Non Irish followers of this blog – and that’s most of you – won’t recognise “there’s one for everyone in the audience” from The Late Late Show, but it was fun to say it. Anyway…
I wrote a short story last year called End of the Line. It’s part of The Awakening & Other Stories collection, but I want it to have a chance to shine on its own, so I’m publishing it by itself very soon.
I’m not sure a whole lot of people bother too much with short story collections these days, or even short stories in general. I didn’t want a tale like End of the Line gathering dust and going unnoticed. I’m obviously biased, but I think it’s a good story.
End of the Line deals with depression and loneliness – the dark side of life that sometimes we’re too afraid to talk about. And of course, it has a paranormal slant.
Dawn from Book Graphics was great. She went back to the cover for The Awakening and revamped it for End of the Line. It’s dark and stormy, just the way I wanted it.
In the distance, the familiar white light appeared, cutting through the dark of midnight. She’d watched it come before, but always from the sidelines, imagining what it would be like to face such a beast.
Cassie drew in a shaky breath and steeled herself. Legs splayed, arms by her sides, fists tightly clenched, she waited on the tracks as the train approached. Her legs shook, and strands of hair licked her cheeks in the gentle night’s breeze.
She swallowed the fear threatening to overcome her. Hang in there, she told herself. Another sixty seconds, and it will all be over. No more drowning, murky thoughts, heavy dreams or stilted breathing. She lifted her head and stared straight ahead, willing her body to freeze.
Closer now, but not coming fast enough. She was scared. As much as she desired to have it all over with, the fear gained ground. Could the driver see her yet? No, still too far away. Why had time slowed down? An ache began in her ankles, spreading up her legs and winding its way around her thighs and into her clenched hands.
The feel of her fingernails scraping the soft flesh of her palms roused her, just as she became aware of the vibrations on the tracks.
Cassie stumbled into the grass growing beside the tracks and ran, tears running down her cheeks. She stopped as she reached the first line of trees and leaned over, resting her hands on her thighs, trying to get her breath back.
Damn it! She wanted to die. Why couldn’t she have stuck it out?
The train thundered by, unaware of the woman hunched over in the darkness, sobbing. She raised her head to watch the carriages pass, slithering alongside Wilkins Woods like a dark snake. In thirty seconds, the night was once again silent.
She’d try tomorrow night. Maybe pick up a bottle of Jack Daniel’s after work. Might help with the nerves.
Slowly, her breathing returned to normal, and she wiped the tears away. Cassie followed the edge of the woods the mile back to her dingy flat. She let herself in and headed straight to bed. One more day. She could make it that far.
Add it on Goodreads
As a thank you to readers and followers of this blog, I want to give away an ecopy to anyone who’d like to read End of the Line once it’s published – should be sometime this weekend. Just leave a comment or pop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org specifying if you want it in pdf, epub or mobi format (absolutely no obligation to review).
I just want to say thanks to the readers of this blog. Your support means a lot.