It would be so easy....
Who is this perched above a rail yard? The shoes and posture suggest someone young. Is it a boy? A girl? Where is he coming from? Going to? What is her situation? And exactly what is it that would be so easy? In their stories, our authors offered intriguing answers to these and other questions inspired by the Contest 3 prompt.
for my grandfather
Thomas Schultz, Kansas City, Mo.
It would be so easy to forget his past Josh thought, but it was the past that forced him into the future. Trains were a part of his life now. Not in the normal sense of stopping for a line of freight cars at the occasional crossing and counting their number as the iron rails bowed and the blackened wheels screeched. Nor that repetitive clatter everyone knows. Rather, trains defined the end of youth. At sixteen, Josh had become an adult. Read more...
Daniela Pullin, San Diego, CA
The train horn blares as I watch it roll past and into the rail yard. There's so little between me and the rails. A quick drop; a few bare patches of grass and gravel; a short fence. It would be so easy, to climb on a train and leave.
I eye the jump down. It's not more than 10 feet; less if I hang off the edge first. I'm just gearing myself up to do it when a small voice calls from behind.
"What're you doing, Jackie?" Read more...
Bobby watched the sun sink a little lower. This was his favorite time. Passing the hours, trying to find something to do, pretending like he was normal, the waiting for something to change, was done, at least for another day. But he dreaded what came after the sun left. This is when he really missed them. The after-dinner hours, watching TV, eating popcorn, fighting over the remote. He missed all of it. Read more...
the last train to somewhere
It would be so easy to hop on one of those trains. I looked at my new knock-off Adidas. They were as phony as the rest of this place, with faux brothers and sisters and a fake mom and dad. I hated them. As much as they tried, they could never replace the mom and dad I knew on the Southside. I resented being taken away years ago, but cherished what little memory I had left of their love. I had conjured up an ideal mom and dad whenever I touched my one and only faded photograph of them. Both had gone to prison. Read more...
the middle child
For one slippery moment, dangling over the edge of the building made me feel alive. Almost. I'm not sure when the numbness crept in, cocooning my emotions. Perhaps it was something I deserved, like every other thing that spilled into my life.
I'd sat there, willing myself to run away from the evil chasing me. "Straight to the tracks," I said, before slipping off the building, towards the railcars. Read more...
Past Contest winners
Contest 2 winner
Kelley Parsons, Milford, MA
On board is the Hater of Children, the Hater of Worms as well as Scared of Snakes, Scared of Fingernails and Cooked Meat. Also; Terrified by Dogs.....
contest 1 Winner
Sonja Yoerg, Lafayette, CA
The Next BRENDALEE
Mama'd been after Daddy to paint over the letters on the house since we moved in, but he didn't seem any more inclined to do it now than he did three years ago...