She had missed the last train …

Today’s writing prompt and my response.

Day one of this week’s challenge. Or you can simply write to each day’s prompt!
She had missed the last train and there was only one person she ..

She had missed the last train and there was only one person she knew would give a damn about that. And he was away from home himself, so wouldn’t be looking for her arrival. What a waste! Maree had hung onto the thought of the empty flat, and the empty bed, waiting for her all through the long work day and night. She had to find herself a job which didn’t involve these atrocious hours.

She wrapped her coat more tightly around her and pulled her phone from her pocket. She stared at it before putting it back. There really was no one to call to ask for a lift or somewhere to stay. Not at this hour. She’d find a hotel. Not one of the swanky ones near work, something more modest. Stay there overnight and bill it to the client. Work would approve it. After all, it was the client’s arse they were trying to save and why Maree had worked to near midnight.

The station platform had emptied and Maree needed to move back up to the street and the lights. She walked, quickly, focused on the escalator. Which was why she didn’t see the man huddled in grimy blankets in a shallow alcove. Only felt the tap on her leg as she passed.

She gasped, jumped aside, and stared.

‘Missed the last train, hey?’ The voice came from somewhere behind an unkempt mass of brown hair and beard. ‘Got somewhere to stay?’ A soft and well-spoken voice. ‘Because if not, hang about. The do-gooders’ll be down soon, with their hot soup and offers of a bed.’

‘Umm.’ Maree had lost her brief fright. ‘That’s kind, but I was going to find a hotel.’ She turned aside, looked back. ‘But thank you, I appreciate it.’

‘A hotel. Lucky you. Enjoy your evening.’

Maree nodded. She’d taken another step on her way when the voice stopped her as if she was a dog yanked on a tight lead.

‘Peter won’t miss you. He’s not back for another two days, right?’

Read day two here.

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Find Cheryl’s flash fiction and short stories here!