untitled… (Subway)

As if rush hours on the train are not bad enough, I left my iPod on my desk and of course, since I’m running late, I not only didn’t get to pick up my paper, but I am now sardined against the doors. Because of the crush of bodies any chance of feeling the air conditioning is close to nil at this point and I just pray my suit is not an offensive half soggy mess when I finally disembark. To the side of me is an older woman with enough Aquanet in her hair, that if they actually wanted to hive there, I seriously doubted bees could have penetrated the hirsute turban. And oh fracking hell already!!!! Did this guy next to me pour every ounce of cologne in existence in a tub and immerse his entire body in it? Gee-shush!! Pinching the bridge of my nose while trying hard to keep my eyes from watering from both toxic scents, I stare down into the long expansive blackness of the tunnel before the next stop.  The immense dark was very fitting to my mood indeed.

Looking for any distraction to try to pull my mind out of its funk, I notice this gorgeous woman in shades in the glass’ reflection. I could just barely make out the shape of her eyes behind the dark lenses, but couldn’t really see them. She made up for it by having beautiful lush lips, emphasized the more with whatever gloss she was wearing. They looked as though she drank water not even seconds ago and I all but expected an errant liquid drop to fall. I couldn’t tell if my sudden thirst was for this unseen water implied or for the lips themselves providing that implication. She’s seemingly staring straight ahead, but I can’t tell if she’s really staring ahead or doing the non-dance we commuters without personal diversions do of looking at anything, but seeing nothing. It’s a lovely few minutes of I’m looking at you, but I’m not looking at you to while away the time.

As the train is pulling into the station she slowly lifts her shades and stares up quizzically. It was her, at first what the…? rapidly increasing to OH MY GOD, expression that finally made me stop looking at her reflection in the glass and actually through the glass itself. Her confusion then shock is rapidly matched by passengers waiting on the platform as the train starts to slow.  Mesmerized by their expressions, my mind does not fully register the crimson streaks snaking their way down the panes.  As the train jerks to its stop, the bloody body that suddenly slides from the curved roof of the train, to be caught on God only knows what and now dangle hideously in front of me just as the doors open, setting off screams inside and out of the train got my attention fully. The front of the skull was slowly turning towards me and with a slow sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach, that had nothing to door with the bloody horror dangling before me, I realized I recognized what was left of the face attached to it.


This is an entry for a  challenge to write a story opener for a murder on a train. So? What do you think?

7 thoughts on “untitled… (Subway)

  1. Wow, very vivid and intense. I love it. Captures my interest immediately, but also has an acute way of disturbing me, due to the detail of the murder. I feel like I am there witnessing this murder. One can almost imagine him/herself as THE victim of the murder – oddly enough, taking this outer body, voyeur view of their own murder being described to them.

    But it’s not just simply the description of the murder itself and how blunt it is, but everything that plays up to it. The build up or suspense, to me, before actual jolting execution is what can sometimes create that thriller sensation that readers get hooked in and affected by.

  2. Most vivid indeed, and certainly would make a great beginning for a murder mystery. I must add, however, that the first thing that struck me was not murder, but a picture of some stupid-ass kid “surfing” the train.

  3. A truly vivid account and your emotions rising to a pitch, it’s also tightly gripping to the last word! Terrific experience through your descriptions! Why not expand it to a whole story or a novel?

    Thanks, too, Raivenne, for your kind comments of mine. Truly truly appreciated!

  4. oh man…i was enjoying the train ride…love riding the subway people watching and then whew…did not realise it was a story until the tag line…haha…very well writ

    • Thanks all! Nice to know I can provide a different kind of chill down one’s spine; but fret not; I have no desire to turn into the next Stephen King.

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