Short Story: The Journey

The grey, empty platform looked hostile. Her eyes scanned hurryingly as though her panic would manifest into a person, there to greet her. There was no one. She needed to move, this was her stop. This was her time. “Come on!” she thought “move, you idiot.” Suddenly, in one swift breath she grabbed the bags and launched herself from the train.

Two minutes passed as her feet were rooted to the ground, her gaze intently transfixed to the back of the train. She waited for the train to disappear as though she needed to be sure; certain, that it had left. Her eyes closed as she felt a surge of triumphant relief. “Step one, complete” she thought.

The rain which had been making sporadic appearances throughout her train journey had now made itself known. Beating down on her neck she barely flinched as the cold beads ran down her back. Sweeping her dark, thin hair from her face she carried her three bags to the cash point under the small shelter of the station.

Sliding her debit card from her battered purse her hand trembled as she looked down at her card. There she read her name over and over as her eyes blurred from the rain drops trickling into her open eyes. Kate Lynne Myers it read.

As Kate stood with her back turned she was oblivious to the stranger watching on from inside the station café. Kate had always been slim but her frail figure now hunched over the cash point as she stared down. She seemed consumed with something the stranger thought. She turned but not before hiding the money in the sleeve of her coat, an old habit which she hadn’t tired of.  She looked up and caught the eye of the stranger who now sat peering curiously at the woman in the rain. Their eyes met. Kate’s eyes where a mist of blues that fought through her pale skin and dark hair which was now clinging to her face. Quickly, Kate looked down at the floor seemingly alarmed by the strangers gaze.

She hustled her bags to the side of the road and tapped on the glass window of a taxi.  “Where to love?” said the driver barely even looking up from his paper “Erm, to this address please. Do you know it?” Kate replied handing him a sodden bit of paper, now only barely legible. “Aye, I na that road. Jump in pet” he said in thick Geordie accent.

In the back of the cab Kate felt her hands warm as she listened to the driver complain politely about the sudden downfall of rain. “You brought a storm with you” he laughed. Kate smiled apologetically at him in the rear view mirror and began to feel comfortable for the first time that day. “So” he continued.” What’s your name then?” Slightly shaky but without hesitation she replied “Kaitlin”

“Sorry love?”

She cleared her throat.

“Kaitlin“ She repeated, smiling with surprise as though it were no longer her own voice she was speaking “My name is Kaitlin Pitchford”

Nearly forty minutes passed and the small talk trailed off to the murmur of the car heater. Kaitlin felt her eyes shut involuntarily as she struggled to stay awake. In her half sleep she observed the driver through her squinted eyes. She watched how his chubby hands rustled in the in the sweet packet and how he burped continuously into his fist after every gulp of coffee.

The coffee smell filled the taxi as she allowed her mind to wander momentarily. She was at home, in the kitchen. It was morning and the kettle was boiling. The noise of the bubbles put her on edge as she winced in its last few seconds, switching it off at the plug before it had chance to click. Impossible silence was now something she chased

“Hello? Hi? That’s thirty three quid pet”

The driver brought her back. She was there, finally. Slipping the money from her sleeve she didn’t notice the drivers puzzled look as she smoothly revealed the roll of money. Hovering in wait of the change she was owed Kaitlin peered through the misty glass out onto the street. She could see a red door. Number 26.

“Dodgy area here you know” said the driver flatly as he watched Kaitlin pick every last coin from his hand. “I’ve seen worse. Much worse” her reply was serious and for the first time she looked the driver in the eye.

“Well goodbye Kaitlin.” He said smiling, searching her face to see if she too was impressed that he remembered her name. Kaitlin smiled impishly at hearing her name out loud and cautiously stepped out of the taxi.

She made her way down the garden path clutching onto an envelope. She hadn’t opened the envelope yet. She knew what was inside. It didn’t have an address on the front or a letter inside, simply a key. It had been handed to her in a hurry, crumpled in the sweaty palm of the giver and delivered with a whisper.

She got to the door and placed down her bags looking behind her. She opened the envelope and took out the key. The metal felt cold and hard in her hands. She opened the door slowly.

“Hello?” she coughed.

No one was there.

“Hello?”  the no one didn’t answer.

Satisfied she exhaled as she stepped into the house closing the door behind her. She stood for a moment observing the quaint cottage hallway. The staircase curved up towards the sole bedroom of the house its handrail wooden and worn.  She turned back to lock the door and as quickly as she felt the door lock click she knew.

The hairs stood up on the back of her neck as the slow realisation brushed over her. Her eyes closed as she moved her head back in despair and acceptance of the pain that was about to follow. The crack of her skull echoed as cold metal hit the back of her head, her face slamming into the door. Her arms didn’t attempt to break her fall as she hit the ground. Drowning into darkness she looked up at the black figure standing over her. He was smiling.

5 thoughts on “Short Story: The Journey

  1. Amazing! I want to read more. As I was reading it I could really picture everything, the place, the taxi driver, Kate, the weather, the cottage. I was in suspense about where she was going and I would love to know what happens next.

  2. i love this , I founf this web site when looking for idea for a gcse paper , AMAZING wish it was a long story not a short one 🙂

  3. I aabsolutely love your log and find many of your post’s to be exactly
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    suit your needs? I wouldn’t mind composing a post or elaborating
    on most of the subjects yoou write regarding here. Again, awesome blog!

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