In Training



Absorbed in her book, the young woman inched closer to the window as he plonked himself down next to her in the near empty carriage.

She let out a sigh. Why beside her?

The guard blew his whistle and the train jerked to a start as if it had a learner driver. Tousled, blonde hair appeared in her peripheral vision, her personal space. Her brows furrowed as her co-passenger craned to see what she was reading. She tilted the book away.


No reaction.

“Do you travel on this line often?”

She glanced up, reluctant to give the guy any attention. Her sister had a name for her expression – ‘resting bitch-face’. It usually worked.

“That’s pathetic,” she muttered, coaxing wayward hair behind an ear before returning to her book. She wanted to tell him he had eyes like a fox, soft and sharp all at once. But that would be weird.

He grinned, surprised yet delighted at her accent, and shifted a little closer now he was getting a reaction.

“Seriously, I’m just getting this amazing vibe from you,” he said, his voice low. “I think you should let me buy you a drink.”

He seemed a little younger than her, but the woman’s fingers froze on her book. She crossed one leg over the other.

“I think you should leave me alone,” she replied, eyes on the page but no longer reading.

“Come on, admit it.” The whisper of his voice had a hoarse edginess. “You’re feeling it too.”


Her co-passenger was undeterred. “Either I’ve met you in my dreams, or—”

His bold gaze took in the smooth curves of her breasts, coming to linger where her caramel thighs met the fabric of her sundress. The young woman pulled the hem down as far as it would go, her eyes finding refuge in her novel.

“Or—” Sensitive fingers thrummed the side of his skinny knee. His voice dropped a notch further. “Or we’ve been lovers in a past life. In fact, I bet you have a Jack Russell tattooed on one of your extremely captivating buttocks.”

A sharp intake of breath came from the young woman, there and gone in an instant. She shut the book, adjusting the strap of the satchel-handbag on her shoulder. Their eyes locked for the second time.

“You are not only vulgar, but nauseatingly presumptuous.” She spoke slowly, enunciating her words with care. The train bucked to a stop and she got up, planting her feet apart for balance, waiting for him to let her pass.

The young man ignored her silent request, the corner of his mouth lifting at her rebuke. “What a co-incidence.” He sat up, straightening his shoulders. “This is my stop too.”

“Excuse me,” came a voice from two seats behind.

The young woman turned around.

The older passenger’s face showed concern. “Would you like some help?”

The young troublemaker crossed his arms, intrigued. The man shot him an indignant glare.

“Thanks very much for the offer,” she answered, giving him a reassuring smile. Leaning away from her unwanted admirer, she whispered, hand to her mouth. “I’m a black-belt.”

“Well….er…you should still tell the guard.”


With a spring in her step, the young woman headed straight for the station exit, looking back only once.

After stopping briefly to attend to his phone, the young man hurried, dodging a few people to catch up. Behind her lithe figure, he was a beanpole, his young shoulder blades threatening to transform into plates of armour.

Soon he was only a step away.

Grasping her hand and swinging her round, he kissed her hard, on the mouth.  It was so sudden the handbag slipped from her shoulder, dropping to the ground.

The young woman resisted. Grabbing hold of his barely-there backside, she dug her nails in—harder as the muscles clenched, resisting attack.

“Jack Russell, my arse,” she whispered in his ear.

He laughed in the silky softness of her hair, breathing her in.

Only then did she return his kiss, finally turning to go. “Rehearsals are early tonight. Don’t be late.”

Copyright: Susan Lattwein




This entry was posted in flash fiction, writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to In Training

  1. Carrie Rubin says:

    Great twist at the end. He didn’t have to withstand her black belt skills after all. 🙂

  2. Well now isn’t that a lovely curveball. Never even saw it coming. Well done, Susan. I enjoyed it very much! (nice title too)

  3. Susan says:

    I loved this short story. It got my imagination going. Very clever. You are such a talented writer Susan. 🙂

  4. The twist at the end makes me want to read more. It is an interesting relationship that makes me wonder where the characters are heading in the story 🙂

  5. Your illustrations of people make me wonder about your characters too, Michelle. 🙂

  6. Wow Susan that was freaky! I could feel the discomfort and anxiety. Brilliant!

  7. This is great, I read right to the end – though I reckon his cheesy chat-up lines deserved some serious Black Belt action!

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