ON A TRAIN – #flashfictionmagic
The deep throated train whistle split the air and Marta clenched her teeth to keep from muttering a dark word.
“Bein’ cursed doesn’t need to keep you from keeping your manners.” She could hear Grandmam’s voice as if she stood by Marta’s shoulder.
But as the air warped for the fiftieth time and she reappeared back at the steps of the train, Marta remembered again that Grandmam was dead.
Marta stumbled out into the train station, weary to her bones. Ten seconds. Ten seconds was all she had until the whistle blew again and the curse put on her by an incensed witch zapped her back to the train’s entrance.
A year passed each time, she’d discovered.
Back to the entrance. There was no point in running. She could never make it out of earshot in time. Plugging her ears didn’t help. Asking a stranger to knock her unconscious was useless. (One angry businesswoman had been about to try but the whistle blew before she could) As long as she could hear the whistle, she was trapped here forever.
“Excuse me.” A freckled lad with glorious chestnut hair stood looking at her. “Do you—“
The zapping was in the background now. Instead of pondering escape, Marta started watching the people. Their clothing had gotten ridiculous. Half of them stared at shiny hand-sized packages, barely noticing the people around them. Had any of them returned exactly a year later? Would they ever remember her, a girl out of time?
“It’s you?” The voice was familiar.
She spun. The boy with the chestnut hair. His face was more angular, his shoulders wide.
Marta’s throat ached as she leapt to the platform. He stood staring at her, a white band around his neck.
“What takes you away?” he asked quickly.
“The whistle.” Her voice was breathless. His eyes were the clearest green—
As she landed on the station floor, he was there, placing the white band over her head, covering her ears. He pressed a button and the world went silent.
The ground vibrated with the departing train and she finally let herself smile back at him.
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