Characters are everywhere

fear1

Years later she still wondered about him. It was one of those chance encounters that you never forgot. She’d been in Canada, bussing out of Kingston on a cold, grey, sleety morning. Suddenly a panting, dishevelled man flung himself on board at the last minute and collapsed into the seat beside her.

He started to talk. He seemed to need to. She didn’t have much choice but to listen.

His fingers twisted, his face worked as he talked. He’d been released from the Kingston jail that morning after fifteen years, he told her. Fifteen years? She couldn’t bring herself to ask what he’d done to deserve that. He’d got used to it, he said, it was all about routine. He’d worked in the kitchen cleaning the stoves. For ten hours a day, day after day, for fifteen years. It could have been worse.

Where was he going? He was going home, he said. To his father. His mother had died while he was in prison. He hadn’t seen either of them since he was put away. They’d never visited. Neither had his sister. His father had refused to collect him in Kingston. But he had nowhere else to go. As the miles flew by beads of perspiration appeared. The closer they got to his destination the more agitated he became. Finally he called out to the driver, retrieved his little duffel bag and glanced down at her. His face was tortured. Good luck, she said. I’ll need it, he replied. She glanced back. No one was waiting at the remote bus stop beside the windy highway.

He is a story waiting to be written.


by Pat Noad

2 Comments

Submit a Comment
  • Reply

    Joy Loggie.

    so true…writers can find characters everywhere if they take an interest in the people around them. We are surrounded by fascinating untold stories every day.

  • Reply

    Winfreda

    Please make him innocent. Can think of myriad scenarios for non-visits by family. Do you have a story idea or is this just for fun?

Leave a Reply to Joy Loggie. Cancel Reply

Your Comment