The Stranger's Bag

I have just been sorting through my Folders and found a file called The Stranger's Bag. I had zero recollection of what this was, but on opening remembered that a while ago I entered the Tyne and Wear Metro Morning short story competition. Needless to say I didn't win, but it was fun nonetheless, and a good challenge trying to write something interesting in 250 words. Whether I succeeded is a matter of debate. I'm pretty sure this format is not my forte. Opinions good or bad encouraged in the comments!

The Stranger's Bag

What was that? She glanced sideways at the strange shapes protruding from the bag of the passenger beside her. She hoped it wasn’t too obvious she was staring. There was just something familiar about the shape, something seemed not quite right.

Then she realised, and stifled a gasp.

Bones. Human bones.

Her heart started to race. It was early; they were the only two people in the carriage. How far to the next stop? She stared straight ahead, pretending she hadn’t noticed, trying to keep a clam face. Then, in the reflection of the window, his head turned, and he looked straight at her. 

She leapt from her seat, kicking the bag and emptying its gruesome contents across the floor. Her head felt light, then everything went black.

‘Are you ok?’ the passenger was kneeling over her. ‘I think you passed out!’

‘The bag’, she murmured, ‘it’s…’

‘Oh, don’t worry about that’, he said, ‘they’ve survived thousands of years buried in the ground, I’m sure they can survive being knocked over on the Metro’.


She must have looked confused.

‘Oh, I’m an archaeologist by the way. I work at Newcastle University. I wouldn’t normally carry him around on the metro, but my car broke down and I need him for teaching this morning’

At the realisation of her mistake she started laughing. ‘I’m an idiot! Here, let’s give you a hand’.

They put the skeleton back in the bag, just in time for the doors to open at Haymarket.