‘Bus to Hartlepool’ by James Gunn (Third Place – Flash Fiction)

This piece was awarded second place in the Flash Fiction section of our 2014 Inaugural Writing Competition.

* * *

Adorned in warmth, the not-yet day’s cold couldn’t touch her. At the liminal hour of not-quite awake and half-asleep, she marched alone amongst houses, watching her breath, numb. Up the hill, far-off lights shone skywards, down the hill they disappeared: replaced by staring shop windows and blinking cars. Hidden faces, far and few, passed her by, listening only to sounds intended for the hour. Winding past the two-for-ones and the everything-must-gos, past the disowned clothes and never-eaten food, she stopped. I saw her there squinting, bathed in my light. “Fifty pence please”, and she joined us to Hartlepool.

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