No One Left and No One Came

She’d been on a retreat in the middle of nowhere: no television, radio, internet or signal on her phone. She rose and retired with the sun, wrote until lunchtime, and walked in the afternoons. She’d watched a lark rise in the March sky and a falcon dive into gorse. She talked to trees and picked primroses to brighten up the dark cottage. She was loath to leave, but she’d rented for just a week and her train ticket was non-refundable.

She dragged her heavy suitcase across the station forecourt, leaving tracks like the wake of a boat. There were no vehicles in the car park. The station doors were open, but no one left and no one came on the bare platform. Lifted by the draught of an invisible train, the front page of a tabloid newspaper flew at her, its headline screaming ‘LOCKDOWN!’

Kim M. Russell, 13th April 2020

iPhone 6 Plus Train Station Wallpaper | Nerdy pick up lines, Train ...
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My response to dVerse Poets Pub Prosery: Edward Thomas

This month, Sarah has given us a line from Edward Thomas’s ‘Adlestrop’, which she says seems appropriate for these lockdown days, but also gives us ‘a bit of room to breathe, stretch out and spread our story-telling wings’.

So, today we are writing flash fiction in 144 words or fewer, including the quotation, ‘No one left and no one came on the bare platform’, although we may play around with the punctuation if we like.

32 thoughts on “No One Left and No One Came

  1. Oh what a tough way to have the world change….while you are enjoying a serene quiet get-away. So similar to what happened to us. Went to San Diego January 8th when the world seemed normal…or at least what we were being told about it. Took public transportation all over San Diego, walked the coast at La Jolla, went to two plays and sat next to people in the crowded theaters, then flew home March 11….worried about what was on the news….wiping down the armrests and tray tables and buckles at our airplane seats as I always do but now, seeing other people do it as well. Got home late that night to bare cupboards of course. Went to the grocery store and were amazed at empty toilet paper shelves???? Our daughter came with her two children that night, March 12th….with 6 rolls of toilet paper! And the next day the earth seemed to tilt on its axis and all doors slammed shut! Your prose tells it well.
    Stay safe, my friend.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Lill. I experienced something similar after spending a week with my daughter and grandson, while Ellen’s husband was in Las Vegas for a trade fair. He managed to get a flight home, so I left on the morning of 13th March and he arrived back in the evening. I had another chest infection on the Saturday and haven’t been out since. I hope you and your family are safe and well, Lill.


  2. This is so believable! I think at the start they were wondering how to tell the occupants of the German Love island house. I haven’t been beyond the end of the lane for about 3 weeks now. The rest of the world could be smoke and ashes for all I know!

    I love the contrast between the idyllic first half, and the shock of the second half. It made me laugh in recognition, too. Lovely work, Kim.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sarah. As I said to Bjorn, I’ve been having dreams about similar situations, which have been waking me up in the early hours. The anxiety of the first two weeks of isolation, which was always during the day and allowed me to sleep a little better, Over the following two weeks, it changed to peace during the day, just getting on with things, to anxiety at night – and then I recently received the letter telling me to stay in isolation for twelve weeks., which made me anxious all over again.


  3. My 85 year old uncle was in CA in early March, and he caught pneumonia. They allowed him to fly to Spokane after two weeks. When he got home he got a second bout of pneumonia. They tested him for C-19–he was negative, thank God. He lives alone.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve almost done this on purpose, ending up with a friend in Wales during the lockdown. Fantastic twist of moving from the serenity of retreat to the such altered reality of now, of wishing to stay on retreat, and life conspiring to force that wish to be true. Thank you
    The Lonely Recluse

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting! I nearly got stuck down in Hampshire with my daughter and grandson, which is no bad thing, but her husband returned from the US and I came home just in time. My cats were delighted.

      Liked by 1 person

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