Monday December 13th, 2010

The exercise:

Our writing today shall take place: on the subway.

Well, we got the laminate started tonight. Hopefully we get it figured out tomorrow and things start to move a bit more quickly.

On the positive side of things: the painting (other than the interior doors) is finished! Also: I set up an appointment to get our internet hooked up down there on Thursday.


There are only four other people in the subway car with me and I don't like the looks of any of them. The kid blaring his music loud enough to share with the rest of us probably has a gun somewhere in those ridiculously baggy jeans. Maybe even a sniper rifle down a pant leg or something.

I bet the girl in the glasses pretending to read her book has enough explosives in her backpack to send us all to heaven and back, twice over. I'm on to her game.

The woman speaking softly into her cellphone? Arranging a drug deal. I can see it in her eyes.

And the old guy who wants us all to think he's sleeping is definitely a serial killer. Though I'll admit the drool is a nice touch. Quite convincing.

I lift my newspaper higher but keep my eyes bouncing between the lot of them. I'm ready for whatever is about to happen. One false move and the dynamite strapped to my chest will show them all who the boss is in here.


Greg said...

I'd forgotten that you didn't have internet in the cabin yet!
Love the denouement of the story today, and the protagonist's view of the other characters. It's a fairly convincing portrayal of someone who's suspicions and latent paranoia are starting to run away with them.

On the subway
The Green Lightbulb swallowed hard, pulled his new spandex cape tight around his torso, and forced his left leg to move. Reluctantly, slowly, his foot picked up and fell forward, and as it hit the steel, he had set foot on the subway car. A moment of elation was followed by the crippling fear that the door would close on him; he jumped forward determined not to be caught and caromed off a support pole, crashing to a halt across two seats occupied by startled women.
"It's ok, ladies, I'm a superhero," said the Green Lightbulb. "No, wait, actually I'm a supervillain."
He struggled up, hampered by the clinginess of his cape, and took a seat opposite them. The subway car doors closed with a persistent beeping sound. As the train starting moving, slowly gaining speed and rattling like an industrial lullaby Green's claustrophobia squeezed his mind like a ripe lemon. He tried breathing deeply, then shallowly, then hyperventilating. As he panted like a dog in the desert, severely perturbing the women opposite him, he exhausted his lungs of oxygen and the blackness of the subway tunnel crept into the car and his head, sinking him into unconsciousness.
His radiative powers, no longer held in check by his waking mind, had cooked everybody else in the carriage to a healthy green crisp by the time they arrived at the next station.

Zhongming said...

Excellent work! :)

On the subway

That is very befitting of the man in that caliber, bemoaned Joe. He thought to himself that if he only he had his status, power and money.

The man owned something that he couldn't possibly obtain even he work his brains out. In that frustrated mind, he is definitely up to something, unusual. 

He appeared calm but sneaky on the inside. Always trying to catch his daughter Mary off guard. 

But the bodyguard that surrounds her suggest that no one should be able to reach her with a normal effort.

Joe can't think of a better idea and took the risk... 

He slip across the floor along the waiting area of the subway where he saw her. When every one is dumb fold by his action, he took out a ring and ask for her hands! 

Watermark said...

Slowly getting over my jet-lag and can finally start writing again!

On the Subway

The train had been chugging along for a good half hour and the usual sounds of rustling newspapers and idle chatter filled the carriage. The air felt thick and heavy with the breath of early morning commuters, some sitting but even more standing, their busy-bee senses in temporary suspension. They were mostly in a state of oblivion to anything that happened outside of the carriage, or the train, and if anything more was expected it was one of lackadaisical acknowledgment. So when the wheels of the train screeched to a halt and jolted the passengers back into a present frame of mind, curious looks spread across several faces. Proverbial questions projected from their minds and floated through the air, often coupled with theories involving faulty trains and scheduled or unplanned engineering works. The tone was always irate. No one was expecting the announcement that came next.

“This is your driver speaking. Please disembark from the train immediately. You are all requested to report to a police officer on the platform without fail. No exceptions.”

summerfield said...

zhongming, i have witnessed a proposal on the subway many years ago.

greg and watermark, those haven't happened yet on our subway here. :-)

marc, i hope that doesn't happen, now you're making me paranoid.

mine actually happened this year. here it is:

On the Subway - July 2010

I am running late and I should have been at the office an hour ago. Subway is delayed again. "Switching problems" according to the announcement that keeps on blaring.

"Well then, fucking do something about it, you idiot people!" one pissed passenger yells, coinciding with a TTC person passing by. He continues to rant and curse, directing his gaze at the TTC person.

Some of the people laugh, some glared, others non-chalantly go about whatever it is they're doing while waiting on the platform: reading books, reading newspapers, bobbing their heads to the music on their headphones, doing crosswords or sudoku. I stare at all of them. Character material for later when I sit down to write.

Outside, the temperature has reached 25 degrees and it's not even ten o'clock yet. It's hot and muggy and my hair, newly washed and styled, looks like shit again. I have a very important meeting at ten and it doesn't look like I will make it in time, especially if I will need to walk it.

After twenty minutes, the overhead speakers announce that the problem has been rectified and that service is now restored. Three jampacked trains pass by. I wouldn't dare get in. Standing here on the platform, where there is more space around me, I could already smell stale sweat and a few, all women, who have alcohol in their breath. Yaiks.

The fourth train that arrives is not terribly full so I get in and stand by the door on the opposite side. When we arrive in the next station, however, the station is packed with people. Suddenly, the train is jampacked and I hardly have room to move. Well, I say in my mind only, at least when I get to my destination, I am first to leave the train because I know the doors would open on the side where I am standing.

That is when I notice the heavily bearded man sitting on an inside seat, wearing a black toque and a khaki trench coat. It is the middle of summer, what a dolt, I say to myself. I see people looking at each other after staring at the man. He looks like...Oh, my goodness! The London and the Madrid bombings suddenly come to mind. I start to sweat. I swear that I will get the hell out of this train at the next station. I swear.

As the train approaches the next station, the man wearing toque and trench coat, gets up and moves his way towards the doors. I am thinking, "Please, God, let him leave and blow himself up elsewhere, just not here." I watch him wiggle his way towards the door and almost miss the stop. I breathe even though an armpit is within a foot away from my face. A few other people breathe a sigh of relief, too, having been thinking the same thing.

A woman says, "Not being prejudice, but with him wearing that coat and toque, in this heat, plus he looks Middle Eastern, I thought he was a suicide bomber!" Everyone nods their head slowly.

Heather said...

It's been a long time, dear friends, and although I had enough time to skim your musings, I do not have time to write something of my own. Instead, I'll share with you a piece of a longer story (still unfinished as all my best ideas are) from a very early writing.

I hope to be back more consistently next week.


Language Is A Virus- Jealousy 3

Marc said...

Greg - ah, good to see Green again. Really liked the way you described his passing out.

Zhongming - a subway proposal, that's definitely a new one for me!

Watermark - good to see you here again! I like the way you set the scene up, and I didn't see that ending coming at all. Intrigued.

Summerfield - ugh, your story makes me miss the city (and Vancouver's Skytrain) even less. I spent far too many crowded trips on public transportation. Thankfully never with someone quite like that though.

Heather - and good to see you again too! I shall wander over there momentarily :)