The Train Moves and the Fields Stand Still

Broken Hand by Ashley Miller

Al doesn’t look at her. He stares at me. He doesn’t seem to notice she’s gone. I look past him at her back as she drags the suitcase down the train. I look back at him and see myself reflected in his glasses.

“Yeah, I want to sleep with her,” I say.

Al shakes his head, gasps, and pushes his glasses up. I expect them to be steamed up.

He leans closer to me.

“Pervert,” he says and then starts down the train after Lisa. He is almost running. Half the people on the train are staring at him, and the other half are staring at me.

When he’s disappeared into another carriage everyone stares at me. I’m blushing. My face feels hot, and when I rub it, I feel some sweat. I look away from everyone. I look back out the window and look at the fields again. Across the aisle, I hear the old man with the small shoes tugging at them again. He is grunting. The other passengers sit back down, and soon no one thinks of me at all. Through the window I see field after field after field, and, reflected in the window, I see the man tugging at his shoes. He is still grunting. And suddenly I start laughing.




William Hayward was born in Birmingham, England. He has been writing for several years, mainly in short fiction. He’s previously been published in The Emerald City Review, The White Wall Review and Underwood Press.