Saturday, June 8, 2013

Prompt: smile, magazine, mirror, triskaidekaphobia, tracks (use at least 3 of these)

"Come on, darling, let’s get started,” the photographer said. I saw the impatience in his tight muscles, though he kept his voice and smile friendly enough. I tried to relax, to get into the first pose. I couldn’t unclench my hands. I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

Track 13. Whispered in my mind.

No! I wanted to cry out. The train was on Track 3!

From the right. But you know there are 15 tracks in the station. 13 from the left.

I shuddered and forced myself into the first pose. I was looking out the window, so it didn’t matter that I couldn’t smile. I saw my reflection like a ghost, the city lights already fading in the distance.

“That’s it, honey. Beautiful. Just go through the poses. Take your time. Relax. Beautiful!”

I pushed myself into the second pose, looking down the length of the dining car.

Thirteen tables.

I flinched and almost jumped into the third pose.

“Come on, baby. Relax. Remember how the poses flow from one to the next. Go with the flow. Loosen up. Lighten up. You’re so tense! Come on, honey, this is a yoga magazine, not MMA.”

I felt the laugh bubble up, then die in my throat. Through the window, in the curve ahead of us, I could see the cars leaving the tracks. I counted them. All twelve of them. I held my breath and waited for the crash.

The photographer gripped my shoulders and shook me. I gasped and blinked. The train still rumbled along the track. No flames. No cars tumbling and twisting and burning.

“Honey, you’ve got to pull yourself together. Come on. We’ve gotten through the first three poses. Ten more to go…”

Dogs in house:

Princess & the Frog

Time writing:
15 minutes

June word count:

1 comment:

  1. Prompt: smile, magazine, mirror, triskaidekaphobia, tracks (use at least 3 of these)

    Eileen frowned at the display above the train tracks. "I'm not feeling so good about this. Maybe we should wait until tomorrow."

    "What, are you coming down with triskaidepkaphobia?" Mike asked with a smile.

    "What?" said Eileen.

    "We're track thirteen?"

    "Oh, no," Eileen said, distracted. "It's just... Do you think they'll exchange the tickets?" She spun her suitcase on its wheels and headed back towards the ticket office, trusting Mike to follow after. She felt a bit light-headed and embarrassed: this wasn't like her. But the urge to put off the trip to visit her aunt was nearly overwhelming.

    The line to the ticket windows was considerably longer than when they had bought the tickets, just fifteen minutes ago. They inched forward, and eventually reached the front.

    "Window number thirteen," intoned the same bright, recorded voice that directed you to the next open service window at the post office. Eileen blinked. There were only five stations.

    "Coming?" said Mike, halfway to the middle window, over which blinked the number three and a green arrow.

    "Yes, sorry." Eileen trotted to catch up. She must have misheard.

    "How can I help you?" asked the ticket office woman.

    Eileen put her tickets on the small shelf in front of the glass. "I know we just bought these, but is it possible--"

    "To exchange them for tickets for tomorrow?" finished the woman. "Yes, no problem."

    Mike leaned forward. "How did you--"

    "Know?" asked the woman. She gestured behind them. "It's what everbody's doing. It's all over Twitter."

    "Why?" asked Eileen, even though she was the one who had sent them back here. Maybe other people had a better reason.

    The woman shrugged. "Because everybody tweets everything nowadays."

    "No, I meant, why exchanging tickets? Surely not everyone?"

    "Not thirteen, it just seems like it from this side," said the woman.

    "Excuse me?" said Eileen. "What did you just say?"

    "Not everyone, it just seems like it to me on this side of the desk," said the woman. "You okay?"

    "Yeah, sorry, I think I'm not hearing right." Eileen shook her head. Her ears did feel funny.

    "So, do you want an open thirteen again?" asked the woman.

    Eileen patted her ears. "Excuse me?"

    Mike stepped up, getting out his wallet. "Yes, an open return again, for tomorrow, thank you." He touched Eileen's elbow. "Hey, are you feeling thirteen?"

    "_What?_" Eileen shook her head.

    "Just hold on, dear. We can sit down in a moment." Mike finished paying for the new tickets and took Eileen's suitcase in the hand not pulling his. "What did you think I said?"

    Eileen followed, feeling even more lightheaded. "I don't know..."

    "Just thirteen here," said Mike, gesturing at a bench. "We can thirteen thirteen thirteen."

    Eileen covered her ears, panic rising. "Be quiet!"

    Time writing: ~30 mintues