Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Write CONTEMPORARY FICTION (10/30/14)
By Holly Westefeld
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"I'm fine, but thank you."
"Are you waiting for the eastbound train?"
"I hope so," Jim smiled, "as the westbound one isn't due for almost an hour."
"touche. ... I'm Samantha."
"I'm Jim." He extended his hand. "Nice to meet you, Samantha."
"Likewise. Do you take this train often."
"Pretty much every Saturday, except when my mixed martial arts class doesn't meet around the holidays."
Samantha was glad he couldn't see the surprise on her face. "That must be challenging."
"I love a good challenge," Jim grinned, as the train rumbled in to the station. He heard a door open to his left, stepped aboard, and took a seat by the window. Samantha settled in by the opposite window.
After the conductor collected his ticket, Jim pulled ear buds from his pocket, untangled them, and placed them in his ears. Before he could resume his book, though, he heard a low voice across the aisle. "Hey, babe, long time no see."
"What are you doing here," Samantha hissed."
"Why, spending time with my lady love."
"Well, you can just find somewhere else to sit, because, as you well know, I am no longer your "lady love."
"Oh, but you are."
"If you don't leave me alone, I'm going to go find the conductor."
"I think not."
Samantha pointed across the aisle. "We're not alone, in case you hadn't noticed."
"Him? In case you hadn't noticed, that stick means he won't see a thing, and he probably can't hear us over his music."
Jim did his best to look zoned out, while making some deft motions over the screen in his pocket.
"So let's pick up where we left off."
Samantha started to get up, but found herself pinned against the window. "I spent too much time and money on you to let you dis me like that."
Sensing that the intruder's back was to him, Jim pulled a small device from his pocket, turned the back of it toward the pair opposite, and tapped the screen.
"I've really been missing those soft lips. How 'bout a little replay?" A burgeoning scream was quickly muffled. "You don't want to disturb that poor guy's music, do you? It's probably one of his few pleasures in life. Now this is what's going to happen. At the next stop, we're getting off, arm in arm, with no noise, because I can slip away and just catch up with you some other time. And if you try to whine to the cops, I have a ticket stub and a friend that will assure them I was somewhere else, and the cop will write you off as one more crazy, vindictive witch."
As the train slowed, Jim slipped the device and ear buds back in his pocket and stood quietly. Stepping across the aisle, he whipped the assailant's arms behind his back, gripped his wrists securely in one hand, and slipped his other arm around his neck. "I believe Samantha is not interested, and can now call the cops or locate the conductor."
Despite the younger man's struggles, Samantha was able to slip past and find the conductor, who held the train for the police.
"I'm officer Thomas. Please let go of the man." Jim released his hold. "What seems to be the problem here."
"My girl and me were havin' a bit of a misunderstanding, and the next thing I know, this guy jumps me."
"Liar!" Samantha spat. "He is my EX-boyfriend, and was stalking and threatening me."
"Okay, so our relationship hasn't been going so well, but no need to be vengeful about it."
"Excuse me, officer, but I believe this will make the situation clear." Jim pulled his IPhone out of his pocket, detached the earphones, and swiped and tapped at the screen. The phone's synthetic speech chattered quickly. With another gesture, the screen lit up, and a couple more taps brought up an instant replay of the scene as he passed it to officer Thomas.
A grin of delight and awe filled Samantha's face, as expletives trailed after her ex being led away in handcuffs.
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