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The Woman This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   It was 11: 37 in the late evening. Burt, who announced the arrivals and departures of the local subway trains, became weary and fatigued. One solitary woman remained in the otherwise vacant underground station. Boredom enveloped Burt, and to avoid falling asleep, he admired the woman's appearance. She stood near the edge of the tracks and gazed at them. The corpulent woman was on the short side and dressed in a tan trench coat. Her head was wrapped in a faded maroon and vanilla-colored kerchief. On her hands were dark brown leather gloves and she wore ebony galoshes. For a second, Burt glanced at the clock - 12: 03 a.m. His shift should have been finished at quarter to twelve, and his replacement had not come.

Still feeling lethargic, Burt began to saunter towards her, but she continued to stare steadily at the tracks. Closer he moved towards her closer, closer, and then ...

The station's phone rang. It was enclosed in a small case attached to one of the station's poles. Burt , aggravated, reversed direction to answer it.

"Yeah," he said in an agitated voice.

"Burt, why haven't you left? Isn't Charlie there?" The superintendent asked from the opposite end of the phone.

"No."

"Is that lady there?"

"Yeah, she's waiting for the R train, right?"

"Yeah, just wait until she gets on the train."

"Okay, but call up Charlie for me."

"Sure." Click.

Burt was about to hang up when a hand clasped over his mouth from behind! He tried to yell, but suddenly a twinge of unbearable pain struck his back!

Another followed! Again! And again! When he fell to the floor, the mysterious person rolled him into the tracks' trench. His body fell with a thump. Then the ground began to rumble. A train hurried by and that was the end of Burt. The stranger then quickly, like a horse, galloped away.

This was the train the woman was waiting for and she boarded as its vibrations stopped shaking the ground. Did she not see the crime committed?

The next evening the subway was swarming with policemen, trying to find the missing Burt. The superintendent was in hysterics, and Charlie was also present.

"Wasn't Burt there when you arrived?" the superintendent asked angrily.

"No," Charlie answered calmly.

The time was 11: 37 in the late evening. Everyone became weary and fatigued. One solitary woman was waiting for her train and staring at the tracks. Did she not see the signs outside stating police investigation in the subway?

She stood at the edge of the tracks. An officer spotted the woman and approached her, but she continued to stare steadily at the tracks.

"Ma'am, what are you doing here?" the officer asked politely.

The woman did not respond. Because of this, the officer became suspicious and escorted her to the lieutenant in charge.

The lieutenant was baffled by the whole situation. Burt had disappeared between 12: 05 a.m., the time the superintendent called the station, and 12: 15 a.m., the time Charlie arrived at the station.

When the officer brought the woman to her, she thought the case could be closed. This might be the witness she needed. She asked the woman if she had been at the station the day before at the same time. Still, the woman would not answer. The irascible lieutenant instantly became irritated. It had been a long day, and a witness that did not wish to give any evidence did not help. The lieutenant told the police officer to bring the woman to the police station.

The superintendent saw the police officer taking the woman up the subway stairs and inquired as to the reason for her leaving.

"She might be a witness," the lieutenant replied, "but she won't answer any questions. I've decided to question her at the station."

"I doubt she'll say anything to you," the superintendent said.

"We have ways of making people speak under police interro------."

"I do not question your authority and, anyway, I know the woman. She's a local. She takes the train at the same time every evening. Our people make sure she gets on safely. It's kind of dangerous late at night in the city, you know?"

The lieutenant nodded and listened attentively to the superintendent. Yet, she was nonplussed. Why did he not tell her he knew the woman before?

"Her name is Rosa Amato, and she's deaf, mute, and blind."

In the shadows of the subway, Charlie grinned.n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






Join the Discussion

This article has 9 comments. Post your own now!

notebooklady said...
Aug. 15, 2012 at 2:22 pm
Little things to improve on like using exclamation points with caution (it seems like you're trying too hard to make it dramatic when the words are already perfect) and maybe some little changes with words or sentences to make it flow better. Great sense of mystery through the piece. I think your problems will go away with experience and you should for sure keep writing! 
 
-daydreamer- said...
Jun. 26, 2010 at 4:19 pm
Love the ending!
 
Ashlynrae said...
Aug. 2, 2009 at 7:20 pm
Really nice ending!
 
lesliee said...
Jun. 27, 2009 at 5:58 pm
Very interesting story, and a sly ending that leaves you wishing it continued. Watch your use of exclamation points outside of dialogue in third person omniscient. Your writing still stabs and surprises without the extra marks. Definitely keep writing.
 
Hannah!!!! said...
May 6, 2009 at 3:32 am
wow...that was really good! it was a litte confusing at the end though...
 
Chrissy L. said...
Apr. 25, 2009 at 4:20 pm
Wow. Incredible, at first I was guessing she just didn' speak English.
 
KelsKels said...
Dec. 22, 2008 at 3:05 am
ahhhhhh! that was a cool ending.
 
mallygirl91 said...
Dec. 3, 2008 at 2:38 pm
wow! that was good!!! i loved the ending!!!
 
breika said...
Nov. 27, 2008 at 5:08 pm
Wow, I love this story it is so interresting.It makes me guess what happened after the end.
 
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