Chapter 1 - From Platform to Train

Below is the first chapter from a start to an old idea for a novel. The novel would be a sequel to my current work in progress, "Sisters of Perm." Therefore, I believe it a proper way to introduce you to my writing style. If you enjoy, please return for future blog posts, especially those that feature some of my writing.

Please let me know what you think of this chapter in the comments below. You can follow me on Instagram at @michaelrkielfictions. You can find a link to it on my home webpage.

Chapter 1 - From Platform to Train

Ippol Moveyich, dressed in an unassuming suit, and carrying a single, soiled bag of luggage, fidgeted again with his watch. The queue at the ticket office had not moved in several minutes. He looked to a nearby board, his face grimacing. The Raza train was departing in less than an hour.

Ippol stiffened. A great whistle had blared nearby. Metal wheels began to screech, their iron grinding to a halt. A brisk wind picked up and sent cold air down his neck.

Inhaling sharply, he bent his eyes. His trousers and boots were damp and filthy. A November rain the evening prior had made the land thick and muddy, and as such, the coach Ippol had taken to the train station had gotten stuck.

At length, Ippol exhaled, managing a laugh.

“I should have accepted more money,” he mumbled, brushing off clumps of mud.

Ippol had helped the driver free the coach from the mud. Once freed, the coachman had been so relieved that he had offered to return the whole fare. Ippol accepted only half.

Ten more minutes passed. The Raza platform gradually began to fill in with more commuters.

Ippol ignored them, gazing ahead at the ticket office, chewing on his lip. There at its main window, a woman was in the midst of a heated discussion with an attendant.

Ippol could not hear their conversation but clearly saw the woman. Elderly and white-haired, she hunched and leaned on a cane with one hand, and searched inside her purse. Both arms jerked. She twisted around to glance at the crowd, quite nearly falling over in the process.

The commuters standing in the queue watched and grew restless, jeering insults and curses. Ippol, however, dropped his gaze, opened his jacket, and reached inside a pocket. He exchanged his watch for a small stringed pouch. Both, despite their years of use, remained in exceptional condition. They had originally belonged to his father.

Ippol pulled open the pouch and counted the contents. Thirty notes and five silver coins. That was all that remained of his savings.

He pulled the strings tight and returned the pouch to its usual pocket.

Not a whole hell of a lot, Ipp, he thought to himself.

A clamor then caught his attention.

Cheers came from the front of the queue.

Ippol stepped aside and narrowed his gaze. Two Volshe peacekeepers now stood next to the ticket window with the old woman between them. Sanguine-looking and young, they wore finely trimmed beards and had backs massive and broad.

The taller of the two Volshe spoke harshly and held out a hand, evidently waiting for something. He dwarfed the old woman. She had to crane her neck upward to talk to him. Ippol could not hear their conversation, but the woman was clearly startled. Her body and hands visibly trembled.

“Foolish Krepst!” said a woman immediately in front of Ippol. This lady, wearing an elegant short grey dress, trimmed with lace below her partially exposed bosom, chuckled with her friend. “How could she ever think to manage yellow class tickets?”

“You should understand these modern Krepsts, my Vatya,” said the friend, exchanging curious, foul glances with Ippol. “Equality declared by our King floods their heads.”