About a Girl – Friday Fictioneers

Copyright – Dawn Q. Landau

About a Girl

Genre: General (101 words)

Billy’s been hopping trains all his life. He knocked me over, dropping into my train. It’s how we met. We catch more trains on the fly than I can count.

I had only done boxcars until Billy. He taught me how to ride the rods, but it was me who kept him awake on a suicide ride. Riding with the wind at my back was all I needed.

Billy, he was looking for something else. Every town we stopped in, he had questions, said it was about a job.

If you asked me, it was about a girl. It always was.


Thank you to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting the Friday Fictioneers and to Dawn for the photo. I love railroad tracks. We have many running through Folsom where I live.

I was inspired to take a picture:

Railroad Tracks

Here’s a link to some history about freighthopping.

All are welcome to participate in this challenge to write a 100-word story based on the photo prompt. Please visit this page for instructions.

Read more stories from the Fictioneers here.

61 thoughts on “About a Girl – Friday Fictioneers

  1. Well of course it was! He looks like he’s just about at that age where he’s realizing they’re not so bad after all! Not easy to keep it at 100 words – you did great again. Check your e-mail – I want to run something by you about your book 🙂


      1. Just so you know, this prompt is open until Tuesday. The photo prompt is provided on a Wednesday and it’s open until the following Tuesday. But no pressure here from me. Do you what you need to do.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Considering that it’s a woman walking alongside the tracks with the dog following I had the impression that he had ditched her for another woman leaving her to carry on alone.


  2. There is something quite romantic and mysterious about old railroad tracks. We played on the tracks a lot when we were kids. We also shared cans of sphaghetti “O”s in the hobo camps where we could talk to real hobos riding the rails. They always fascinated me.


    1. I think railroad tracks are romantic for some reason, too. I can see that train hopping life being quite an adventure, although dangerous. Those guys were crazy. That’s cool you talked to real hobos with a can of spaghetti O’s. That’s perfect!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We were kids. Times were different. Our doors were unlocked and open. Neighbours all looked out for each other’s kids. We weren’t yet taught to mistrust and fear other human beings who were less fortunate than we were. Of course we were fearless.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It seems like so long ago, Michelle. We all live in fear of each other or least strangers. It’s very sad that these kinds of encounters probably can’t be repeated in today’s culture. I like that you were fearless!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. What a great story, Amy. I can feel the wistfulness coming out of Billie’s actions. As soon as I started this, I realized our stories could mesh together very nicely this week. It must have been because of that that I pictured the narrator as female, although you probably meant him to be a boy.


    1. Now that I’ve read your story, I see that they could mesh nicely. Maybe Billy is searching for Olivia. Ha! I did mean him to be a boy, just assuming that not many women freight hopped. I could be wrong, but just went with the flow in my head mostly. Now I could maybe revise that.


    1. The dog actually didn’t make into my story, although I suppose they could pick one up along the way. It’s two guy friends, but I see how this is so confused with the photo prompt. Drat!! Thanks for your nice comments, Perry!


    1. Thank you, Jan. I hoped that it’s authentic sounding. That’s what I was going for. It’s hard when I haven’t heard it exactly, but I just gave it a go. 🙂 Good to see you back!


  4. I’m glad they have each other, Spending all your time train-hopping around the country sounds like a freeing experience but I bet it’s really quite a lonely life.


    1. Train hopping must have an adventure, but like you said, lonely. That’s a good word for it. Especially if you don’t know where your next meal is coming from. Thanks, Ali.


  5. Dear Amy,

    I caught myself short of correcting your grammar when I realized it was part of the character who was narrating the story. Not overdone but enough to flavor your story. Very enjoyable.




    1. Ha! Yeah, it’s tricky trying to capture the tone and flavor. It probably could be a little bit more here. I thought I would give it a go anyway! Thanks so much, Rochelle.


  6. I’m late to the show. Busy weekend and all. This was a beauty. ‘About a Boy’ was claimed by Nick Hornby years ago but this shook up my preconceived notion. What’s better than that? I’ll have more of that, please.


  7. Dear Amy,

    About a Girl was told in a voice that makes it ring with authenticity. It was imagined well and executed perfectly. Do you have a railroad near where you live? Where did you take the picture you added? I have a feeling you know a lot about railroads…suicide rides, riding the rods…it is a mark of one who knows, or one who has researched well. Either way, kudos to you.




    1. Dear Doug,
      That picture is taken in the town of Folsom where I live. There’s a lot of history with the railroads here. They run all through town. They’ll never be used again probably, although there is talk of light rail, but they’ll never be torn out either. That makes me happy. I researched a bit for this story. It’s a fascinating subject. Thanks for your lovely comments.


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