Fiction: Staying On Track

[I wrote this flash fiction piece at the last Quills & Quibbles writers group meeting. The assignment was to write for ten minutes, longhand, and to include the word or idea “button.”]

image via guidnunc on sxc

Nora fiddled with the top button on her heavy coat. It would be time to leave soon. She was worried about Arthur. He was prone to taking a long time in the bathroom, especially on long trips. Travel did not agree with his delicate constitution.

They were due to leave on the 5’o clock train, though, and at nearly five minutes till five, he was still nowhere to be found.

She picked up her jaunty red traveling hat from the train station bench and perched it atop her shiny, sleek brown hair. She picked up her purse, and strode over to the men’s room door. She had been planning this trip down to minute detail for months. She wasn’t going to let Arthur’s indignant digestion derail her carefully laid plans.

“Arthur?” she called, in a saccharin-sweet dulcet tone.

“Arthur?” Now she was a bit more strident. The clock ticked on.

“ARTHUR!” She had finally arrived at shrill. But still there was no answer.

Undaunted, she crept cautiously into the men’s room. There didn’t appear to be anyone inside. She walked back to the last stall. A flash of yellow caught her eye.

Arthur’s yellow scarf was dangling out the window. Nora’s mouth dropped agape in shock. By this time, Arthur was on another train, on what Nora would call the wrong track, heading away very far and very fast.

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