Kimberly Gould’s Picture Choice: Both
Title: Last Minute
I watched the city streak by in a blur of lights. Some cars, going in the same direction as the train, were discernable, but everything else was washed out. Checking my watch for the seventh time, I wondered if the train was slowed down at all. Then we did slow and stop at a station. I ground my teeth, watching seconds tick by.
“Excuse me,” a lady said, her tone nearly as high as her nose. She moved to sit across from me, on the seat that currently rested my feet.
“I’m sorry!” I sat up and nearly stood in embarrassment. How rude of me. Just because it was the night train and not very full didn’t mean I should be hogging and dirtying seats.
Sitting up, I saw how few seats were filled. There was an empty one across the aisle. Why did this lady need my seat? Swaying, I lurched at the same time as the train. Thank God, we were moving. I checked my watch. Only three more stops. Maybe I should stand for the rest of the ride.
“Just settle back down,” the woman said, imperious still but slightly warmer.
My brain buzzed with the information I had to deliver, with the meeting about to take place. I had never met Jamaica as he or she was called, but they were to be my new boss and lead me to a vacant apartment that would be mine at the end of the week. Kelly knew Jamaica and set the whole thing up for me, but I could screw up this meeting.
“Sit down,” the woman said, the imperious drowning out the warmth. I plopped in my seat without thinking. That was strange. I was always thinking, always planning. That was why Kelly thought I was the perfect assistant for Jamaica, I was constantly looking ahead. Suddenly, though, I couldn’t see past the next train stop. I needed to think. I closed my eyes and bit my lip, straining to remember everything Kelly had told me about Jamaica and her consulting business. It wasn’t much, which made me worry my lip further.
“Angela. Take a deep breath. We get off here.”
My eyes flew open. How did this woman know my name or where I was going? She stood, suddenly seeming twice as tall, looming over me. She commanded attention and she had mine.
“I thought you had figured it out by now. Perhaps you aren’t everything Kelly claimed.” With a click of her tongue, she strode to the train door just as it opened. I lunged from my seat to follow, the doors starting to close on me and beeping loudly.
“Stand clear of the doors.”
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Kimberly Gould is the author of Cargon: Honour and Privilege, and it's sequel Duty and Sacrifice. She can be found most places as Kimmydonn, including Kimmydonn.com