzled. She didn't want pity, people didn't realise how infuriating pity could become. He had been something else though. She checked her reflection in the window. She knew she looked ill but he hadn't mentioned it at all. Theirs had been the first conversation in months that hadn't made her feel she was a good girl for being so brave. Then again, she mused, he hadn't known.
He sat in the front passenger's seat. The glow of the headlights through the wiper and rain lashed windscreen smeared blotchy lines of light across his face. It had been hard for him. She had been so shut off, so tightly wrapped in the future that she was missing what time she had left. But he knew the words would have cheapened the moment; just another sob story.
He realised that his mother had been talking but had since stopped. He looked up at her. She had aged since he'd last been home; she looked ten years older and as tired as he'd ever seen her. He reached a hand over and squeezed her shoulder.
"How's Dad going?"
New Contest Theme: Lone Hero on 7/14/2019 3:35:30 AM
No promise on that, I've barely midway through planning
6 word stories on 7/13/2019 11:26:53 PM
Bruh Moment Numero Dos on 7/7/2019 5:53:49 AM
Glad you enjoyed it!
New Contest Theme: Lone Hero on 7/6/2019 6:51:02 PM
Yeah put me down for this one
New Contest Theme: Lone Hero on 7/6/2019 12:18:21 AM
Would giving the lone hero a companion be against the rules? Like, a lone duo? Or is this a hard one protag. only?
Heterosexual Mythological Creature Contest on 7/5/2019 8:38:20 AM
yes understandable have a nice day
Heterosexual Mythological Creature Contest on 7/5/2019 8:22:32 AM
The most heterosexual of all.
Tethered on 7/5/2019 4:32:23 AM
Yeah I think this is the first 1st person one I've put up.