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In The Blink of Her Eye

Time is not always on your side

By Lisa VanGalenPublished 29 days ago 4 min read
Top Story - April 2024
In The Blink of Her Eye
Photo by Jeanne Rouillard on Unsplash

Time itself bent and morphed, allowing Shannon the precious seconds needed to see and adjust to the disaster unfolding in front of her. Each frame showed minute details she would have missed had the clock not slowed down until she heard every click of the hands as they swept toward the end of everything. If only she was being melodramatic...

Tick. Tock.

The door slid open and a man stepped into the dining car. His silhouette brightened as he entered a pool of light, gracefully set to add ambience for the diners.

Tick. Tock.

Shannon met his gaze and the spark of recognition set the wheel of events tumbling into oblivion. Only yesterday, she had attended a briefing with her Chief Constable regarding a dangerous fugitive known to be in the region.

Tick. Tock.

The man pulled a gun from his waistband, the piece as dark and ominous as its owner's eyes. His photos lacked perspective when it came to the pure evil that exuded along with the stench of his unwashed skin.

Tick. Tock.

Shannon felt for her pistol, dread filling her as she remembered it was locked safely in her cabin. Her practiced movements gave her away as the man stared into her soul.

Tick. Tock.

Frederico Gonsalves grinned, his teeth crooked and nasty. The gun loomed larger than any she had ever seen, the barrel extending until it filled her vision.

Tick. Tock.

Shaking herself, Shannon scanned her table for a weapon before looking back at Gonsalves. There was no point in bringing a knife to a gunfight. Breaking her wineglass, she palmed the stem, the only protection she could find. And no good unless they were in a hand-to-hand battle.

Tick. Tock.

The head of the man in front of her exploded into a red mist, the droplets shimmering outward in an incandescent display. Startled, the stem slipped from her fingers to smash on the floor.

Tick. Tock.

The seat shuddered from the impact of the round and the body collapsed into the aisle. Blood seeped from the open skull, vacant eyes staring into unknown worlds.

Tick. Tock.

Shannon dropped to the floor, knowing it was futile, but her training dictated she do something to escape, to do everything possible to save the other passengers, and, hopefully, herself.

Tick. Tock.

Screams ripped through the train as the gunman stepped closer to Shannon. Like a wailing siren, the sound rose before falling again as the seconds moved on.

Tick. Tock.

Tables overturned as people scrambled to escape. Dishes smashed, cutlery clattered, glass splintered like diamonds, the debris flying in all directions.

Tick. Tock.

Pop! Pop! Pop! Glass shattered as windows exploded out into the night. Shannon was puzzled at the lack of sound. For the size of the gun, she had expected more of a Bang! than that.

Tick. Tock.

The wind ripped through the train car as the rear doors opened and closed, cutting off the screams.

Tick. Tock.

An unnatural quiet descended, with only Shannon and Frederico left in the shambles of the formerly pristine dining car.

Tick. Tock.

Metal screams emanated from beneath their feet as the engineer forced the brakes on to stop the train.

Tick. Tock.

Upended by the sudden stop, Frederico flew into a set of seats, his pistol clattering to the floor.

Tick. Tock.

Shannon crawled under the seat in front of her, her hands slipping in the pool of blood and brain matter.

Tick. Tock.

The lights sputtered before the dining car descended into darkness.

Tick. Tock.

She whispered a silent prayer for the man she had never met. Creeping out of her hiding place, she made a timid movement towards the front door.

Tick. Tock.

The whine of a bullet reached her ears as the projectile lifted her hair before slamming into the wall.

Tick. Tock.

Fear rippled through her and she froze. momentarily unable to think or move.

Tick. Tock.

"You cannot hide from me, chica." Frederico taunted as he walked, his steps, heavy and thoughtful.

Tick. Tock.

"You don't have to do this," Shannon pleaded, turning her back to the door as she tried to slide across the floor to freedom.

Tick. Tock.

"But," he replied. "You know that I do. You know too, too much already."

Tick. Tock.

She could hear footsteps hurrying through the car in front of her, train security if she was lucky.

Tick. Tock.

"I won't say anything," Shannon tried. "You have time to get away. Just leave. Run."

Tick. Tock.

"I know who you are, chica," Frederico sneered. "And you know me." His voice was closer with every word.

Tick. Tock.

Shannon spun for the door, praying she was close enough, fast enough.


Bang! Now it's loud, Shannon thought as her back erupted in agonizing fire.


The doors open and Frederico falls in a hail of lead. Shannon squeaks out a cry, but it is too late. Her words are lost in the ether.


Darkness creeps in slowly, shrinking her view of the door, mere inches from her fingertips, until she slips silently into death.


Short StorythrillerCONTENT WARNINGAdventure

About the Creator

Lisa VanGalen

I am a panster by nature, discovering my characters as they reveal themselves. To date, my novel writing has involved the paranormal or magick within a more familiar setting, blending it with mysteries, police procedurals, or thrillers.

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Comments (16)

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  • Christy Munson3 days ago

    Congratulations on Top Story! I enjoyed the intensity!

  • Melissa Mcvicker19 days ago

    Oh Lisa, That was good! Intense. I loved it.

  • Anna 23 days ago

    Congrats on Top Story!

  • angela hepworth26 days ago

    This was so intense!! Great work

  • D. D. Lee26 days ago

    Congrats on Top Story! I thought for sure she’d make it out alive.

  • Sharna Halliwell26 days ago

    Wow! That was amazing! 😍

  • Congratulations on your top story!

  • Congrats on top story! Also well written! ❤️

  • Shauna Brown26 days ago

    Thanks for posting something like this.

  • Charlie williams27 days ago

    Good work

  • graphic corner27 days ago

    In the midst of chaos, time slowed for Shannon, allowing her to absorb every detail of the unfolding disaster. It felt like a scene from Shadow Fight 2, where every move mattered. As she grappled with the situation, a man entered the dining car, his silhouette illuminated dramatically, akin to characters in the game. It was a moment where reality blurred with the intensity of a virtual battle, urging Shannon to act swiftly before time ran out.

  • Flamance @ lit.27 days ago

    Great story nice I like it

  • Cyrus27 days ago

    Congrats on ts!

  • Back to say congratulations on top story! 🥳

  • Oh my, the intensity and energy was intoxicating! So sad that she died that way, though!

  • Novel Allen28 days ago

    Oh wow! I was totally engaged in the story. death stalks us everywhere. A well written saga Lisa.

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