Train Tetris

By Slawka G. Scarso

First came the two suitcases, then the backpack and then the large shopping bag, with a peeking baguette, and a crossword magazine. Then she appeared: so tiny you’d never believe she could carry so much. We looked at all her things, the compartment already small; and at all our things, tightly secured, we thought.

We offered to help, but she shook her head.

‘Thank you but no,’ she said, raising her hands.

And then she pushed, and she thrust, moving around everything else. Apologizing, sometimes. Removing her shoes, she climbed on the seats, and shifted our bags. She took a step back, like a painter getting a better view of her oeuvre, and then pulled my suitcase below the seats – no apology there, – and found a little spot for her bag too. Then she sat, at last.

Only to remember that she still had layers of travel clothes to unpeel.

 Slawka G. Scarso has published several books on wine and works as a copywriter and translator. Her short fiction has appeared/is forthcoming in Mslexia, Ellipsis Zine, Bending Genres and Necessary Fiction among others. She lives between Rome and Geneva with her husband and her dog, Tessa. She’s currently submitting her first crime novel. You can find her on Twitter as @nanopausa. More of her words on