Friday, January 27, 2012

Flash Fiction Friday #8

I call this one, “Waiting.” 
I considered for some time whose perspective to take when I looked at this week’s photo prompt.  The person who just boarded the train?  The cagy looking guy in the ballcap?  The porter?  However, I was repeatedly drawn back to the little boy.  He doesn’t look worried – just oddly trusting and patient as well as a bit curious. 
We never may know why he is in the train station, but this is what I think happened:
      
James said, “Stay there.  Don’t you move.  Don’t talk to anybody.”  He said he had important business in the city and it was too dangerous for little kids.  He gave me a hug and said he would be back soon.  He never hugged me before. 
Seventeen trains came, but James wasn’t on any of them. 

I had to pee real bad now, but James said don’t move.  A nice lady asked me if I was lost, but I didn’t talk to her.  James said don’t.  It was getting dark, but I didn’t worry.  James said he would be back soon. 
(See http://madisonwoods.wordpress.com/ if you want to play too)       

34 comments:

  1. That was really good. Great choice using the kid, and the "seventeen trains" line was heartbreaking.

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    1. Thank you for reading. I'll admit (and maybe it's because I am a mom), I feel so bad for this trusting little guy. James said he would be back and he will be. Kids have such blind faith.

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  2. Hi Susan, Wow, great story. Good tension and great development of the child's character. You should be proud of this one!
    Here's mine: http://bridgesareforburning.wordpress.com/

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    1. Well, thank you kindly. I respect your work and opinion, so your words mean a lot to me. Happy writing.

      ~Susan

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  3. Oh no, it's so sad. There's such an insightful sense of how the child would feel then. Thank you for sharing!

    I'm mostly in Greece for pleasure -- working on writing and reading, etc., but totally on my own. It's really wonderful :)

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    1. Thank you for reading. I feel sad for the boy too. I have a soft spot in my heart for kids...especially the helpless ones.

      I loved the Mediterranean region...I long to go back. I miss the olives! (haha)

      ~Susan

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  4. Wow. A really well-written, albeit sad story. I found myself thinking about this kid standing on that platform after dark, no one around, no sign of a train, and it made me shiver a bit.

    Something tells me James isn't coming back...

    Here is the link to mine http://wp.me/pReXn-ev

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    1. I think James knew it too...I think that's why he hugged the boy. Hmmmm...I don't like calling him "the boy." How about Caleb?

      Thank you for reading...

      ~Susan

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  5. This reminds me of Zero in Holes.

    I'm really worried for James! Has the kid searched any peach trees?

    Nice work.

    Here's mine: http://eliseschapira.wordpress.com/2012/01/27/here-for-you/

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    1. My kids love that book/movie - I do too. Well, both of them, actually - Holes and James and the Giant Peach!

      I'm off to check yours out.

      ~Susan

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  6. Poor kid! This James fella better get his arse in gear and get back to him quick. I just hope the kid doesn't decide to pee on the rail...

    Here's mine:
    http://jaykayel.wordpress.com/2012/01/27/my-first-time-100-word-flash-fiction/

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    1. Thank you for reading. I too, hope James returns.

      ~Susan

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  7. Very good choice for point of view. He does look as though he is waiting and also as though he only has a little hope left. There is a lot of truth here - I am sure there are a lot of kids who have been on those platforms - and later in child services. Sad, but nicely wrought.
    Linda

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    1. Thank you, Linda. I'm glad you enjoyed this piece. I think it illustrates how kids can be betrayed and/or disappointed but still have faith in the same people who let them down. (It's an awesome responsibility to have...being there for a child).

      ~Susan

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  8. Wow. What a great story.
    You really got inside that young lad head. Stuck there, abandoned, but still doing as he was told - not taking to strangers, not moving. Believing all the time that James will come back.
    Thanks for a wonderful read.

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed this, Mike. The fact that he is doing as he was told makes me think there must be a good person in his life...is it James?

      ~Susan

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  9. Pathetically sad; a very good story. As did Craig, I really liked the line with "17 trains" – there is something very penetrating when you insert a real detail into an atmospheric surrounding.

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    1. I'm glad you liked that line. I worried a bit that it shifted the mood too much. Thanks!

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  10. Oh, my. What a sad story. Very well done, and you captured the boy's voice perfectly.

    Here's mine:
    http://www.jansthoughtsovercoffee.blogspot.com/2012/01/flashfriday-fridayfictioneers-that-girl.html

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    1. Thank you, Jan! I will come check out your work...

      ~Susan

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    1. Sometimes my kids can take thing so literally...I have to be careful what I say and how I say it. Thank you for reading!

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  12. Dear Susan,

    Your take on the prompt was spot on. The boy in the photo is the only one looking at us, or near us, at any rate. Eye contact draws us to speculate about why he is there and your story captured the waiting well. I felt for him (the need to pee) and admired the way he was determined to follow James' orders to the letter. Nice job. (I hope James returns before long.)

    See you next Friday!

    Aloha,

    Doug

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    1. Hiya, Doug!

      That line about his need to pee just seemed so raw and childlike to me. It seemed exactly what he would think. I'm gald you agree.

      ~Susan

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  13. Beautiful. I felt so sad for the little boy but loved the way you captured his thoughts so perfectly.

    Hugmore (http://hugmore.wordpress.com)

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    1. Thank you for your comment...glad you enjoyed it! I'm off to check out yours.

      ~Susan

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  14. What a sad story. This happens to too many kids. And animals, though I'm sure the thought process isn't quite so...literal. Such a wonderful job. I wish I could find out what happens to that boy--how long he waits, where he goes after.

    The link to my drabble is: http://quillshiv.wordpress.com/2012/01/26/grounds/

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    1. We have an 11yo black lab who was abandoned by her owners because they didn't "have time for her anymore"...I often wonder if she is waiting for them to come back or if she is happy with us now. Thank you for reading...

      ~Susan

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  15. Wow. I'm so sad now. Powerful believable story. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you for reading. Is it a bad or good thing that I made people sad this week?!

      ~Susan

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  16. LOL, if your intention was to induce sadness (referencing your comment to Wakefield), you nailed it, and that's a good thing! Good story, Susan.

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    1. Honestly...I never know where a story is going to go. They seem to have minds of their own! Thank you for reading and commenting...glad to have you back.

      ~Susan

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  17. New follower here! :)

    Great story! Sad, but great! I agree with Jan. The boy's voice is captured perfectly! Great job! :)

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    1. Oh, thank you for the reassurement! I felt good about how it flowed and hoped it came across as "natural." Thank you for reading...and following!

      ~Susan

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