End of the Line (a short story by Kell Smurthwaite)

September 9, 2007 at 9:39 am (Short Stories) (, )

End of the Line

End of the Line

The woman had been wittering into her cell phone the entire journey, complaining of her lover’s neglect of her to some long-suffering friend on the end of the line. It was obvious he’d never leave his wife for her – how could any man stand such whining, nasal tones? And such sharp features – her knife-blade nose bisected her face with an unpleasant ridge that was crowded on either side by her close-set eyes.

Tiny flecks of spittal gathered at the corners of her wide, lipsticked mouth as she continued her tirade and Sukie wondered what it was the woman had to keep this man. Was it the thought of something forbidden? Something slightly out of reach? If he were free, would he still want her?

The train was pulling into the station – last stop – end of the line. Edging out of her seat, Sukie took her place behind the whining woman and waited for the doors to open. Following her into the car park, she waited till the telephone was returned to the oversized handbag and French manicured fingers searched for keys.

Now was her chance.

Steeling herself, Sukie tapped the other woman’s shoulder and glared into the heavily made-up eyes.

The woman turned and looked down the full length of her hideous nose at Sukie.

“What do you want?”

“I want you to leave Mike alone. He’ll never leave me – not for you.”

Panic on her face, a smile on Sukie’s. Mike would never leave.

End of the line.

Kell Smurthwaite, 2007 ©


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