Four By Flash Piece 13: Raindrops On Glass

As I mentioned in this blog entry, I entered a Flash Fiction challenge despite a) Not having written Flash Fiction before, b) not really having time to enter such challenges and c) not actually knowing what Flash Fiction was. We’re now past the end of the first month of the challenge, and at a four piece per week rate, I should have finished already. I didn’t and am a bloody-minded fool, so I’m cheating a little to get all sixteen pieces done by today.  Here’s the thirteenth piece. This one clocks in at 267 words, which actually BEATS my stated goal of “300 – 500 words, hopefully closer to the 300 end.”

Raindrops On Glass

I watch the rain drip down the window in blurred smears as the train speeds through the industrial wastelands of Western Pennsylvania. There is a beauty in the sheer ugliness of the visual. The unfocused scenery holds my rapt attention completely. I am isolated from the other passengers by the music in my headphones, Modest Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain.The tune lends the imagery a rather sinister air.

As I contemplate the next two hours of my journey the rain turns to sleet and white flecks embed themselves in the watery trails on the windows. The shadows lengthen as the sky grows dark grey storm clouds. The music abruptly halts, ending my splendid isolation. The sounds of reality come flooding back into my awareness. I hear the susurrus of the train’s engine rumbling beneath everything.

I also hear the older gentleman sat across the aisle from me spewing a stream of foul invective in my direction. Decency forbids me from repeating the disgusting words he used. All I knew was that he angered me, and that he would pay.

I stepped out of my seat and sat next to the man. His salt and pepper beard physically shook as he bristled at my presence.

“What did you say?” I ask, keeping my voice as even and calm as I can.

He obliges, repeating his insults, punctuating them by slamming his fist into my stomach.

I cough as the pain hits and react immediately. I shove him hard against the window. Repeatedly. Until he stops moving.

I watch the blood drip down the window in blurred smears.

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