Short scene. Ellis takes a train ride and prepares for her favourite part of the week.
|The train rattled along on tracks far older than her. The city scape slipped by; a water colour painting smeared across the background of beautiful pink. The light of the setting sun shone into her eyes, broken by telephone poles and office blocks. Ellis grinned. Her heart was pounding with the excitement she always got when they were about to go on a run. Her whole week was built up to this moment. Countless braindead hours lost to the monotonous beep of the tills weren't wasted as long as she made it to Friday night. The grey stone of the buildings contrasted starkly with the colour of the graffiti coating the walls that lined the tracks. She pushed her nose up against the window pane in the doorway where she was stood, fogging up her glasses in an attempt to spot some of the lines they'd run before. Ellis could almost see herself sprint across the path. She could feel the memory. The wind whipping at her face and the spring of her sneakers off of the concrete ground. The thumping of her heart. The sun glinted off of the glass of a particularly fancy looking building and blinded her momentarily, forcing her from her reverie, but the flutter in her heart remained.
At last, her cue came in the form of a signal point. They were just about to come to the station before her destination. When they got there a little more than half the train would get off, aimed for the bars and clubs of the city's centre. Before then it was too busy to really manoeuvre. It was nothing like the crush of rush hour commuting, but Ellis needed a little more space to get out her bag and prepare. They'd all agreed years ago not to waste a second of the evening getting ready. Everyone had received the route the night before and if you were even a minute late, they'd start without you. So Ellis had perfected the art of getting ready on the train journey there. She twisted around in the little pocket of space that she'd built for herself through the careful foot placement that only a born and raised city person could perfect. Intoxicating drum beats pounded in her ears from the faithful pair of overheads that she wore everywhere, covering the screeching of metal grinding against metal as the train came to a juddering stop at the platform. With a hiss and a clatter the automatic doors opened and the throngs of people, dressed in all manner of styles and aesthetics, pushed out of the carriage and into the warm summer air.
Now that there was some space to work Ellis set about getting ready for the evening's adventure. She kicked the worn backpack out from between her legs and into the middle of the carriage as she felt the floor begin to shift underneath her once more. Kneeling down, she unzipped it quickly and tore open the top, revealing her supplies. It was only 5 minutes to the next stop so there wasn't that much time. She reached in and pulled out a hair tie to pull her loose her into a single high afro puff, and pulled off the headphones, folding them up and packing them reverently into their casing. The white noise of the train wheels clacking against the rails filled her world momentarily before she replaced them with a pair of earbuds. The pounding drum beats returned. Ellis grinned. 2 minutes left to go. She plopped herself down, kicking off her loose pumps and unceremoniously pulled off the cheap pair of tracksuit bottoms that she'd been wearing to reveal a pair of vibrant patterned leggings; all purples, pinks, and golds. Quickly she folded the trousers around the shoes and placed them to the side before taking out a similar bundle from the bag. This she unfolded and she let a pair of ruby red sneakers clatter to the floor. The accents were pinks and whites, with a clear heart shaped motif adorning the padded tongue and stitched onto the side, clearly taking the place of some brand logo. Etched into the sole of each shoe and carefully dyed, two more hearts dared the world to try to dampen their overt symbology. Ellis pulled them on and placed the pre-run outfit into the bag, zipping it up before pushing herself back up to standing. She pulled the laces tight, feeling the stuttering crawl of the train begin as it pulled into her destination. Her stomach filled with butterflies.
The ritual was almost complete. As the portal began to sigh, Ellis pulled on the hooded track suit jacket that completed her outfit. It was made of a stretchy, breathable fabric and sewn onto the back was a large embroidered patch of a space ship against a night sky. Adam had made it for everyone in their party. She sniffed at the familiar scent of the garment. Felt the familiar way the wine red material caressed her skin. Remembered the friend that had given it to her. The butterflies pushed at her, aching to escape into the air. The air suddenly felt stifling and thick in her lungs. Her heart caught in her chest. And for a single solitary moment, the world was still. She remembered the friend. Her whole week was built up to this moment. She remembered her friend.
With a bang the doors to carriage opened to the sides, revealing the soft colours of the sky. The electric shock of fresh air hit Ellis' lungs as she gulped it down, relieving the tension in her chest. Her watch beeped. The timing was perfect, but there wasn't a second to lose. In one huge, freeing movement she leapt from the carriage swinging the bag onto her back. Heart soled sneakers met the hard concrete of the city, as she launched into a sprint away from the train and up the steps that would take her to the night.