Practising writing: We`ll Meet Again (a short story)

title: We`ll Meet Again
Author: realkojitmal (kojitmal@wordpress)
Word count: 504 words

What? Two short stories in a row?

Yes. Sorry about that, I guess. I`ve been in a very write-y mood lately. Hope you guys don`t mind?

Anyway, the picture used here is mine. I took it at the Railway Museum in York, back in September. I originally intended to do another Photography Series post, but then it just somehow turned into this. I`m okay with it though.

Like the previous post, this short story is very much a practise in writing. I`m trying to practise world-descriptions, so to speak. How to describe atmospheres, scenes, worlds, take little things and make them more alive. How to play with words, how to keep a story interesting without telling all the facts (or actually even keeping more from the readers than they want). I`m also slowly starting to explore themes. Themes like isolation, goodbyes, anxiety, but also more happy ones like love, and happiness. And also how to work themes like this into my works in a more metaphorical way, to use symbolism etc. It`s a work in process, and one I`m only just really starting.

So like yesterday, let me know what you guys think! I need input to improve, after all.

Image

He`d always hated Valentine`s day. He would readily admit to being bitter, were anyone to ask. They never did (and that suited him just fine).

All those people around him, so happily in love, they ticked him off in ways no other festivity ever did. It was unreasonable, he was well aware of that. But that wasn`t about to change his mind, no sir, not him.

So when he saw the message Louisa wrote on the door, the door of that darned train that was going to take her away from him, he bit on his tongue, stamped his feet on the platform where minutes earlier she had still been standing. With him.

She had to leave, he knew that. And it was still a couple of weeks until Valentine`s, he knew that, too. Not that it changed anything.

Smoke suddenly burst out of the front of the train, adding to the veil of smoke already hanging in the train station. He heard the machines roaring, the powerful engine of the steam train being powered by the coals. A whistle is blown, signalling the train`s leave.

There were still some couples left on the platform, stealing quick kisses while they still can. He was struck by the impertinence of people kissing in public. Such a disgrace. But that`s the roaring twenties, he supposed. Maybe he really was getting old-fashioned. And that at age 28. He shook the thought off.

They all managed to make it on the train on time, one of the men jumping on quickly at the very final moment. His girl was crying, not even bothering to wipe away her make-up. Her brown hair was cut short in that new style he`s been seeing around, with a velvety band around her head with some feathers stuck into it.  Her knee-length dress swayed slightly, the pearls that would shimmer brightly in the daylight now reduced to a lifeless grey.

By the time he looked up, the carriage with Louisa was gone. The platform was emptying, those few people there to wave off their beloved now leaving themselves.

He sighed, and turned around. He lit a cigar, and made his way back slowly.

Outside, he saw the girl with the pink flapper dress. He watched her from a moment, hiding in the shadows cast by the newly build station. Sunlight caught the pearls on her dress, and the glitters in her headband. The wind swayed her dress, making the pearls throw dancing lights on the ground. Her shoulders were hunched, her arms crossed over each other.

He walked over, handed her a handkerchief. She took it without even looking, smiling politely though the smile doesn`t look sincere.

“You`ll meet again,” he told her. He doesn`t know if it`s true. It doesn`t matter right now, not when she just stares at him. She nodded slowly, then raised the handkerchief, looking at him questioningly.

“Keep it,” he gestured at it, and walks further into the sunlight, leaving the girl and the train station behind him.

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