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Oh fuck no! Stephanie Arbour felt the pre-vomit burn of acid in the back of her throat as he stepped onto the train. Only a sharp intake of the recycled air kept it from rising. Not him God; no not him.

Jason Carver shook the wet snow from his jacket and took his seat on the 9:31 downtown to Brentwood train. As he sat he caught sight of the blonde woman sitting opposite him. Not bad. His approving eye stayed a little longer than Christian. It stayed long enough for her to notice and stiffen. The smile he was going to flash died in utero. What the hell'd I do?

19 months slid away for Stephanie and she felt herself walking down the riverwalk in Lindsay Park. She smelled the spring in the air. She felt the wind in her 27-year-old face.

I probably just startled her. Jumpy, looks a little stressed, but still not bad. She's looking at me, that's a good sign.

She could smell the air, she could feel the wind but Stephanie still could not hear his footsteps coming up behind her. She could hear Linkin' Park in her disc-man headphones. Stupid.

Jesus, she's not looking at me she's staring. And she's pulled so far back on her seat it's like she's trying for the next car up.

A hand slammed down across her mouth and another closed around her throat. He was dragging her from the path into the brush. As she hit the ground Stephanie saw the flash of the knife. He knelt over her, putting the blade to her throat and a finger to his lips, "Shhhh." He smiled and backhanded her.

Jason watched her reflection in the half-mirrored windows of the train-car. Fuck she's looking at me like I just shot her dog. Did I step on her foot getting on or something?

He was inside her. She could taste blood in her mouth. Even with her eyes shut Stephanie could see the black hair, she could see the hood from his grey sweater bouncing over the black leather of his jacket each time he crashed into her. She could hear his grunts over her whimpers.

Whatever I did I think it blew my chances. Oh well, another night of take-out donairs and chat-rooms I guess. For this Mom spent ten hours in labour. A sardonic grin spread across Jason's face.

One more car-wreck plunge and he came with a smile. The rocks bit into her back and the leaves made love overhead as he got up and spat beside her. Curled on her side and crying she didn't see him run from the bush into the night.

Jason stole a last look at her in the window as the train pulled into Lions' Park Station. I sure hope your night gets better. Getting up to leave Jason flipped up the grey hood of his sweater and zipped his black leather jacket up against the winter snows. I hope ShadyGirl is on tonight.

The train left the station as a single tear rolled down Stephanie's left cheek.

But would I be a good Messiah with my low self-esteem? / If I don't believe in myself would that be blasphemy? - The Bloodhound Gang Hell Yeah

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The following comments are for "Oct 22 2003"
by Enforced Bliss

this is so compact and well written.. not an easy to topic to write about without making it cliche but you seem to have managed really well.. the concept of seeing her rapist and him not recognising her is a very interesting twist..

i really liked the sentence - "The smile he was going to flash died in utero".. very original idea..

but i'm just not sure why you chose to put the bulk of the story in italic ..?

( Posted by: pixie [Member] On: November 3, 2003 )

Shock and awe

This has to be one of the best short stories I've read in a while. You have an original premise and leave it open ended enough for the reader to make their own judgements. I'd have to agree that the in utero line was inspired. The prose is tight, the story incredibly sound, and although there appears to be some formatting issues I still find this to be first rate stuff.


( Posted by: Bartleby [Member] On: November 3, 2003 )

Gosh...I'll just step in line at this point and say this was a very well-done story. Are you going to give it a new title or leave it how it is? I was very interested in the ideas behind this story and I think that's its very well suited to flash writing. As always, I'm full of envy. =D

( Posted by: Darkshine Raven [Member] On: November 3, 2003 )

Bloody Italics
Thank you all for your comments - you are all people of obviously unimpeachable taste ;)

As far as the italics go I was SURE I had closed all ofthem off, but I guess I didn't. I will go in within the next couple of days and fix it because this is not how I meant it to look.

Thank you all again.


( Posted by: Enforced Bliss [Member] On: November 4, 2003 )

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