The Way Out

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


Delia watched the pair in the train station. The older woman adjusted her son’s tie. 

 

What would it be like to have a son? How would it feel to hold a little one? She would name him Christian. It seemed like a sweet name for a sweet boy. The trick, of course, would be to find a husband first. 

Delia was distracted from her thoughts by a lady passing by. Specifically, she was intrigued by her purse. It was of fine make, leather, with shining silver accents. Delia shook her head. She’d promised herself she wouldn’t do it again. Her stomach growled. She glanced down, feeling empty. Later. She could feed herself later. She was an upstanding woman now. 

Trains flew by with a clatter and a rush. Delia stopped to feel the wind toying with her hair. She had been able to hear the trains from her cell. So many times, her dreams teased her. At night, she would hop onto a train and run away. The scent of pines invigorated her as the countryside rippled away. She woke up back on her pallet every time. The air in her cell was so still, heavy, and cold. Being buried alive beneath a snowdrift would feel similar. 

What was that smell? A peddler screeched about his fresh, hot pretzels. It wouldn’t cost much for one, but Delia’s pockets were empty. She straightened her skirt and tucked her gloves in a little more snugly. Nobody needed to know who she was or where she was coming from. Today was freedom day. Five long years were over. Five precious years of her youth had been wasted, and for what? A little cash?

The bell rang, clear and pure. Delia’s face snapped up. This was her train. She clutched her ticket like a drowning man clings to a life raft. She stepped lightly up through the door, then sat down delicately. A baby was fussing a few rows away. Delia turned and pursed her lips like a fish. The baby grinned with toothless joy. Delia turned back around to see a well-dressed man taking the seat across from her. She smiled demurely. He tipped his hat. 

She could be patient. It was freedom day.


Submitted: April 11, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Morris Rivens. All rights reserved.

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