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by Jubbly 

Posted: 26 May 2004
Word Count: 286

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Content Warning
This piece and/or subsequent comments may contain strong language.

The tube roars past me and the filthy wind of soot engulfs my entire being, I wonder, should I?

I've stood here on this platform so many times before, and I've sometimes thought, what If, dare I?

But I've never had the courage, I'm self conscious people might be watching, they will be thinking, look, look at that poor fool, what does he hope to gain from it, itís not worth it

I'm so tired of being here, day after day, the meaningless grind and it's so depressing, dirty, dark, fear and hatred concealed behind a civil expression yet so close to the surface that one can almost taste it.

I know I should just do it, take the plunge as they say - it's not as if anyone is waiting for me at home with dinner on the table, lovingly cooked just for me, no, no one is expecting me, no one is waiting for me at home, I'm all alone, I've got used to it after all these years.

No one will even care. The next tube is coming, I'm drawn to it by the sudden southerly breeze, and then I hear it, the purring approach of this sardine tin form of transportation and I know I have to do it.

Now, I say to myself under my breath, Jesus Christ man, it's now or never.

Just one step, go on, you can do it, you mustÖ just one more step...

Then it happens, that dreadful familiar clanking of metal, no, no itís jammed.

And as my 50pence piece wedges tight in the payment box I thump that bloody Cadburys Machine hard with my fist.

Shit, I knew the fuckers never ever bloody work.

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Comments by other Members

Account Closed at 18:33 on 26 May 2004  Report this post
Hi Jubbly, THIS is fantastic stuff. I was on the edge of my seat wondering whether he was going to jump. And then... lol, very clever piece of flash fiction! I loved it. I'll never look at a confectionary machine the same way without thinking of suicide by subway :)


Inspiration at 18:43 on 26 May 2004  Report this post
Hello Jubbly

I too got the message, he was going to jump, as expected. The build up was spectacular.How wrong I was. The depressing meaningless grind was a nice touch!

At the clanking of metal stage, I thought he was just about to jump, changed his mind and then got tangled up in something metal!

Very funny ending!

Take care


crowspark at 19:02 on 26 May 2004  Report this post
Suicide by chocolate! Excellent. You evoked that unique environment of the underground. I knew something was coming but even though the chocolate failed to arrive.

I'm not entirely certain about this line,

"And as my 50pence piece wedges tight in the payment box I thump that bloody Cadburys Machine hard with my fist."

"Payment box" seems a little jarring - how about "slot" or is that old technology? I think if it were me I would blame the "slot" even if it wasn't.

Another goodun.


Dee at 19:05 on 26 May 2004  Report this post
Love this, Julie. Itís the inevitability. Like sticking something into a photocopier. You just know itís going to jam but you keep thinking Ė once, just once, the bloody thing must work!

Beautifully written, as always.


Jubbly at 21:26 on 26 May 2004  Report this post
Thanks so much Dee, Bill and Steven I'm really glad you liked it. Bill you're absolutely right about the 'payment box' line, I went completely blank on the word 'slot' got it now and will ammend.

Cheers all


Anna Reynolds at 22:03 on 26 May 2004  Report this post
Oh yummy, yummy- to my utter sadness I totally identified with this, I never dare to use those machines for this very reason and because it's such a public way of saying I'm greedy for chocolate. Fantastic way to play with our expectations. is this one for Edinburgh?

Jubbly at 22:40 on 26 May 2004  Report this post
Thanks Anna, I've just submitted this one to the director so hopefully it will be included in the re-writes. So far I've done three completely different versions of this play, hopefully I will get it right soon.

Mooncat at 09:00 on 27 May 2004  Report this post
Hi Jubbly,

Realy liked this. You describe the underground really well.

'the next tube is coming. I'm drawn to it by the sudden southerly breeze' - Great. I can almost feel that breeze.

The ending is brilliant.


scottwil at 09:28 on 27 May 2004  Report this post
I liked it very much. Fell for it hook line and sinker. Do those bastard things still not work? What I especially liked was that self-conscious line which puzzled me at first. But it's such a universal truth - you don't want to be seen to be the only idiot in London who doesn't know that those machines never cough up. Encore.

kennyp at 09:57 on 27 May 2004  Report this post

This is an excellent piece of flash fiction. You describe the claustrophobic feel of the underground really well. Like the way you lead us into believing he is going to jump and then come up with the surprise ending. Excellent.


Jubbly at 09:58 on 27 May 2004  Report this post
Thanks Mooncat and Sion, I personally haven't tried to use one in years, but my kids are always asking to try, so I just tell them they're not real only ornaments, but as my eldest says, pretty crap ornament.

Friday at 19:39 on 27 May 2004  Report this post

This brings back memories, never did get that Crunchie. :)

Next time I see one of these machines Iíll laugh.

Loved it,


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