I have found that an excellent tool when writing fiction is to take some of your own experience and put it in a story. I do this a lot. Usually it may be that I base a character on someone I once knew, or I fictionalise a story that I have been told by a friend. It happened to them, but I jazz it up a bit. Call it artistic licence if you will.
Over on Medium I have made an area for all my personal fictionalised stories that actually are very near the truth. I may make the setting slightly different and sensationalise the scene somewhat. But on the whole they are a true representation of something that happened to me during my lifetime.
Today I am going to share one – Exposed: It Only Takes a Minute – which is a little uncomfortable… If you have suffered from unwanted sexual advances, you may wish to leave now.
Exposed – It Only Takes a Minute
The best thing about working in the city was being near to all the coolest bars and clubs in the West End. On a Friday night my workmates and I would head off to the pub then, on to a tiny club we’d found round the side of Dean Street. To be honest it was verging on seedy, but on occasions it hosted excellent live music. Bands that would make it — but hadn’t quite got there.
The worst thing about working in the city was having to catch the last train home. There was the ever present fear that you’d actually miss it, not to mention travelling alone isn’t always the best thing to do at midnight. But living to the max in those days meant taking a few risks.
One night I hopped on with minutes to spare, making sure it was not a small carriage. I can’t think why they were ever put into circulation. Asking for trouble. In fact, one day a friend of mine…
Hang on, I am digressing. That story can wait for another time. Where was I?
I just made the last train. Banged the door shut on a large carriage and slumped into my seat, a little tipsy. I briefly glanced ahead, along the centre aisle, and couldn’t see any other passengers.
The train attendant blew his whistle as a sign of imminent departure, and behind me, I heard the sound of someone else getting on the train and slamming the door. Only the two of us then. Still, the next station was five minutes away, and it was a busy one. Thames side. I was certain others would join us there. Nothing to worry about. Was there?
Five minutes is all it takes… To feel exposed.
As the train left the station, I glanced out my window. Being as it was dark outside and there were lights in the compartment, the most I got to see was my reflection… But then — I saw his.
The late arrival.
He’d moved and was seated to my left, diagonally over the other side, so I had a perfect view of him in the glass.
Long hair, denim jacket. Just a guy on his way home?
Five minutes, nothing to worry about.
Five minutes is all it takes… To feel vulnerable.
His eyes on me.
I did not want to look directly at him. I had two choices, close my lids and have no control, or glance out the window. Trouble was, when I did the latter, I saw his mirror image.
Fly undone. Long, thin and upright. Exposed. Hand, back and forth… Eyes on me.
Five minutes is a long time.
and is all it takes to feel threatened by what someone else is doing.
Three hundred seconds of my heart beating faster.
Three hundred seconds of being scared of what he may do next…
Moments before the train came into the next station… so did he.
As soon as it was safe, I leapt out of the carriage, ran along the platform and chose another, containing laughing, smiling people.
Time to breathe… Five minutes was all it took.
If you would like to read more of my fiction, then here’s a link to over 175 stories from me. You are allowed to read 3 every month for free – but if you pay just $5 a month, That’s about £1 a week… you can read EVERYTHING on Medium. Clicking this link to join, helps support me and other writers you like.
Header image from Pixabay