She was hungry

She was hungry – is today’s writing prompt. Interpret widely … love to see what you come up with. Here’s mine.

The train was late. Despite this being a usual occurrence, passengers peered at the station clock, checked their watches to ensure their irritation was justified, strained towards the line to peer up the disappointingly empty track, and tutted loudly.

woman on station platform

She stood stiffly on the platform. Not resigned, not exactly. Unhappy, certainly. She hefted the supermarket bag in her hand, testing the weight of it. Sighed.

An announcement, unintelligible to her, set the would be passengers grumbling more loudly, muttering to strangers, shaking their heads. More delay then. Nothing to be done. She continued standing, very still, fingers curled around the hessian handle of the bag. Trying not to see the contents in her mind.

The day had been long enough as it was. Up at 5.30 am, out the door, sans breakfast, by 6. Brisk walk to the station, brief wait and onto the train – that one had been on time – the hour journey. The fifteen minute delay halfway, stuck a few metres beyond a platform, had meant a rush to the ward and the normal Starbucks visit foregone. A ten hour shift, flat out in emergency, a grabbed cool tea, a half sandwich before her beeper summoned her yet again. A car accident, injured children and a mother, saved at the expense of lunch, an unbegrudged sacrifice.

Finally, ‘Time to go, Julie.’ The senior doctor’s touch to her aching shoulder, the sympathetic smile. ‘You did well today, thank you.’

She’d wanted to check the mother and children before she left, assure herself to ease the night worries one way or the other. All as good as could be expected. She would check again tomorrow. So there was time only for the briefest stop at the Tesco Express before running for the train, or wait a further hour. This train, the one which obstinately refused to appear, to undertake its role of black charger, pawing at the rails, tossing its mane to bid her to mount and be borne off to freedom …

Hunger was making her hallucinate, turning her brain to mush …

She stood very still. Her free hand slipped inside the hessian bag. Wishing she had bought a chocolate bar, she instead pulled out the block of cheese which had meant to top the stale bread and be grilled for her supper. She glanced around. The station had almost emptied, passengers deciding on alternate routes.

There were no alternate routes for her. She was hungry. Her only route was to peel the plastic from the end of the block of cheese and bite into its pale yellow fleshy goodness.

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4 thoughts on “She was hungry”


    From her lofty vantage point, the young cougar surveyed the countryside.
    Nothing moved – not even a rabbit.
    Recently forced to leave her mother’s side and fend for herself, she had not eaten for more than two weeks and, needless to say, was hungry.
    And not like a normal empty stomach. Terrible hunger pains were now beginning to take hold and occupy every waking moment – while, with the overall loss of weight, ribs were beginning to protrude from her gaunt frame.
    “There has to be something out there I can devour,” she thought in cougar language. “I’d even take a mouse at this stage.”
    Hardly filling, but nevertheless the young cougar was becoming desperate and the weather wasn’t helping.
    Winter was approaching rapidly and snow was beginning to fall in the mountains where she lived and hunted.
    Soon there would be little, if any, game to feed on and deep snow drifts would make moving from place to place difficult, if not impossible.
    The cougar shivered involuntarily and once more the hunger pangs began to bite.
    “I neeeeed food,” she snarled. “Come on, something – mooove!!”
    Just then, she spotted a rabbit which had poked its head out of a nearby burrow and carefully looked around.
    Thinking the landscape safe, the rabbit hopped a short distance to a bush on which it particularly liked to nibble.
    The cougar watched its potential prey for a moment before launching into a full-scale assault.
    Unaware of the danger, the rabbit continued to munch until, at the last moment, it spotted its aggressor charging towards it.
    The terrified animal turned to run to the safety of its burrow – only to be cut off by the flying paws and snapping jaws.
    Somehow, the rabbit managed to squeeze under the cougar’s legs and race back towards its home as the cougar’s momentum carried it forward a considerable distance down the mountainside before it could pull up.
    Turning, the hungry animal took off in rapid pursuit – only to see the rabbit disappear back into its burrow.
    Frustrated, the cougar used its front paws to dig for its prey, but the burrow was too deep and her efforts were to no avail.
    Defeated, the young cougar returned to her vantage point to watch for the next potential food source.
    She was hungry, alright, and if she didn’t find something to eat in the next day or so it could well lead to a sticky end, a problem she tried not to think about.

  2. Given all the stress she was under and trauma she dealt with that day I’m not surprised she hoed into the cheese block at the end. I think I would have started a lot earlier 😂😂

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