Flash fiction: Waiting Room


In the autumn of 1968 Cara Adamo alighted from the 15.47 at Napoli station. As agreed, she sat on one of the hard benches in the waiting room, her suitcase by her side and the baby – Alberto – sleeping in the crook of her arm. The 18.20 was late and the room soon filled with hot, bored and eventually, angry passengers. Cara looked up each time the door opened. At 19.05 the room emptied, leaving behind only the bitter smell of coffee. Alberto woke and cried when the 20.47 pulled in and no one entered. She fed him. At 21.17 Cara Adamo caught the train home.


This is a 100-word (or so) flash fiction story inspired by the picture (supplied this week by J Hardy Carroll). It’s part of Friday Fictioneers – a group of online writers who write and upload a weekly piece of flash fiction. Click here to join in, and here to read other people’s.


I asked Lutyens & Rubinstein, an independent bookshop in Notting Hill, London some questions.

Short story: Thomas and Henry

“Thomas is a naughty train Mummy,” said Henry looking over my arm at the final picture.

“I thought Henry was the naughty engine?” I said closing the book. “Like this little boy?” I gave him a tickle through his bed covers.

“No, Mummy. Thomas is naughty because he smokes.”

“Ah,” I said, trying to keep up with my five year old. “That’s steam coming out of his chimney, not cigarette smoke.” Henry paused to digest this new information.

“But if he only had one cigarette a day would he be a naughty train?” I wondered what his father had been saying to him.

“The trouble is, if you have just one cigarette,” I said giving him a kiss, “you always want more. Like sweeties.” My hand was on the light switch.

“And dolphins,” he said as he shut his eyes.

This is a short piece of writing inspired by a postcard prompt by Elizabeth Rose Murray who is a guest blogger on http://www.writing.ie this week. Click here to read some of the others and Elizabeth’s post.