The tracks

in The Ink Well2 years ago

Photo by Valentin Sirbu via Unsplash

The wrong side of the tracks.
I had heard this all my life. I was in love with him and that's where was from: the wrong side.

In primary, it made very little sense to me. Railroad tracks weren't that wide. What difference did it make it we were only a few meters apart?

After school, we agreed to take a walk there and inspect that railroad. If we could figure out what make one side worse than the other, we could correct the problem.

"See anything?"

"Not really. Both sides look the same to- hold! I think I found it!"

I rushed to where the bars had parted a bit. A tree branch had fallen into the space and stuck out over the bars. A passing train would have snapped the branch easily, and without a bit of trouble. However, I was certain that this would have been some tragedy that could easily be avoided if I could manage to get the stick out.

I pulled and yanked with all my strength. Suddenly the branch gave way and sent me whirling backwards, ass over tea kettle.

Banged up slightly, I still managed to smooth my skirts and offer up an embarrassing giggle. He rushed to my side to help me up.

"Thank you." I said with all the dignity I could muster. I pointed to the space between the bars now with a victorious cheer. "Hurrah! See? It's fixed! You are now a citizen of the RIGHT side of the tracks."

"My queen." He went to his knee and bowed his head in mock adoration.

Certainly, as we grew older, I realized what they meant. However, I was too far gone to care. Our lives had been on opposite sides of the spectrum, but they converged in all the ways that mattered.
Love was simple. Life was hard.

Complexities would come and they would require appropriate solutions. I knew that removing a tree branch from between the rails wouldn't be enough to put the world right every time. We had grown more realistic as we aged from those primary school minds. But I also knew that the distance between the tracks was exactly 1420 mm. And if he walked on his side, and I walked on mine, we were close enough to still hold hands.

That was good enough for me.

This was a flash fiction written for the prompt : Railroad from @theinkwell and their [Prompt #14](


At first, I didn't understand the story. When I translated the phrase in my mind, I thought it meant they were going in the opposite direction.

Then look up its proper meaning in the English language: the part of a community in which those considered socially and culturally inferior live.

So I had to re-read the story

Like the character in your story, I was confused. I can see that she thought she could solve the problem by removing the branch.

I love learning new things ^_^

Ah yes. Being on the "wrong side of the tracks".
She was from "high society" while he was from a lower class. While adults tend to separate people into worthy/unworthy by the size of their bank account and front lawn - ha ha! Children tend to have a much simpler view.

She really did think that phrase meant there was something wrong with his "side" of the tracks, and that she found it with that branch :-)

Happy to be the one to introduce you to a new English phrase! I wonder if you will ever use it in future stories for yourself? You can give it new life! :-)

Nice ^_^

You're right, children do not see the stupid barriers imposed by adults.

Happy to be the one to introduce you to a new English phrase! I wonder if you will ever use it in future stories for yourself? You can give it new life! :-)

Thank you ^_^. It's not a bad idea!

If you do use it, please find a way to let me know so I can come enjoy it! 😅

I love your use of the prompt. I mean taking it from a popular saying and creating a story out of it. It's beautiful. Your creativity is incredible.

I'm a lover of love stories like these.

@young-boss-karin thank you for this heart-felt compliment. As a fellow writer, I'm sure that you can attest to how meaningful it is to hear that someone enjoys your creativity. I really did find this story to be beautiful also. I don't say that in a prideful way, because I sometimes feel I can't take credit for my stories. They seem to take on a life for themselves and narrate the story to me. As I watched these two interacting, I found myself falling in love with their relationship. I am a fan of love stories like these also. (which I suppose is why it found me!) 😅

Hello @stormcharmer,
Your's is a well spun tale. Taking us from childhood crush to real love as adults. I can see innocence of the little child as she wonders why.
And i wish fixing the world could be just as easy. A lot of things would have been different.
This is a beautiful story my friend, keep it up.

I wonder if fixing the world IS that easy? 😅 Perhaps we can take a lesson from the innocence of children? Thank you for coming to visit me again, my friend. I always enjoy seeing you in that lovely, yellow shirt. You look like a ray of sunshine!

Thank you for the compliment.
And since you write good stories, coming here isn't difficult.
See you in the next story.

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You make startlingly good use of a popular saying. As children sometimes do, the protagonist tries to make sense of something that is obvious to adults. In interpreting the phrase literally, you show its emptiness and its cruelty. You also demonstrate poignantly the innocence of childhood.

Thank you for posting this interesting story in the Ink Well community. Please be sure to read the work of other writers in the community and share comments with them. We are urging everyone who posts in The Ink Well to take this step, going forward, to ensure our community members are supporting one another. (We also have this in The Ink Well community rules on our home page and in our weekly writing prompts.) Thank you!

If only we could remove the barriers that divide us in real life by pulling a branch out of the way! I love how you interpreted the prompt, @stormcharmer.

Your content has been voted as a part of Encouragement program. Keep up the good work!

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