Thursday, December 6, 2012

'Monday Morning'

People have requested stories about the bus for so long, I finally edited this old story that I gave up on submitting, and posted it.



Monday Morning
by Troy Blackford


Daniel Clemens pulled his hood up in a huff as the young bus passenger’s voice intruded into his empty mind. He realized the hood’s padding couldn’t dampen that voice enough--nothing could. His scowl tightened. It was seven o’clock on a Monday morning, on an otherwise silent bus. Daniel wasn’t the only irritated passenger, yet Daniel alone felt pushed beyond annoyance, into something more akin to despair.

Instead of feeling relief when her stop came and the bus once again fell into silence, however, he felt sad that his excuse to scowl and mutter had departed. Now he was just Daniel Clemens, an empty man with nothing to scoff at. At least until he stepped off the bus.

That’s when he noticed just how rude the other pedestrians were. Daniel passed around a group sprawled across the entire sidewalk, the members absently swinging their briefcases in wide arcs as they talked. “What the hell?” Daniel muttered. The idea that these three weren’t the only people using the sidewalk during rush hour didn’t seem to have occurred to the trio.

“Come on, man!” Daniel hissed, swerving around another group, not even bothering to lower his voice. “Rude as hell!”

However odious these affronts, nothing compared to the all-out assault on dignity posed by those who merely stood on an escalator. These people invariably gripped a railing in each hand, blocking the flow of more industrious traffic. Daniel could not imagine a worse human being.

Other than these daily issues, Daniel led a happy life. He had no problems at work, he felt content at home - where he lived alone. The only thing that bothered him was being around other people.

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Find out more about Daniel's worst day ever in 'For Those With Eyes to See,' the short story collection. 

23 comments:

  1. Ridiculously anxiety filled, not for your claustrophobic everyman, and illustriously bold. This story mirrors 'That Feeling, You Can Only Say It In French' but with a pleasant twist where this is Daniel's Heaven and not his Hell. Bravo good sir!

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  2. Wow, great story! I certainly did not expect the ending! Love it!

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  3. Great story! Like putting a 21st Century Ignatius P. Reilly into a Beetlejuice type afterlife. Really clever, and deceptive in its sneaking of the profound into the mundane.

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  4. I rate this excellent!Because: 1. I knew from the beginning he was already dead, which means that your words atmosphered a medium that immediately tuned in my perception;
    2. I didn‘t forsee he owns the bus. And here comes your skill to conduct your character through passages, in the same way he will ultimately drive his bus: eratically. I think that the established order will last till the next station...
    3. And yes, if they ask me who‘s my favourite author, I‘ll know what to say!

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  5. I'm a fan. Thanks for sharing!

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  6. Damn. Meant to just check you out for a twitter follow and ended up reading this. Great stuff. When is the novel coming? Or has it come?

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  7. As promised, just making not of one thing. In the third section you make mention of it being the worse bus ride Daniel's ever had, once in prose and one in dialogue. Just a bit of redundancy there. Overall, very well-written! It kind of reminds me of the Twilight Zone.

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  8. you're not telling me, Troy, that this one was NOT picked up my every magazine to which you sent it? Excellent..great pacing, unexpected ending, great characterization, innovative and entertaining. I love it.

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  9. Excellent story, had me glued right to the end. Love the twist!

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  10. I mirror an earlier comment, in that this tale is reminiscent of a Twilight Zone type of story.
    Highly entertaining, and it's good to know that you're a frequent bus traveller and people-watcher, and that you recognise that there are some people "out there" who are just not happy unless they are complaining!

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  11. Okay, so you got me! I was laughing out loud when I arrived at these words: "The doors whirred, but kept catching on something, reminding Daniel of a cat choking on a hairball." And a big smile stayed on my face all the way through. Wow! Owning the bus!

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  12. Very unexpected and anxious-filled read! Awesome!

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  13. Love your description - cow carcasses on meat hooks. The feeling of claustrophobia is so clear. Mentioned that he had been hearing breaking glass all morning, but I didn't hear it, wished that sound had been worked in while he's on the bus. Love the idea that everyone's heaven is different and not what we might think.

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  14. Troy, great story! I love it thoroughly. This was expertly written! Thanks for making my Sunday evening. Looking forward to Monday Morning now.

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  15. That was superb! Enjoyed every single second of it!

    C

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  16. This one had me confused and nervous, but in a really good, edge of your seat kinda way. Im becoming addicted to your stories. Thank you, this is really your calling.

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  17. A ride with the dead man miserable wretched and dejected ending in smug satisfaction. In India we believe one always gets what one desires.....you are an amazing story teller....some imagination in that head.....

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  18. Disturbed at how well I related to Daniel.

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  19. I enjoyed the twist in this one. Glad you put it up and I'm sure everyone who's ever used public transport will sympathise

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  20. Excellently done! I love your writing style; it is so simple, yet so effective! It also has the ingenious and unique ability to take the most unpredictable plot twists without completely derailing the story and losing the audience.
    The Verdict: Bravo, my good chap! I salute you.

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  21. That was an amazing Twilight Zone-type story. Full of angst and frustration. I so could relate to some of Daniel's view of the loud bus people, rude sidewalk people and escalator grippers, from my past when living in the city and riding public transportation. One was always in a hurry. Puts some perspective on my perception. Nice story telling.

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