The Junction


(Copyright Ted Strutz)

This is my Friday Fictioneers submission for the week. The above picture has a strange, haunting quality which seems to have inspired a rare, straight-even sombre- story. It’s a bit of a departure for me and the forced economy of the word limit was probably helpful in keeping my from getting too melodramatic. I’ll be back to frivolity next week, I promise. (Nb-having read some of the other stories, it’s obvious the photo’s of a ferry. I thought it was a train going over a low bridge or by the side of a body of water-a la Penzance)

The train slows on the approach. This is my stop, a short walk from my house. Sally should be back by now, would’ve been back if she’d taken the train to work that morning.

It’s getting dark. I finished late, as usual. The new management work us harder than Mr Evans ever did. Even after the accident, they let it be known that if I took my eye off the ball, there’d be…repercussions. Two day’s compassionate leave for the funeral arrangements and that was it. Nothing personal, they said; they’d a business to run.

A recorded announcement reminds me to take my personal belongings with me. I ignore it, sit back, let the train pull away, let it carry me away till the land runs out. There’s nothing to keep me here anymore.

I look around the carriage; I’m not the only one.



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20 responses to “The Junction

  1. Very effective in evoking the dark mood, the pain of loss.A haunting story to match the haunting photo.

  2. I enjoyed your foray into the darkness. Well done.

  3. kz

    you did a great job in creating the gloomy atmosphere… i was able to imagine the train pulling away.

  4. Holy crap, that last line was the worst! (and i mean that in the best way)

  5. A train. I could see that. Nice mood evoking.

  6. Dear Etienne,

    A somber story. You set the tone well.



  7. Dear Etienne,

    You mentioned ‘the forced economy of the word limit’ and then ignored it to produce a somber story revolving around a person of unknown sex, a mysterious funeral and Sally, who may or may not be dead. Oh, yes, and a train ride out of town. What’s going on here? (I’ll keep my eye on the comments and see what I missed.)



    • Hi Doug, I think the train is explained in the preamble as a case of mistaken identity. A case of “It’s not what you look at that matters, but what you see,” perhaps? 🙂

    • Dear Doug, I was actually referring to the forced economy as a good thing in that it forces me to distil the sort down to its bare bones. In this case-as has been the case every time I’ve entered FF-however, I felt that to go below 100 words would have diminished the story too much and, whilst I could have had a go at something shorter, it would have been a lesser story in every sense. That said, I think your interpretation of my story sounds much better than the story itself. All the best.

  8. Your economy of words worked. And your last line leaves room for the reader’s personal interpretation. Very well done.

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