Subway Train

Fiction By Hannah W. // 9/23/2009


**Needs some work, I know, but I'd like to hear what you all think of this...**

It’s the first time I’ve ever ridden the subway by myself. I’m a bit nervous as I hand the man in the booth my ticket, but he smiles kindly at me as he punches a hole in it. His salt-and-pepper hair pokes out a bit from under his blue hat.

           “Your first time?” he asks me. I nod. “Ah,” he says. “Well, you’re not alone. It’s everyone’s first time around here.” He hands me my ticket. The hole he’s punched is the shape of a heart.

“Thanks,” I say, and slip the ticket in my pocket. I walk through the metal turning gate and stand on the platform. My heart beats quicker with anticipation.

Someone bumps me from behind.
“Oops, sorry,” she says. She looks a bit frazzled, super curly red hair spilling over her shoulders. A toddler grips her hand, and she cradles a baby in her other arm.

“Oh, it’s all right,” I say. Then, curious, I ask, “Is it your first time riding the subway?”

“Well, I have ridden one before, but not this particular subway,” she replies. “Do you want to sit by me?”

I nod. “I…”
The look in her eyes is like a comforting hug. “Don’t worry abou it,” she says. I smile back.
I can hear music coming from somewhere farther down, and it sounds like a guitar… a saxophone… a flute. They’re playing in perfect harmony, a calming tune. I close my eyes and take some deep breaths.

The silver subway train pulls in fast, and the gust of air blows my skirt around my knees. I’m giddy now. I let the red-haired lady board first, and then I get on. I show one of the workers my ticket. It’s a young man, freckle-faced and smiling.
I can’t find the red-haired mother again, so I sit down uncomfortably alone. But in a moment I am joined by a husband and wife, very old, but their dark eyes shine when they look at each other. The woman smiles at me and reaches out a hand.
“Hello, dear,” she says, as I grasp her smooth, dark-skinned hand. Her husband smiles and tips his beige hat, smoothing the brim as he sets it back on his bald head.
“Hello,” I say shyly.
They sit beside me and the old woman takes my hand in hers and sighs contentedly. “Your first time on the subway?”
“Mine too.” She pats my hand. “No need to worry. We’ll get where we’re going soon enough.”
I gulp. “Where are we going?” I ask quietly. “I just sort of woke up in the subway, with a ticket…”
“Oh, honey,” she hugs me tight. “You’re going home.”
Suddenly it all clicks.
Strangely, I’m not so afraid. Not as much as I once thought I would be.
The subway train makes a kind of jump beneath us, and there’s a rattling as it ascends a hill. Normally this would frighten me, but now I know that this is no regular subway. There is light at the end of the tunnel, and I realize that we’re not underground anymore. We enter the light, and through the rounded windows I can see green fields stretching all over. A cow munches tall grass at the side of the tracks, unfazed as we charge smoothly past. The bell around its neck jangles loud enough for me to just catch the sound before it’s out of sight.
I look at all the other passengers. Many are old, but there are some who are young. I spot the mother and her two children, a boy in a blue suit, an old man who looks at a small photo in his hands. Maybe his wife, I think. But he doesn’t look sadly at it, but instead he smiles at the face in the picture, as if he is smiling at the lovely lady herself.
My new companion notices me looking. “You might have a little photo yourself,” she says softly. I reach into my pocket… Sure enough, there’s a small rectangular photograph, and I see the faces of my mother, my father, my baby brother and my cousin June. Taped to the back of the picture is another, of my two best friends grinning in the sunlight. I can’t help smiling back.
“You see?” the old woman rubs my back gently. “You’ve already got the hang of it.”
“The hang of what?” I ask, but she only says,
“I’m Eleanor, by the way, and this is George.” Her husband looks away from the window at the sound of his name.
A man sitting in front of us turns around. “I couldn’t help but overhear,” he says. “My name’s Robert.”
Suddenly everyone is introducing themselves. I feel very warm and comfortable now, talking with these people that once were strangers. We are all going to the same destination, and our common love unites us.
Three ballerinas in their practice clothes join hands with each other, and the on eon the end reaches across the isle. Somehow, in a moment, we’ve all joined hands, and we are singing.
The train makes a little jump again, but then it stops, and then we’re not even on it anymore. We’re standing at the edge of our homeland, and the sun is so bright and warm, because it is so very close, and oh! It is more wonderful than anything I could have imagined.



I like, I can't really figure out what it all is about......but it is very well written. are you going to write more??? (I do hope so!)



Bernadette | Thu, 09/24/2009


Sorry, it's just a short story. ;) But thanks!! Glad you liked it! I miss you!!!
Love, Hannah
PS did you get Pierre's email?

Hannah W. | Thu, 09/24/2009

Nicely done

It reminds me a little of C.S. Lewis' The Great Divorce. Have you read it? You really should--it's an amazing book.

(The Great Divorce refers to the separation of heaven and hell, btw).

Heather | Thu, 09/24/2009

And now our hearts will beat in time/You say I am yours and you are mine...
Michelle Tumes, "There Goes My Love"

 Mmm... very nice.  I like!

 Mmm... very nice.  I like!  Perhaps a bit more could be done with the very beginning, the confusion of waking up in the subway not knowing how you got there... just a thought.  But I liked it and it was very well done.

Mary | Thu, 09/24/2009

Brother: Your character should drive a motorcycle.
Me: He can't. He's in the wilderness.
Brother: Then make it a four-wheel-drive motorcycle!


This reminded me a little about World War II when you wrote about the little pictures. I liked the way you wrote the story and I think it really draws the reader in!! Great job explaining the character's personalities!!I loved it!!!

Elizabeth | Thu, 09/24/2009


The Holy Spirit is the quiet guest of our soul." -St. Augustine


I really like this. It was thought provoking and had creavity that held ones intrest. I can see a few things that could use just a touch more of clarity...but other than that I found it really cool.

Mairead | Fri, 09/25/2009


"Sweet is the love that never knew a wound, but deeper that which died and rose again." - Mother Mary Francis


I loved it--it gave me chills. And I got it too--it reminded me of, like, the last chapter in CS Lewis' "The Last Battle", when they find out that there really was a train wreck; or "Leaf By Niggle", by JRR Tolkien.

Lovely, very lovely.

LoriAnn | Fri, 09/25/2009

Lovely, real mysterious and

Lovely, real mysterious and sweet and full of longing somehow.  I'm with LoriAnn, it reminds me a lot of 'The Last Battle'.

Clare Marie | Sat, 09/26/2009

"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." -Bilbo Baggins [The Lord of the Rings]

Ah! This is good! :)

Ah! This is good! :) Some spelling mistakes, and of course things can always use fine tuning, but I like this idea. I like it a lot. Not a bad way to get to heaven, if I do say so myself. :)

Sarah B. | Sun, 09/27/2009


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