Greetings, short story lovers, and welcome to another year in the arena. Let us see what our first prompt of 2016 is.
Somewhere in the dark you can hear a mournful wail, faint, but getting closer. You feel the rumble of the approaching behemoth coming up through your feet. The rumble crescendos until a yellow light appears around the bend, illuminating two shining rails, and then the train rumbles past.
Trains are an important part of the world we live in, and they’ve been part of our cultural iconography since they were first introduced. From the iconic steam trains of the eighteen hundreds to the subways, freight trains and superfast maglev commuter trains of today, trains come in many forms. Whether we interact with them directly or not, they still play an important part of our everyday lives, and from Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express to Alfred Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train they’ve had a huge part to play in our fiction too.
The authors’ task this week was to write us a story centered around, or featuring, a train. And it must be an actual physical train. No “trains of thought” or other sneakiness.
Who caught the 4:01 to Cleveland and who will be left waiting at the station?
Let’s find out!
The Train Tug-of-War is on!!
We have two judges that will render their decision next Monday. The third vote comes from you, the readers. We ask that you read both stories objectively, and then leave a comment below or on the story itself. Authors are not allowed to comment on their own stories, but we’re sure they’ll be checking in here. We’ll tally up the totals and announce our champion on Monday.
And remember, if you like one of this week’s stories, vote it up in the new all-time best of list (new stories appear at the bottom).