Here’s a short story I wrote back in 2017 for a local short story & poetry contest. I ended up receiving a highly commended award for it. I’d forgotten about it until now; it’s not much as I’m not very good at coming up with ideas for short stories, but hopefully you might enjoy it anyway. (:

Two Minutes Too Early!

Beth looked anxiously at her watch for the fifth time in the last ten minutes. She had a train to catch, and the bus she was on had been caught at every red light possible. If it didn’t hurry she might miss her train, and if she missed her train-well she didn’t like to think of what would follow.

She glanced back at her watch again, and then out the window to see where they were. She figured it would take another five to ten minutes before they arrived at the station. Beth had to get that train. Who knew if there was another one leaving that day?

Finally, Beth breathed a sigh of relief as the bus rolled to a halt outside the one hundred year old train station. She was out of her seat before half the passengers in front of her had time to stand.

Outside in the miserable rain, she hurried over to the man unloading the luggage from the bus. He went on unloading the bags, ignoring Beth being soaked in the downpour as she waited for her bag. I don’t have time for this, she thought to herself impatiently. “Excuse me, but I’m going to miss my train, could you please get me my bag right now?”

The man yawned, and answered back quite relaxed as if there was no such thing as missing a train, “Don’t worry, it’s not like they’ll leave without you.”

Beth took a moment to control herself, who does he think he is? Doesn’t he understand I’ll miss my train! She caught sight of her suitcase and without hesitation rushed past the man and grabbed her bag.

By now she was running, dragging the poor suitcase behind her, which platform? Oh wait, there’s only one here. Sprinting towards the waiting train, she checked her watch, two minutes to go, phew that was close!

She jumped suddenly at the sound of the horn announcing the train’s departure. To her dismay the train was leaving! It can’t do that! She almost shouted aloud, trying to keep herself under control. A gust of cold wind blew right through her rain-soaked coat as Beth stood on the platform staring after the retreating end of the train. What am I going to do?

A man dashed past her towards the departing train, waving his hands in railroad signals to stop, but it kept on going.

He turned around to see her frozen on the spot, “I work for the railroad, and was supposed to get on that train! They left two minutes early; I can’t believe they did that! Were you catching that train too?”

Beth only nodded.

He thought for a moment, “Come with me, and I’ll see what I can do, I needed to get on that train, probably just as much as you did.”

“Um.. thank you.” Beth mumbled following as quickly as her tired legs would carry her.

Once in the station office, he explained to the staff on duty what had happened, “A train can’t leave before its departure time, trust me, I also work for the railroad!”

The staff behind the counter muttered something to each other, then spoke up, “You’re right, we have no idea how this has happened, but we’ll see if we can find out.” One of them disappeared out the back, and the other started chatting to the man.

Beth sunk into one of the leather arm chairs provided in the waiting room, and fidgeted nervously with the zip on her black suitcase. I have to get back today; otherwise I’ll miss Emily’s 21st!  Beth let out a sigh; her best friend would be so disappointed if she couldn’t make it to her birthday. She brushed a strand of wayward hair back into her bun as she looked up at the impressive architecture of the old building.

At that moment the man walked over to her, “they’ve managed to call the train back, seeing that it left before it was supposed to, so we’re good to go!”

A look of relief washed over Beth’s face as she thanked the man profusely. Grabbing her suitcase, she walked back out onto the platform to await the train’s return. At last she heard the horn and it came chugging up the platform.

Once in her seat Beth rested her head against the back of it letting out a huge sigh, finally she would be going home.

The End

As I said it’s not much, but believe it or not, some of it was actually based off a personal experience. 😀 Let me know what you thought of it down in the comments, and if you’d like to see other posts like this!

God bless!

~Clare

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