Staff Shortlisted Entry
Susan Keyworth

7.14 a.m.
I am running. I must run.
7.16 bus?
7.21 tram?
Bus or tram? The tram is quicker; the bus is quieter. I keep running.
It’s raining. The bus is coming. I keep running.
Bus it is. 

I keep running, arm out. The bus stops. I step on.
Where’s my card? Left pocket, no right. Got it, swipe. “Morning”.

Up or down?
Seven people downstairs. Nobody I know.
Nine steps up. Two passengers; a workman and a schoolgirl. Nobody I know.
Sit left, or right?
Left, I can see the river.

Open the window or leave it closed? Open. Give it a pull.
Reflected in the window the man looks annoyed. I should have left it shut.

Do not annoy him.

Phone or book? Phone.
Emails or news? Emails.

You know the news. You know what you have done. You have already run.
Rain through the window as the bus picks up speed. My face and bag are wet.
Bag on the seat or floor? Floor.

Two stops until town. Station or Square? Walk or run? It’s still raining.
Square. Last stop. More time to decide.

7.44. Arrive

The man goes past, gives a final glare. Going downstairs last, I hand my bag to the driver. She smiles in her mirror encouragingly. I hear myself say, “Someone’s left this upstairs”

She looks at the bag and stares at me, “There’s blood on this bag”.
Turning questioningly, she starts opening the bag.

It’s still raining.

Stay or Run?

Find out more about Susan here.