Six Sentence Stories: Don’t Look

I’m linking up with Denise at Girlie On The Edge Blog, where she hosts Six Sentence Stories, and everyone is invited to write a story or poem constructed of six sentences based on a cue word given.

This week’s cue word is station

 


Jim Heimann postcard design for retail store Heaven.

Don’t Look

Witnesses said the old man ‘threw himself in front of the train’, ‘jumped right in its path’ – the 3:15 Euston to Birmingham as it passed through the station – and that he ‘didn’t stand a chance’, but the truth was he didn’t throw himself in front of that train, nor did he jump; he simply leaned backward on the platform edge and allowed gravity to take its course as the train came in and scooped him up at more than 100 mph.

The British influencer Kim Pluskudos happened to be there, and she said: “I didn’t see a thing, thank God, ugh, like, I was taking a selfie as the old man – um, fell over the edge, and then BANG! and screams as the train sped on, and voices saying Oh my God that old man just committed suicide!”

Kim’s sister said to her: “But you must have noticed him before he fell… he was standing right in front of you on the platform… I mean, you couldn’t have been posing in front of your phone all that time?”

And Kim replied: “Why would I notice an old man when I was standing in front of a vintage poster for Kew Gardens; the perfect poster, I’ll add, when your middle name happens to be Kew, like mine, and the perfect background for my latest promo… hey, I’m an influencer, babe, not some roving reporter waiting for random suicides to happen.”

“Let me see the selfie you took,” said Kim’s sister, and Kim Kew Pluskudos tutted and huffed and handed over her phone, and there she was beaming her teeth in front of the poster which said ‘COME TO KEW GARDENS’.

Kim’s sister felt the shiver crawl across her skin as she studied a grainy image in the lower corner of the poster’s glass frame… the reflection of the old man’s face, just seconds before he fell backward into an oncoming train, and my God, thought Kim’s sister, the last thing he ever saw before he checked out was a woman taking a selfie in front of a poster, and Kim’s sister couldn’t decide if it was serenity or solicitude claiming the final expression on the old man’s face in that snapped moment in time, before the 3:15 Euston to Birmingham passed by on that fateful day.


23 thoughts on “Six Sentence Stories: Don’t Look

  1. That was a wonderful story. Glimpses of various points of view on the same incident. My theory is that he had enough of social media and selfies and posturing and decided he had lived a good life and was time to go.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ahem

    We often think* the quality all stories, (especially, the short(er) ones), must possess to be engaging, to cause us to want to know more.

    I really enjoyed this, as you have done to us what you had happen to your old man… the right sequence of words to scoop us up at 100 mph

    verycool

    plus that sneak around ending that (metaphorically) grabs us and says, ‘I don’t have to draw you a picture, do I?’
    engaging and visual … the damn bifecta of Sixes!

    well, some of us, some of the times

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cool, Mr Clark, cool comments there, big thanks!
      We won’t ever know his expression will we, unless someone else managed to take a pic that day?
      I love how the self-obsessed Kim’s picture is ruined now with the knowledge of the man’s image present. He’s like a ghost forever to haunt her so long as she keeps that pic.

      Like

    • Good theory – accident or deliberate? I think the story is open enough to go with either, and if accident yes then maybe he was trying to get her attention… or just trying to get a better look at the poster, and she was in the way?
      Great thoughts Mimi, thanks!

      Like

    • Thanks, Pat. Good point there. I think she’ll delete it, knowing the image of the old man is there spoiling her moment will bug her no end.
      Maybe a more ruthless Kim would try and sell the picture to the news, or at least sensationalize it by promoting it on one of her many sites!

      Like

  3. Another take would be that we can’t be all places at the same time to prevent what happened. As far as the man’s image in her photo, it’s one way she could share this with next of kin, because no matter what the story is, they may appreciate seeing him in that last photo.

    Like

  4. Storytelling at it’s best. Love the ease and flow of your writing in this piece as you invite us into a moment, an event, as if you and we readers, were simply having a conversation over tea. “And how was your day?” 😀 Bonus that it is “dark”. Gives us all the more to contemplate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, D 🙂 Would like to have made it a bit spookier actually, but only so much you can evoke with 6SS challenges (plus, the character Kim seemed to dominate the story all by herself!).
      As it stands, I think it works well, and yes… why not a tale told over a cuppa! In many ways it’s a ‘news story’ and most would have heard about it on the radio or read it online.

      Like

  5. (thoughts settling down)
    You got me thinking that a well versed SSS is like a western Haiku.
    Look:
    ” Allowed gravity to take its course/

    My God that old man/

    Before he fell /

    I notice /

    The poster which said “Come to” /

    Serenity or solicitude.// “

    Liked by 1 person

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