Friday Flash: Love on the Piccadilly Line?


At 7.57am, James McNally was on his way to work. Immaculately dressed in his Saville Row suit, he looked exactly how he looked every other working day. Like every other working day he was standing on the Piccadilly line train to Covent Garden, casually reading his newspaper.

At 8.01am Louisa Reynolds was running late. As usual. Her train was in as she dashed down the steps to the platform. Damn it.

At 8.02am James McNally held the doors open for a pretty blonde. She flashed him a grateful smile. A beautiful smile.

At 8.03am Louisa Reynolds could feel the colour rising in her cheeks. She didn’t do flirting. Secretly she was wishing she was more like her flatmate Siobhan. Sexy, peroxide, red lipped, confident Siobhan. The stranger who had so chivalrously held open the door for her was watching her. She could feel his eyes boring into her.

At 8.04am James McNally was smiling to himself. The pretty blonde was blushing. So sweet. So different from the in-your-face sexiness he was used to. She looked as though she might be more at home in a Jane Austen novel than in central London. So very delicate and innocent looking, wearing a strikingly unusual sage green coat.

At 8.09am the train doors opened and Louisa Reynolds stepped out onto the platform, barely giving the handsome stranger a second glance. She rushed up the steps into the bustling street. She loved her job at the St Pancras Library. It was her perfect place; quiet, filled with books. Beautiful, precious, sweet smelling books. She could easily disappear for hours among the shelves. You knew where you were with books. Not like people.

At 8.10am James McNally sighed deeply. She was gone. He had hesitated and missed his chance. She was gone.

At 8.30am James McNally was sitting at his desk, gulping down his syrupy coffee. His thoughts were a million miles away, with the blonde in the unusual sage green coat. As an investment banker, his working day was full of danger and risk taking. In his private life however, his idea of a risk was choosing regular instead of Lite beer. He made like an ostrich and buried his head in the sand at the slightest hint of romance. Especially since Hannah. Logging onto his Twitter account, he updated his status.



He quickly hit upload before his nerves could get the better of him.


At 8.57am across London, Sara Jonson was procrastinating. She was supposed to be sending out invoices but instead was browsing Twitter. Reading a post which brought a smile to her face, she promptly ‘retweeted’.

At 10.22am, in Sheffield, Rosie White, a bored housewife flicked through the TV channels whilst catching up on her social networking sites. Absentmindedly she pressed ‘retweet’ on a post about some Londoner looking for a girl he’d met. It reminded her of some cheesy chick flick.

At 1.01pm Duncan Robertson was eating the disgusting ham sandwich his wife had made him that morning. He laughed out loud at a post on Twitter – some bloke was looking for a blonde. ‘Aren’t we all mate?’ he chuckled to himself as he pressed ‘retweet.’


At 1.40pm Louisa Reynolds was tucked away in a corner of the park eating cold potato salad. She was getting her daily Twitter fix. Living vicariously through others, She rarely posted anything herself, she was far too self-conscious, but she loved dipping into other people’s conversations. A particular tweet caught her eye.’…blonde wearing a sage green coat…’ It was her. @JMcNally75 was looking for her! Her heart missed several beats.

At 1.45pm James McNally hit refresh for the billionth time that morning. He had a new reply. Probably just another well-wisher, retweet or fake prankster. His heart tactually stopped as he read….

At 2.21pm Louisa Reynolds had set up a date. An actual date with @JMcNally75. She couldn’t remember the last time she had a date. Excitement mixed with nerves in a heady emotional cocktail.

At 2.22pm James McNally victoriously punched the air, whilst thanking everyone from God to every Tweeter in the country.

At 7.01pm James McNally was getting ready for his hot date. It had been a long time since he had done this. A long time since he had grasped such an opportunity. it felt exhilarating. He had forgotten this feeling. The adrenalin, the buzz. It had been so long since Hannah. He wished he had done this before.

At 7.22pm Louisa Reynolds had seriously cold feet. She resolved that she didn’t need to go. There were plenty of dashing young gentlemen in the world of fiction without the need for their real life counterparts. Mr Darcy et al were all she needed.

At 7.23pm Sinead O’Brien was pushing her flatmate through the door. That girl seriously needed to prise herself away from those dusty old books and get out a little.


At 7.50pm Louisa Reynolds and James McNally were awkwardly greeting each other. Adrenalin pumped through James McNally’s body as he realised that the Blonde was as special as he had first thought. It had been so long, he had doubted his instincts.

Meanwhile, Louisa Reynolds was falling in love. He was everything she could hope for in a man. She made a mental note to thank Siobhan for man-handling her out of the door.

At 7.52pm James McNally suggested a quiet stroll in the park. He wanted Blonde to himself. Louisa Reynolds was inwardly jumping for joy. A walk through the park was way better than a crowded bar and all those people and the loud music. She could see Siobhan shaking her head, hands on hips. Almost hear her words ‘Stay safe Hun. Stay in a public place.’ Looking up at @JMcNally75’s smiling face, she shook of her best friend’s warnings. She had nothing to fear here. Absolutely nothing to fear. After all, it was her intention to kill him.



9 thoughts on “Friday Flash: Love on the Piccadilly Line?

  1. I really enjoyed this. I like your characterisations and plot, especially the timechecks that, for me, echo the very immediacy of Twitter. I also like how the sotry is told without the need for dialogue. You have a great voice! I wasn’t completely sure of the ending though, perhaps a little more foreshadowing would have had it sit better for me, there again, you have created great potential for a sequel – I would love to know why Louisa intends to kill James, does she go through with her plan, and does she get away with it?

    Welcome to #FridayFlash!

  2. I really enjoyed this & was interested to see how you finished. I don’t think you need the kill thing. Its so sweet & fresh without. (Check Sinead – Siobhan mix).

  3. adampb says:

    I like the structure to this piece, little cinematic vignettes, with a great little twist at the end.
    Adam B @revhappiness

  4. Welcome to Friday Flash!

    I’m with Sam. I like how the story flows and the twitter mention, although the ending was a bit sudden. Penny has a good point that the story is sweet on itself without the killing part. On the other hand, I’m curious to see sweet librarian’s real face, heh.

  5. Hey. I really enjoyed this story – like other people have said, the immediacy of the structure is effective. I think that aspect of it could be taken even further by changing the tense to present instead of past – just a suggestion though.

    I agree with Sam – the twist needs more foreshadowing if it’s going to work, but the story is so good up until that point that it’s almost not necessary.

    Well done – I really enjoyed your story.

  6. Thank you everyone for your comments. I wasn’t sure about the ending either when I wrote it, i it just sort of happened mid-writing. I’ll try and take on board your advice about foreshadowing etc in my future writing.
    Thanks everyone for taking the time to read and comment.

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