Trolley Ride

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Photo prompt by Janet M. Webb

The car’s jam-packed, but I see a space, so I squeeze in. I notice her then. She has a retro look – I’m intrigued.

We’re crowded together. “Sorry,” I say, and she looks at me encouragingly, so I ask her name. She’s shy, maybe nervous.

We reach my stop; she grabs my sleeve. “Stay,” she says, and I take her hand, just like that.

Next thing I know it’s the end of the line and the car’s empty. I’m bewildered.

The driver spots me. “Ah,” he says, “you’ve met Judy. She’s been riding this trolley since 1944. Pretty cute act, eh?”

*****

You’ll enjoy reliving the trolley ride in the clip below, I believe. It’s my inspiration for my Friday Fictioneers story this week. Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting this weekly flash fiction event. Read all the other 100 word stories here.

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35 thoughts on “Trolley Ride

  1. Dear Margaret,

    I love how you used the trolley reference and went elsewhere. Of course, over here in the States we call them shopping carts so an American probably wouldn’t have taken the same leap. It’s one of the things I love about this diverse group. Well done.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

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    • And there I was feeling that I’d got the international differences covered by writing about a trolley car – which over here we call a tram. What a fascinating thing language is, and I do agree about the diversity of the group. It’s great to be part of it. Thanks to you for holding it all together so expertly. And thanks for your comment – I’m glad you liked where I took the prompt, and I’m glad you enjoyed the film clip.

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  2. Modern ghost stories are hard to do. There’s something about the genre that either requires a Victorian backdrop or else that bleeds over into horror. You succeeded. Well done!

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    • Thank you, Neil. This is the first time I’ve tip-toed into the ghostly realm, although I have summoned up a few mythological characters from the nether regions. I’m glad you like it. I wanted to get the tone right – tricky, as you mention.

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  3. A lovely little ghost story! I love how the driver is used to this happening and the ghost’s demeanor made it cheerful rather than creepy. I love trolleys and trains, so much fun.

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  4. Cool and a little creepy. I got confused by “car” at first but then remembered that’s what they’re called in America. I see from your reply to Rochelle that was deliberate for the US audience!
    Great story!

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    • Not really deliberate in that sense – I used the term because I had to call it a trolley to fit with the prompt, and so it had to be a car to go with trolley. Plus it was the song that got me going, and that was that. I didn’t even think that in other countries a shopping trolley is called a shopping cart. I’m making myself dizzy here. Sorry you got confused by ‘car’, but I’m glad you enjoyed the story at the end. And thank you for the feedback and kind comment.

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    • I got confused by car at first and I am American. The only trolleys we have nowadays are tourist ones that run on wheels like a bus, but still I should have got it as we refer to sections of the train as cars. I think my mind just jumped to a parking lot with shopping carts – er trolleys in them, but once I reread it again it was a fun little story.

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  5. This is beautiful, and nothing wrong with a benevolent ghost encounter. And by now I can laugh and enjoy the many different uses of words on different things in different countries in English. There was a time when that confused me a lot. 😀 Love the video, too.

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    • Thanks, Gabriele. If there’s going to be a ghost in my story it has to be a nice one. I’m glad you enjoyed the story and the video. I understand your earlier confusion about English vocabulary – it’s a crazy language, but fascinating.

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  6. Love you leap, there Margaret and the delightful Judy still riding the trams after 70 years. She was wonderful, though watching the clip, you can’t help but feel sad at how she was used and manipulated. Lovely story 🙂

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