So if you’re a writer, tell me a story, he said.

I’m afraid I can’t.

Can’t you? Did you run out of stories?

Run out? They’re backed up in my head like subway riders at rush hour turnstiles. They come and go like the flashes of light in the tunnels. They give me sidelong, seductive glances and then are gone at the next stop, or the one after, without looking back. Dozens, dare I say hundreds, every day.

So tell me one.

That’s just it. I want to tell you all of them. What would just one mean? How can I pick? Would it be the right one?

The right one?

The one you need to hear.

The boy laughed, a bright chattering bell above the trundle of the subway train. What if I want to hear all of them?

Well. How far are you going, my friend?

I’m going to the end of the line.

Unfortunately the next stop might be mine, or the one after.

Then you better get started.

Do you want one with a moral, or do you just want to be entertained?

How about one with a superhero?

Ah, a little of both. Alright then. Once there was a small boy with unruly blond hair and green eyes. A green that you don’t see very often — never, in fact. Aventurine.

His name was Sebastian.

One day his father accompanied him on a class trip. There they were on the 4 train, Sebastian, his father, his teacher, and the entire first grade class at St. Athanasius School. Across the aisle, leaning against the door reading, Sebastian saw a young man, perhaps a college student, scruffy and unkempt. Sebastian couldn’t take his eyes off this stranger, and why do you think?

His eyes were the same shade as Sebastian’s. Aventurine. The sort of green you never see. The sort of green Sebastian had been searching peoples’ eyes for since he first realized exactly how uncommon they were.

Are you finding this one interesting so far?

I don’t know yet. Just tell it.

It all started when the doors opened at 14th Street…


©2014 Jason Anderson