My first node is this very short story that I wrote for English last year.
I hurriedly finished eating my breakfast. Taking a sip of my poorly made instant coffee, I slipped out of the door and into the cool morning air.
Sitting in the worn out drivers seat of my ancient car, I had a couple of seconds to think about how I would spend my last employed week of my life. I had better hand in my resignation papers soon. Then off to the beach to spend the rest of my young, but so far wasted, life.
I laughed mirthlessly to my self. More likely I would spend it wasting away in my tiny rented house, living off government benefits while missing my daughter and her mother.
The engine made a couple of feeble attempts at turning over, before starting with a reassuring growl. I was already 15 minutes late, but today I was in no hurry.
I pulled in to the station.
I said hello to Christine, the accountant. She was a nice lady. Pretty, too. Maybe one day I could ask her to- No.
I could never do that to Stephanie. I could never replace her.
As I stepped on to the train I saw today there were about seven passengers, which was a bit unusual for this time of morning.
I started my well-drilled routine. ‘Ticket please.’ Take offered ticket. Hole punch ticket. Hold out ticket for collection.
I went through this for every passenger, through the morning rush to work, midday lull and up until the influx of school children onto my train.
As I was checking the ticket of kid after kid, I saw one boy, about 16, try to discreetly make his way to the toilet. Hiding in the toilet to escape being caught without a ticket. How original.
I let him interrupt my precious schedule, and walked over the to the toilet door.
Knock, knock, knock. ‘Please open the door, sir.’ Unsurprisingly, he did not comply.
I didn’t feel the bullet enter my stomach. The commuter’s screams faded quickly. The warmth left my body, but I wasn’t cold. Someone was crouching over me, but I didn’t really notice.
I was thinking about Stephanie, and my baby girl, who I had never met.
‘Back to the horrific train bombing this afternoon, there has been 38 confirmed dead, including 15 school children. One man was found with a gunshot wound to the abdomen. Inspector David La…’
The man turned off the television. He had better things to think about.