entering Wonderland again
|In your train carriage, you are stuck with four unique characters. Describe each including where they might be traveling to. (<1000 words).
I love traveling. I meet such interesting people, and then our paths diverge and I never have to deal with them again. Their stories fade and I can imagine all sorts of new endings for them which are probably more exciting than what really happened to them.
Recently, when I was going to St Ives, I met a man with seven wives—all but three of them exes. He was a salesman whose name was Kevin, and each wife lived in a different city, which was why he spent so much time traveling. We talked for a while. He was a terrible flirt, but expressed my desire to be singular, not part of the crowd, and he understood (with reservations). His child support and alimony payments were his major topic of conversation, but as I am not one to parade my own finances in public, we soon grew out of things to say.
That was when Henry entered the car and sat down next to me. We are old friends from high school and spent a bit of time catching up. As a child, he'd wanted to go into politics, but long years and an influx of cynicism had taken that out of him, and he currently worked as a plumber. “If I'm going to have to wade in the muck, I'd rather get paid for it,” he remarked, which made me think he'd become much more sensible than he had been. He showed me pictures of his children (all seven of them by five different women, none of whom he'd married) and I showed him pictures of my cats. I have lots of cats, and all my cats have kits, so I was able to out picture him with little trouble, thus ending another conversation which had gotten stale.
Alastor entered the carriage in New Brunswick, taking Henry's seat (he moved on to compare children with Kevin). He opened a paper and proceeded to ignore me for several miles until I was able to spill a cup of water onto his paper (and his lap) and got his attention. I apologized, of course, and introduced myself. He was a bit short, but shared his name and the fact that he was the construction manager of a building being put up near my apartment, which I'd seen (of course) and was able to converse about for a few minutes as he explained all the construction holdups the project was being plagued with—protesters and planning permission complications and flooding in the basement. I soon grew bored with him, especially when he didn't recognize my face from the protest, which was really quite rude when you consider that he met my eyes when I was chained before the bulldozers. Ah well. I guess I shouldn't expect much. He was happy enough to go back to the paper that I bought to replace the one I'd watered.
At the last stop before St Ives, Jack entered the carriage and sat next to me (on the other side—I was rather squeezed between him and Alastor, but with a judicious usage of elbow, he moved to the other side of the carriage and I was able to spread out again.. I'd never met Jack, but he introduced himself and said he was a musician. I think I could have guessed that by the clothes he was wearing (all black, ragged, and vaguely starving) and the fact that he tripped into the carriage. He didn't see what was in front of him because he was so in tune with the inside of his head. He was carrying a violin with him, which he proceeded to take out and play. We all applauded and I slipped him a twenty which he would probably use on strings instead of food, but that's his choice, I guess.
At this point, my stop came, and I left this cast of characters, knowing there was a good chance I would never see them again—and not minding it a bit.
word count: 667