A Short Story About Commuting (or Modern Life Is Rubbish)


Raymond was looking forward to getting home. He knew that his wife and two lovely little daughters would be waiting for him. He hurried along the wet sidewalk.

Presently he arrived at the point of the journey he always hated. Here, he either had to walk through a cold, dirty dark tunnel which – if he avoided mishap – would shave many minutes from his journey, or he would have to take the safe but long way round. It was a horrible day – cats and dogs would be a suitable epithet and he had left his umbrella at home that morning.

He decided upon the tunnel.

Within seconds he realised it was a mistake. A dirty individual in ragged clothes leapt out from behind the wheelie bins and stood in front of him. Legs apart. Confrontational. Raymond instantly recognised him, and knew he was in for a bad time.

He tried familiarity.

“Virgil Trails” Raymond started confidently. “I haven’t seen you round these parts for ages”

Virgil grinned. It wasn’t a pleasant grin. “Wait there” he grunted.

He ventured behind the bin and returned seconds later with a baseball bat,

“What the fuck? – ” Raymond exclamation of surprise was interrupted by the bat crashing into the side of his jaw. He saw the string of blood sailing through the air.

Virgil regarded Raymond’s confusion and surprise with satisfaction. Suddenly he stepped¬†forward and drove the fat end of the bat into Raymond’s solar plexus. The sound of ribs breaking could be heard and the commuter doubled up in pain, coughing.

Virgil stepped back again as if to admire his brutality but in fact he was simply better positioning himself to arc a vicious uppercut swing which caught the bent-over Raymond on the point of his chin.

Raymond  toppled over, unconscious.

The ruffian sauntered off to his space behind the bins once again and this time returned with a bucket of ice cold water. He threw it upon the prone figure of Raymond, who shuddered and then came to.

Rising gingerly to hist feet and wiping the blood from his mouth he started moving backwards. Terrified. Through his broken jaw and teeth Raymond was only able to mumble a single question.


Virgil cleared his throat, fixed his shirt and very politely and delicately announced

“I am very sorry for the broken nature of your face. This was caused by a malfunction in my psychological operations. Virgil Trails apologises for any inconvenience caused.”

He smiled brightly and disappeared back behind the dirty bins.

The battered, cold wet – and late – Raymond ran off crying with pain and disbelief.