The One O'clock Express

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

October 28th, 1945 Baltimore, Maryland

It was the day. The day her son, Simon, came home from the war. He had telephoned her on August 30th to announce that the Japanese had surrendered and he would hopefully be home by the end of October; just in time for his 33rd birthday in November. Throughout her walk to the train station, she was trembling with anticipation. It had been a long, worrisome three years since Simon was called to serve in the U.S. Navy. Every time there was a knock on the door, she feared a man would be there to tell her the bad news; but thankfully, none ever came. She descended the stairs to the train station. Simon’s train was the One-o-clock Express. She fingered the object in her purse. The minutes passed slowly as she waited for her son. She glanced at the clock; any minute now.


The One-o-clock Express whistled around the corner and came to a stop. Her heart began to beat hard. Several people got off. Then, Simon, her son Simon, stepped off the train. She rushed to him and wrapped him in a warm hug. Oh how she’d missed him! 

 “Hello, mother!”

 “Hello, Simon! Oh, I love you!”

 “I love you too, mother. Where’s Alice? I telephoned her two weeks ago, we are all going to go to a restaurant and celebrate.”

Alice was Simon’s wife whom he loved more than anything in the world.

Simon peeled his mother off him. She stepped back and admired him. He looked the same as when he left her, except he looked more courageous, more wise. He was dressed in a grey suit. The sight of him made her proud that her boy had risked his life for America. Tears welled in her eyes and her heart swelled with joy.

 “Oh, mother, why are you crying?”

 “I’m so happy you’re back.”

Tears streamed down her face and she embraced Simon in another hug.  

 “Mother, I have so much to tell you both!”

 “I bet you do! But wait. We’ll talk all night long once we’re back at the apartment. I have corned beef, your favorite, simmering at home!”

 “Well, let’s go then!” cried Simon, excited by the prospect of corned beef.

 “There’s something I have to tell you,” she said seriously. “It’s about Alice. Just yesterday, she was in an accident. She’s in heaven now. I’m so sorry. She told me to tell you in person.

Simon’s mouth dropped open.

 “Really?” he asked

 “Really, my son.”

 Simon was speechless. His silent tears started falling.

 “She left this for you,” she said, pulling an object from her purse, ”She said it was something for you to always remember her by.”

She held out Alice’s favorite brooch. It was the shape of a daffodil, colored white and yellow. It was a wedding gift from Simon.  Alice always loved that brooch.

 “Come now, Let’s go home.” She took his hand in hers as they walked slowly out of the station.

Submitted: May 04, 2020

© Copyright 2021 j.herring. All rights reserved.

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