Writing Prompt Story Starter: Sunset From The Train

Story Starter

This week’s Writing Prompt Story Starter is the stunning sunset of September 25, 2019.

How can I be so specific? It’s because I was on the train heading home after the second serial writing workshop in London.

If I remember correctly, this was taken at York, just after we’d emerged from the splendid station there.

I think it works as a story starter image partly because of the fiery colours, which might suggest all sorts of explosive situations.

There’s also the idea of the sun setting on another day.

Can you see the commuters heading home through the evening shadows? Commuters — or someone simply returning home.

We’re on the north-bound track, but there’s that southbound one alongside. No train yet, but it’ll be on its way.

Who’s waiting for it at the station, and to board or to get off?

Final destination

Who’s on the train?

Its final destination was Edinburgh. And it began to run late, held up by problems at Darlington.

I was changing at Edinburgh for the Dundee train, and I could see my manageable interval there being eaten away. A race against time.

As we approached Edinburgh Waverley, the train manager apologised again for the delay and announced which platforms the various connecting trains were departing from. (LNER are terrific, by the way.)

I planned ahead and positioned myself to be at the right end of the train in relation to my next platform.

With a brisk sprint I made my connection . . . but another passenger wasn’t so lucky.

As the doors slid closed and we drew away, a young man came running, hauling his trolley case, but he just missed it. The way his shoulders slumped said it all.

Incidentally, the guard on this Scotrail train was really sorry that he’d just missed him, too.

Ordinary people caring about doing their jobs as well as they can.

Maybe that’s the story.

For more inspiration, click here to see the rest of Fiction Ed Shirley’s writing prompts.

Shirley Blair

Fiction Ed Shirley’s been with the “Friend” since 2007 and calls it her dream job because she gets to read fiction all day every day. Hobbies? Well, that would be reading! She also enjoys writing fiction when she has time, long walks, travel, and watching Scandi thrillers on TV.