Train Of Thought

Entry by: Sandiane

17th July 2015
My eyes are trained on the screen. Everything’s going well so far: out of eight trains, I haven’t made one mistake. While I’m busy congratulating myself, a grey and red train escapes my notice and disappears into the black station. Damn it.

I take a deep breath and focus. Grey into grey, red into red, black-and-white into black-and-white.

“Lucy, it’s dinner time!”

Oh, no. No, no, no.

I watch in horror as two of the trains happily head for the wrong station. It only took the second of distraction brought about by my mum’s voice.

I desperately try to get my head back in the game, clicking on the tracks to direct my trains into their rightful stations. Three mistakes I can still work with, but if I get to four I might as well quit the game and try again later.

I don’t want to try again later.

“Lu-cy! Dinner!”

This time I ignore her voice. I’ve somehow sunk back into that calm, watchful state that is synonymous with victory; my hand rests on the mouse and presses it only when needed, none of the feverish, useless clicks from earlier.

Red-and-white into red-and-white, brown into brown, purple into purple. I’m so close: my heart races and my fingertips tingle. Level ten is finally within my reach.

“Lucy. Close that laptop. I won’t say it again.”

My mum’s voice is much closer than I expected, and out of a stupid reflex I look up at her. I catch only a glimpse of her raised eyebrows, because immediately I realise what I’ve done and look down again.

Just in time to see my very last train, a blue one, turn into the yellow station.


Click, click, click. My reaction comes too late, and of course switching the track now won’t make any difference.

I’ve lost.

The laptop slaps shut, startling me. Not like it matters now, though.

“Mu-u-u-um,” I wail, flopping back into the couch. “I almost had it! Couldn’t you wait like a minute?”

“Lucy Elizabeth Edwards, your game should be the last of your concerns right now.”

I open one eye and see her standing with her arms crossed, her face stern. Ugh. Not only did I lose, but I’m going to get told off for it.

With a sigh, I push the laptop off my knees and stand up.

I don’t really care what my mum has to say, but I pretend to listen; I nod and appear remorseful when appropriate.

In my mind, I’m calculating the amount of time available between the end of dinner and bedtime. Maybe I can make it to level ten then.

My mum’s saying something about games and how real life is better and should take precedence (I swear, only my mum uses words like ‘precedence’ in actual conversations) and inwardly I snicker. Real life.