Day 250: The person you loved who didn’t love you back


Dear Diary,

This morning, I fell in love. It’s silly, I know, but I did. He sat across from me on the train, legs crossed neatly in trousers with a perfect crease down the centre. He’d only just made the train, practically diving through the doors at Walmley Station. I don’t know why anybody could be late at Walmley, the whole village is only three streets long. But there he was, hurling himself through the doors before he began picking his way through.

He reached my seat and gestured to the one opposite, asking if he could sit there. Immediately wins points in my book, people being polite. Of course, I wasn’t waiting for anybody so I nodded for him to sit. Only once I’d given him a cheeky once over, mind you.

He plonked himself onto the seat, always nice to know that nobody’s perfect, and pulled his own book from the satchel he’d placed onto the seat beside him. A mystery, by Joan Marquez. I love Joan Marquez and I so wanted to ask him about it. But of course, I didn’t.

I was scared! He sat with his book and a half smile spreading across his face, the end of his tongue poking through in the most adorable concentration face I’ve ever seen. He’d raise his spare hand to his forehead every so often, pushing his fringe back over the top of his head before turning the page. and going back to his concentration face. It was… It was a thing of beauty.

On top of that, he’s reading a Joan Marquez! I was so close… I’d just finished my book and put it away when we pulled into Harrington and he got off. I saw him meet up with someone on the platform. The most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen. Blonde, leggy… He kissed her on both cheeks then went on his merry way.

Life will never be the same,



October 4th 2016

Had to get the train today. Car wouldn’t start. Of course, only just got through the doors before it left the station, lucky me. Still, I got a seat! Win. 

Read some of Tribute to Death. Not bad. Not my favourite Joan Marquez though. If You Go Down To The Woods is definitely her best book. The chick across from me on the train was reading something interesting, but I didn’t have time to ask her about it. She was pretty cute too. 

Saw my sister at Harrington. We managed brunch before I had to disappear. Her and Phil have decided to have a kid, which is kind of a big deal. Apparently. She just badgered me about when I’m getting married.

Never, it seems, is not an appropriate reply. 

Still, onwards and upwards. Maybe I should get the train more often. Perhaps I’d see more of cute book chick. 


So, for this challenge the thought was that my initial character had fallen for this guy she’d never spoken to, never seen before and had got the wrong end of the stick. Is it cliche? Probably. Am I bothered? Not really. I think the concept works and as such I was happy to work with it.

The Idiot in Tin Foil

Day 61:What’s the worst nightmare you remember?

This always got to me. For a while, it was just a dream. I was enjoying a train ride through a beautiful piece of countryside, rolling green fields, undulating hills, etcetera etcetera. It’s even a steam train. Honestly, it was like I was in the bloody Railway Children.

This is actually one of the most vivid dreams I’ve ever had. I can still hear the train’s whistle, taste the soot in the air. I can feel the wind on my face as I look out of the window, watching those green fields fly by. There are wooden benches in the carriages, with those slight cushions that are far too thin to actually make a difference into how numb your arse gets. And I can actually remember the feeling of my bum losing all feeling as I’m eating a ham and cheese sandwich. That’s right, there’s even a ham and cheese sandwich, cut into triangles. I was thoroughly enjoying the dream, then it happened.

The train, a huge black locomotive, started to pick up speed. You could feel a shift in the acceleration, a small feeling that you’ve been manipulated in some way. At first it’s a rush, as if that machine was trying for a record of some kind.

Then the malevolence invaded. An eerie grey pallor crosses over the whole affair, and the increase in speed becomes threatening. And it doesn’t stop. It just gets worse. The train is now going faster than is possible. The scene becomes a blur, a painter’s pallet when the only available paint is blue, grey and green.

Now I’m afraid. I look out the window, and can see a structure in the distance, a monstrous mouth of shadow encased in steel and glass. The station. But there’s no sign of slowing.

Imagine the river scene from Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. The original, with Gene Wilder. Not the Johnny Depp remake… I still haven’t seen that one. But anyway, you know it. The ominous feeling that bad things are going to happen, the swirling, the rhythm. In my dream, it was just a drumming of wheels on the track. Thudding. A drumbeat, marshalling the troops of my nightmare.

Suddenly, jarringly, my viewpoint changes. I’m no longer in the first person. I’m now floating above a lake, where there are three men fishing in a large boat. The lake is calm. The only sound is a soft cooing of the family of birds in the blackberry bush. The scene pans around and you see a monstrous building of steel and glass, with a huge round window.

Suddenly, the train erupts through the window, the hurtling mass of black metal thudding down onto the fishing boat. One of the men is struck immediately.

I flash to the point of impact, see the wheels still turning as they fall towards him in slow motion.

Now I’m back out, watching the other two men thrown high into the air before thudding heavily into the water. You know in an instant they’re gone.

I see through their eyes. Feel my body thrown through the air, air whistling past my ears as I see a watery death rushing towards me.

I’m left with a single picture. The classic image of the train, dangling from the station. I assume that’s where the entire dream came from, but I still don’t know.

And I still get scared by it.

The Idiot in Tin Foil