Part 39 – How to Solve a Problem Like Ambrose

Ambrose leaned his head against the window and watched the darkened trees and telephone poles rush on by.

The car was silent with the exception of the rat-a-tat click-clack-clack of the train’s wheels.

He hummed softly until he just couldn’t keep Bruce Springsteen’s lyrics bottled inside anymore. “You can’t start a fire sitting ’round crying over a broken heart. This gun’s for hire. Even if we’re just dancin’ in the dark. Can’t start a fire.” He closed his eyes. “Worrying about your little world falling apart.”

And he saw her face. Her black hair. Her golden eyes.

He startled and opened his eyes wide.

But Elsie wasn’t there.

Just the train car filled with empty seats and darkened windows and the sound of the wheels clacking the tracks.

He wrapped his arms around his chest and drew his shoulders slightly upward. “That rotted gargoyle will stake me if I return. But that isn’t a problem. I’ll go back after Jane leaves. She’ll take her rock-headed lover with her. Elsie will be left alone. She’ll take me back. She’ll let me stay.”

He winced as he remembered cracking her head on the floor and trying to bite her neck. How could she take me back after I did that to her?

“Rrrah!” He rose from his seat and paced the length of the train car. “It wasn’t my fault! I was hungry. I was frustrated. She knows this. How could she hold it against me? She can’t. She won’t. I know her. I know she won’t.”


He stopped. But I tried to change her. How could she forgive me for that?

But what am I supposed to do? “What am I supposed to do? I want her.”

Ambrose sunk into an aisle seat and looked at the window. He couldn’t see the trees or the telephone poles. Just his reflection.

And he knew.

His shoulders slumped. It doesn’t matter what I want. I can’t go back. I can only go forward. I have to forget her and move on with my life.

I’ll be home soon.


Ambrose sat in a silent slump, just listening to the sound of the train’s relentless motion. I’ll rest up. Grab a little something to eat.

He raised his head. Then, I’ll pay Mark Caten a friendly visit.

He smiled, baring the tips of his fangs. We will have a lot to discuss.

4 thoughts on “Part 39 – How to Solve a Problem Like Ambrose”

  1. I truly enjoy these bite size chapters. They always keep the reader wanting more, which is exactly what good stories are supposed to do 🙂 btw, I liked the Springsteen reference. He’s so quotable; I used one of his lyrics in one of my own stories.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!

      I generally do try to keep the word count under 1,000 – just to make it faster reading. It also probably force of habit. I’ve been writing short stories over on the Writer’s Digest Creative Writing Prompt board. Their word limit is 500 words. It isn’t a strictly monitored limit, of course, but it’s been good practice in learning how to write long stories short.

      And, yes, I love that Springsteen song. I was originally going to use the lyrics “Can’t start a fire. Can’t start a fire without a spark. This gun’s for hire. Even if we’re just dancing in the dark.” I had the song playing as I was writing. Then I heard that verse. And it was like it was written just for Ambrose. It was so perfect! So, yeah. That song is Ambrose’s unofficial anthem. 😆

      Liked by 1 person

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