Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Commuter Tales 2

My low blood sugar experience on the way to work yesterday morning triggered another story. So this morning, I completed 1 more commuter tale. It's much longer than the rest though, at 1200 words.

Sugar - 1st Cut

As the door of the train opens, she pushes her way between two rows of passengers to reach the deeper part of the compartment. People are leaning along the walls, there is no more empty space. She has to make do standing in the centre. She puts her bag down, against the side of her leg. She looks for the plastic holder hanging from the metal rail near the ceiling. To her surprise, the was none, they have been removed.

She grumbles silently and puts her palm against the wall to steady herself while the train takes off. It is difficult to maintain balance without actually holding on to anything. At times, her hand accidentally hits the book that the woman opposite of her is reading. She wishes she could trade spot with her and comfortably lean against the wall, peacefully enjoying the short story collection in her bag.

Even the metallic connecting floor is fully occupied that morning. Normally, that is the least favourite spot. Every time the train turns, the floor moves to the left and the right, making one standing on top feel giddy.

Her hand felt stretched. Tired, she releases her palm from the wall. She takes a deep breath. The route is a bit longer from KL Sentral to Pasar Seni; this is where the train suddenly speeds up, almost making her lose her footing....


Friday, June 12, 2009

Commuter Tales

Somehow, lately, I've started writing very short stories inspired from my daily experience of using the public transportation system. This range from LRT and monorail to commuter and transit train. I'm talking about between 350 to 800 words here, or the new term for it is flash fiction. Maybe one day, I'll have a separate collection of these. Right now, I think it's sufficient to include them in my general collection. That is subject to what my instructor has to say about it though. He has not read any of it.

An excerpt from my 5th commuter story which I wrote this morning:

Beads - 1st Cut

When the LRT train stops at Dang Wangi station, a young woman steps in. She carries a black plastic folder under her arm and a brown leather handbag on her shoulder. A crisp two-piece dark blue suit, matching light blue blouse and black pumps show that she has taken care to dress well. A long string of brown beads complete her attire. When she moves, the necklace colour changes from orange and amber to maroon and dark brown.

She notices the empty seat near the connecting part of the train. She tugs her skirt neatly before carefully sitting down. The folder and handbag rest on her lap. The woman beside her gets up at the next station. The seat is not taken after that. Suddenly, a loud popping sound is heard, once, twice, three times. It resembles pieces of marbles tumbling down onto a large wooden floor. The sound is heard once more before the woman realises the source. One by one, her brown beads drop onto the empty plastic seat before rolling down onto the floor.

She touches her necklace, only half of it is still hanging around her neck. A look of surprise spreads across her face....