The train fumed angry hissing steam as it slowed to a squeaking stop.

From the carriage, Madrilène scanned the busy platform. What are the chances of seeing him in a city swollen with people?

Then, she felt a burning sensation on her cheek.

There stood Ben, with a drooping cigarette on his lips and open newspapers in his hands.

He smiled.

She froze and felt her heart race.

“Hello, Hon.” Michael had returned with their coffee.

She greeted him with a sweet smile, sweeter than usual. As Michael settled, she casually turned towards the platform.

Ben nodded and stepped back.

———— Copyright @ Eric Alagan ————

Have not written flash fiction in ages. Last Saturday, I read Janna TWrites (click on the link) and decided to dust off the cob webs and try my hand.

Do pay Janna’s blog a visit – I love especially her flash fiction.



  1. There’s a lot of great tension and lingering mystery here. The reader can fill in the blanks, although I’m curious how Ben knew she was going to be there.

    1. Hello David,

      Good point and thank you 🙂 There could be many takes on this:

      1. It was a sheer chance encounter – after her marriage, every time the train stopped at that station, she recalls her former love and scans the platform. Then one day –

      2. They had a rendezvous planned – she was supposedly visiting her grandmother but at the last moment, Michael managed to get a day off and decided to join her on the trip

      3. They had communicated beforehand and were expecting, at the very least to exchange glances – the husband, Michael, treats her (and many other women) as a trophy while our lady seeks true love

      4. Ben is her twin who had fallen out with her husband, Michael – they look but don’t communicate as Michael had forbidden her

      And so on and on

      As you said, the reader can fill in the blanks.


      1. Hmm, I hadn’t considered some of those. You could write a Choose Your Own Adventure for adults by writing a book with all those possibilities. Let the reader choose which one they like best. 🙂

    1. Ah, Lauren,

      My good friend Paul did the honours with a sequel and I’m going to leave it there. However, if you or anyone else wants to continue – post it in your blog and alert me. I’ll certainly visit and comment 🙂


      1. Darn, okay, and no, I’m not good at writing fiction, so I won’t be continuing your great story, but thanks for the offer, Eric…maybe someday! Have a great day! 🙂

  2. “Everything ok, honey?”

    Madrilene paused before answering.

    “Yes, Michael. Everything is…perfect.”

    Michael stared at her for a moment and then settled back into The New Yorker.

    Madrilene held the cup in her hands, and felt the warmth of the coffee through the porcelain. She remembered how warm Ben’s hands were, after he cradled her in his arms when she stepped back and stumbled at the fair.

    Could it really have been two years ago?

    Now here he was, his trademark Galoises perched between his lovely lips, that faint constant stubble above his mouth…

    “Next stop is ours, Sweetie!” Michael said.


    In at 100 words, Sir Alagan. I couldn’t resist adding the next episode! Great flash fiction, Eric, and it seems you have not lost your touch in the least, despite those pesky webs. 🙂

    Excellent little story there and, as many others have commented, the story line can go…anywhere. Ah, the intrigue!

    Great read, my friend, and it’s good to be back reading your excellent work!

    Take care, and warmest wishes,
    Paul 🙂 🙂

    1. This is marvellous, dear Paul.

      I replaced the ‘styrofoam’ with ‘ceramic’ in keeping with the bygone era as hinted by the hissing fuming train. I hope you don’t mind.

      Yes, one is tempted to write a part three but I shall let it go – best not to have Madrilene do something that would probably lead to regrets.

      The next stop is certainly theirs and not Ben’s 🙂

      All good wishes my friend and always a pleasure to have you visit,
      P/s Updated to ‘porcelain’ as your missive – 22 Mar 2014 🙂

  3. Powerful flash fiction – I suspect that this moment is not uncommon and you expertly bring it to life!. I’d forgotten how much I enjoy this genre of writing when the author squeezes so much into so little. I also and thank you for giving the reference to Janna’s site. I am going to be there a lot. Cheerio, Jane

    1. Hello Jane dear,

      I haven’t got round to reading your Hippo story yet – but no worries, as I’ve book marked it 🙂

      Very true that such moments are not uncommon. Many times after breaking up, one does wonder of the other person when back in once-shared environs. Most of us can relate to the varied feelings and emotions, I reckon.

      That’s great as I’m sure you’ll love Janna’s blog posts. She’ll love your blog posts too, I’m sure.

      All good wishes,

  4. The drooping cigarette says it all–she’s better off leaving Ben on the platform and staying with Michael. Ben’s a good ‘one-who-got-away’ fantasy.

    1. Hello VB,

      Yes, sometimes a drooping cigarette more than a drooping Fu Manchu style moustache, says it all. Some catches are best to let slip, you’re right 🙂


  5. I guess naughty thoughts usually materialize to heighten temptations. Who is to know – Ben may be seeking out Michael and not Madrilène. So many possibilities.
    You got our thoughts run wild on this. Enticing post.

    1. Ben and Michael – oh, dear and so naughty too 🙂

      I reckon your thoughts have taken flight here, Jasey dearest – good one! LOL!

      Luv and hugz,

    1. Hello Beth,

      Nice to see you here and thank you.

      With a tight word count, we need to make every word count. If we extend this to short stories and then, onto full length novels – Wow!

      All good wishes,

  6. So, Eric, what you have, weighed against what you could have, …weighed against the thought can you have both? 🙂 … Love flash fiction, makes you think outside the box. xPenx

    1. I think you pretty much covered all angles from a bird’s eye view, PennyG 🙂

      Very often, it takes a few words to say much, I reckon.


  7. Nice to see oneof your flash fictions again…this scene is a cliff-hanger. One wonders what’s behind the story…though the obvious triangle comes to mind, but there seems to be a mystery in the making here. One of the things I like about flash fiction is how much you can get into a story with so few words. Loved it…have a great week Eric!

    1. Hello Georgia,

      You are right about back stories. Flash fiction is like tossing a pebble into the brushes – one never knows what flutters (or, gulp) charges out!

      You too, Georgia dear, have a lovely week ahead,

  8. Ah, but now she knows Ben will be at the back of the crowd watching where they settle in the big city, and when the opportunity arises he will materialize to take advantage of the situation. Naughty Ben! Naughty Madrilène

    1. This little episode has so many tangents – anything is possible, including some clandestine carrying-on.

      Have a great week ahead, Ian 🙂


  9. Ha ha….so typical of women isn’t it? The psycho drama is quite intense in your 100 words 🙂
    The heart yearns and mind turns away… lol
    enjoyed it Eric!

    1. Ha ha – typical of men, too 🙂 You’re right, of course, because it does take two.

      Thank you, Aparna dear, for your visit and comment,

  10. Ouch. Her heart seems divided. I feel for Michael, who may wind up a casualty when it’s done. I’m glad you decided to write some flash fiction 🙂

    1. The Chinese have a saying – something about crossing a river in two boats – with a foot in each boat.

      Yes, I missed writing flash fiction too and your post last week triggered it – all your fault, Janna, dear 🙂

      All good wishes,

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