Murder – it was written…

[In response to a writing stimulus imagine you are on a train or at a train station when a murder takes place. Expand upon this scenario by writing a story of 500 words or fewer] -I’ve exceeded the word limit, by a little…

It starts and ends on the shelf in Sainsbury’s. The craziest moments, where life spirals out of control and transforms into a vortex of pushing, pulling, helpless screaming. My story begins here.

“Bleep, bleep”. Not sure what this sound means but some round metal objects and a blue, rectangular-shaped scrap of paper gets handed over. A brief exchange of muffled voices and into the bag I go, jostling for space with Super Chilli Noodles, a can of Red Bull and a tempting bar of Cadbury’s. If I had wings, I would fly…

Dumped unceromoniously into a rucksack, everything goes dark, blind dark. I don’t want this but no one ever asks my opinion. An engine starts, revving, the tart, liquid stench of petrol – or is it oil? After an age – to me, at least – I hear a zipping sound and the world reveals itself in several shades of colour and extreme brightness. Me? I’m just the same as a lot of my kinfolk, maybe a little longer in some ways. Placed in the drawer, ready to be useful, to play my part in the furtherance of humanity’s nascent dreams – or not…

Time passes, so slowly. Weeks go by. I mean, I’ve been used and washed and used again. Yet, the sameness of everything starts to wear me down a little. There is no growth, no trips out, no flippin’ conversation. Then, one day, it happens and my dull existence takes on real significance.

I’ve been hearing a lot of raised voices, lately. These people seem pretty upset about something but one, in particular, is angrier than the rest. That word a singer called Aretha uses – I hear it on the tinny black box that has DAB scrawled across its front. I think it’s respect. There’s some swearing as well – a lot and it’s happening more often. Even I can taste the tension in the air, the loud shouting, the even louder music : it blasts at me, surging in a wail of repressed aggression. Days coalesce into nights and time becomes immaterial.

I can see the rucksack again. Am I going back to the shop, where they saved me from? It feels like early evening. Zipped in, a journey to be taken but I am not in another bag, like before and there are no Super Noodles and the chill I feel is different now. Breathing around me is heavy. Footsteps turn into faster steps, into running. I hear beeping but this isn’t a checkout, it’s a crossing. If I just could just peep out and take a look. Oh, wait…

Now, this is stranger than fiction. I can hear an announcement : ‘The next train to Finchley Central leaves in 3 minutes ; please mind the gap!’ Other voices, two people, both raised. ‘No respect’ is herded about. The roar of fear rises up to greet me as, without the chance to protest, I am lifted from my darkened domain and into the flickering light.

I flash, triumphant in the cold night air, raindrops cascading down my sliver sides. I plunge, feel myself penetrating a mass of flesh and bone then comes a scream, like no scream I have ever heard or ever will again. Red, blooming outwards. Dropped, clanging, clinging, let go. Let me go.

Maybe an hour later, I am picked up, put in a bag and taken to my grave, to a shelf in a locked room, away from the bright lights, the packaging, the sense of something. But, I cannot get the stain off my face. I never will.

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