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Tunnel: Creative Writing story

TUNNELPaul placed the Evening Standard on his lap and gazed at the reflection of himself in the trainwindow. He could detect a wry smile of satisfaction around the black rimmed spectacles. Hesurveyed the rolling farmland through the train window that he saw every day, every season,as they hurtled by. The arrival of Spring announced a new beginning of lambs and calves inthe fields. The difference this time was that it was the middle of the afternoon and he actuallyhad a seat. The young woman opposite him, looking like a little lollapolooza, argued with herboyfriend on the phone but Paul felt forgiving today about her irritating social behaviour. Hechecked his Blackberry for the umpteenth time and there were no further messages from hiswife about the contractions that had begun just half an hour ago. He chose to take no news asas good news.The train reached the tunnel at Gerrards Cross, the penultimate stop for Paul. He just abouttolerated the hour’s journey back from the construction company he worked for near BakerStreet. As the bright sunlight switched to a yellow industrial tinge the sequel of the train wheelsescalated to a nerve jangling crescendo and Paul’s body was thrusted back against the seatsending his paper falling to the floor. He gasped as the lights flickered off and the young womanopposite screamed scrambling to holding onto the table between them. They looked at eachother searching for answers and then it went black.David looked down the platform and walked over to the coffee kiosk. He had left home in ahurry and the smell of the roasted beans was too much to resist. He had taken the day off andwas enjoying the laziness of being late for everything. Just as he arrived a woman appearedon his left and he stepped back to allow her to go first. She smiled and thanked him for hiscourtesy. Not expecting to be be served so quickly she looked at the assistant and stutterednot sure what to ask for. David recommended the skinny latte as better than the big nameson the high street. She thanked him and asked for a skinny latte, and turned round to Davidand offered to include his drink in her order. David looked back into her eyes and asked for acappuccino wondering if he should be making the order, not her. As he waited for the coffee henoticed the platform train indicator change to state the train has become delayed with out a newtime. He checked his iPhone and thought about phoning his brother to see how his wife wasprogressing with the imminent birth of their first child and then turned back to the woman andintroduced himself. He can call his brother later.Julie paced the living room desperate to sit down but it was too uncomfortable for her.“How about a cup of tea?” Sarah, her friend had taken the day off to go shopping with her butwas now wondering what to do and say. Having no children of her own she had not a clue whatto say to Julie other than the universal remedy of a cup of tea.“You’re joking!!!” screams Julie, “if I go upstairs for a pee now I’ll come back with a bloodybaby!.” Julie smiled at Sarah to reassure her she was really needed even if no one had a cluewhat to do next.“Maybe your right”, Sarah smiled back feeling a bit like a ninnyhammer, “let’s put the tv on eh?”Julie agreed if only to give Sarah the impression she was doing something helpful. She wasdesperate for her husband, Paul, to get home and in the absence of a text message from him inthe last half hour she was guessing he had arrived at the railway station by now. Sarah turnedon the television. “Get him off!” screamed Julie, “I can’t stand Jeremy Kyle.” Sarah quicklyflicked through the channels looking at Julie, “no, stop.” Julie walked to towards the television inhorror. The screen showed smoke billowing out of a tunnel and a headline of “Gerrards Crosscrash.”

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