Wednesday, September 15, 2010

YAFF MUSE: The Journey

YAFF Muse is a weekly blog series featuring some YA Fiction Fanatics members. In this series, we'll post original short stories created from an image meant to inspire our Muse. Hope you enjoy! And don't forget to check out the other YAFFers participating in this series (links below).

Photo Credit: "Tren" by Phypet
The Journey

The scent of grit and oil permeated the air around us. Our friends and family gathered close, their voices drowned by the sound of squealing brakes and waiting passengers.

“It’s time,” he said, handing me two thick tickets.

“I don’t want to go,” I said. My heart filled with lead and my feet rooted to the ground.

His eyes were tired, but the darkened blue I’d loved since the day we met sparkled through. “We must, my love. But let me tell you something about this journey.” He pulled me to his chest and kissed the top of my head.

“When we laugh, the train will go faster though we wish it wouldn’t. When we cry, it will slow though we wish it speed. We will scale mountains and plummet down the other side. But we will be together.”

“What if it breaks down?” I asked, tears cresting the corners of my eyes.

“Ah, and it might. But what’s a journey without a few breakdowns?”

“I don’t want a journey. I want to just get there and let it be over with.” I held tight to him, knowing I’d do anything to avoid this destination.

He caressed my cheek then drew my chin up to face him. “My love, it’s the journey that’s important. It’s what we will remember, what you will remember.”

“Can’t we just run away?” I asked, burying my face into the crook of his neck.

“All paths would only lead us back. You know that.”

And I did. I knew that no one escaped the train of fate. As I glanced around at the busy station I noticed the many passengers getting ready to take a similar trip.

A tall skinny man held tight to a shorter thick woman. Their train arrived, candy apple red paint glinting in the light of the afternoon. Though they didn’t seem the type, their train exuded lust and thoughts of many passionate nights.

Another couple, old and grizzled walked hand in hand to their train, a battered blackened thing that looked as if it had traveled through a war zone.

To our left stood a gorgeous couple, oozing confidence and money. They held hands, but a chill hung in the air around them. A gasp escaped my lips when their train arrived. It clunked along at a snail’s pace, seizing every few feet then sputtered back to life with a wheeze.

When the train meant for us arrived, my leaden heart lightened. Strong puffs of crisp white steam rose from the stacks and the sleek sides, while sporting a few dents, were clean and shined. It was a Herculean thing made to plow through any obstacle with ease. A thing of true beauty made by our love, and meant to carry us on this journey.

“We cannot delay any longer, my love,” he said.

Grasping his hand, I faced forward with him. As we stepped onto our sturdy train, I gave a last glance to our friends and family waiving their goodbyes. They would not come with us this time, but I knew they’d be there when I returned.

My mind filled with all the lovely things still left to do and see. Excitement burned in my chest, I was finally ready to enjoy the journey.

(c) 2010, MB

Don't forget to check out my fellow YAFFer's stories based on the same photo:
RM Gilbert
Rebekah Purdy
Vanessa Barger
Cambria Dillon


  1. Wow! I loved the way you set the relationships of the couples into perspective with the trains. The symbolism was awesome, and the detail great - awesome as usual!!!

  2. This was FAB. I could see the trains. Smell the grit. I feel bad for the old, grizzled couple though. I loved this line: “Ah, and it might. But what’s a journey without a few breakdowns?”
    So, so true.
    Nice job missy!

  3. Min,
    Great comparisons! And I loved how there were different trains for the different types of couples. Your descriptions were awesome. All I can say is this was great.

  4. Min,
    There are times when I read a blog post and slowly feel a tightening in my throat and a weight on my chest as emotions rise with the words before me. I'm not afraid to admit that this is one of those times. Each train running the tracks, some even stalled. Each persons fate.

    This is one of my favorite YAFF Muse's ever. Thanks so much for sharing this with us today, it was an absolute pleasure to read.


  5. Aww. Ladies. :) Thank you so much. I'm glad everyone liked it. It's not very YA, but ya know sometimes you just have to go with the Muse.