Written in response to a writing prompt at CreativeWritingInk

reflection image prompt
Photo by David Clarke on Unsplash

Confusion doesn’t cover the feeling I have right now. Not in the emotional or the physical sense of the word. The nauseating rolling sensation has nothing to do with the train vibrations nor the overpowering smell of aftershave from the man sitting across from me. The pounding of my pulse resonates through my skull, throbbing with pain as my vision seems to blur with each strike. I stare at my reflection in the polished chrome, half seeing the world bob and weave as it rushes past. My reflection stares back.

Deep breath in and hold it. My neck is hot but my arms are like ice. Thoughts shoot through my brain faster than I can register. Aftershave man looks at me; I see him in the reflection. He’s unsure whether to give me his seat but why would he? I tug subconsciously at the denim coat hanging off my wiry shoulders, I don’t like it.

Can I even remember how I got here? Everything seemed normal. It makes no sense. Familiar stops come to greet the train and I am vaguely aware that I’m not far from my destination. But is it even my destination anymore? My fingers grip round the top of the seat next to me as my legs threaten to give way. Wishing I had a bottle of water, I try to swallow though my throat has closed up; I barely keep the tears at bay.

Deep breath. Not that it does any good. My stop approaches and the train slows to a halt. But is it even my destination anymore? Because there’s no getting round it. I stare at my reflection as I begin to face up to reality. My reflection stares back. But its face is not mine.


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