Week 35

Fourteen steps up, ten steps across, fourteen steps down. The daily commute began and ended with this crossing over the train tracks.
The wait was always different though. Sometimes Megan would have to run across the bridge and hope she didn’t slip and fall before stumbling onto the platform and leaping onto the first carriage. Other times it was a slow and cold wait at the station before the train eventually rolled in.
This morning was going to be the latter, clearly, as there were just a few people waiting when she arrived, meaning she must have just missed a train minutes earlier.
More businessmen and women gathered in the station shortly after Megan took a seat in the glass shelter, along with a few sleepy-eyed students. She was vaguely aware of them but kept her eyes on her cellphone, her headphones in her ears, trying to avoid making eye contact with anyone else. She played no music while she waited, instead the headphones were to dissuade anyone wanting to chat idly about the weather or how busy her day was likely to be.
She shivered as the icy wind whipped around the station which was fast becoming busy with bodies, and empty of transport. Megan was beginning to feel uneasy about the length of the wait, and as she looked up from her phone, she noticed the others waiting were beginning to look concerned and confused about the delay, too.
That quickly turned to panic and clear distress though, as finally coming from the south towards the station was her train. Engulfed in flames. And not slowing down…

Week 24

It was clear the day wasn’t going to go as planned the moment Gemma woke up.

Firstly, the power had gone out overnight, leaving her clock radio flashing a time that didn’t match the rising sun.

Sitting upright, her eyes skimmed the room for her phone before she made the least graceful climb possible out of bed, tripping over the sheets causing her to hit both forehead and knee on the ground at the same time.

Once her foot had been untangled and her phone found in yesterday’s jeans, it was of little comfort that she wasn’t running behind yet.

No milk for coffee and no bread for toast, Gemma cracked an egg in the frying pan instead and darted around the lounge to open the curtains and welcome in the morning light.

Moving back to the stove she realised she hadn’t even turned the element on. Rolling her eyes and shaking her head, she turned the dial and went back to the lounge to prepare her work papers and clear out yesterday’s receipts from her handbag.

Heading back to the kitchen to check on her egg, it was as she’d left it. Stove wasn’t working. Was the power out again? She flicked the kitchen light switch and sure enough, no light.

This time she growled and turned off the element, leaving the egg in its cold pan.

Gemma figured there’d still be some hot water for a shower so headed to the bathroom, only to find there were no towels. She checked the cupboard… no towels there either.

Checked the wash… all the towels seemed to be waiting for the machine.

She covered her face in her hands for a moment and thought. Gym bag!

Skipping the gym yesterday was paying off – she had a clean towel in her bag that she could use.

The water was warm but fading quickly. Not that she needed much time – her shampoo was almost out. There was just enough for a quick wash and rinse and even less conditioner.

Gemma managed to stub her toe on the way out of the shower and swore at the bathmat.

Surely things couldn’t get any worse?

Unfortunately for Gemma, this was only the beginning.