She made it onto the train just as the doors slid shut. Breathing a sigh of relief at having made it, she looked around as if searching for a seat. She needed to know whether she had been followed by anyone. She had to be careful as she did not want to put Justin’s life at risk. The man’s voice over the phone had sounded so cold, so emotionless, and she could well believe that he would carry out his threat if anyone came with her. The police had not wanted to her to leave alone and had not listened to any of her protests. She had left them making grandiose plans, sliding silently out of the side door she had hidden behind the curtain used to create balance in the room. It was not their son whose life was at risk and she had no intention of waiting for them to come round to her way of thinking.
Sitting next to a large woman covered in gaily-coloured scarves and a teen bopping to the sounds coming through his headphones, she took the time to calm her racing heart and freed her mind of fear so that she could think quickly and act swiftly. She could feel the bulge of the pearls in the rough burlap pouch pressing against her ribs; the pearls that were the ticket to her son’s life. She did not mind letting them go: they seemed cursed to her. Her love had been killed bringing them home, Justin had been kidnapped, and her life had been turned upside down. She would exchange them in a heartbeat and not mourn their loss.
The train climbed steadily up the sheer cliff of the mountain, leaving the large town behind. It was almost time for her to leave the train and she hoped she could find the strength to do so. Standing up and looking out of the window, she noticed the sheer drop of the mountainside. She believed she did not suffer from a fear of heights and hoped she would not suffer any vertigo as she jumped from the train. Moving to the end of the car, she relied on the knowledge that many people would not pay attention to her. Eyes were closed, heads were bowed as people either read or played games on their mobile devices. For once she was glad that generally people were self-absorbed and did not spend their time noticing those around them.
She opened the door and felt the rush of cool air against her face. Closing the door behind her, she edged towards the right side of the car. With the image of her son’s face in mind, she jumped – trusting that a mother’s love would protect her from breaking any bones.
© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
This post was inspired by Kellie Elmore’s Free Write Friday prompt. This week the prompt is a word bank including the words: train – burlap – fiction – pearls – vertigo. Would you join us and give free writing a go? You may be surprised with what you come up with.