99-word story – The Woman on the Train

Staring absent-mindedly out of the train window, Jasmine sighs with all of her body. Arms crossed loosely, her fingers tap out an occasional beat upon her smooth arms, before brushing a mousy brown hair away from her face. A wry smile flickers, and is bitten away. She pulls her i-phone from her bag, fingers sliding deftly over the screen, looking up now and again. Another bite. Long exhale. Coming to a decision, she places the phone face down on the table, straightening the sweet disorder of her floral summer dress.

The stranger opposite smiled to himself.

He’d found her.


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Author: Al Lane

Writer, Poet, Daydreamer

7 thoughts on “99-word story – The Woman on the Train”

      1. Ah, heard of it but just had to Google it. So, you were staring at a young woman on a train, thinking about a TV series about a serial killer… And I’m left thinking “when the hell do you have time to watch telly?”

  1. Thats it? How can this be a story? Its just like some random act that happens a billion trillion times in our lives every day. So what? Am i missing something? Why would anyone want to read a ‘story’ like this? Dont get me wrong. I am thankful for sharing this, but methinks whats the point to this? Someone please explain!

    1. Hi Valeo
      Interesting comment! What’s the point of this? Well, from my point of view I was “practising my craft”, seeing whether I could tell a story with a twist in just 99 words. It demands a lot of the reader to fill in the gaps, admittedly, but if we say a “story” is something that has a beginning, a middle and an end, then here we have all of those – Jasmine returning home from a “tryst” of some sort (a beginning); making some decisions regarding the future of that relationship (middle); and then the twist being that the story isn’t really about her at all, but rather the mysterious stranger on the train, and what he has planned for her (the end). Hopefully this situation doesn’t happen every day! The nature of each of these elements is open to your interpretation. If I haven’t put this across, then I have failed as a writer. If it’s just not your cup of tea, then fair enough – you can’t please all of the people all of the time.

      This is the first time I’ve tried a story of this length, and is something outside of my comfort zone. Part of the point of this blog (for me) is to try different things, and different styles, to improve my writing overall. Sometimes that will work, sometimes it won’t, but hopefully there will be enough that does work to keep people coming back and reading. And commenting!

      Thanks for stopping by

      1. Oh WoW! Sir, u Flatter me!! someone actually read the thing i wrote!! I must be blessed. Thank you sir. No you have not failed as a writer. i read all that u wrote!!! thanx. will try to keep it simple hereon!!

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