Flash Fiction: The Witness

Evi Eprilliani


Time well spent and full of joy, touring Surabaya for four days was truly a great escape from my daily routine as a university student. I was ready to go back to Bandung by train. Solo travel is the best, it’s just you and your camera capturing every moment which cannot happen twice. I hope I have another time to do this again, to another city.

When I got inside the train, I was looking at my ticket while searching for my seat. There was it, I found my seat just eight steps away from the door. It was a nice seat, far from the toilet. Night train was the best choice because the surroundings felt peaceful. I checked my camera only to realize I forgot to charge its battery. I couldn’t wait to show all the photos I had taken to my mother.

I was tired but I didn’t feel sleepy at all. My vision darted around to see everyone was sleeping including a mother and her son. I missed my mom more by looking at her face. The thoughts of my mom got disturbed when I saw a dark figure came from the door, snatched her bag, and then rushed back to the darkness. The scene of the woman panicked, authorities came and tried to chase him without a blink, I see it all. The next second, people were talking about the possibility of someone noticing his criminal action. The woman was still sobbing while hugging her son. She kept talking about her money which will be used for their daily needs.

I pretended to sleep instantly. Should I tell them? Would it make a difference? Oh, how I wish I was really sleeping when the incident occurred. My mind kept telling me to speak up, to be brave, but I was afraid I needed to be investigated more and got blamed. Also in a movie I watched, the witness who speaks up got murdered by the culprit. I gathered my courage and stood up, touched one of the officer’s elbow to make them realize I was there, I was their valuable witness. After I told him I saw the culprit, he brought me to a quiet place. My mouth started to explain to him about a man with a black hoodie, black jeans, and a black cap. I didn’t remember clearly about his shoes but I thought he wore converse, a fake one. Suddenly, a walkie-talkie which the officer held in his hand came to life and gave a shocking news. The culprit was running into a sea of weeds which were very dense and hard to be passed through, especially at night. The officer patted my shoulder, appreciated my honesty, but he didn’t say anything anymore and left.

When I got back to my seat, I felt empty. The mother and her son also disappeared from that seat. Eyes looked outside the window, my mind was wondering what just happened in the span of 15 minutes. I tried to close my eyes only to open it again and saw the culprit’s smiling face from outside of the window. It felt so real that I stood up on my feet in an instant. I was afraid and couldn’t sleep. Surabaya to Bandung never felt that long.

Word Count: 549

Illustration credit: Barzini116 (renpy-train-interior-window-animated-bg.webm) and Ishaan Bhola (<a href=’https://wwww.ishaanbhola.com/d/item/man-silhouette-pngeab-44df-9c62-ddab1f401029/‘>Designed By www.ishaanbhola.com</a>)

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