This story is in response to the Sunday Photo Fiction challenge, hosted by Alistair Forbes, that asks that you write a story in 100-200 words.
Jacob fiddled nervously with his hood as the train pulled into King’s Cross, excitement and apprehension warring in his chest. It was over seven years since he’d last visited London: then a child of eight, secure in his parent’s loving care.
Memories from that day could still bring a smile.
He remembered his mum’s laughter, light and carefree, as Dad clowned before Buckingham Palace’s straight-faced guards. They’d ridden on the London Eye, marvelling at the city sprawled below, and later watched in amazement as Tower Bridge opened for the passage of a tall-masted ship.
A week later his world had disintegrated in a cacophony of screeching metal and agonised cries. Only he was pulled free from their vehicle’s tangled wreckage.
He left the station carried in the crowd’s wake – keeping his head down, avoiding curious gazes. He wanted, needed, the anonymity offered by the city. For too long he’d been the problem child with the scarred face, shunted from home to home, recipient of derisive words and cruel blows.
As dusk settled over the city he took shelter in a doorway, hugging the rucksack containing every treasured possession close to his chest.
No one would be looking for him.
Word Count: 200
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