One Way Ticket (or The Train From Purgatory) - a Short Story

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THE CHALLENGE

Write a short story from the picture prompt and the line, "You can never return."

The Rules:

Use the picture above as the cover image, so that we can all identify which short stories are part of the challenge.

Submit your story by Nov. 15th.

Have fun!

Use the poll to vote on your favorite story.

My Response

The above challenge was issued by Jennifer Arnett (Availiasvision) in her wonderful hub: "Take Me Somewhere: A Writer's Challenge."

This is my response. I hope you enjoy the read.

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One Way Ticket (or The Train From Purgatory)


Jake transferred the last bound pack of banknotes from the sacks into a suitcase. He rolled up the sacks and stuffed them in on top then shut the case, spun the combination lock mechanism and left the hotel room.

It was midday but the reception desk was unattended so he left his room key on top of a $100 bill on the counter. The room had only been $50 for the one night he'd stayed, but what was a $50 tip out of $250,000.

Shuffling the stolen car keys in his hand Jake walked out to the carpark and unlocked the silver Pontiac. He had an hour to get to the airport.

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He'd only driven a few hundred yards when he heard the distinctive siren and the tell-tale flashing blue and red lights in the rear vision mirror. "Just my Luck!" Jake said to himself, before flooring the accelerator. He had no other option.. that, or get caught with a quarter of a million bucks in stolen money that he'd gone to an awful lot of trouble to acquire. The offered accommodation wasn't very attractive either.

Despite the siren, two gunshots could be heard, and the next thing Jake knew was that the car he was driving was spinning out of control. The cops had obviously shot out one or two of the tires. He reefed the steering wheel trying to gain control of the Pontiac, but it was big and heavy. Suddenly the huge concrete pylon of an overhead bridge loomed menacingly in front of him, and in an instant everything went black.

Jake regained consciousness (if those are the right words) on the platform of a railway station. The overhead sign read, "PURGATORY." He blinked his eyes and scratched his head simultaneously, having no idea why or how he got here. The last thing he could recall was the police chase, losing control .. then.. nothing.

He looked around frantically for the suitcase .. it was nowhere to be found. There were a few people standing around on the platform but it was obviously not peak hour. He looked at his watch.. it had stopped at 1.22. He tapped the face and shook his wrist but the hands didn't move. Looking up at the big clock on the wall outside the Station Master's Office he was amazed that it said 1.22 as well.

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Something weird was going on. Where the hell was his money, and how did he get here? He had to get out of town but hadn't planned on going by train. It was also strange that there were no police anywhere to be seen. After a quarter million dollar bank robbery you would expect all train stations and airports in the area to be swarming with them.

Seeing a sign marked "Lost Property" Jake entered the small room and saw an aged railway attendant behind the counter. He nodded to the man, "Has anyone handed in a black suitcase?"

The old man looked at him blankly and pointed to a row of steel shelves laden with umbrellas, various items of clothing (mostly overcoats), a box containing eye glasses and cases, and another with cell phones and accessories. On the bottom shelf he saw a collection of bags, briefcases and suitcases. Jake raced impatiently behind the counter and began searching through them, but to no avail, his wasn't among them. Swearing, and without thanking the Lost Property attendant, he stormed out.

Maybe the police had found it after he crashed the car. That was the most likely explanation, and why their presence wasn't noticeable. Well he still had to get away from this place, money or not. There had been witnesses to the robbery, and Jake actually thought himself lucky to have gotten this far.. or blessed..but somehow that term didn't really seem to fit the situation.

There were other banks in other towns. He'd just have to lay low somewhere for a few weeks, make some plans, and try again.

Jake looked for the arrival and departure board, but what he found left him puzzled. It just showed 'departures', no expected 'arrivals' and read as follows:

Next Trains Departing

Absolution .. departing Platform One ..

Perdition .. departing Platform Two ..

He'd never heard of these places, or the station he was standing on 'Purgatory', but he never travelled by train and sometimes the railway stations had different names to the towns they were in. Perhaps they were also street names.

Anyway, if he was going anywhere he would need a ticket.

When he was rich and successful he'd return to this God-forsaken town where he'd lived for a few years as a kid. Jake had left here about fifteen years ago when he left school to start in a construction job. Maybe he'd attend a class reunion and flaunt his wealth and importance to those stuck-up ex-classmates from rich families who used to look down on him in his second hand uniforms. A teacher once told him, "Jacob Nelson, you'll never go anywhere!"

Approaching the ticket window, Jake patted his back pocket. At least he had the sense to pull out a few hundred dollar bills from the stash and place in his wallet, and that was still there. Thank God for something.

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Definition of Terms

The World Book Dictionary definitions are as follows:

Purgatory: 1.(in Roman Catholic belief) a temporary condition or place in which the souls of those who have died penitent are purified from sin by punishment. 2.(figurative) any condition or place of temporary suffering or punishment.

Perdition: 1. the loss of one's soul or the joys of Heaven; final spiritual ruin; damnation. 2. Hell 3. Utter loss or destruction.

Absolution: 1. a freeing from guilt or punishment for sins; forgiveness of sins declared by ecclesiastical authority. 2. pardon, exoneration, acquittal.




Source

A slightly younger railway officer sat at the ticket window. He also had the same weird stare as the man in 'Lost Property.'

"Where to Mister?" he asked pleasantly enough.

"Do you have a timetable?" Jake queried, "The board only says two destinations 'Absolution' and 'Perdition' and no departure times."

"Yep, that's yer choice," the man answered, "Make it a wise one. The trains don't run to a timetable here. When all waiting passengers are on board they leave. On time, every time," he laughed at his own joke.

Jake looked puzzled, "No timetable? that's weird," he replied, "Well how much is a ticket to 'Perdition'?"

"How much have you got?"

The bank robber remove a $100 note from his wallet and placed it on the counter.

"Just the right amount," cackled the ticket officer.

"What about 'Absolution'?"

"Same price, different journeys, but it's up to you to choose which track you travel," the attendant said with a more serious tone.

"$100.00 sounds rather expensive. I only want a one-way ticket, not return," Jake said.

"Oh, we only sell one-way tickets. You can never return!" replied the railwayman. "It's the last journey you'll ever take so the price is irrelevant."

This man was a looney, Jake thought to himself. "Just give me a ticket to 'Absolution' then," he snapped impatiently.

"Wise choice," said the man with a grin. Taking Jake's money, he handed him a ticket stamped 'ABSOLUTION: One Way'. Then taking a book from one pile of two on the counter, he added, "Here's something to read on the way. It's a long trip."

Jake looked at the cover of the small pocket-sized book. 'Gideon's New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs.'

"What books are in the other pile?" Jake asked not really impressed with the one he was given.

"Oh, those are for those who choose to travel to 'Perdition'," the man replied. "It doesn't matter what they read."

Just then the train whistle blew and the announcement came over the loud speaker, "All aboard for Absolution."


Source

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© 2014 John Hansen

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Comments 100 comments

old albion profile image

old albion 2 years ago from Lancashire. England.

Hi Jodah. A very nice story. At least he got it right in the end. As we all know life is a journey, a road unknown, some fall by the wayside, others do not. All we can do is help where we can. Well done.

Graham.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

Just then the train whistle blew and the announcement came over the loudspeaker, "All aboard for Absolution." this hit me .. such a wonderful ending... yeah you come a long way Jodah.. bravo


DDE profile image

DDE 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Hi Jodah you are trying and going well too. Good luck in your writing adventures.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

thanks for reading Devika, and your kind comment.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for reading Graham, we all make our choices, some right, some wrong....yeah ye chose the right one in the end.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Frank. I am starting to like this short fiction story writing. Practice makes perfect, right? Greatly appreciate your encouragement. Glad you liked the ending.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM

Interesting story. Glad he made the 'right choice.' We all have that choice to make in life. Interesting and I did not see the time change coming.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Suzette.


Vellur profile image

Vellur 2 years ago from Dubai

Great story from beginning to end, life is all about choices and it is in our hands to make the right choice.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Yes Vellur, exactly. Thanks for reading and your insightful comment.


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

Very good story, Jodah. Guess Jake's teacher was wrong about him ever going anywhere. Good writing and I enjoyed reading it.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Phyllis, yes where do teachers get off saying things like that to children? Thank you for reading and your kind comment.


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 2 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

John, an incredible and very clever tale. So... another challenge, I'm surely tempted, but I'll have to pass on this one. Beautifully done.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Jo. I am becoming addicted to these challenges. There is still another I'd like to participate in but may have to pass. Glad you enjoyed this story.


Michael-Milec profile image

Michael-Milec 2 years ago

Hello Jodah.

You have left your readers with limited choices for a dream: perhaps a

" rapture " would be better choice for one way ticket , if ever these two dreams has to be realized.

You have made this article a puzzle with missing one important piece which is being pursuit andsought after by all of us until we meet the Prince of Peace; that just might be a reality instead of a dream.

Voted interesting.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

I haven't read the first story, but if it's as good as this, I'll be happy! This was an exciting piece of writing and imagery. I wonder if he'll miss robing banks? I guess he won't after the cleansing. Ha. Tweeted...


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for reading Michael and your advice. I don't think "The Rapture" is suitable here but I know where you are coming from. It doesn't sound like a good station name for a start. Jake isn't dreaming either.. He was killed when his car hit a pylon during the police chase.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Ruby for your kind comment and tweeting. At least Jake made the right decision at the end and he won't need money where he is going.


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

A fine choice indeed John. This is the kind of story I really like. For me this is the happiest ending I ever did read.


btrbell profile image

btrbell 2 years ago from Mesa, AZ

What a great story and clever idea! I'm so glad he chose absolution!


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

I love these challenges. I didn't take part in this one, but I think they are a great writing exercise. I love your spin on this one...your metaphors shine throughout.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

I love this story Jodah! Happy endings like this one really do it for me. Your character, Jake, came alive. Well done and will share this.


Elsie Hagley profile image

Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

Enjoyed reading another one of your short stories. You said you are "becoming addicted to these writing challenges" that's all good.

I'm enjoying reading them as it gives me ideas how to become a good writer, having only written one, I have a long way to go to match your stories.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

I always love reading your responses to these challenges, and I am thrilled there are so many being issued and being responded to by many! That is a great image from which to creatively write a story!

I do not know Availiasvision, so I will have to check her writing out for sure!

Blessings


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida

And he still doesn't realize he's dead. At least he made the right choice when he bought his one-way ticket. But will he make it there?


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL

I wanted the story to go on and on even though it obviously ended on an outstanding note! :)


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Eric, I thought you'd enjoy the theme of this story. Much appreciate your comment.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi btrbell, thanks. Yes, me too. I did consider having him choose 'Perdition" but changed my mind.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

I agree Bill, these challenges are great. There are quite a few being issued and I can't manage to do more than one per week tops. They are a great way to practice your writing and extend yourself though. Thanks for your kind comment.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you for your kind comment Audrey. I really enjoyed writing this one and glad it had a happy ending to.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Elsie, you response to this challenge was heartwarming. I find these challenges a great way to practice and improve your writing. I just read through this hub and found quite a few typos...hope I fixed them all now. Keep writing, and thanks for your kind words.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Faith, there are a lot of people issuing challenges now and I don't think I can do them all unfortunately. They are addictive to me and offer so much variety to your writing. Availiasvision is a wonderful fiction writer and has quite a few short stories published. Please check her out. Glad you enjoyed this one.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

No, he isn't the brightest Shauna. Maybe that's why he chose bank robbing as a profession. However I think he will see the journey through. Thanks for reading.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Sunshine. I didn't want to end it either, but it was beginning to get a little long for Hub Pages, so I thought I should finish it off before people got bored....glad you didn't, and that you liked the ending.


Marie Flint profile image

Marie Flint 2 years ago from Jacksonville, FL

I don't think you had to worry about boring any reader, Jodah. This is a great exploration of life after death in fiction.

The protagonist isn't someone with whom I care to associate, but his experience is intriguing. He seems to have chosen Absolution out of ignorance, as his first query was about Perdition.

At the end, I felt the story was just beginning. Like Sunshine, I wanted to read more--at least to the point where the main character realized what happened to him. It would have been interesting to learn what the Lords of Karma had to say about this guy's life review and whether this character finally realized his ways for what they were.

I love your detailed description of the man's actions in the beginning and the clever creation of the train station named Purgatory with its destinations of Absolution and Perdition.

You definitely had me going, but I didn't feel the ending. ***


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for the insightful comment Marie. I was torn between extending the story further but it was getting a little lengthy for here and I thought leaving it up to the reader's imagination on what was ahead for Jake a good idea. Maybe there will be as sequel. Sorry the ending didn't satisfy you.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

Oh wow Jodah this is exciting, I accept the challenge, but I have to read the 1st one so I know where to start and end.

Voted up, UAI and shared

Blessings to you my friend.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

What a fantastic piece of work. You are truly growing as a writer. This is my favorite thing you have written. Just excellent. Voted up and more, plus shared.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hey Shyron, thanks for the vote up and share. Glad you found this an exciting story and I look forward to reading your contribution. Blessings back.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Flourish, wow that's a fine compliment. I am glad the improvement in my writing is evident. So glad this is your favourite so far. Thanks for the vote up and share.


Dip Mtra profile image

Dip Mtra 2 years ago from World Citizen

Nice. Loved it.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for reading Dip Mtra, I appreciate your kind comment.


Nadine May profile image

Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

Very very very enjoyable. It took a while before I realized where you took me, the reader towards. The hereafter. Well done.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

This is an interesting and creative story, Jodah. I enjoyed it very much.


Availiasvision profile image

Availiasvision 2 years ago from California

I love all of the mystery and tension you put into it. It's an interesting use of dramatic humor. What I found particularly interesting is that Jake is the Anti-hero, who we shouldn't like, but somehow we end up worried about him and cheering for him. He seems to have no remorse over what he's done, but what makes us sympathize with him, is that he is at the mercy of a system he knows nothing about. Well done! I'm proud to include your entry in the challenge.


Dana Tate profile image

Dana Tate 2 years ago from LOS ANGELES

Great powerful story with a deep message I loved it Jodah; voted up, awesome, and shared. Great job!


cynamans profile image

cynamans 2 years ago from Washington DC

Great story. Voted up and interesting.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Nadine, glad it all came clear towards the end.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you for reading Alicia. So glad you enjoyed this.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Jennifer. for that insightful comment. I am so glad that you approved of this story from the great photo you provided. I enjoyed this challenge and was pleased with how the story developed.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Dana, sometimes the message in some of my hubs makes me feel like a preacher.. :Thanks for the vote up and share.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi cynamans, thanks for reading, commenting, and voting up. Glad you enjoyed the read.


Harishprasad profile image

Harishprasad 2 years ago from India

Whatever story I pick up written by you, it makes an interesting and delicious read. What a great tale- One Way Ticket. A very creative and fantastically imaginative tale plus a wonderful and great response to Jennifer's challenge. I relished it with all my heart. Voted up and shared.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Harishprasad, it is always good to see a comment by you. That are always thoughtful and encouraging. Thank you for your continued support. So glad you found this story entertaining. Thanks for the vote up and share too.


ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

Interesting challenge and you did an excellent job as a creative writer. Great engrossing story and I liked the end.

Wonderful read, voted up and thanks!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you for reading and that great comment Chitrangada. I enjoyed writing this story. The photo was quite inspiring, especially for an ex railwayman. Glad you enjoyed the ending, some others thought it should have just been the beginning. :)


cam8510 profile image

cam8510 2 years ago from Columbus, Georgia until the end of November 2016.

I do believe Jake got wiser as the story progressed. Although he never did realize where he was. Great story, john. I liked how this one stayed right on track to the end. Pun intended. I put off reading other stories until I was nearly finished with my story so I wouldn't be influenced. But you and I were thinking alike on this one. Ill be posting mine this evening.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Cam. I appreciate your comment. I try not to let other's responses to these challenges effect my own also. They are always so diverse but you don't want it to seem like you have borrowed another person's idea. Can't wait to read yours.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 2 years ago from Texas

Those that know me know that things often remind me of a song. This clever piece reminds me of Josh Turner's "Long Black Train." Glad I read it.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

That's great Shanmarie. I'll have to check out the song, not sure I'm familiar with it. Thanks for reading and commenting.


Nikkij504gurl profile image

Nikkij504gurl 2 years ago from Louisiana

Really interesting challenge and story. I like your take on the challenge especially since its dark, something out of the Twilight Zone. I think a part 2 would be awesome if you were up for writing it :)


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 2 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Voted up and interesting. Give one the chills. Lucky he chose Absolution. Passing this on.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Nikki, yes I like writing on the darker side occasionally and this challenge was a good opportunity. A few people have suggested I should have kept the story going so maybe I have to consider a part two.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Yes lucky he changed his mind Gypsy..he almost made a mistake. Thanks for the vote up and share.


Eric Flynn profile image

Eric Flynn 2 years ago from Providence, Rhode Island

I agree Jake seems lucky to me, somewhat fated for absolution, he made a choice, but was somewhat indifferent to choice. Commentary on our relationship with God as humans in today's world. Most of the world is indifferent, fate seems to have saved Jake from his own indifference.

EWF


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Exactly Eric, Jake never admitted his sins or showed any remorse..yet..unless he gets a revelation on the train journey. His first choice was Perdition as his destination, so he was just fortunate to change his mind and go with Absolution. I was trying to show the indifference of many people and how they just leave their final outcome up to "fate". Thanks for reading and for your insightful comment.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York

Move over Rod Serling, there's a new Twilight Zone in the house! This was magnificent...eerie and interesting. I had to vote all but funny cause it was so great.


Sparklea profile image

Sparklea 2 years ago from Upstate New York

Hi Jodah: You are such a gifted writer and it is a pleasure to witness your incredible creativity again. I wanted you to get to the end of the journey to absolution, wanted you to describe what you saw at the end of the journey...I am a sequel nut. LOVE continuations. That being said you made your point with the right choice. LOVED the pictures that accompanied your story and I have a Bible identical to the one pictured!

Only you could come up with something this unique and great. God bless you real good and thank you for sharing your wonderful talent once again. Blessings Sparklea :)


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you for such a wonderful comment Mary. Wow, I used to love the Twilight Zone and Rod Sterling's voice. It blows me away that you can compare this story to one of those eerie stories. Thanks for the vote up too.


annart profile image

annart 2 years ago from SW England

I left a comment on this ages ago but it obviously didn't register, no doubt because my internet must have cut off just as I was submitting it.

Great hub, superb idea and you've carried off so well. I too want to know what happens next! He chose the right path but did he appreciate it?!!

Entertaining read, John.

Ann


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Great to see you Sparklea. Thank you for such a kind and insightful comment. Your words humble me. What a coincidence that you have an identical Gideon's Bible. It seems a few readers would have been happy with this story to go on or a sequel. I may have to consider that, though it will take some deep thinking for me to be able to imagine what the trip to Absolution or the destination would be like. I thought it best to leave that to everyone's imagination. We'll see. Thanks again, God bless.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Ann, hmm, I too thought I had read a comment from you previously on this but it is hard to keep up with all the responses to these challenges, so maybe not. Thank you for revisiting this story anyway. Thank you for the kind comment, though I am beginning to think that I let the readers down by not developing the story further. Even though Jake is an anti-hero the people seem to care about him and whether he ever became aware of his situation or repented his sins on the way to Absolution. Maybe I should make it a challenge to end this story


annart profile image

annart 2 years ago from SW England

You haven't let us down! It's one of those stories where we should make up our own minds and explore the possibilities. I was just thinking out loud!

I love all the challenges but I'm wondering if we should keep them spread out a bit more - I've found it a little confusing and I know it's totally bemused some others!

Having said that, I just can't resist a challenge, so if you go ahead with that, I'll have a go.

Hope you have a great week, John!

Ann


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Ann. I agree challenges do need to be spread out a little so we have time for our own projects. I have had trouble keeping up with the responses to Bill's especially. You have a good week too.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 years ago

The photo is so visually stimulating for writers and you took this challenge on with great talent. Your story was exciting and I love the way you made it apply to life choices.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you teaches, It's funny where these photo prompts lead you. I had some idea of the direction I was going to take it but the story seemed to take on a life of its own as I wrote.


Loreva13 profile image

Loreva13 2 years ago from El Paso, TX

Awesome and clever story! I loved your venture over to the "other side."


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Loreva13, this story was somewhat experimental so glad the subject matter and the journey into the unknown worked for you. Much appreciated.


The Examiner-1 profile image

The Examiner-1 2 years ago

What a great story John! It has meaning, a sense of choosing a direction to go in life - not just any direction, the proper direction. I voted up+++, shared an pinned it.

Kevin


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hey Kevin. good to see you. Glad you enjoyed reading this story and the message of choice it contained. Thanks as always for the vote up, share and pin.


SandyMertens profile image

SandyMertens 23 months ago from Frozen Tundra

Very meaningful article about choosing one's direction.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 23 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for reading Sandy, and I appreciate your comment. I guess we all have to choose our direction.


missirupp 23 months ago

Jodah, I love this. You give us just enough of the character's description in a small amount of space and after I was done reading, so many questions came to mind. Not that I wasn't given enough information, but the right questions: How do I feel about these words, absolution, purgatory, perdition. What is my own journey?

It's also well developed. There's a beginning, middle and end. I am never taken out of the story by the narrator's own beliefs but want to continue reading for the story for my own gratification and curiosity. Voted up!


lambservant profile image

lambservant 23 months ago from Pacific Northwest

Great story John. I am not a believer in purgatory, but it sure made for a great story. The images you added of the train station were wonderful and sure helped to visualize what was going on. Nice work.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 23 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for reading and the helpful and generous comment missirupp. I very much appreciate the vote up too. Have a great day.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 23 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Lori, I wrote this hoping it would appeal to most readers whether or not they believed in purgatory etc. Glad it worked for you. I don't know how I came up with the idea of linking the train station to those places...but hey..got to try something different.


lambservant profile image

lambservant 23 months ago from Pacific Northwest

Jodah, it reminds me of a book written by CS Lewis but I an't remember it's name. I think it was The Great Divorce maybe. But I think it had people traveling on a bus or train. Blessings brother.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 23 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for that Lori.....wow, I never imagined being compared to C S Lewis :)


DWDavisRSL profile image

DWDavisRSL 20 months ago from Eastern NC

The song "Long Black Train" kept playing in my head the whole time I was reading your hub. Very intriguing story.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 20 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you for taking the time to read this story DW. "Long Black Train" fits well I think.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 20 months ago from Nashville Tn.

Brilliant! You nevet cease to amaze me with your talent jodah. Ill be doing some serious sharing.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 20 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Aw Audrey, you never cease to amaze me with your wonderful comments. Thanks for the serious sharing too, I appreciate it.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 16 months ago from The Beautiful South

Great story and challenge idea, John! Since I have until November I just might make this a priority! Should be fun! ^+


Jodah profile image

Jodah 16 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Yes it was fun Jackie. I hope you give it a go. There have been some great responses.


anemixflarie profile image

anemixflarie 15 months ago

cool!!! I liked it!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 15 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you anemixflarie. I appreciate you reading and glad you liked it.


EsJam profile image

EsJam 15 months ago from Southern California

Hello Jodah,

As always, it is a pleasure to read your work, very much so. Your story was captivating, and intriguing. I very much enjoy spirituals, and this one fit in, I liked Ride This Train!

The music video, The Last Train, was awsome and unique!

Are we missing the voting up button? I am not seeing it anymore. Maybe it is just me?

As for the writing challenge, is this something that is open to anyone, or is it something that someone will challenge you with directly? Curious....

Good day! Essie


Jodah profile image

Jodah 15 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Essie, thanks for reading this tale and your kind comment. I am afraid Hub Pages have decided to retire the "vote up" buttons. They say they weren't regularly utilised and space could be better used otherwise. I don't agree, but we have to accept change. Other hubber said regularly issue writing challenges here, and yes they are open to anyone as was this one. Most of my short fiction stories here at HP are the result of challenges. You should join in. The latest was issued by Chris Mills a few days ago (see my hub 'The Waterville away' for details and a link) have a great weekend.


Rozina Iftikhar profile image

Rozina Iftikhar 14 months ago from Islamabad

An awesome piece of fiction. I kept praying for Jake to choose the ticket to absolution. He was lucky that he was given a choice...sure because you were the architect of his fate...

I mean ...its all about fate...isn't it?

A very grasping story...told with an ease of a breeze!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 14 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Rozina, thank you for choosing to read this story. Yes it is all about our fate and the choices we make. Jake was just lucky I was feeling forgiving and let him choose "absolution" :) His first choice wasn't a wise one. I am glad you enjoyed this and appreciate your kind comment.

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    Jodah profile image

    John Hansen (Jodah)699 Followers
    277 Articles

    John has many years writing experience including a Writing School course "Writing for Profit." He has written text for children's books etc.



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